Author Archives: Malcolm Ravenclaw

Ask A Friend: What Is Appropriate Dating Behavior?

Dear Paul,

If you had someone who was very interested in you and you dated off and on for a year and a half and you found out he/she had been talking secretly to your close sister/brother or friend to get information about you…Information like if you like him, if you’re seeing others and what you’re doing with those other people… who the other people are etc…what would you do? Would that bother you or would you recognize he’s only doing it because he/she likes you so much? Deal breaker?

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your question. This is an interesting question to address as it has many components. What it boils down to is, “what is considered appropriate dating behavior?” What is appropriate varies greatly in each situation based on such things as the length and depth of the relationship, dating expectations, and whether these expectations were clearly communicated. I am going to discuss three major aspects of dating which seems to be a cause of much frustration and hopefully you’ll be able to apply these aspects to your current situation. The first is what I call the Hollywood effect, second, the push for persistence, and finally, communication and expectations.

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1. The Hollywood Effect

Whether we like it or not, we have all been influenced by Hollywood romances. Most Hollywood movies portray romance as something that happens with complete serendipity. Men and women meet in unsuspecting circumstances, they just happen to have quirky things in common, and things fall into place by the end of the movie by fate and happenstance. I recognize I’m overgeneralizing, but I have found that these Hollywood plots create a false ideal that relationships in the real world are to happen in a likewise manner. Therefore, I have witnessed men and women go to great lengths to try and fabricate this sense of romantic serendipity by trying to investigate as much about their romantic interest as they can when seeking to date someone.

For example, before taking a girl out on a date, let’s say I want to make the date seem as romantic as possible. In order for the date to be romantic, I want to make sure I understand what some of the girls likes and dislikes are and see if I can come up with a date that will appeal to certain aspects of her personality. Now, I could just ask her but that seems to lack the romantic spontaneity of Hollywood movies, so instead I check out her Facebook and learn that she plays guitar and loves folk music. So, I decide to take her to a concert. I have now created a situation where I am taking her on a date that will seem as though we have so much in common, increasing the romantic potential. If I wanted to know more about the girl I could also start contacting her family and close friends to get more information. Whether or not this behavior is appropriate, as mentioned before, really depends on a number of different variables.

2. Push for Persistence

How many times have we heard a married woman tell a story that goes something like this, “When I first met my husband I wasn’t interested at all! He asked me out several times and I turned him down. Well, he kept asking me out and finally I said yes. After two years of dating on and off I finally knew I couldn’t live without him and we’ve been happily married for 30 years!” Throughout my life I have been encouraged countless times to be persistent when it comes to dating. Don’t give up! Keep trying! She’ll realize you’re the right man for her if you just keep pursuing!

Even as recent as last General Conference, Elder Ballard told the story of how he met his wife at a dance and said, “ I got her telephone number and called her to ask her out, but she was busy with school and social commitments. Thankfully, my mission taught me to be persistent even in the face of discouragement, and I was eventually able to make a date. Now, 64 years later, there are seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who stand as evidence of the significant truth that no matter how good your message is, you may not get a chance to deliver it without consistent, persistent follow-up.”

It’s important to understand men have been given this message many times throughout their lives and that they may not always respond to rejection by being rejected. Although stories and experiences like Elder Ballard’s definitely exist, I would suspect that there are far more stories of men who were persistent and never ended up with the girl they were pursuing, in spite of all evidence that the girl was not interested in the first place and never would be. But those stories don’t usually end up in the Ensign. I mention the push for persistence just to provide some context to why a gentleman may still be pursuing long after you’ve made your lack of interest clear. Which brings me to my last and final point.

3. Communication and Expectations

I have heard time and time again that one of the biggest struggles with relationships is effective communication and expectations. Yet it seems that in dating there is little discussion regarding these two principles. I would postulate that this is due largely to the Hollywood effect, and individuals suspecting that during courtship everything should just happen naturally without having to communicate.

