Dear Single ladies,
Thank you for your letter by Kylee Shields, Bring Back Your Boldness & Bravery, we appreciate your bravery and boldness for addressing us. Please allow me to respond.
We, the single guys of the LDS community hear you.
First, we absolutely agree on THAT, that dating sucks. We know you think it sucks, because we hear about it all the time in social activities. We, too, believe it sucks, because it is confusing and weird for us.
Second, we respect your truce, but we need to let you know that it is more complicated than that; more than just the pain of those experiences you have listed.
We actually do not pretend to be interested. The real men of the singles community want to hear about your interests and are actually showing that interest because we like new experiences and like to know what common ground we may have. You may actually be interested in something that we would like to explore.
Yes, we work, we have families, and friends, but we actually long to be loved, to be cared for, and to care for someone else. Nothing makes us feel more “manly” than to serve our ladies/girlfriends/wives. The problem is, it is rarely appreciated, most often taken for granted. It is expected, because we are taught that this is what we are supposed to do. Unfortunately, women are also taught to expect this, so we don’t feel appreciated – it is like we are doing our job. That’s not the kind of work we like.
We are brave and bold, but after being met with dishonesty and dismissiveness, we just stop. Being brave and bold, apparently, only applies to the men you want, not to all men.
See, for years, we have heard a lot of what you have said in your nice post, but we also hear continuously how we need to “step up,” and “make an effort.” We also hear how single sisters lament the lack of interested men. We are criticized by your fathers in priesthood that we need to do more; that all we want to do is “hang out.”
But that isn’t our experience.
Sure, we would love to ask you directly for your phone number, but when we are routinely “ghosted” because women would rather ignore us than just say they aren’t interested, it becomes a painful situation that happens way too often. We get our hopes up. We show our bravery and boldness and then are hurt by the arbitrariness of painful callousness of those that aren’t interested. Just say no and we will respect it. It hurts a lot more to make an effort and be ignored: it makes us less likely to try. We have this really bizarre nature that we happen to typically take people on their word, so if a woman gives us her phone number when we ask, we actually believe they are interested.
We would love to ask you out on a date, but we often can’t tell if you actually want us to. Often, we are brave and bold and ask you out, feigned gratitude is portrayed, then we are again ignored. Then we hear about how ridiculous it was to ask you out – from other people in the community. Additionally, we kind of need to know you are interested. Ignoring or being aloof because you don’t want to appear easy only means we aren’t going to ask you out, because ignoring us and acting aloof tells you you don’t like us. Try smiling, talking to us, a casual touch to the arm is very big to us. If you want brave and bold, you have to give us a reasonable expectation that brave and bold will work and is wanted. Oh, and make yourself available. Nothing is more frustrating than hearing a woman we want to date tell us how busy they are and how little time they have for anything, and then only interact and associate with other women. That tells us that you aren’t interested in us and that you will likely say no because you are so busy and we aren’t in the approved potentiality queue.
We hear quite often how if you are nice to people, they mistake it for interest. Well, we aren’t interested in someone that isn’t nice to people, so if you are, of course we will be interested. But if you aren’t interested, just say so. Yes, it will hurt, but not nearly as much as feeling led on and then ignored.
Otherwise, we just hang out. It is safer to just hang out with someone we are interested in because how often we get it wrong. We are brave and bold, but we are also feeling beings who want to be appreciated and rewarded for being brave and bold. We would rather dwell in friend zone with someone we like, than risk losing it because we cannot understand the signals you are sending.
If we feel that your confidence and caring is welcoming and honest, you betcha, we will be knocking down your doors. However, in the spirit of this truth, how about we promise to be honest and charitable to each other. How about helping us feel that we are welcome to be brave and bold. It isn’t that we aren’t, it’s just that we would rather be alone than constantly confused and hurt.
Being brave and bold works both ways, ladies. Be brave by being honest if we express interest. Be brave by showing your interest in us. Be bold in giving us your phone number if we aren’t quite getting the subtlety of your interest. Be bold in helping us feel welcomed and wanted. Be bold in calling us out, as you have here, but be brave if the response isn’t what you expected, much like we are expected to do so.
We really love you, ladies, and we so badly want to have love and affection and things in common and conversations and experiences and happiness and…. you get it. We are excited about the prospects of an eternal life with you, or a temporal adventure, so yes, to your last two paragraphs, we will meet you on the battlefield of dating with our bravery, boldness, confidence, and caring as well. We look forward to it with hope.
Regards, all the Single Men.