Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whatever

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Holy Cow
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Holy Cow » 17 Jun 2015, 08:48

Hey R4H,
Todd Compton's book was a good one. And while I see what you're saying about all of the women who learned to focus on their children, the book also spent a lot of time showing how miserable many of them were when they realized that they weren't going to have the close intimate marriage that they might have in a monogamous relationship. I think that's one of the ugliest things about polygamy. A husband might have 5 wives, but his wives only get 1/5 of a husband. It's an unequal relationship and I don't believe it's what God intended. The women learned to cope, simply because they had to.
I believe we were given our emotions to help us figure out what is/isn't healthy. I would compare loneliness to hunger. When we need food, we get hungry. When we need emotional connection, we get lonely. I don't think it's addictive to want to be with somebody. It's healthy. However, it CAN become addictive. Eating a meal when you're hungry isn't addictive, but eating can become addictive when it gets out of control. Wanting to love and be loved is a normal healthy behavior, but it can become addictive when it's all a person craves (think prostitutes, strip clubs, escorts, etc.). Most healthy behaviors can become a problem when they go to either extreme. Completely ignoring our desires and emotions is denying that we have needs. Yet, acting out on every urge can lead to an addictive behavior. Life is a big balancing act.
And one final comment, about God putting people in a situation where they are lonely and then expecting them to just deal with it, I personally don't believe God puts people in that situation. This is my personal perspective, but I don't think God is really that involved in our daily lives that he creates these situations that we have to go through. We live in an imperfect world, and we all go through different trials and different levels of imperfect crap. I think that's just part of being in this world. I don't think God is directing everything that's happening. He's allowing things to happen however they will. Think about those girls in Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. I don't believe God had anything to do with the situation those girls had to go through. He probably watched it happen, cried about it, but allowed it to happen, because we are all going through this mess together, and we all have the agency to do good, bad, or be indifferent. So, I don't think anybody can justify the loneliness that you're going through. It just is.
Sorry you're going through this rough time! Again, these are just my personal thoughts, and my perspective is not coming from any kind of gospel-backed viewpoint. Good luck, dude!
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

Rob4Hope
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Rob4Hope » 17 Jun 2015, 08:57

startpoor wrote:Why do you think sex outside of marriage is a sin?
OK...we are spinning into other conversations here,..which is fine. I really do enjoy the dialog.

Sex outside of marriage CAN BE a delicate topic: controversial, extremely personal, riddled with all kinds of religious and moral overtones, etc. I want to treat your question carefully, and I can only speak for myself.

I have discovered something in my life experience,...and that is I have learned about me. I know myself very well, and I know what my own appetites, passions, desires, dreams, and everything else is. It surprises me how many people never learn anything, even when they make mistakes! I don't get it, but there it is.

Anyway, I didn't get excommunicated because I was saying cus words during a priesthood meeting,...if you get my drift.

I have learned there are 2 essential components about sexual intimacy that make it satisfying: emotional commitment and erotic pleasure/abandonment. There is a safety component the first provides to find the second, and at the same time, without the second, the level and degree of the first is hampered.

Non-committal sex is empty and shallow. It is like being very thirsty and having a big glass of yummy milk to drink, and only wetting your mouth on the foam at the top. It provides the anticipatory illusion of satisfaction, but leaves you empty and wanting. That is what I have found. And so, my understanding of the LOC is that fornication, for example, is not only about protecting you from emotional connection that can leave you damaged (more about this later), but it is also about providing satisfaction that can come only through commitment. You see, without the commitment (and the greatest commitment IMHO comes through the exclusive and formal institution of marriage), it becomes more difficult to abandon yourself to erotic passion. The meal becomes anemic and hollow.

Now, it is very common for women (less so with men, but still happens) to emotionally connect through sexual expression. If a woman connects with a man, and they don't have a commitment that provides exclusivity and availability, emotional damage can happen. They have this man in their arms who they connect to through strong erotic emotions, and then he pulls away because they fornicated--not being committed to each other. This causes damage. It can wrench a heart and destroy lives.

So, with regards to fornication--if you have an agreement with the other person that you are only in it to enjoy the non-committal sex, then I suppose you are in agreement. But, I know that in myself, the depth and pleasure--satisfaction if you will-- of such a coupling is not fulfilling. It is because of that experience, because I know myself, that I don't believe fornication is a viable option.