In contrast to such unrealistic expectations, why not set a pattern of healthy courtship by learning to communicate expectations clearly? This can be done without becoming overbearing and in a manner that will still allow for all the fun and excitement of dating. Take something as simple as a girl letting a possible suitor know that, “On a first date it is important to me to get to know someone in a public setting before I am ready to spend time with them one on one.” The gentleman now knows the expectations of the girl and can be sure to plan a date that is sensitive to her expectations.

Regarding your situation with the gentleman who is still pursuing and asking your family for more information, it is your right to communicate to him your expectations for your relationship. If his behavior is not appropriate to you and makes you uncomfortable, then you have the right to communicate that with him clearly. Try sending him a message that goes something like, “Hello, my sister informed me that you’ve been asking her questions about me. I wanted to communicate with you that this behavior makes me uncomfortable and I feel it is a violation of my privacy. I appreciate you taking an interest in my life, but please know that I do not have an interest in dating you and would ask that you please be respectful of my boundaries. I think you are a great guy so I wanted to respect your feelings by being completely clear with you. Thank you for understanding.”

I wish I could promise that such clear communication will be appreciated, but I have learned from many women that not every man is respectful in these situations, however, most guys will appreciate your efforts. If a man does become upset and writes back something harsh or attacking, again be respectful and clearly communicate your expectations. For example, something like, “I am sorry that my being honest with you was offensive, I know it’s never fun to be turned down by someone. I ask that you please be respectful of my boundaries and that you do not speak to me in such harsh language. If you cannot be respectful, I will block any future messages or communication If you can be respectful and understanding of my feelings and boundaries, it’s possible we could maintain a platonic friendship. Thank you.”

Once you have clearly communicated your expectations, you will be able to quickly determine if a gentleman pursuing you really respects you. If you communicate expectations and a guy trying to date you seems to disregard your communication and does not show concern for your feelings, take that as a huge red flag that you are being dated by a jerk. Jerks only care about themselves and will not be considerate of your feelings or boundaries.

I do not know the man who is pursuing you, so I cannot say if he is a jerk with no respect of your boundaries, or if he is just a hopeless romantic seeking to create that Hollywood, serendipitous relationship. Regardless, you have a right to your privacy and to communicate your boundaries and expectations.

Dating can be a tremendous challenge for everyone. However, we can all do our part by trying to be as respectful as we can while also being willing to communicate openly our boundaries, expectations and feelings. I hope you will find success as you seek out a relationship that will bring joy and happiness into your life.

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Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green, is a real estate broker and professional improvisational comedian, actor and trainer. He has trained thousands of professionals and teenagers on principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking and has provided heart-filled advice and encouragement to all who he has had an opportunity to interact. His greatest passion is helping individuals find creative and uplifting solutions to the many challenges of life by applying the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He looks forward to hearing and understanding the challenges of his readers and helping them to overcome these challenges.  For his full bio, click here

To submit an anonymous question to Paul:

1. Send a message to the LDS Single Friends Facebook Page or send an email to paulgreencanhelp@gmail.com

2. Please “like” LDS Single Friends on Facebook and invite your fellow LDS singles to join our online community! 

3. If your question is chosen, look for Paul’s response on this blog and on LDS Single Friends. To make sure that you never miss an advice column from Paul, you can subscribe to this blog through the form below. 

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Ask A Friend: How Can I Keep My Testimony In The Furnace of Affliction?

Dear Paul,

What advice do you have for someone who has struggled in her marriage for many years and was pushed into leaving her husband due to drugs? A woman who had just lost her mom, who was her best friend, from a sudden heart attack? A woman who has four young kids and whose soon to be ex lives at home while she rents a house for her and the kid? A return missionary whose testimony is on the brink and who feels angry at God for taking her mom when she was so young at only 67? A woman who was told for years through the spirit to stay in a marriage which was manipulative and abusive and drug addled? What would you say to that girl?

