Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN

Boundaries

Successfully Single

It’s time to start a conversation.

One we’ve been needing to have for a LONG time.

In 2011, I moved to the Provo/Orem area. Throughout the years, I lived in several different states, spent a summer in China, yet I’d constantly find myself coming back to the Valley.

And always for the same reason: to get married.

I made some of the most incredible friends in Utah. And I dated wonderful people. But there was something that loomed overhead…potentially more threatening than the inversion.

 

“Utah Mormon culture.”

 

My YSA ward held at BYU was where I first encountered members telling me that I’m *obviously* not very active.

Which was news to me.

Growing up being challenged regularly for who I was, it ultimately didn’t affect my testimony. Regardless of the people around me, I believed in God and in a Restored Gospel. Nothing else really mattered. So I mostly just ignored it.

Unfortunately, I’ve learned that there ARE aspects of it that have hindered me. Not my testimony–but certainly my dating life.

If you’ve ever liked posts by accounts like “provogirlsamiright”, then you KNOW what I’m talking about. And likely, you’ve been similarly afflicted…

**As I create space to talk about cultural influences that I believe hurt me as a YSA, I wanted to make very clear that nothing in the doctrine itself or the policies are wrong. Those eternal principles are for the good of man and I’m not here to dispute that.**

But there is harm in the avoidance of acknowledging how poor practices or inappropriate judgements are impacting us.

Because THEY ARE.

Which means we need to address how culture holds us back as singles, specifically. (This is a dating business, after all.)

Since moving to the East Coast, I consciously committing to NOT going back to Utah. So I HAD to believe I can find a spouse outside of BYU–which is not something I’ve accepted before. In doing so, I’ve unpacked a lot of harmful stigmas I’ve been carrying for years.

Anyone I’ve dated can tell you that conflict resolution isn’t my strong suit. I’m generally inclined to avoid difficult conversations. Or at least I was.

As I learn to face discomfort for the sake of healing, it’s become increasingly apparent that the way single members are both treated by, and react to certain cultural narratives, this is a difficult conversation we need to have.

For the sake of being single, we just have to talk about WHY WE’RE SINGLE.

As the average marriage age raises, it’s significant to both validate and explain that shift. Because guess what? Those thoughts and feelings you’re having about being a “loser” because you’re not married…are being had by e v e r y o n e.

Researching, understanding, and then unlearning certain behaviors has given me the distance from my debilitating NEED to get married (like, 8 years ago,) to identify specific *cultural stigmas* that have actually prevented me from getting married!

And I can attest that both my testimony and dating life have significantly improved since I’ve worked to heal myself from the affects of the culture.

I hope to bring that same success to YOU.

As we break down the why, behind our relationship status, we are more capable of changing it, (if that’s what you want! And tbh it’s ok if you don’t…)

This post is meant as an introduction to the discussion.

Each stigma needs its own dissection to be understood, so watch for the coming series of articles and posts! But I’ve laid out the major dating “offenders” below:

  1. The “perfect” partner
  2. Mid Singles Wards
  3. Not serving/coming home early from missions
  4. Modesty
  5. “Lists” for who we want to marry
  6. Communicating Sexuality
  7. Infantilization of/towards singles–this encompasses a myriad of cultural faux pas including but not limited to: game nights, going home for Christmas, and the general implication that we aren’t “full adults” until we are married
  8. Shame
  9. “Gender roles” outside of The Family: A Proclamation

Consider this your personal invitation to engage in the conversation that separates the good doctrine or policy, from the irresponsible cultural application that MAY be actually preventing you from finding good relationships.

God’s plan for us all centers around family. How is it that we’re enacting the very antithesis of that purpose?

By avoiding hard conversations out of fear that it’s somehow rebellious.

So let’s have constructive discussions that can dispel these stigmas and strengthen us as members.

The gospel is eternal.

But culture is circumstantial.

And I’m a firm believer that it’s within our power of agency to reject that culture and get back to the basics.

Won’t you chat with me?

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