Ask Angela: Please don't ask me why I'm not married; I think it's rude to ask

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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    Voice of Reason:
    I would rather a person took their time and find the right one. Your post makes me feel like a person should just marry anyone.."do your duty"...makes me shudder.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 9, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    I think the question is rooted in fear for the wellbeing of another. In particular, I got this a lot from my relatives at social engagements. These are the folks that actually cared about me. they were worried that if I wasn't actively dating, that I would give up, and never marry. people do sometimes get their priorities crossed--happens all the time in the world we live in. Many young women have put off childbirth til their thirties and now know the painful experience of infertility.

    There are a lot of social pressures these days, some of which suggest you should despise marriage altogether. So if you tell people "I'm happy with my life" after being asked about marriage prospects, you're likely to miscommunicate the idea that you have adopted a worldly viewpoint that you have no interest in marriage. So I'm not entirely sure Angela's response will help.

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    Oct. 8, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Autodav, your comments makes me very angry. Hoe dare you judge?! I can tell you from experience that most LDS women want to find "the one" and get married. However, we also can still live a great and fulfilling life until and after that happens. I was one of those women and I had/have several friends and relatives that were/are also. What are we supposed to do while waiting for the Lord's due time? NOTHING? What a waste of a life when there is so must good we can do and things we can accomplish? Talk about burying your talents. Why should we not work, be successful in a rewarding career? I have been a stay at home mom for the majotity of the last 27 years, but boy, I also had a carreer that I loved and was great at service too. That in no way ever diminished the desire for marriage to a worthy and acompatible husband or children. Get A CLUE!!!

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Prior to meeting my future wife, I wasn’t sure that I’d ever get married. Finding our special someone can be difficult.

    Mormons see marriage as a very important step in our spiritual growth, and also believe that God would never command us to do something without providing a way to accomplish it. Thus, we sometimes simplistically expect all our fellow Mormons who want to get married to succeed in that. When we meet someone who we deem as being very “marriageable” who is still single we can’t help but wonder, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I think asking, “Why haven’t you married yet?” is more often than not a statement of support rather than a criticism. It’s another way of saying, “How can someone as awesome as you are still not have found someone else awesome to marry? There’s a lot of people out there missing out on having you as their spouse.” The question doesn’t demand an explanation, but rather is empathizing with the challenges inherent in finding that special someone.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 8, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    "So where are you living now?"

    This is a great question because everybody is living somewhere.

    Can be a springboard for other non-toxic questions and lead to conversation that you're both comfortable with.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    VOR: Why do I suspect that your obligation to tell others how to live doesn't stop or end with marriage advice?
    It's inappropriate to tell other people what their "duty" is regarding marriage. This is especially true when it's directed toward young women who often have very little control over how often they are asked out. If you've spent any amount of time as a young woman living in our society, you'll understand that the expectations are brutal. I'm sure that guys have their struggles too. But it's worse for girls. Trust me.
    That said, if a girl is single, it's not necessarily because she's "undateable". It's just as inappropriate to bombard unwed girls with sympathy every time you see one at a reception.
    For goodness sake just treat her or him like a person who has something interesting to share. It's really not that complicated.
    And don't worry because you'll only be judged for how you live your life and not for missing an opportunity to remind somebody else that they're doing things "incorrectly".

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 7, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    My Mission President told me in my exit interview, regarding marriage, "10 days or 10 years, it doesn't matter. Just make sure you take the right person to the Temple."

    I had opportunities in college, and if I do say so, 3 or 4 girls who wanted me to ask them. But when I asked my Mother how I would know, she said, "When you cannot in any way imagine NOT being married to her, forever, it's the right time and person."

    I was 27. In that day, it made me a "menace to society", but whatever.

  • Ken Sisler Newmarket, Ontario
    Oct. 7, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    To bellsandbells: Thank-you for the nice fictional story. You get it!
    To: antodav: You don't get it. There are many good reasons why people do not get married until they are older or sometimes do not get married at all.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Oct. 7, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Sounds like another woman who seems to think that she has to choose between family and career, because that's what the world teaches, as opposed to what the Gospel and the General Authorities of the Church teach. Very sad, but she will continue to get these questions until she decides that she wants to have a family.