Dear Reader,

I appreciate you reaching out to me and allowing me the opportunity to hear of your tremendous burdens. Even though you only sent me an email, I can sense through your writing the extreme pain, frustration and sorrow you are experiencing. The trials you have been called to endure seem unbearable and daunting to me as a reader and the only thing of which I am certain in this regard is that I do not know or comprehend the half of what you feel, the extent of your pain, and the depth of your sorrow. I will not pretend that I comprehend it with some cliche, terse statement like, “I know how you feel.” The reality is I don’t know how you feel, and neither does anyone else. This trial is your own and your feelings are your own.

What I would say to such a woman who has been called to endure such tremendous fire and pain in the furnace of affliction is this: Do not lose your testimony! Hold the ground you have already won! Somewhere in the midst of your pain is an ember of testimony that still burns with the fire of the Holy Ghost and has not yet been defeated. If you had lost all hope, you would not have reached out to me. You are reaching out, and I am here to grab your hand and hold on with all my strength to keep you from slipping into the abyss of bitterness.

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The adversary has desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat and drag you down into his endless pit of misery, woe and bitterness. He looks at your pain and laughs with pure contempt! He delights in the suffering and anguish of those who he would seek to control. He binds them with his chains of regret and pulls them steadily to the gates of hell. He will mock your plight and belittle your soul. Do not give him heed!

This earth was created for the glorious purpose of exalting the children of God. It is a laboratory of exaltation, a proving ground of growth, and a hands on education to obtain the highest! You have been chosen by the Lord to obtain your exaltation through the pain and suffering of the mortal experience. This is the same mission that our Savior was called to bear, to come to earth and to suffer. Even Jesus Christ, the greatest of all asked the same question you have asked me, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” You have been chosen to enter into an elite group of individuals known as Disciples of Jesus Christ. Do not allow the adversary to deceive you out of the group!

Because I believe in action, I am going to lay out an action plan for you and I want you to report back to me with your thoughts and feelings as we work through this trial together, and as you attempt to fulfill these different action items.

1. Pray, immediately to God and give him thanks for anything that you can muster the courage to be grateful for in your life. Express that gratitude to Heavenly Father. It could you be your children, your job, your health etc. Even if it is small and seemingly insignificant, think of anything and everything you are grateful for, and thank your Heavenly Father for those things. Once you have done that write down those things, and email them to me.

Even in the darkest tragedy there are blessings, and losing sight of these blessings and forsaking God will only perpetuate the bitterness and pain.

2. Forgive. I suspect this will be most challenging. Seek with all your heart to forgive the terrible offenses that the people in your life have committed against you. It will take tremendous courage and faith, but remember that all people on this earth, even the most vile and sinful are sons and daughters of God. Holding on to the bitterness and pain they have caused you by the misuse of their agency will only allow their sins to continue their damage. The only way to true peace and healing is to forgive them and to free yourself from the shackles of the pain. Remember Jesus Christ on the cross, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

If it is appropriate to express your forgiveness in person, or through text/email, then let those individuals who have wronged you know that they are forgiven. If it is not appropriate to express your forgiveness, then allow yourself to forgive them in your heart and in your mind and feel the freedom of releasing their hold on your heart and your soul. Email me the individuals who you expressed forgiveness to, what manner you forgave them, and if they responded. Keep in mind, not everyone will accept your expression of forgiveness, but that is their agency to remain in bitterness and it is your agency to be free.

3. Serve. Finally, find someone to serve. Reach out. You have been given a perspective on life that will make you a saint and savior to others who find themselves likewise burdened with pain. As you allow your heart to be filled with compassion for others, magnified by your increased capacity to experience empathy for those who are in pain, you will find healing in your own heart. Email me the individuals who the Lord has brought and will bring into your life that you were able to serve and reach out to because of your understanding of their trials.

