Provo culture is quite unique in how marriage-oriented it is. It's hard to be unmarried in Provo. It can be hard to be single in a lot of other places too, but Provo culture especially puts so much emphasis on marriage and it is so commonplace that to not be married or engaged or at least dating someone seriously can make a person feel very lonely, inferior, and even worthless to an extent. Now, i hold no contempt for anyone who is happily married, engaged, dating, or anywhere in between (congratulations!! You're wonderful!!), but it's hard when it seems like everyone around you is getting engaged, married, or pregnant, and every church leader on the face of the earth is badgering you to follow suit. And you would LIKE to be doing those things, but you just haven't met anyone with whom you would care to spend the rest of eternity, at least not someone who feels the same way about you. And you can't help but wonder "why not me? What am I lacking?"
That makes me mad. I know marriage is important but that isn't God's plan for everyone. And I'm really sick of feeling worthless or incomplete or incapable of being totally happy unless I'm married. Because that's not true. And marriage is going to be wonderful, but being single is wonderful too. There are so many things I can do right now that I won't be able to do once I'm married. This stage of life is so fun and so carefree and that only lasts so long. Enjoy the journey! We're here on this earth to be happy. All the time, not just after we get married. The Lord has His timing and you don't have much control over it. All you can do is focus on being the best person you can be.
It's unfair to make us feel like we're not good enough or we're doing something wrong if we're not anywhere close to being married yet, and no amount of talks or devotionals or scripture references is going to put the right person in our lives.
Here's the truth: You might not get married before you graduate. You might not get married for 10 or 20 years after you graduate. You might not even find your companion in this life. Is that because you're not trying hard enough? Possibly, but doubtful. Is it because you don't deserve to be happy? NO, and don't you dare ever let that thought cross your mind again. Does it mean your life is empty and purposeless?? No! Of course not! With or without a spouse, you have a lifetime of opportunities to love, to serve, and to develop as an individual, which is the entire purpose of our earthly experience. Whatever trial you face involving your significant other, or lack thereof, was designed specifically for you to teach you what YOU need to learn and to help you reach YOUR divine potential. You have been promised blessings and happiness beyond your imagination. Have faith that you will receive them! Do everything you can to earn them! Keep your end of the bargain, and your Heavenly Father will keep His. He knows what you need better than you do, so trust Him. And in the meantime, love yourself.
I'm writing this because I've spent too long allowing Provo's marriage-obsessed environment get the better of me. And I know a lot of people who have had similar feelings. And it sucks to feel that way. So to you (and to myself) I say, keep your head up. You're wonderful, and you have every right to be happy. Please don't torture yourself about it. You just have to keep working towards progressing on an individual level, becoming the best you that you can be, preparing yourself to be the best partner you can be. And you have to have faith that God will put the right person in your life --the best person--when it's best for you. He's not trying to punish you or make you sad, He just knows that right now isnt the time. It's going to work out in the timing that will make you the most happy. Trust that your Heavenly Father knows best.
That's what I wish I had heard in church today.