Posted by: Miss Jones | April 4, 2009

Dear Miss Jones…Where should I be?

world

Meredith wrote:

So I am 26 and single–and proud of it! I just finished my Masters degree and I am looking to relocate (I currently live in Utah and can’t stand it anymore). I have been looking at all of these different places to move to this summer and every time I mention somewhere else other than Utah people look at me like I am never going to find someone if I put myself in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, etc. So, I guess my question is…are there places where LDS professional singles can move to and not (and I quote) “rot?”


Dear Meredith…

The answer to your question Are there places where LDS professional singles can move to and not “rot?” is…

YES, ANYWHERE. 

Anywhere in the whole world…except maybe not Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, or Zimbabwe.  I can’t in good conscience recommend those places right now. But seriously, you can move anywhere in this world and not “rot.” 

The key to choosing where to be is choosing somewhere where YOU WILL BE HAPPY, where YOU CAN FEEL LIKE YOU’RE PROGRESSING, and somewhere where you WANT TO BE and feel like you SHOULD BE. 

 

 That’s it…that’s all you need to worry about…not how many LDS people there are in a certain place or what your odds are of getting married in particular location, whether or not you’re going to “rot,”  what other people will think or say or even what seems like the most logical move to make.

As spinsters we can be ANYWHERE we want to be.  We aren’t tied down by the job or schooling of a spouse, by children, or just by being married and “settled down.”

So we can be anywhere, which is sometimes overwhelming.  I think the decision of where to live is one of the hardest we have to make as single people because we want to put ourselves in a position where we can meet the right person but at the same time we don’t want to necessarily be somewhere where we don’t want to be just because it is the most logical or is perceived to be the most logical due to the fact that there are more LDS single people in that location.

I think sometimes as LDS Spinsters we try too hard.  We try too hard to be at the right place at the right time, to be wearing the right oufit, to go to all the right activities, and to say and do all the right things.  And it’s not that we shouldn’t be trying to put ourself in situations where we can be blessed to meet the right person, but we should be careful not to try too hard. 

I think all of you know what I mean by trying too hard.  It is acting in desperation.  It is being someone we are not.  It is being somewhere we don’t want to be.  It is going against the grain of our lives.  It is living in fear instead of in faith.  Trying too hard makes us seem desperate.  It just makes unhappy because when we try too hard we get caught up in some exact outcome that we expect and when those things that we want don’t always happen we are unhappy and hurt. 

Instead we need to live where we want to live, wear the outfit that makes us feel like a million bucks, go to the activities that actually interest us, and say and do only the things that reflect who we actually are at our best.

So when it comes to where to live, live somewhere that interests you, somewhere where you may have new or better career or educational opportunities, somewhere where you already have family and friends or somewhere where you hope to make lots of new friends. 

If you have always wanted to live in New York City, go live there.  If you want to live abroad go try it out.  If you want to move back to that little podunk town you grew up in, go live there.  And if you want to live in one of the single Mormon meccas where finding other LDS people to be friends with and/or date will be easy, then go live in one of those places.  Because overall it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you are HAPPY and PROGRESSING. 

I have a childhood friend who, after college, moved back to where we grew up…a little tiny podunk town.  She moved there because that’s where she WANTED to be and that’s where she FELT she should be.  At first I thought she was crazy…I thought “good luck having a social life!”  But within a year she was married to literally her next door neighbor…a guy who was a total punk in high school but who had changed and grown up and who was now a match for her.  She didn’t go there knowing that he was still around and single.  She just went there because she wanted to be there and what she wanted most, she got. 

My friend Lula who started this blog moved to London because she had a great educational opportunity there, because she loved Europe and wanted an experience living there, and because it was where she WANTED to be and FELT like she should be.  It wasn’t the most logical place to be for a single girl from the U.S. to be as far as marriage prospects go.  But within a few months of being there she met a lad from Wales and fell in love and was married. 

And we always seem to list marriage as the happy ending to our stories but what if you moved to the place you wanted to be and didn’t get married for a few years or even five or ten or ever?  But what if you were truly HAPPY, truly PROGRESSING, and truly BEING YOUR BEST SELF in that place?  Wouldn’t even that be worth it? 

If you are content in life and in where you are and what you’re doing, you will attract people no matter where you are…because true happiness is an incredibly attractive trait.

So, in conclusion Meredith, move anywhere you want to…and tell all those people in your life that are discouraging you that you will not “rot” or spiral down into a permanent state of Spinsterhood if you move out of Utah.  Tell them that they are WRONG and that Miss Jones said so. 

There are several reasons why I would never encourage anyone to stay in Utah that didn’t WANT to be there, such as League Inflation and Bigger and Better Syndrome but those are topics for another day. 

And Meredith…let us know how things go and if you find some fantastic place to live as a single person.  Good luck!

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Responses

  1. I think one of the most wonderful things about the church is the network you have no matter where you go! As a single girl who has moved far away from home (*gasp*…AWAY from Utah!) a few times, I was scared to death but immediately comforted when I realized that there was a group of people wherever I went who shared my values and beliefs.
    I’m actually struggling with the whole life decisions things right now but I get the same reaction (horrified looks) when I say I want to STAY in Utah. It’s just where I feel like I need to be right now and that’s what’s right for me. Good luck!

  2. You’re amazing… and I’m a fan. So, just wanted to stop being a lurker… :)

    Keep up the good work. I’ll be back in a few days.. you are now on my favorites list. Looks like I have a lot of archives to go through. Happy reading to me! :)

  3. I just found this blog and it is fabulous! It puts the whole single life in perspective and makes it seem like less of a horse race. Thanks!

  4. I’ve always wanted to try living overseas for a little while. Marriage prospects isn’t what daunts me from going — While single, I want to travel as much as I can before I settle down to the family life (tho hopefully I’ll still travel a bit!).

    For me, it’s more the finding a place to stay and a job to support myself while I am abroad that’s kept me glued here.

    If anybody has any suggestions, I would so love to hear them!

  5. There are only three members in my town, and two of them are married to each other. I am aware that this is not the place to look for a temple attending spouse, but that’s what airplanes, and summer breaks, are for.

  6. So here’s the deal and the real answer that the op was seeking.

    Generally speaking, the West Coast is where you’re going to find more YSA’s. Bigger cities are obviously going to have a higher concentration, with college towns having a concentration of younger singles.

    Seattle
    Portland
    San Francisco
    Los Angeles
    San Diego
    Phoenix

    Coincidently, the larger cities of the NW tend to be a lot more liberal with the church than Utah.

    At 26, I’m not sure of your dating style, but there are plenty of singles. In the Seattle and Portland areas, most of the single men have technical careers (think Microsoft and Intel) or are medical students. They tend to be somewhat shy in dating. Unfortunately most of the women 24 are in one of two boats. One is a group of professionals seeking to buy houses and live without men. They are accountants, nurses, etc. The other group are women that seem not to have direction. Some went to school, mostly early childhood education, family studies, or general education. They seem to be waiting on a husband, and intended on getting married young, it just hasn’t happened yet.

    Good luck in your decision, there are definitely opportunities out there.

  7. Brazil, is a also a place you could go…
    Because of Brazilian Culture, people tend to take their time to marry and find a good match, also to finish school and make a good income for the future family, instead of getting married as soon you come back from Mission.
    Sure, everything is different and you may need to learn a new language but… why not?


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