I cannot remove your trials, I cannot bring back your mother, I cannot change your ex-husband or force him to use agency properly, but I can reach out and do all I can to share and lighten your burdens. You have my love, my empathy, my support and my prayers. Feel free to contact me with your victories and failures, your highs and your lows. I’ll be here to listen and to encourage.

Through faith all things are possible unto God, and I testify this is true.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Paul Green

 

Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green, is a real estate broker and professional improvisational comedian, actor and trainer. He has trained thousands of professionals and teenagers on principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking and has provided heart-filled advice and encouragement to all who he has had an opportunity to interact. His greatest passion is helping individuals find creative and uplifting solutions to the many challenges of life by applying the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He looks forward to hearing and understanding the challenges of his readers and helping them to overcome these challenges.  For his full bio, click here

To submit an anonymous question to Paul:

1. Send a message to the LDS Single Friends Facebook Page or send an email to paulgreencanhelp@gmail.com

2. Please “like” LDS Single Friends on Facebook and invite your fellow LDS singles to join our online community! 

3. If your question is chosen, look for Paul’s response on this blog and on LDS Single Friends. To make sure that you never miss an advice column from Paul, you can subscribe to this blog through the form below. 

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Ask A Friend: How Can A Convert Adapt To Mormon Dating?

Dear Paul,  

I am struggling and I need some advice or encouragement or wisdom, I recently got back in the dating scene. I’ve been single forever and my last serious relationship was before I got baptized in 2010. I don’t have very much experience with Mormon dating and I struggle to keep my thoughts clean. I don’t want to fall back into past behaviors and I feel like I’m having a hard time staying true to myself.

Dating guys, and being attracted to guys, reminds me of the past in relationships where I was used for sex and not valued. I’m having a hard time believing someone could fall in love with me as an EC [eternal companion]. Do those relationships progress just like non-member relationships? I just want to be myself but I’ve never had a serious romantic relationship as a member of the church…

Dear writer,

Thank you so much for your question. Your concerns and reservations are felt by many, both in and outside of the church. We all have desires for intimacy but also want to make sure that we are striving for relationships of meaning and value. As Latter-day Saints, we definitely choose to follow a strict standard of chastity, which the Lord has commanded. However, just because you are new to the church, your struggles are no different than those of lifelong church members. All of us strive to exercise faith and diligence in obeying the commandments and all of us are just as prone to the natural man as any other.

Regarding the progression of LDS relationships compared to non-member relationships, it is difficult to say because relationships are so drastically varied. The rate at which two individuals meet, court, and enter into different levels of commitment changes from couple to couple. However, there are guidelines that will make the process of Mormon dating easier, so I would encourage you to do the following:

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  1. Take an inventory of your expectations before entering certain levels of affection and commitment. In other words, set your own standards, because no one else will set them for you. If you want a guy to call you and ask you out on an official date, instead of texting you to “hang out,” then don’t date guys who do not meet that standard. If a guy texts you to hang out, communicate that you are looking for a man who appreciates traditional dating, not just hanging out.


    Dating is challenging for men as well as women, and a lot of guys have been burned, rejected, ignored, stood up and disrespected as well. Consequently, they often have no idea how to approach a woman in any particular situation. However if you make your standards clear, a guy who is really interested will respect your standards. If he’s really interested, he will call and ask you out on a date! Setting a pattern of clearly stating expectations and communicating them will provide a strong foundation for any relationship, whether brand new or seasoned. 