Make sense?

PS...I don't understand this sin next to murder stuff. Sorry. I just don't get it.
Last edited by Rob4Hope on 17 Jun 2015, 09:36, edited 1 time in total.

Rob4Hope
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Rob4Hope » 17 Jun 2015, 09:30

Holy Cow wrote:And one final comment, about God putting people in a situation where they are lonely and then expecting them to just deal with it, I personally don't believe God puts people in that situation. This is my personal perspective, but I don't think God is really that involved in our daily lives that he creates these situations that we have to go through.
This is where I am actually leaning more and more. I was raised to believe God was VERY involved,...all the time. Its a part of my faith crisis,...but making progress.

I am not as lonely as many. I actually reach out a lot, and have MANY good friends. But,...the loneliness is, IMHO, one of the biggest challenges that affects LDS populations. The single adult question, the LGBT, and other groups,...well, I just wonder about those folks. My heart is touched by those who suffer.

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Heber13
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Heber13 » 18 Jun 2015, 14:54

Hey Rob,

After my divorce...I noticed that feeling you were describing.

It is a big life adjustment and there isn't really a way to prepare for it or solve it or explain it. It just is the way life is.

However...in my situation...I also remember how incredibly liberating and free I felt to do whatever the heck I wanted to do. Places in town or restaurants I hadn't been to...just spending a saturday in the park reading...finding hiking trails in the mountains or bike paths...getting lots of exercise and walking my dog...taking a book to a coffee shop and using their wifi to download and listen to podcasts...watching Netflix all saturday and doing nothing but being relaxed and lazy...playing basketball with guys at church...I did a "walkabout" of visiting 6 different religious services...I volunteered to clean the church and do ward service...

I started to see a whole new world of things I could go do by myself and I really loved it.

When one door closes, I found 3 or 4 other doors to peek inside and explore.

In all honesty, I went through a range of emotions. Times of being lonely. Times of enjoying freedom. Times of self-reflection on how to use my time to better myself. Times of relaxing and enjoying quiet and peaceful apartments. Of course, I came from a chaotic failed marriage, so I needed some peace and enjoyed it.

When I got lonely, I started dating some, when I was ready. That was an adventure too. But helped me see there are lotsa members in our situation as older singles. It was a bit crazy. The last thing I wanted to do was cling to someone because I was lonely. I wanted to be at peace with myself before starting a new relationship of any kind. But at times, I did find being around others or dating was a good way to find some companionship...I just backed off quickly when I wasn't ready for it. I was in control but dabbled in this and that.

But I think my time alone reading Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell and others...I found that in life we get lotsa stuff, good and bad mixed together. I could accept my new chapter of my life.

In my new phase of life, I tried to keep balance and stretch myself to look for improvements. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am the captain of my ship...accepted the place in life I was at...and made choices to try new things as single LDS divorced man.

When I felt the ward was doing family stuff that didn't apply to me, I simply didn't go. I probably found less desire to go to church when it was no longer for the family unit and raising children and all...for just me alone...sitting in sacrament meeting...IDK...it was kinda bland. So I skipped a lot to use my weekends from work wisely for me and my rejuvenation.

What interests do you have that you want to explore with your time you have to yourself? This new chapter for you is both hard and also promising.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Rob4Hope
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Rob4Hope » 18 Jun 2015, 15:22

Heber13 wrote:Hey Rob,

After my divorce...I noticed that feeling you were describing.

It is a big life adjustment and there isn't really a way to prepare for it or solve it or explain it. It just is the way life is.

However...in my situation...I also remember how incredibly liberating and free I felt to do whatever the heck I wanted to do. Places in town or restaurants I hadn't been to...just spending a saturday in the park reading...finding hiking trails in the mountains or bike paths...getting lots of exercise and walking my dog...taking a book to a coffee shop and using their wifi to download and listen to podcasts...watching Netflix all saturday and doing nothing but being relaxed and lazy...playing basketball with guys at church...I did a "walkabout" of visiting 6 different religious services...I volunteered to clean the church and do ward service...

