Ask Angela: I'm aging out of my Mormon singles ward and I feel like a failure

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  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 2, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    ...should be YSA

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 2, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    It might sound a little odd the way I will list things, but my intentions come from way back YAS in SLC and I have been through a lot, I mean "a lot" does not even touch it at all.

    1. we should stop ignoring facts, there is a lot of pressure in church but it does never come from this church, its always people, find it anywhere on earth

    2. that pressure however how you want to define or explain it, is the very cause for so many people to give up or leave the church, be careful it will define your future how you deal with pressures from people or other spiritual sources(married people are no better, they just pretend to be)

    3. never stop looking for your girl, even if it takes eternity, it is just a question of what you see, your tunnel view might be in the way,is defined by your

    4. remember your sacrament meeting that is the door to more spirituality and learning about our own very "who we are", never leave that road

    5. there are so many bad/good, that is the hell we must go through,what a test

  • Kirsten CASTLE ROCK, CO
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Oh, I aged out of the singles ward many, many years ago, and had the same struggles you are having now. It isn't easy, at all, in a church that focuses on families! Even today, I have struggles every now and then, but I decided long ago, that I would put my heart into the gospel and just go with it. That said, there are days I wake up and have thoughts about just not going to church today because I just can't deal with the people, but I manage to get myself there every week, mostly because I decided to take people out of the equation. People make dumb comments, and many have no idea what it is like being single, and I decided to just laugh off their comments and focus on the rest of the gospel and the atonement. It is what is most important, after all. It doesn't matter what anyone else does or says, we have the responsibility to get ourselves back to Christ, and we must do what needs to be done, no matter how heartbreaking that may be. Love Christ! Focus there!

  • Jeremy Parker Petersburg, Alaska
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    My experiences with YSA were not helpful at all. It was high school part 2. I wouldn't lament the loss personally. Nor would I allow that the Gospel fails singles. Church programs are earthly institutions separable from the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon which they are based.

    Your testimony is literally between you and God, the church is just a study aid, a facilitator if you will, so don't blame them/us/it for your wavering testimony. I am sure that God has proven His love for you time and again. If you feel let down by the local church and people remember that and open yourself up to Him and trust His plan for your life as He knows best what you need. Make certain that you are doing all He asks of you and stop counting the costs, they are irrelevant as the alternative is untenable.

    Ultimately His plan for you is what you're after (whatever that is), not the assertions that haunt you, as well meaning folks try to apply their one-size-fits-all cure.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    I'd tell all of the single thirty-somethings out there.... Hang on, life gets much better. I married AFTER I "aged out" from a YSA ward. Get out and meet people of all types. Be a talent resource for the Church. Stay open to opportunities to date. I met my wife on a blind date. Many of the very spiritual, gifted and talented LDS people don't marry until they are in their 30's or later. It is hard and lonely at this stage but please hang on. It is worth it.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Living in a single ward as I did for awhile was challenging but I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to adjust and remain positive. My prayers were answered as far as this concern. I'm 67 years old now and still have the deep desire to be a Mother. I dreamed as a little girl to have at least 8 to 10 children. Sadly that did not happen and that desire to be a Mother never goes away and it's difficult to attend family wards will all of their children and not have a heartache inside of wanting to have children. I've resigned myself to look for the good and have trust and faith in Heavenly Father that someday I will be a Mother of many children on the other side. I know as I live faithfully that hope and dream will come true.

  • heartwings Sandy, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 2:05 a.m.

    Sad, but oh, so true. No one will even attempt to meet singles needs. They only serve themselves not being focused on serving others. They only serve their own needs even if numerous singles reside in your ward. I feel your pain . . . it is real! (You will get many lectures. Be prepared for them no matter how self-sustaining and service orientated you are!) It's going to be tough. Hang in there!

  • DarkStar Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." 1 Cor. 15:19

    Perhaps the key is not to worry about the here and now. Live your life, so that if the blessings of a companion do not come your way here, it will in the eternities. Do not leave your faith and hope in Christ by the wayside because of thoughtless comments of others. There will be many who have found companionship here on earth, and sell that birthright for continued companionship in the eternities for a mess of porridge. Don't you do the same.

  • Dr S Purcellville, VA
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    Last weekend at a family photo shoot, the photographer commented on by beautiful family. When I gave the credit to my late wife who bore my three children, she said, "I know. But just looking at Vanessa (my second wife) you would never know they were not hers."

