Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Parental Advice

Lately my parents have been full of advice concerning *blush* relationships.

Took me totally by surprise.

They've never brought up the subject before.

Can't imagine what has prompted this sudden onslaught.

Hahahahaha! Yeah, that was me being facetious. What other route can I really take, though? Depression lowers opportunities for *blush* relationships, so why get worked up over not having one? I choose, rather, to not think too much about it and concentrate instead on being happy with myself.

I read somewhere that the most powerful thing a girl can possess is a cheerful attitude. Being happy helps others to want to be around her. People are more likely to go out of their way to help someone who is smiling but will generally ignore someone who is in a bad mood.

So I work to be happy. And I have a lot to be happy about! I have family and friends who cherish me. I'm surrounded by daily affirmations that I'm in the right place at the right time of my life doing the right thing. What more can a girl do?

My dad's advice is always something that I try to forget as soon as it is heard. In high school he would tell me to act like a ditz. A Barbie doll with no brain. Show a little more skin and less cerebrum. Guys respond to a hot body. While that may all be true, I know that he only told me those things because there was no chance I'd actually do any of it. It's beneath me to prostitute my values for a date. *sticks up nose*

In my college years Dad's general tune was as devil's advocate. "Just go fornicate, Zarah! It's fuuuun!" Again, he knew it wasn't something I'd likely do for the sake of doing it.

Lately it's been a tired wish that arranged marriages were still in vogue. However, he can't seem to name any real candidates when I ask who I ought to marry. The only men he knows are ones who I've dismissed for good reason.

Sorry to disappoint you, Dad. Never thought this would be my biggest failure. *shrugs*
Recently in a conversation on this topic (which comes up every time I see/talk to him) my Dad gave some advice that may be worth investigating. He said, "All's fair in love and war. You have to be selfish."



Can I do that?

I've tried before in relationships and have been disappointed. It hurts more when the investment is one sided. And it's horribly embarrassing when the ownership is one sided.

 I can be annoyingly selfish around my family. But that's because I know they will still love me. When it comes to anyone else I verge on being a push-over -- I give because I've been taught that generosity is the only way to win friends and influence people. However, no one respects a push-over. It's a fine line.

So, how does someone stake a claim on another's emotions and time?

In reading, attending lessons, firesides, and broadcasts on the subject, I've learned quite a lot about the theory of dating. But, like with most things, I have a hard time converting book knowledge to real life practice. Maybe I think too much about it all.

Anyway, here are a few things I've learned recently about relationships:

- The top quality men look for in women is "kindness."
- The top quality women look for in men is "faithful to me."
- Faith has everything to do with romance and should not be left out or disregarded.
- The best way to prepare for a relationship is to identify character traits that are necessary in a future partner and then focus on becoming someone who would attract such a person.
- A date is anything that is Planned ahead, Paid for, and Paired off.
- Do not tolerate anyone who "belittles you, is critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor." Jeffery R. Holland
- Relationships will always take hard work. There's no such thing as having it "just happen."

So, can I be selfish? Hell yeah! This is a big choice and might take several wrong choices before the best option comes around, but it's worth it to be assertive.

Thanks Dad.

Of course, in the same conversation he did go on to tell me to find a man with lots of tattoos and a drinking problem just so long as he has man bits. . . So, I'm not sure how much he wants me to follow his advice. . .


  1. Being assertive and being selfish are not the same thing. Likewise, being selfless and being a pushover are not the same thing.

    I say, cut all selfishness from your heart and never look back. Live for the sake of the Other. And if you do it right, that doesn't mean being a pushover. Being a pushover is selfish, because it's taking the easy path in the face of uncomfortable situations. If you are truly selfless, people will see you as the most assertive, independent person they've ever met.

    Think about Christ... He was not a pushover, and yet there was no selfishness in His heart.

  2. Oh dating! How I despise this hideous institution!! Good luck my dear and keep up with the good advice... I really liked the list you put together of things we should be doing... like knowing what characteristics we want in a partner and then becoming a person who will attract someone with those characteristics. I think that's true. But I think you and I both have a hard time with sometimes also attracting people who we aren't interested in, which can be just as frustrating as not attracting anyone at all :) Blah!

  3. On being selfish/assertive: Maybe I phrased it wrong. What I was getting at is that in dating it is important to go for it when it seems promising. Or even if it doesn't because you don't know until you begin. Don't step aside just because someone else might also be interested. I've done that before. I thought it was the nice thing to do but it was really just me being a coward.