Meet The Dilettante...and lots of numbers.

9/16/2016 The Dilettante 4 Comments

dilettante (n.) /dɪlɪˈtanteɪ,-ti/ 1. a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.

If there were way to become happily married without ever having to go on a single cursed date, I would be allllll over that. (That being said, I'm probably not as opposed to the possibility of my own arranged marriage as I should be.)

reaction marriage derek odette swan princessTheoretically, dating should be pretty easy. (If you hate numbers and fun hypothetical situations, skip the next two paragraphs.) Let's go with some really rough statistics. Say I have the entire male population of Utah in one space. Current estimate is 1,388,317 males in Utah. I'm almost 24 years old, so let's say I'm not picky and look at 21-29 year olds. That cuts the number to 190,780. It was harder to single v. married statistic in Utah for this age range--I ended up with a 50% estimate. So there are now 95,390 single, age-appropriate men in front of me.

Here's where the stats get even sketchier. The 2007 statistic says 60.1% of the total population is LDS*, and 41.6% are active members. 23,849 men. But I think people should be pickier than that. So let me put more filters on. Let's pretend that the 30%** of undergraduates who escaped without debt are a decent representation of students who are good with money. Subtract 15% who hate cats. Lastly, I'm going to subtract 35%, because as "spiritually compatible" as we would hope any two active members of the church are, anyone who's ever actually been to a ward knows that spirituality is a very complicated concept. After reviewing the wide range in the many BYU YSA wards I've been to, I think a substantial cut is fair. 

I have 1,824 soulmates in Utah.

In one state. And I've lived in two states and two countries. Why is this so hard?

It's my personal belief that dating is both easier and harder than it should be. All these sticky emotions getting in the way and clogging up everything keep us from being engaged. 

Why doesn't God just send me my man in a box? I'd marry that boy so fast... In fact, why doesn't God just run my life for me? It would be really nice if He'd just force us all to make all the right choices and end up basking in Celestial glory, right? You know, "redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost?"


As much as I'd love to just have it over with, those pesky emotions slowly make up who we are and give our life a purpose. They make us cry, push us to be brave, teach us to stand up when we've been knocked down, and often turn us to God. 

We may as well enjoy the journey, shall we?

The Dilettante

*(If anyone wants to be a little offended by my cutting out non-members, I would add that divorce rates are significantly lowered if your spouse is first, affiliated with a religion, and, second, affiliated with the same religion as you are. Since there's no good way to slap a number on spiritual compatibility, this will have to do. Secondly, More recent estimates of the LDS population are closer to 50%, so let's keep the 60% stat and assume that my spiritually-compatible, non-member men make up the difference.) 
**I swear, I'm not pulling these numbers out of nowhere. If you're really curious, I can give you sources, but in-text citations make me want to cut my eyes out, so...

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Anonymous said...

Yay!!!! A post!!! I'm so happy!!! I may be just as for arranged marriage as you are. I am obsessed with the show "Married at First Sight." I would totally do it! Skip the dating nonsense and jump right into that commitment! haha If you haven't watched it, you should check it out. Also 90 Day Fiance, however, that one actually freaks me out! Why I would want to jump right in rather than have those days I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the expectation that the guy has no debt. Although that is ideal, I don't think it necessarily proves financial sense... I'm very financially minded (no credit card debt, worked every second of my school, and donated plasma), but still couldn't escape without school debt. I didn't come from an area where jobs were plentiful in high school (as to save), I didn't get any scholarships or grants because my parents made "just enough" and there always seemed to be a better candidate, but my parents didn't have enough money to help all of their kids with school. I soon realized how inescapable loans were for me if I wanted to finish my schooling. Now, I'm much more understanding of guys who have debt.

Hello, my anonymous friends!

Anonymous #1: I definitely don't know that I'd be okay with trusting a bunch of scientists with my love life (as much as this post may seem to refute that), but it's intriguing. I like the idea of 90 Day Fiance better, but it would be terribly hard to figure out where to live after that, wouldn't it?

Anonymous #2: I agree with you completely. I tried to look for more ideal statistics, but it's really hard to nail down what makes someone fiscally responsible. You make an important point, though. One I perhaps didn't stress enough. Those who graduate with debt are not automatically bad at handling their money, just as those who graduate without debt aren't necessarily GOOD with money. Thank you for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Is this blog dead? :C

- Late to the Party