  1. Next, set standards for the levels of affection you are comfortable. No man has any right to your affections no matter how much money he spent on a date, no matter how much time he has spent with you, or how many dates he has taken you on. Your affection is priceless and is only to be expressed when you are good and ready, not when the man expects it or seeks for it. 
  1. The first few dates should be spent having a good time, enjoying a wholesome activity, establishing emotional and spiritual connections, and building physical chemistry and anticipation through dancing, hiking, baking cookies, rock climbing, laser tag, bowling, finger painting, and other involved, yet light-heart activities.  
  1. Regarding personal displays of affection, hugs are sufficient for the first few dates. If a man seems a little aggressive or anxious to progress to kissing and cuddling, especially while lying down, or seems to always suggest activities at night, or one on one at his house or yours, I would be cautious about his true intentions. If a man does seem to be pushing for dates that may not be wholesome in their intent, I would again recommend clearly communicating your expectations and standards. For example, saying something like, “I appreciate the invitation to come over to your house tonight, but I like to have several opportunities to spend time with a man in a more public setting before spending time one on one at their property. Let me know if you have another activity in mind that would be fun.”After three or four dates it may be appropriate, if you feel comfortable, to hold hands, and perhaps even a peck or two. These are my own recommendations for time frames that are appropriate to express affection, but of course, you may adapt them to your comfort level. I would strongly caution against any kissing in overtly intimate settings, such as lying down on a couch watching a movie, swimming alone, in the car etc. And I would definitely caution against any excessive kissing, making out, tongue kissing, necking, etc. Think of it like this: Is the kiss romantic, sweet, fun and building your connection to each other emotionally, physically and spiritually, or is it more passionate, intense and sexual in nature? The latter is best experienced a lot further down the road, and if avoided early on, would help prevent the relationship from leading to regretful behaviors that would result in guilt and shame.
  1. Regarding frequency of dates, starting out, I would recommend no more than one date a week, if not every other week. We seem to be so anxious to get into a relationship that as soon as we meet someone we like, we want to spend every waking moment with them. Although there are plenty of success stories of such romantic whimsy, I would say jumping head first into a relationship will make physical intimacy progress rather quickly, making it difficult to keep standards and commandments. If this type of intimacy occurs too quickly, when you are uncertain if you want to be exclusive with this individual, it can create confusion, shame and even guilt if the affection progresses to a point that has compromised chastity.Dating is a process, and if you respect the process and allow the relationship to grow and progress steadily, you will find yourself on far more solid ground then by going full steam out of the gate. After three or four dates, it may be appropriate to begin seeing each other once or twice a week and involving each other in activities such as family dinners, work parties or social events. This is one step away from exclusivity and as the relationship progresses, becoming exclusive would be the final step in courtship before engagement and marriage.
  1. One final word of caution, and this may seem extreme, but I would avoid any excessive making out until you are at least engaged, if not already married. Also avoid being alone in compromising situations such as a bedroom, a dark living room, etc. Remember that as much as the Lord wants us to be happy and find fulfilling eternal relationships, the adversary wants us to slip up by making bad decisions and compromising our eternal destiny.Our society seems to place sexual interaction as the most crucial and fundamental focal point of all relationships. Although it is definitely an important component, there are other aspects that are far more crucial and necessary in an eternal relationship, such as compatibility, spiritual sensitivity, a desire to live the gospel, open and respectful communication, sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, etc.  A relationship based on these attributes will have a greater capacity to last into eternity than a relationship based on making out for a couple hours after knowing each other for a week.

I appreciate your openness and your concerns. Have faith that God will bless you if you are obedient and set up boundaries to help protect your virtue, the law of chastity and the sanctity of the priesthood that the men you will be dating hold. When a man recognizes your standards and you carry yourself with respect and dignity, he WILL respect your standards and will never do anything to compromise his chances with you. If he is truly interested in you as a person and as a prospective eternal companion, if he makes a mistake, he will recognize his error and will seek your forgiveness.

You made such a courageous decision to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ, great blessings await you as you continue to be faithful. You need not fear Mormon dating, God is aware of your concerns and He will bless you and guide you as you seek to find a man worthy of enjoying the blessings of eternity by your side.

