There is a question, that runs like a consistent theme – a connecting thread that ties us together. It’s the question, “Am I normal?” Related question: “Is there something wrong with me?” Ultimately, people want to know that they’re not alone.
As you read this summary, you might think, “This is me!” You’re not alone, and I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you. You do not need to be fixed, but you might need to be seen, heard, and accepted as you are. You might need tools and support.
I teach simple, easy-to-remember principles that promote self-discovery and real relationships, based on unconditional love.
Out of 120 young adults interviewed, overall, there was a high amount of:
- Emotional awareness and desire for deeper connection and better communication.
- Observational skills of relationships around them, especially among their peers.
- Desire to trade technology “fake” for the “real” thing. Wanting to meet and date in more organic ways, rather than online.
- Potential to learn and grow when married.
- Recognition of the effects of exposure to too many choices.
- Experience in travel, educational pursuits, public branding, and socially acceptable trends, such as “ghosting” and flakiness.
- Affluence, privilege, and expectations.
- Involvement with parents and siblings.
- Involvement with friend groups that stifle dating within the group.
- Confusion around how you get into an exclusive dating relationship that could actually lead to marriage. (I call this the phenomenon of The Magical, Mystical, Miracle)
- Immaturity & lack of experience, for their age group, when it comes to exclusive, committed relationships.
- Difficulty in decision-making.
- Pressure to date and get married. Pressure around the date itself. Pressure to be a certain kind of person/potential partner.
- Idealistic thinking that comes from church culture. Perfectionistic, unattainable goals, and self-righteousness.
- First dates that never lead to a second date.
- Desire for physical attraction AND emotional connection – both!
- Belief that “Something is wrong with me.”
- Desire to find compatibility and common interests.
- Desire for someone who is the same religion and actively participating.
- Confusion when it comes to the opposite sex. “I don’t understand girls/guys.”
- Belief that dating is a game.
- FOMO – “What are my friends doing without me?”
- Attachment to the traditional way of dating.
- High amount of Fear when it comes to:
. making a wrong decision.
. hurting someone’s feelings.
. starting over after a relationship or potential relationship ends.
. being found out (feeling unworthy, broken, or abnormal).
. intimacy – emotional, spiritual, and physical.
. getting hurt.
Out of 120 young adults interviewed, overall, there was a low amount of:
- Self Confidence.
- Time (too busy).
- Number of people to date in one’s location.
- Exposure (want to share emotions, but won’t, or don’t know how),
- Education (how to date).
- Knowing how to get what they want. Even knowing WHAT they want.
- Desire to use dating apps to actually date.
- Desire, motivation, ambition, enthusiasm for dating.
- Desire to go public with who they are dating.
Several of the people I interviewed had good dating advice. They seemed to have an intellectual and spiritual idea of how dating SHOULD be, but openly admitted that they were not living by their own advice.
Most of the young adults I interviewed expressed a high desire to date within generally accepted cultural norms. With these norms comes an enormous amount of expectations and pressure. “It SHOULD look like this or that, therefore I HAVE to be this or that.”
Also common: Struggles with worthiness on varying levels; the biggest one, by far, is “Not feeling like I’m enough,” and “My sexual desire, my sexual curiosity, or my sexual activity is not acceptable, therefore I am unworthy,” and “How could anyone want to date me, if I am not enough or if I’m unworthy?”
It seems that many LDS young adults are perceived, by themselves and others, as teenagers until they get married. Many of them are still in the teen world when it comes to dating. I have my own theory as to why, which I will address in another blog post.
I have several thoughts and quotes that illustrate each element of this summary. So much so, I have considered writing a book. But, my passion is coaching. I want to help others live their best life injoy and freedom
My findings show that there is a high need for learning & growth in navigating self- discovery and finding real relationships based on unconditional love. The need for gaining clarity and receiving support in moving from what does not work to what does work – progress
I am now in the process of transcribing the interviews so that I can sort the data to present numbers in chart & graph form. At this point, I have no conclusive stats on the information as a whole.
To read the 11 questions I ask in the interviews, please visit my Instagram account: @OneHundredInterviews. All but two interviews were done via video call.