I went to a church meeting the other night where the speaker told us how a high level church official implored him to raise the number of single adults that attend activities. Apparently, there are over 14,000 single adults in the Las Vegas valley. Less than 300 regularly attend church activities. He wondered why so many single adults don't attend activities. I've got a few ideas about this.
1) We are adults, not kids. A YSA ward shouldn't be treated as if it is an extension of Mutual groups. Many of us went to college and even have advanced degrees. Many of us have professional jobs that have hefty requirements. Playing broom hockey in the church gym just isn't appealing after a 10+ hour day of work.
2) The pressure to date and get married is intense. I think most of us would like to date and get married. However, there is a definite "type" of gal that gets asked out. Twenty-nine year old women with masters degrees who don't look like Barbie generally do not get asked out. Its fine to not get asked out, but its stressful when the focus of the ward is on dating and getting married. Shouldn't Christ be the focus of church?
3) The focus on dating can be hurtful when the men get the idea that they don't even have to be nice to people they aren't physically attracted to. Once, I called my home teacher, who had never met me before even though he had been my home teacher for months. When I told him who I was, his first question was, "Soooo, are you hot?" (This was years ago. I now have an awesome home teacher). Another example was when I attended a church luncheon. I sat down, and the guy next to me immediately grabbed his plate, glared at me, and stood up and moved to sit next to a (younger and hotter) gal on the other side of the table. Gee, sorry for taking up space.
4) People act like inconsiderate fools, Part One. A church leader once asked me why I'm single at my age. He didn't really want to know, as he cut me off before I could give an explanation. He then proceeded to rattle off a list of other overweight, "undateable" (his words, not mine) women in my age range and suggested that I hang out with them. Never mind that I have nothing in common with these women other than the fact that we are not size zeros, older than most, and single. That would be like me rattling off a random list of other Caucasian senior citizens and suggesting that they all go play a round of golf.
5) People act like inconsiderate fools, Part Two. Case in point:
I can't speak for the other 14,000 single LDS adults in Las Vegas, but these are just a few reasons why I don't attend YSA activities. I'd rather stay home and read a book instead of being rejected by people who are a decade younger than I am. I'll go to church. I'll read scriptures. I'll pray and pay tithing. But I'm done playing broom hockey.