  • Scott Hoskins Palmdale, CA
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    While it would be nice if people who asked that question had our best interests in mind, it is not always true. I left my home ward partially due to ignorant people (most female, but not all) incessantly asking that. I tried honesty ("Please stop asking, it does not help") humor ("I'm waiting for the right girl to ask me")and finally, met rudeness with rudeness.("Still haven't lost weight? You've got more control over that than I have over my problem") Leaving was bittersweet, but mostly sweet.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    " Assume that when people ask questions like those being discussed that they mean no harm."

    No, they mean no harm, but generally, the question is asked because they think you are doing it wrong. They think that what worked for them should work for everyone. They think that they know what is best for you. Or, they could be jealous of your carefree lifestyle.

    Here is another script to use when asked:

    Them: "When are you getting married?"

    Me "No Idea. I have no timeline. I am enjoying life. So, probably someday, but I'm in no hurry"

    And if they persist, I would say, "why do you want to know? How does my decision affect you in any way?

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    Assume that when people ask questions like those being discussed that they mean no harm. Most people just want to talk a little. Learn how to guide the conversation. Here is a script to use when asked:

    Them: "When are you getting married?"

    You: Smiling, "I know, right? What I want to know is how did you do it? How did you and your spouse get together?

    They tell their story.

    You reply: "What a great story." If you got something from the story, add, "I appreciate you sharing it with me."

    Baby Question:

    Them: "When are you having a baby?"
    You: "I know, right? All I can say (and I'm not even sure I should say this because it is so personal) is that we are having a GREAT time working on it! Smile and wink. Then ask, "How are you doing with your children? I've always admired how well you do with them. Is it as easy as you make it look?"

    They tell their story.

    You: "What a great story. I hope to do it as well as you when our time comes. Thanks for sharing."

    It is just a matter of steering the conversation.

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Being older when I got married, yes, I was asked THAT question. I had to realize that most people didn't have mean intentions. They just wanted to share that they thought I was a wonderful person and couldn't figure out why someone else , anyone else that was male, did not discover that also. Because I knew I was just fine, and was not "lacking", I found a sense of humor was a wonderful diversion. When I was asked by an LDS person, why I was not married, I simply replied," Oh, you haven't heard about my fiance'?" which imediately got their attention. Then I stated, "Oh he never made it down here. He was killed in the War in Heaven and is waiting for me to come back and finish the job." and I would laugh. This quickly stopped the subject, let people know that I felt fine and got us moving on to a different topic. No one, including myself, felt awkward about it, but it did get the message across. Hope this helps. When we are worthy, we should love ourselves as we are, in any situation. God loves us all regardless.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    You know if people would just stop and think how they would feel if that question was asked them maybe they would be so forthright with their question. I believe that question is asked because people are nosey...plain nosey. Many are insensitive and others just don't think. How about this response, "Oh, you know that is a very good question - I'll have to give that some thought." I will work, I promise.

  • bellsandbells Columbia, MO
    Oct. 6, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    voiceofreason1234.... I think you have taken the point made by Elder Oakes sincerely to heart. But, as many of the people above have posted, there are times when people don't know the whole story and their comments are hurtful. A Bishop or home teacher or someone close to the person would know the situation better and know when and how to comment. It is not appropriate to approach a motherless child and assume she doesn't want children. It is unkind to ask someone in a receiving line why they are growing old and not married while their younger siblings are getting married and starting families.

    Ken Sisler... there is an old book which is probably out of print, which tells a fictional story about a couple who promised in the pre-existence to marry on earth. Well, they never met on earth due to some unavoidable reason. Much happened in their lives and they never found the "ONE" they were looking for. The happy ending is that they met again in their next life and 'lived happily ever after....for eternity.'