    Yes, I will be always grateful to the "forever single sister" who was there for me and my children. Just because you have been held in reserve does not mean you are any less of a person or have a lesser family role in the long run. Suring up a family that was devastated by a case of cancer was no small feat, but well worth the effort.

  • Grouper Loveland, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    if you focus on the things that make you different in a ward, you will nearly always feel like you are on the outside looking in. Focus on the things that you have in common with people in whatever ward you find yourself in - you'll fit right in. Just because you are married does not mean that you will suddenly "fit in". The hard reality of life is that we're created equal in the eyes of the government and the Lord, but it ends there. Personal challenges vary (hugely in some cases), but if we let them they can build us into even better people. To those who have somehow found a way to have the wind at their back most of their lives, I will only note that few great people in the gospel could share that experience. The truly great ones did not "fit in" and seldom had an easy go of this mortal experience. Again - if you keep your focus on the many things that you share in the gospel, you will find that you're never alone in your journey.

  • SenoraJefe orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Bitterness is not something a person is looking for in an eternal companion, and bitterness doesn't prompt a person to get out there and date and make friends. My new husband turned 30 when we were engaged, he only recently started dating more often, and that was after he let go of his bitterness and hurt feelings. I too had some reasons to feel bitter and reclusive, I was divorced and childless after a two year marriage. I was not looking forward to starting all over and dating again while watching my friends go on to babies number 2 and 3 with their happy marriages, and I doubted anyone would ever want to date a girl in my situation. But I didn't dwell on my failed marriage and crushed dreams, and for some reason I had more guys ask me out on dates than ever before. I dated some VERY successful and spiritual guys (way better than my ex), and settled on the perfect guy for me. Put aside your relationship worries and just get out there and date. You didn't "fail", you just haven't gotten married yet.

  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    I believe the church pushes marriage way to hard. Many of the younger members seem so intent on getting married and starting families that they seem to settle for whoever will agree to marriage instead of finding a life partner.

    I married at 35 and I am glad I waited. I was able to focus on career, travel, and experience life beyond my church group. The youth are short changing themselves and need to live their lives instead of living by the check box mentality the church pushes upon its members.

    My wife and I are both grateful that we waited for each other and for the three great sons we now have.

  • Spuddette Ridgefiel, WA
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Since I was already over 32 when I joined the church so I have always been in a family ward. I have never married. Yes, it's sad; and yes, it's lonely...and I don't expect those things to change...BUT I have made wonderful friends in my Ward--only two of them were single and they have since moved. I know I am loved. About 25 years ago, as I was driving home from church one day, bawling my eyes out because again the lesson was on Eternal Marriage....I decided that no matter how many times I listen to the comments thoughtless people who who think everyone is married and have no clue how I feel, and no matter how many times I have to hear, yet again, "no blessing will be withheld" at the end of every talk and lesson on eternal marriage and parenting, I decided NOTHING anyone does or says will drive me away from the Gospel and the Church. The Gospel is true, that is what I hold on to.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    When I left the single ward for a family ward the bishop gave me an assignment that indirectly lead to marriage to a great woman and three boys that we have together. I believe that a major problem for singles is ward hopping and no church assignment.

  • Erika Salem, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    You can contribute and benefit from attendance in a "regular" congregation and, perhaps, get some different perspective on where you, as a single adult, fit in the world. I attended a student "married" ward in Idaho as a newlywed -- to a husband who decided church attendance could drop once the knot was tied. It was difficult not to feel like a misfit for not having my "date" in attendance where everyone else sat in pairs.

    Ultimately, religion -- even religion that values families -- is more about developing your relationship with Christ and interacting among God's children as Christ would than maintaining an "eye single" to marriage or family. Don't miss out on the fantastic opportunities you can have to influence others and find joy in being your best self just because one opportunity hasn't presented itself. And don't think it's wrong to be sad sometimes, too, when you're feeling lonely. Just don't dwell on that all the time.

  • Jasmine Sterling, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    I am not sure how you cannot get married if you want to, it is a numbers game, go where single people are, make a point to talk to people who interest you. Make sure you do not date one person unless there is a reasonable amount of interest and belief that this could be marriage. Serial date and narrow it down. It is like being a sales person! You can have it if you want it! Don't blame the church or anyone else, start now, make a resonable list of the talents you want in a mate and start going everywhere there are single people and don't stand and wait for them...take hold of your own future!

