Part 1 of 2
“Stuck in Your Ways?”
So, while I said that I would do this blog, to the best of my ability, “with great love and not too much criticism,” that did not mean that “with love” meant I would not include the blunt and occasionally uncomfortable. I think this site would do very little good without it. But what does “not too much criticism mean?” For a general audience, I think it means just that: remember that any opinions contained herein, whether from me, the people I interview, or guest posters, is just that: *general.* It is for pondering, and for deciding, “does that apply to me?” And if so, “how much?” None of us is here to do anything but our best. And all of us is in need of improvement.
So, will improvement mean that we’ll magically lose all our problems and find the spouse of our dreams tomorrow? Of course not. But we could make another step in the “right” direction, spouse or no spouse.
One thing I notice when talking to friends who are single, or friends who are married and are looking back on their single days, is that there is quite the variety of opinions as to why each of us, (or even more fun) those OTHER people are still single. Since we can’t contain anywhere near all of that or a part of that in one post, it will bring us to this first question.
My first semester back at school after my mission, my best friend and our 25 year old roommate were musing on what it means to get “older than about 24” and how it makes one “stuck in your ways” and how they didn’t want it to happen to them, or to someone they might marry. It wasn’t something I’d ever heard before, so I was intrigued. My own parents were 32 and 25 when they married, and I had no idea if they had felt that way, “way back” in 1960 when they got married. I ended up getting married at 24, and when I found myself divorced at 32, somehow I remembered that conversation and wondered if the other singles my age that I met were going to be “stuck in their ways.” Now, even though my divorce was 8 years ago, I’m still not sure of that answer. So here are the answers I got from friends with more experience being single under their belts than I have:
(Some names have been changed by request)
Discussion with Jenny, Emily, Bruce, and Mark:
Q: What does it mean to be stuck in your ways?
(For this discussion, we will answer generally much of the time)
All three: It’s understandable to get somewhat stuck in your ways, because as you get older, you want to be able to settle into what works for you. When you’re young you’re naive, but as you get older, you get to choose what you think is best. The problem is when you get married and the other person has a way of doing things that works just as well, and you need to accept that it’s not the “wrong” way and that you may have to adjust.
Q: Do you think married people get stuck in their ways, too?
Group: Yes! But at least they get to get “stuck in their ways” together, in similar ways.
Q: So what is the bad side of getting stuck in your ways?
Emily: you can become too particular.
Jenny: unwilling to compromise.
All: It’s easy to get “comfy,” and even if you want to get married, change is scary.
Q: do you think people in our ward are stuck in their ways?
All: yes. (And everyone agreed that we’re all stuck in our ways in some way or another.)
Mark: cliques can be a problem (all nod heads) but I don’t think we have much of that in our ward.
Emily: yes, and people get comfortable with those they already know, so it’s understandable. But I think in our ward people do try to get to know each other.
Me (insert): so maybe the problem with cliques is if people are afraid of getting to know others, how will they ever get married?
I also talked with my friend Katrina, who often has interesting and fun things to say. First, these are the things we came up with:
What does being s.i.y.w., in different ways, do to a person?
• Afraid to move on
• Too used to being single
• Keeps dating the same kind of people over and over again (will devote another blog post to this one later!)
• Would rather avoid pain, so is thus more content to stay where one is
• Keeps trying the same thing (definition of insanity)
And then Katrina added this one, which I had not thought of:
• Keeps blaming one’s current situation on everyone else (this comes in all degrees)
• Keeps blaming oneself on past problems not of one’s own creating (abuse, etc.) and is afraid to move on
What can we do about it? More next time in “Part II of ‘STUCK,’ or ‘How to get unstuck.’