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Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green, is a real estate broker and professional improvisational comedian, actor and trainer. He has trained thousands of professionals and teenagers on principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking and has provided heart-filled advice and encouragement to all who he has had an opportunity to interact. His greatest passion is helping individuals find creative and uplifting solutions to the many challenges of life by applying the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He looks forward to hearing and understanding the challenges of his readers and helping them to overcome these challenges.  For his full bio, click here

To submit an anonymous question to Paul:

1. Send a message to the LDS Single Friends Facebook Page or send an email to paulgreencanhelp@gmail.com

 

2. Please “like” LDS Single Friends on Facebook and invite your fellow LDS singles to join our online community! 

3. If your question is chosen, look for Paul’s response on this blog and on LDS Single Friends. To make sure that you never miss an advice column from Paul, you can subscribe to this blog through the form below. 

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Ask A Friend: I’m Aging Out Of The Single’s Ward And Feel Like A Failure


Dear Paul,

I’m aging out of the single’s ward and I feel like a failure because I’m still unmarried. I’ve made good choices throughout my life and I’ve worked hard to put myself out there in the dating scene. Despite my best efforts, nothing significant has happened to me in terms of relationships. The gospel is supposed to make us happy, but it’s hard for me to feel that way when each Sunday, I’m constantly reminded that I lack the blessing I want most in my life. How can I motivate myself to continue being active in the church when I feel like a failure?

Dear Writer,

Thank you so much for your question. I can understand the feelings and frustrations you are experiencing. Two weeks before I turned 31, the church organized five single stakes in my area and then reemphasized the church policy that singles wards are for those aged 18-31. I remember sitting in that stake conference surrounded by literally 1000’s of attractive singles, and facing the reality that in two weeks, I would no longer be a part of those single’s stakes. 

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Transferring to the family ward at 31, never having been married, was a tremendous challenge. Not only had I never been married, but in ten years of attending a single’s ward I had never even had a committed girlfriend and now I was being cut from one of the most significant sources of dating prospects, the single’s stake. My last Sunday in the single’s ward was so hard on me. I met with the Bishop in tears, not understanding why I had never even come close to finding a spouse, or even a girlfriend! I went home discouraged and sad. 

However, I received a text message that afternoon from a friend, inviting everyone to a birthday party for her roommate. Even though I didn’t know the roommate, I figured that I was no longer in a position to turn down opportunities to associate with others singles and determined I would go to the party. There, I met a very beautiful girl named Amie who recognized me from one of my comedy performances. We began chatting that week and enjoyed some fun conversation. I mentioned to her that my first Sunday in the family ward was coming up and that I was feeling a little apprehensive about moving on from the single’s ward. 

When I showed up to church, it was overwhelming for sure. I sat in the overflow by myself surrounded by happy families with their rows of children and wondered why the Lord would have allowed me to end up in this position. It was then, out of the blue, that Amie came walking in and sat next to me. That was the first time I had seen her since we met at the party and ultimately ended up being our first date. Amie also became my first girlfriend. So think of that, for ten years I had been in a single’s ward and NEVER had a girlfriend, yet on my first Sunday in the family ward, at age 31, I had my first date with my first girlfriend.

To me it was the Lord teaching me that He was still aware of me, that He knew who I was and that He had a plan for me and perhaps most importantly that He had not forgotten me. Amie and I dated for two months and had a wonderful relationship. We ultimately determined that it was not to lead to marriage and we went our separate ways, but have maintained a warm friendship since then.

I have now been in that family ward for two years, and there are a few things that have helped me stay in my ward and find peace and joy in my circumstance that I would like to share with you:

1. It is sometimes easy to view the church and the gospel as something that is supposed to serve us and give us happiness. We want blessings, opportunities, joy, a family, financial stability and often feel that it is the obligation of the church and the Lord to give us those things. When we are lacking something such as an eternal family, it is easy to become frustrated and blame the church and the Lord for not providing these blessings, especially when we have always lived the gospel, paid our tithing, served in the church, etc. And why shouldn’t we expect those blessings, didn’t the Lord say, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in my name it shall be given you?”      