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    my son is about to age out of a singles ward. the women in his ward want specifics in a man such as 'popular' 'wealthy' 'cool'. he desires to find a woman whom wants 'honorable' 'gentleman' 'respectful' 'worthy' . a few of the young women in his ward want 'long board sidewalk surfers' so i am saying they are immature and self focused. yes many are not finding their eternal sweet heart as early in life as many others did such as i did. but some are just to worldly. i tell my son you are loved and stay strong don't waver in letting down your standards or goals for a woman that believes popular wealthy cool is all she wants for that is empty.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    If I might share my own abbreviated story.

    I too "aged out" of the single's ward at age 31. Its easy to feel that you 'failed the course', and it doesn't help when so many 'righteous' church members feel that you are lacking over all as a church member. I had several members approach me to ask what was wrong with me, or how was I going to get along since it was obvious I was never going to get married.

    You have to set aside such things and such people at times. I have a testimony of the gospel and that overshadows anything and everything else; including thoughtless church members.

    Another decade passed before I did get married. In retrospect I can now see why I needed to wait so long - into my 40's. Not because I wasn't worthy, but the time for me and my companion had to be right. It was worth the wait. So, don't give up and stop feeling regulated by mortal time tables. It is eternity that is important and the Lord is patient as we work to make good choices and not desperate ones.

  • kellbelle3 South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    I have had many feelings in going to a singles ward... discouragement, loneliness, sorrow. There were times I felt bitter because of talks that told us our main goal was to be finding an eternal companion or activities to teach us flirting skills. I am still single but I have found a strength through Heavenly Father to recognize that the way I feel essentially comes from my attitude. Thankfully, I currently have a positive attitude, focused on learning the gospel and improving my relationship with the Spirit. I look back on the times of bitterness and see that I was the one who chose to react so negatively to talks on marriage or even success stories of others. I will concede that I fully expect to have a bad attitude sometime in the future again, however, each time I sink into sorrow, I know that with the Lord's help, I will be a little stronger and more capable of rising back out of it. No matter where I am at the time, at least I can logically realize that my attitude along with spiritual strength, brings power to become like Christ.

  • justinbl Portland, OR
    Nov. 13, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Do not give up! Believe me, I understand what you are going through. I went to a singles ward till I was about 31 and became discouraged and actually went inactive for a while. I went through hard times, and I would not recommend that route. When I returned to church a couple years later I went to a family ward. It was a great ward, and I did not feel like I was being judged. I didn't really date for a while and just focused on my relationship with my Savior. Eventually I did start thinking about dating again, and got up the courage to ask someone out again. It didn't feel right, though. Finally, at 37 years old I found the perfect woman for me and I am now very happily married. I am not saying it will take you that long, but I will again say "do not give up!" Though it may not seem like it sometimes, the right person is out there. In the meantime, the most important thing is to love God and to maintain a relationship with Him.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:43 a.m.

    I prefer living in warm weather. Some prefer cold.
    I like being close to a big city, but not in one.
    I would be a terrible parent if I had 7 kids. Some love it.

    Why would marriage be any different?

    Why would you let others dictate your life?
    Why let others define success for you?

    Some people really enjoy the single life. Does that make them wrong?
    Hate to break it to you, but when I see a 30 year old single person, I think nothing of it.

    So many posters on this board seem to just accept it. "That just the way it is"

    Why do so many want so much of their life choices dictated to them by others. How smothering.

  • Lakers Sandy, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    I know several people close to this situation; a few thoughts:

    1. There is no reason to feel alone or like a failure for not being married at 31. Up to 15% of Americans NEVER marry, including dozens of thousands of faithful LDS. Even many who are fortunate enough to get married marry later than age 31. Hugh Nibley for instance was 36 when he married, and most would consider him a quality Mormon and certainly not a failure.

    2. Singles wards are optional, though encouraged; if you feel uncomfortable in a singles ward or you feel that it's too social and you aren't having your spiritual needs met, you can attend a regular ward well before age 31. There are also singles wards for members over age 31 in some areas. If you like singles wards, go to singles wards; if you don't then go to regular wards. There is no "graduating" from a singles ward, and frankly that language seems harmful to me. People who leave singles wards aren't inherently superior to those who haven't left, or who never attended to begin with. Singles wards are just a convenience for those who prefer them.