I started to see a whole new world of things I could go do by myself and I really loved it.

When one door closes, I found 3 or 4 other doors to peek inside and explore.

In all honesty, I went through a range of emotions. Times of being lonely. Times of enjoying freedom. Times of self-reflection on how to use my time to better myself. Times of relaxing and enjoying quiet and peaceful apartments. Of course, I came from a chaotic failed marriage, so I needed some peace and enjoyed it.

When I got lonely, I started dating some, when I was ready. That was an adventure too. But helped me see there are lotsa members in our situation as older singles. It was a bit crazy. The last thing I wanted to do was cling to someone because I was lonely. I wanted to be at peace with myself before starting a new relationship of any kind. But at times, I did find being around others or dating was a good way to find some companionship...I just backed off quickly when I wasn't ready for it. I was in control but dabbled in this and that.

But I think my time alone reading Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell and others...I found that in life we get lotsa stuff, good and bad mixed together. I could accept my new chapter of my life.

In my new phase of life, I tried to keep balance and stretch myself to look for improvements. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am the captain of my ship...accepted the place in life I was at...and made choices to try new things as single LDS divorced man.

When I felt the ward was doing family stuff that didn't apply to me, I simply didn't go. I probably found less desire to go to church when it was no longer for the family unit and raising children and all...for just me alone...sitting in sacrament meeting...IDK...it was kinda bland. So I skipped a lot to use my weekends from work wisely for me and my rejuvenation.

What interests do you have that you want to explore with your time you have to yourself? This new chapter for you is both hard and also promising.

Heber, my loneliness is quite manageable at this point. My post thread here comes not as much from my own position, but from my reflection on the very LARGE problem of loneliness in general.

I have discovered a lot of what you are saying. And, I am dating (and being honest about my situation as well--and surprisingly, you have NO IDEA how grateful and open people are with me BECAUSE they are not use to honesty). Dating is fun,...and crazy. But there it is.

Anyway,...thanks for the response.

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Heber13
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Heber13 » 18 Jun 2015, 15:35

Rob4Hope wrote:... you have NO IDEA how grateful and open people are with me BECAUSE they are not use to honesty). Dating is fun,...and crazy. But there it is.
haha...actually...I do have an idea. I was told the same thing, all the time, since I just was open and honest with people. And also told about how many guys were just dating to have sex...which really shocked me...thinking it was supposed to be LDS dating...I was naive not realizing what really goes on out there.

...but there it is.

So...to the point of the post...the church is hard I think for unmarried. Our stake did a support group for it...but it was pretty lame.

In the end, you either feel you fit in, or you don't and it is harder to stay involved when not many things are geared towards those with different circumstances.

I found many really nice people who were sensitive to differences, even if they didn't understand what being unmarried in the church was like, they were good people who reached out to include people like me.

And I brought a book to church to read.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Jun 2015, 20:01

Man (and woman) is not meant to be alone. It really is that simple.

That is right near the start of the eternal play we call the endowment, but I don't think most members (even leaders) really understand and accept it totally. If we all did, we would look at being single throughout mortal life differently - and we would look at our current policies regarding LGBT people differently - etc.

We rightly chalk up many of the problems faced within Catholicism historically to the policy that made nuns and priests remain single and celibate, but we rarely examine our own manifestations of that same misguided policy.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Rob4Hope
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Re: Loneliness -- those who are unmarried because of whateve

Post by Rob4Hope » 19 Jun 2015, 09:15

Ray DeGraw wrote:We rightly chalk up many of the problems faced within Catholicism historically to the policy that made nuns and priests remain single and celibate, but we rarely examine our own manifestations of that same misguided policy.
I marvel that in the church, it seems that celibacy is sometimes celebrated as an act of heroism or even spiritual superiority. I am aware, for example, that some of the research Finlayson-Fife discovered that spirituality and sexuality are set at variance in many LDS cultural pockets. If you "go without" one, you increase in the others, and vice versa. What a damning and damaging message that is to so many marriages and people.

Anyway,...a comment online with the original post. I have found that for me, sometimes being alone is more difficult to deal with than at other times. I, for example, hate to eat alone. I would rather eat my lunch with an enemy than alone.

Go figure. :crazy:

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