Whenever I would feel this way, I would be reminded of the great words of Jesus Christ, “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt 10:39). These words remind me that I was put on this earth to be a blessing to others and to serve others and the Lord. That also means being willing to accept whatever calling and position the Lord sees fit to give me. If that means I needed to leave the single’s ward so I could serve in my family ward as a single person, then so be it, because it’s not about me. The church is not here to serve me, I am here to serve the church, God and His children. Reminds me of the famous JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” (Can you hear JFK’s voice in your head when you read that?? :) ) Think of that same quote but with the church, “Ask not what your church, ward, and stake can do for you, but what you can do for your church, ward and stake.”    

As I changed my focus to how I can use my talents, gifts and my situation to serve my ward, not only did I feel peace and joy restored to my heart, but I was able to see more and more the wisdom of the Lord and His timing, which leads me to my next point.

2.  It is human nature to want what we want, and to want it right now! Elder Maxwell delivered a speech that had a great impact on me, which I think about often when I begin to feel impatient with my situation as an unmarried, mid-30’s man in the church.

He said, “Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His. Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience as if, as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship and were not quite in charge of everything.”

As difficult as it may be sometimes when I am feeling unhappy with my circumstances and that the blessings I have not been promised have not quite been realized, I remember to have faith that if I remain true to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that Heavenly Father will order all blessings for me when I am ready to receive them, when they would be of greatest value to me, and when they would allow me to fully become who He has envisioned for me to become. I have to remember that I am a child of God, not an “adult.” I am learning, growing, and progressing, but as a child I do not fully understand or comprehend all things that my Father does. Think of a child who at a very young age wants to play with matches, but a loving parent who knows best hides the matches. When the child is a teenager, now the parent gives the child matches and teaches how to safely build a fire. There is wisdom and order in our progression through mortality, and God is our perfect Father who knows best when to bless us with certain opportunities.

Learning to submit fully to His will and trust that He really does love me, and knows what is best for me, and wants to bless me in the way that He feels is best is always challenging, but as I have allowed myself to grow in faith of God’s power and knowledge, I have felt the reassurance that His blessings will be realized.

3. As much as I would LOVE to be married to a special woman and have the blessings of children and a family, I recognize that there are many opportunities that are available to me as a single person, which would not be available if I had the responsibilities of husband and father. I decided I would take full advantage of those opportunities. I started my own business, joined a jazz band at the community college, took a stand up comedy class, started producing comedic videos, auditioned for commercials, joined a gym, started a basketball group that plays several times a week, etc. If the Lord doesn’t want me to be married right now, then I sure ain’t going to waste my time as a single person! 

Think of any married couple you know with children and think about all of the opportunities they forfeit on a daily basis! Granted, we all would gladly make those sacrifices when we have a family, and we certainly should not procrastinate having a family for those options. But if you aren’t married, enjoy being single and explore all of your talents and gifts! Join a pottery class, learn how to draw, try yoga, join toast masters, take a road trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, start a community outreach program, run a marathon, join a book club etc! The possibilities are endless!

And think about it, what could be more attractive to a possible future spouse than those who are well-rounded, out enjoying life, exploring new activities, gaining experience, and learning how they can improve themselves? Even if you’re a single parent, bring your kids along with you, explore these opportunities when your ex’ has the kids, or drop them off at grandmas one night a week! Enjoy the fact that if nothing else, you do not have to answer to a spouse and ultimately can come and go as you please!

It’s a tough time my dear friend, my heart goes out to you. I know what it’s like to spend countless evenings alone, feeling unloved, undesired and unwanted. I know what it’s like to sit in sacrament meeting completely alone and to see family after family fill the pews with their children, all smiles and giggles. I promise you the Lord loves you and is aware of you. You will feel His love and guidance as you seek to lose yourself for His sake by serving others. Trust that God is infinitely wise and learn to have patience in His timing, and finally just live it up as a single person, worthily of course!! Go enjoy all the opportunities that you can enjoy that would be nearly impossible if you had the responsibilities of a spouse and/or children.