  • OC Surfer Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    Many areas increasingly to help 30-something Midsingles transition from the YSA Ward when they turn 31, is they assign one of the family wards in the stake to be the "Midsingles Magnet Ward" where all 30-something Singles in the same stake, can all attend the same existing family ward together (with the rest of the families that live in the actual ward boundaries). That way, it's the best of both worlds. You are in a family ward environment yet, have core group of 30-something Midsingles also attending for your social support. Definitely helps to know you are not alone when you see your peers in the ward too.

    Regionally some areas also have traditional Midsingles Wards (singles only for ages 31-45), but having both approaches of the traditional Midsingles Ward AND the Midsingles Magnet Ward (Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward) better reaches out to more 30-something Singles that way.

    If interested, Google "Midsingles Magnet Ward Outline" from LDS Midsingles Blog for more info.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    After a mission, grad school, officers candidate school, SOF training and aging out of a singles ward, I just went to another stake where no one knew how old I was and stayed for a few more years. Finally after a few years of active duty in the military and a deployment or two, I found my wife in the Army after being wounded, so there is hope. We both married at 35 and because of military benefits immediately started having kids.

    Stop wining, find a life you enjoy, forget everyone else's criteria and have some fun. Life is too short to worry about what other members think.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    What really screamed out to me was the types of experiences Guy said he had while in the YSA environment. While I understand that everyone isn't going to have a great time at activities that are provided by the committees that plan them, I wonder how many times Guy volunteered to help on one of those committees or put something together to share with others? If you expect others to do the work and show up and have a good time, likely you will be disappointed more often than not. The gospel is a gospel of action, finding a spouse and making are marriage work are action required activities also.
    Take charge of your church experience and your relationship with Christ, lots of people giving you good advice on that one. The same effort it took to gain and keep a testimony are required to "graduate" to the next phase of a relationship, whether it is just having a good time with friends or dating someone that actually "gets" you.
    Figuring out WHO you are and WHY you are that way will make it easier to figure out how to have more than just a presence around others.

  • Utexmom Flower Mound, TX
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    Getting out of the singles ward is a little bit like graduating from High School. It's so nice to get away from the social and popularity games. Now you can become who you really are in a much more comfortable and genuine environment. "Aged out", you will find your one and only. Many people have felt just like you do and they are now married. You will find her also. In the meantime concentrate on making yourself the best person you can be. Have faith that God is helping you towards your goal, while you do everything you can to grow. A growth oriented person is very appealing. Faith precedes the miracle.

  • fani wj, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    Quit looking and focus on living, and enjoy what life has to offer. If you spend too much time on what you're not good at, guess what, you're wasting your time. Stay focus on what you're good at, you have no idea the many people that are taking notice.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Nov. 12, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    OneWifeOnly: My experience has been exactly the opposite of yours, which is why I joined the LDS church. The hypocrisy I've seen has been in those who consider themselves "Christians". All I can say is I'll be the best Latter-day Saint I can, while you can be the best Christian you can; and we'll both, therefore, make the world a better place. Best wishes to you.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 12, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    To "MatchboxWhistler" I have several friends that are in their late 30's and still wonder why they can't find a wife.

    The one that declares himself to be a "nice guy" goes out of his way to be nice. He goes so far out of his way to be nice that if a girl even hints that she her interest may be waning, he immediately stops dating her because he wants to be "nice". He ends up looking like a guy with no backbone. How many women want a man that first won't persue them and second look like they have no backbone.

    All of the nice guys with a backbone that I know were married before they turned 31.

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    My father met my mother at age 34. I doubt if he had had more than a handful of "dates" in his previous years. They had six children, including me when he was 52. Everyone's life can be fulfilling and meaningful, just going at different speeds at different times. Choose to be happy. The important thing is to not let go of the important thing: the testimony you have so far of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and making sure you do something to enlarge it each day.

  • MatchboxWhistler Atlanta, GA
    Nov. 12, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    Redshirt1701: Please cut the guy some slack and don't assume he's lacking. Also, "Nice Guys" are sustainable husbands, fathers and lovers. Their "nice" is more than skin deep. (And last I recalled Jesus was nice and had a backbone.)