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Oct. 6, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    It is rude to comment to others about this and other potentially sensitive issues, especially in such a callus manner. Although, these people probably are just concerned about the others well-being and happiness, these rude comments are not the way. When my younger sister married and I was 21 and not yet married, I had a sweet brother come up to me and say how it must be difficult for me to see a younger sibling get married. I agreed but commented that I felt like I had more to do before I got married and that I would probably be better off for it. I was right! I understand these difficult questions. But, if you are truly good with your situation, and proud of your accomplishments (which you should be), then show that confidence to others. And, don't feel bad if you decide you just can't face the barrage of questions at a mission reunion. I didn't attend baby showers for a long time because it hurt, since I had fertility issues. Be happy with who you are and where you're at. That confidence will be more attractive to others around you.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Oct. 6, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    my son says the same to girls at byui. most of the girls there search for newly rm's, handsome like a model, popular, rich. my son is left in the cold by these ignoranct young women. he has learned to brush off but is still hurt when girls say 'you are over 25 and not married . you must be a looser'. RUDE RUDE RUDE. then hearing that the average age of marriage for a man is now 29 yrs. makes me sad. girls stop expecting peter perfection for you are not polly perfection. seek a man whom is honorable, worthy, kind, loving, funny, handsome, smart, works hard.
    so many go to byu seeking a companion without really seeking growth and knowing any of them there could be a great person to marry in one of our temples.
    my son is amazing.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Oct. 6, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    It is my opinion that as part of a community, those around us are trying to encourage one another in the ways of righteousness. It is true that the man is not without the woman and the woman without the man in the Lord. It is the Lord's way for us to marry, not postpone marriage, not postpone children after one becomes married (esp. if married in the temple) and etc.

    I think one should look at the comments brought their way as an encouraging reminder to get on with your duty!

    In an address given to CES teachers and their spouses, Elder Oakes spoke on the topic of marriage and children. Telling those attending that the people in the church aren't marrying and having children as they should (summary). And for those working with the youth and young adults to remind them that they should plan to get married and have their families.

    So, what do we learn from this apostles' comments?? Remind the people of the Church to marry and to have their children. Elder Nelson also reminded the attendees at a CES fireside to have their families.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    I agree Angela, as a "married mom with children" , I have received some well-intentioned yet rude remarks from those who feel that they know how I should be parenting, etc. I haven't been bothered unless the comment reflects my own insecurity or concerns. Thank you for addressing this issue. Maybe my eldest daughter isn't as secure with her single status as she insists that she is, it really bothers her when older ladies ask the marriage/boyfriend questions.

  • B1essed Lehi, Ut
    Oct. 6, 2013 12:56 a.m.

    I can totally sympathize, I Hated that question! I would get it the most while standing in the reception line after a younger sibling got married. It was always "when are you getting married?" At that time I wasn't okay with my single status and those words cut deep. It wasn't that I hadn't been asked, but I wasn't willing to settle. I knew I would Know when it was real and right (and a few years later I did).

    Sometimes to show the craziness of the question I would pick a date and say "this is when I'm getting married, hope I meet him by then!"

    Angela, I absolutely love your question "Readers: Do you find yourself asking single people why they aren’t married? What prompts you to do that?" I would love for someone like that to comment. Yes, why oh why?!

    I do agree that some people always find something to ask about. I had a friend that had been trying to conceive for years, yet at a ward party someone came up to her holding a baby and said "why don't you want one of these?" Wow...

  • Ken Sisler Newmarket, Ontario
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    As a 59 year old never married man, I find the comment rude when people ask me why I never married. When I tell them I prayed about the subject and the Lord has told me I will not be married in this life but I will be married in the next life, it leaves the person speechless. After all, who can argue with the Lord's will? lol

  • bellsandbells Columbia, MO
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    I had the same questions as a single school teacher. I finally met the 'right guy' and have been married 40 years with a wonderful crop of children and grandchildren. One person couldn't believe I had turned down three offers of marriage. She said, "I am going to marry the first person who asks me because I am afraid nobody else will ask me." I think that is what many are thinking. They are insecure and marry the first...and sometimes ...the wrong person. Marriage is serious. Get married when you find the right person and you are ready to get married. I know so many who married "the high school football star" or the most popular person in school or....etc. Many of them ended in divorce.

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    I, too, served a mission, went to college, travelled a bit...and didn't get married until I was 34 years old. I didn't get that question ("Why aren't you married?!") at all, but I felt I was the one who was enjoying life and doing all of the things I wanted to do. I basically was having my cake and eating it too. Now that I'm married I can say I have accomplished all of those things that were important to me...except we have no children, and that is not likely to happen. Fortunately nobody asks me why (infertility issues), but I have still found solace and happiness in my life despite having no children. Just show them how much joy you have in your life. Why AREN'T you married? Because the RIGHT guy has not come along, and you are NOT willing to settle. That's why! Love and luck to you!