You’re going to make it through. I bear my witness that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Christ, and that the 1st Presidency and Quorum of 12 Apostles are inspired by God, even when it comes down to a policy such as the age limits on singles wards. There is purpose, and a reason for all things. Live the gospel my friend, and you will find what you seek. 

Editor’s note: There are also midsingle’s wards available for LDS single adults. You may find a list of midsingle’s wards at http://midsingles.wordpress.com/midsingles-wards-list/

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Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green, is a real estate broker and professional improvisational comedian, actor and trainer. He has trained thousands of professionals and teenagers on principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking and has provided heart-filled advice and encouragement to all who he has had an opportunity to interact. His greatest passion is helping individuals find creative and uplifting solutions to the many challenges of life by applying the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He looks forward to hearing and understanding the challenges of his readers and helping them to overcome these challenges.  For his full bio, click here

To submit an anonymous question to Paul:

1. Send a message to the LDS Single Friends Facebook Page or send an email to paulgreencanhelp@gmail.com

2. Please “like” LDS Single Friends on Facebook and invite your fellow LDS singles to join our online community! 

3. If your question is chosen, look for Paul’s response on this blog and on LDS Single Friends. To make sure that you never miss an advice column from Paul, you can subscribe to this blog through the form below. 

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Introducing Paul Green, Advice Columnist for LDS Single Friends


We’re pleased to introduce Paul Green, our new advice columnist for LDS Single Friends. Paul has been well prepared by the Lord to take on this role and we hope that the LDS single adult community will take advantage of his insights and expertise. Here’s his bio below:

Continue reading

Paul Green

Paul Green

Paul Green is a renaissance man in every sense of the word, he is an entrepreneur, actor, comedian, musician, athlete, humanitarian, writer and much more. He served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Cleveland Ohio and upon returning noticed a cultural shift in the church regarding marriage, divorce, dating, relationships, and parenting. Through his experience serving in the LDS church, he had the opportunity to meet and associate with many single adults from a variety of circumstances. Many of these singles would confide and open up to him, helping Paul gain a greater and deeper sympathy for the tremendous and heart wrenching challenges associated with being single parents and divorcees and the struggles of trying to date again after having extremely traumatizing experiences in their first marriages.    

As he learned how to listen with his whole heart to the challenges of others, Paul was also facing his own challenges as a single man in the LDS church. At the age of 33, Paul has never been married and has faced his own set of challenges as a single man, striving to live the gospel and serve in the kingdom of God while lacking one of the most significant pieces of a truly gospel centered life, a spouse and children. After struggling with dating and relationships after returning from his mission, he spent several years in intense study of relationships, communication, and human interaction to better understand why dating is such a challenge for so many, while it seems so natural for others. After many personal discoveries he began blogging some of his discoveries in a blog entitled, “dating difficulties.” This was his first attempt at writing for the benefit of others. Many expressed positive appreciation for his insights and comments, and one reader even offered to help him write and publish a book!

At about the same time that Paul began his quest to understand dating, he also discovered he had a natural gift and talent for improvisational comedy and performance. He started performing with a local improv troupe that performed regularly. As an improviser, he began to learn and utilize principles of leadership, communication, team building and creative thinking in his personal and professional relationships. He was also given the opportunity to teach workshops to help others find greater success in their own personal and professional lives. These opportunities, coupled with his life experiences, helped him discover his great passion for helping others find more creative and effective solutions to overcome the many challenges and trials that all of us face in mortality. 

Paul was put on this world to serve and love others with his whole heart, full of compassion, sympathy and understanding of any challenge that anyone can face in life. Whatever you are struggling with at this point in your life, whether it be illness, loneliness, depression, trials of faith, doubt, fear, apprehension, family concerns, divorce, singleness, financial, spiritual, emotional, struggles with same-gender attraction etc., his only desire is to help! Feel free to write in and see if Paul has any advice that will help you push through your current trial to receive the blessing that awaits all after the trial of faith!