  • MatchboxWhistler Atlanta, GA
    Nov. 12, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    Most of my friends and acquaintances didn't get married until their late 20s and early 30s. This is LDS (out east) and those who aren't. Don't forget that in intermountain LDS culture people marry much younger than is the mean everywhere else, in and out of the church.

    Bruce Lee thought the prime age for men is 32 anyway - so you're doing fine. ;)

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 12, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    I hate to say it, but "Aged out guy" did fail. The singles Ward has 2 purposes. First, to create a comfortable environment for single people to worship. Second, to give them a place to more easily meet somebody that they can marry.

    He met the first goal just fine. However, after 10 years in a single's ward and not being able to attract a good woman to marry is one area that he failed in. I don't know him, but some things that he may need to evaluate are the following:

    What does he imagine his future wife to be?

    Does he act in a way that offends women?

    Does he care for himself in a way that would attract a woman?

    Nice guys finish last for a reason, does he have a backbone and is willing to persue a woman? Being nice is not a bad trait, but if you are so concerned about being nice, you will come off as lacking a backbone.

    Do you still act and live like you are in High School or on your Mission? Yes those were good years, but they are in the past.

  • darw Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Believe me, I completely understand! I just got married 3 months ago right after turning 40. My husband is 42 (also never married before). We both know what it's like being single in the church, but we remained faithful and active. There is pressure to get married because it's such an important principle. However, you never hear the brethren teach that you need to be married by a certain age in order to be exalted. (Check out Dallin H. Oaks' talk on "Timing.") The fact is, we all have our own missions in life, and Heavenly Father is watching over us closely. He knows where He wants us to go and what He wants us to accomplish, but we won't get there if we leave His side. Being single for so long wasn't what I had planned; but even so, I have had a wonderful life with many opportunities to learn, experience new things, and serve others. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing. Trust in the Lord and His wisdom and timing for you. And if you look around, you'll see how many other singles there are. You're not alone!

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    Some years back Dallin Oaks married again in the temple after his wife died. If I'm not mistaken, she was in her late 40's and it was her first marriage. You never know when your path will cross with the right person.

  • EricC Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    First and foremost, you are not a failure. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about his divine love and redeeming mercy that is beyond our mortal comprehension. I'm over 40 and still single. And while it's sometimes very lonely and I wonder where or if I fit in anywhere. The answer is that we do all fit and we all bring our own unique gifts to the church. As I've come to realize, there is a place for me. The answers aren't always easy and certainly the loneliness at times can seem overwhelming. What has helped me was to realize that while my life circumstances are different, it doesn't diminish Christ's love for me, nor mine for him. I strive to keep my focus on him and do what I can to build up His Kingdom. The Lord loves you and wants you back. Rely on him and he'll bless you in ways you may never have thought of.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    To Lasvegaspam: My mother use to say "do as I say not as I do". I define hypocrite as a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated religious beliefs, particularly religious beliefs; a person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for. A hypocrite is not acting as if they earnestly desire to overcome their own faults. A Mormon hypocrite judges another, then that is acting in a manner that I've coined as "celestially elevated". There are many people in the Mormon church who behave as if they are already living in the Celestial Kingdom and spend their time looking down on the rest of us poor people who except for the thing the "celestially elevated" person deems fit to judge would also be in the Celestial Kingdom rather than in the Terrestrial Kingdom where they imagine we live. A person can profess certain ideals and still fail to live up to those ideals but if that person is trying, he/she is not a hypocrite. I have met many Christ-like Christian people in my life. I can count the number of Mormons I have met who are not hypocrites on one hand.

    Nov. 12, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    To Aged Out Guy "being single in a church full of married people" isn't really accurate, there are many single people of every age in any church. My take is you are feeling like a failure mostly because of expectations you are imposing on yourself. Just enjoy being who you are and happiness will come.

