If I talk more about dating, relationships, and love in general, there's a good reason for it: it's on my mind a lot these days. I apologize if this bothers you, but you can choose to stop reading and watch the latest viral video. You continue at your own risk, so don't come crying to me and say I didn't warn you. Maybe I should put it in big letters.
WARNING: Thoughts on my personal life follow.
Now that that's over, let us proceed. I have to admit, I've felt more than a little frustrated about dating lately, both for myself and for others. (but mostly for me. i'm selfish that way.) Different experiences have been contributing to my attitude, but unfortunately I've let those experiences cloud my vision more than they should. Occasionally I've felt myself falling into what Howard W. Hunter termed "The Three D's ... Despair, Doom, and Discouragement." Grr. It's time to make a change. Pres. Hunter was right when he said that those three D's "are not an acceptable view of life." That's why I'm thankful for the opportunities I've been given to hope.
Hope is a pretty amazing concept, principle, and restorative. I love what Pres. Uchtdorf says about it, that it "has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Its absence - when this desire of our heart is delayed - can make the heart sick." (in case you couldn't tell from my constant quoting of pres. uchtdorf, he's my favorite.) I know that to be true, that when I give into despair and don't hope, my heart is sick. I am completely unhappy when I believe the worst about relationships and my ability to find someone with whom I can be happy. That's when I forget to hope. Shame on me.
But through it all, I know that hoping is better than despairing. Sure, I've had discouraging experiences to put me off, but I've also had numerous experiences giving me hope that I'm going to be all right, whether I'm married or single. (although they mainly give me hope that i won't be single forever ... i actually prefer that hope.) Some experiences are pretty personal, and I won't elaborate on them here (shock! megan actually keeps quiet about some things!), but suffice it to say that they have come.
I think it is one of God's tender mercies that he gives me reminders to restore hope in mankind, myself, and dating. At ward temple night, Betsey and I reminded ourselves of the good guys we know, the ones that give us hope that it is possible to find a good man in this crazy world. The little things that I actually do right, those things that make me remember that I'm a good person despite my failings, gives me hope that I am improving and making myself better for a future husband and family.
Hope restored does wonders for my attitude and most likely improves my chances of actually being asked out by a guy I want to be around. Who would want to date a bitter girl who believes the worst about herself? If I were a guy, I sure wouldn't. I don't want to be that girl. So I'm going to remember to hope, to be happy, to remember what God has already done for me and what He has promised.
If you're struggling with hope, I echo Pres. Uchtdorf's words: "And to all who suffer - to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely - I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit." There is so much to hope for. (even marriage for megan. ;) )
"My doctor gave me two weeks to live. I hope they're in August." -Ronnie Shakes