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Speed dating for LDS singles - The Salt Lake Tribune
Rochelle Hatch says she and friend Heather Hansen have long wondered why they couldn't find a speed dating scene for LDS singles. So they've decided to start one of their own. The two women held a kickoff event July 8 for Classy Introductions, a new business aiming to hold upscale gatherings to help men and women ages 22 to 55 meet others.
Beginning July 29, participants can meet and greet at cocktail-style gatherings in rotating five-minute intervals. Music and after-mingling will follow. At the end of the night, party-goers will turn in ballots listing their top choices of the opposite sex for the night.
Participants will be contacted within a week with information on matches made where each person expressed an interest in the other.
The two felt sequestered from their Salt Lake City social ties. They aren't big dancers, said Hatch. Both had tried their share of LDS meet-up Web sites that didn't seem to work. Mutual is a dating app exclusively for Mormons. Growing up, Jillian Sewell spent Sundays dreaming of her perfect spouse.
When she enrolled in Brigham Young University, Mormonism's flagship school, Sewell expected to get married right away. When I didn't, I thought I wasn't good enough. Upon returning from her Mormon mission in New Hampshire, Sewell felt unable to break into the "competitive" dating pool at BYU, where appearance is paramount.
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After a semester, Sewell returned home to Arizona, where she prayed for help finding a husband. I feel like Heavenly Father, he has so many resources -- and Mutual is one of them. Sewell met her husband on the app soon after joining and the two were happily married this year.
Mormons today face longer tenures in singledom and a skewed gender ratio. There are Mormon women for every Mormon men, according to one study , creating a statistical dilemma that complicates church leadership's bold project to ensure all youth attain a temple marriage. In late July, local church leader Wayne Janzen held a conversation with women in a Washington, DC singles ward, asking them to air their dating grievances. He validated their frustration with what one woman said was a "lack of options.
LDS Mingle Dating - Salt Lake City
Though you'll rarely hear about it from a pulpit, Mormon leaders are concerned with the continuity of their religion. Their solution was to continue investing in singles wards, creating stronger nuclei for Mormon singles to congregate outside of Utah. They even created a church building in Arlington, Virginia exclusively for singles, a first for the faith.
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Today, the singles community in the DC metro area comprises its own "stake," the Mormon term for a group of congregations, similar to a diocese. It has grown to roughly 5, members. Janzen is the stake president of this singles community. In his meeting with single women this summer, he said leadership became especially concerned by unmarried Mormons about a decade ago. Janzen said Mormon singles know they should be seeking a spouse, and professed faith that all who seek shall find. But he didn't say how. At the end of the conversation, he implored the women.
The founder of Mutual says that while some people are just on the app to date, he considers marriage to be the "ultimate success. For most of his life, Brown, the lawyer, felt he had three dating options. Ranked in order of preference, they were: While the LDS church does not encourage loveless marriages, they present marriage as a choice between a church-sanctioned marriage or no marriage at all -- an attempt to dissuade singles from looking outside the faith for companionship. Mormon doctrine is clear that temple marriage is essential to enter the highest echelons of heaven, and leadership never encourages interfaith dating or marriage.
That messaging made an impact on Brown, who said he did not consider dating a non-Mormon until he was nearly 30, when he was at a low point in his life and was tempted to try secular dating apps. Brown's realization is a radical idea within Mormonism -- one only found on the fringes of the faith. Some Mormons who flirt with dating non-members live in areas with scant Mormon populations or feel they have exhausted their options at church. For many, Mutual brought them back to the Mormon dating fold, providing an incentive to seek a temple marriage that rhetoric alone could not.
A recent convert to the church, Elle Bretherton said she faced loneliness as she adapted to a new life as a Mormon at Pepperdine.
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Far from the nearest singles ward, Bretherton did something discouraged by leadership: She, like Brown, dated non-Mormons. It just wasn't going to work.
After a particularly bad experience, Elle was drawn to download Mutual, which she had heard about through a friend. Within weeks, she had met her future husband.
Like Bretherton, Brown faced the prospect of decreased observance as he ventured outside Mormonism to date. He says he attended church less while dating his non-Mormon girlfriend. They eventually broke up, and he was left with a sense of foreboding about the prospect of being forced out of young single adult wards when he turned 30, after which he would be expected to attend a "mid-singles ward" for Mormons ages 30 and up. These wards are regarded as a dreaded marital purgatory. Brown is determined to avoid this fate. He once skipped a flight home to extend a fruitless weekend scouting singles, buying a ticket on a last minute red-eye to visit a Mormon ex-girlfriend.
Catching wind of his arrival, Brown said that his ex's previous boyfriend, who held a local church leadership position, came over to her house to disrupt their date.