    My family history of two uncles on one side and one aunt on the other side never getting married tells me that you can be happy without marriage. My favorite aunt and uncle were both single. And, then there is me, who didn't get married until I was 37 and it is a good thing for me as I view myself as not being ready before then.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    If this guy lives in Utah he should find something he likes to do that isn't religion based and go do it. If you live in the suburbs of SLC most people are mormons anyway(good chance he meets a mormon or two if he joins an adult softball league or something of that nature), and he doesn't have to deal with the your still not married judgement, but can meet a nice mormon girl. And I know it's hard, but stop trying so hard, the two worst things a single guy can do is smell bad and be desperate.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    It's not often I find myself disagreeing with Joseph Smith but when he is wrong, he is wrong. The article quotes Joseph Smirh as saying. "All things in our religion are appendages to the atonement of Jesus Christ". .... The reason for our existence is so we can experience happiness (Joseph Smith). Take that away and everything else is meaningless including our religion. The good news of the Gospel is the happiness that we can have. All things are appendages to this potential happiness. This includes our religion ... AND ... The atonement of Jesus Christ. Take away the potential for happiness and the atonement of Jesus Christ would be pointless.

  • Burnham Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    I have a son going trough this same thing and these single wards are mericiless. Many of these people are single for a reason. They are not kind for the most part and selfish many times. Some are great but all seem to be for themselves. Many are lacking compassion and not looking for a regular guy but want the general authority, bishop or money man. Values for the good person seem to go out the window. Good brethren and sisters are often used in these wards and cast aside. Its a shame that most of these girls and guys don't see the potential in anyone who isn't the GQ or model type.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    We love the singles in our ward. They make such a great contribution, and are absolutely vital to our ward family. I know that it's hard to be an older single (I was one, too), but the opportunities to serve and love are expanded in a non-YSA ward. Serving and loving bring us closer to God, and bring us happiness. BTW, most non-YSA wards are filled with beautiful, intelligent, and engaging single women. Ours is.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    When we first joined the Church my daughter was in her early 20s and she hated the singles ward for just that reason. Rather than leave the Church, which she truly believed in, she joined our family ward.... and she did marry. She hated that the central theme in the singles ward was "match making" and she wanted to concentrate on the Gospel. Aged out Guy may actually be happier in a family ward and find the love of his life because of it.

  • UtahMountains Provo, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    As a 33-year-old single, I get it. I get the feeling of not fitting into a family ward, and the awkward pauses when you try to have a conversation about something other than raising children. While I can't speak for Aged Out Guy, I can speak for myself and some things I have learned from my own experience:
    1. Understand that God has an individual plan for you, and this plan probably won't look like someone else's plan. It's okay if it doesn't look the same as others' plans. If you feel like you're doing what you can to further your own salvation, you're in the right place--even if it isn't what you or others see as the ideal situation.
    2. Find a niche in your ward. I found my place in Primary to be a great blessing. Children are so loving and nonjudgmental.
    3. Know that God loves you, and that His love is individual. If you seek God's guidance, He will lead you to where you can perform His work. Everything else will fall into place, regardless of marital status.

  • BYU Fan in DC Washington, DC
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    From someone who aged out, I suggest attending a family ward where you are needed and getting involved in your calling as much as you can. Singles ward callings are often superficial and do not require that much work. However, family wards need more heavy-lifting especially with programs for youth, young children, new members, etc.

    If you attend a family ward and get a meaningful calling like I did, you may still attend singles events. The best part, people will not know who you all that well, but may remember you from when you attended there ward. And when they learn that you go to a family ward and have some cool calling with primary, youth, etc... they will be interested. Personally, being mysterious to the opposite sex can often lead to the right girl or guy being interested.

  • bek1106 SLC, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Just have a little faith. When I aged out of the YSA ward I went to the family ward and it was the best experience. I was called as RS President, I was always treated with the upmost respect and they loved me. My testimony was strengthened in the Savior and after the singles ward it was what I needed, a renewed focus on the Savior and an opportunity to forget myself. In the midst of this service (and not even looking) I met my husband-- in the family ward. When I left the singles ward I felt much of the same things but I knew that Heavenly Father had a plan for me and I needed to trust him..."aging out" was the best thing that ever happened to me.

  • Utahfan98 Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Sometimes the worry and stress from never achieving something is what prevents us from achieving it.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    "The Church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven't mastered them yet. Some might say, "I know a member of your Church who is a hypocrite. I could never join a church that had someone like him as a member." If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If these are your desires, then regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church. Come, join with us!" - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    It is all about our Savior. I encourage you to move forward with these thoughts in mind. Much love to you, my brother.

  • Shamal Happy Valley, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    I agree with Agedoutguy. Ten years is a long time.

    Angela, to imply that anyone is suggesting you put your relationship with Christ behind marriage is just silly.

  • christinemb Washington, DC
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    Coming from similar experiences, with what felt like hundreds of talks saying that the only thing I needed to focus on was getting married (really bad advice), I sympathize with "Aged out guy".

    When I transitioned out of a singles ward, I was ready to be in a ward where my marital status wasn't the focus. I moved out of Utah, found a small family ward I felt was a good fit and have been happy ever since. Side note, quite a few marriages happened among singles in my ward.

    Not everyone finds their true love in a singles ward. Many do, but the reality today is that a majority of LDS singles will "age out" of singles wards, and join family or single adult focused wards. It's happening more and more, and the church recognizes it.

    From one single to another, try to cut yourself some slack. Remember, some things happen on the Lord's timeline. It doesn't mean you're a failure, just that it hasn't happened yet. Please try to get involved with your ward and stake activities single or not. Live your life, choose happiness, and you will attract someone like minded.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    We have heard so very many times over the pulpit during General Conference that those who are single, who have not had the opportunity to marry in this life*, will not have the blessings of marriage and family withheld in the next life. *Now for the asterisk, living a Christ-centered life, making and KEEPING covenants, and striving to become your best self is required.
    Those of us who have married but are not living as we should, unless we repent, will not have the ultimate blessings of the Gospel for eternity. We are all in the same boat for our personal salvation although the size, shape, and speed of the boat is unique to our circumstances. But ALL of us can journey with the Lord if we choose to.

  • Lindsayp San Diego, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    The moment that I decided to stop looking for a partner, is when I found my husband, we married at the age of 33. I would look for activities for singles in your community with things you like to do, examples are hiking groups, biking groups, walking groups, reading groups, etc. I am not sure what you like to do, so you just have to google that. Leave it in Gods hands, He has a plan for you and sometimes His plans take longer than what we would like.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Forget about dit. Let go let God.

  • nmjim SANDIA PARK, NM
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    It IS difficult to feel at home and welcome in a church that seems full of smiling married folks... but you need to remember: Of the adult membership of the Church, a MAJORITY are single. Often few of them come to Church regularly, for obvious reasons. I encourage you to be actively involved in both your family ward where you live AND with the Single Adult groups in your area. If they are not well organized, YOU can become a 'spark plug' to shake things up and make them more fun and interesting. If YOU attend all available Single Adult activities, and you are not a control freak, as a single male you will help others to participate.
    Every ward and branch have adult singles both visible and invisible. YOU are not the only one, and if you do your best you will obtain the best, both in your love life and otherwise.

  • elsmere241 Elsmere, DE
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    I married at 31 myself. I fled a student singles ward masquerading as a YSA ward when I was 26. That was partly because it was essentially a holding pen to keep us "lesser members" from infecting the regular wards, and a meet market (or was it a "meat market")? Part of that was because I changed apartments and I didn't see the point of driving past one building to go to another one. Another part was that I really didn't fit in with the majority of the group who had lived in the area their whole lives, and/or were undergraduate students.

    And in the next three years I lived in two other wards in that stake. I was membership clerk in both of them, so clearly I wasn't considered a "lesser member" there. But I heard plenty of biting comments along the way - some members even implied I was gay, or wasn't "doing my duty". The time between mission and marriage for me seemed like ten years in the proverbial wilderness.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Great advice from Angela: "Focusing on the reality of a Savior and making Sunday worship about strengthening your relationship with him can begin to soothe whatever ails you. I would start there, I know this isn’t a perfect answer but I hope it helps."

    I'm not sure why I'm even posting since Angela provided the answer. Your current martial status is not the issue. Your relationship with Christ is the issue. I don't mean that to sound judgmental. What I'm trying to say is that you have followed the straight and narrow path and clung to the iron rod until you were able to partake of the tree. Now that you are there, NEVER LEAVE THE TREE. And the tree is Christ.

    Joseph Smith taught that, in order to have faith sufficient for salvation, we must have faith in the justice of God (among other characteristics). Believing in the justice of God means we believe he will ultimately make all things right. It may take a lifetime or more but I believe that applies to each of us as individuals.

    Be faithful and cast your burden on Him. That will give you peace.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    From the words of a song, "Don't give up. You are loved." Finding love and marriage after 31+ does happen. In the meantime, continue to work on your relationship with the Lord. He is always there. In the words of another song, "He will not fail you."