Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Provo Divide

In the town of Provo there is a great divide.

I have spoken of it on many occasions with many friends. In Provo, and especially around Brigham Young University, there are a lot of young, college-aged types who are looking for a good education, maybe some work, and a good time. Rarely, do they get all three. And if they do, they are the lucky ones.

As a college town, you might expect there to be a lot of students. This is true. But BYU is not the only school here. There is UVSC (Soon to be UVU), along with many beauty schools and other schools I've never heard of. So, the pond is stocked full of tons of fish. You might think, "Well that's good. If you have lots of fish, you have a lot more options." True. But everyone thinks that way and it creates a mindset that is detrimental to anyone ever getting anywhere in life (socially speaking). With so many options girls and guys around here tend to be either extremely non-committal, or way too committal. The first mindset happens because the first group sees so many options, they become fickle, picky, stupid, and like playing games and become worthless flakes, and the second mindset happens because once the other group finds someone, they cling to them for dear life out of insecurity of the system regardless if the person is an absolute monstrosity. So if that's all we've got, it leads me to wonder, what about the middle? Are you telling me (or am I telling myself) that people either play the field or get married after 6 weeks? Yes. The middle is nearly non-existent.

And, that middle has the only people with any common sense. This middle believes that you can date someone to get to know them and see if something more is there without thinking of long-term all the time. The middle believes that you should date whoever you want, but that being on two dates together does not make you a couple. The middle dates for the sake of dating. And, learns about people, relationships, and what they want out of life in a normal way. They are the balance. But, where are they? Well they have fallen into the Provo divide. Into the deep chasm that is or was the normal way to interact. I am one of them. I am not super-committal (I'm not looking to get married after a couple days or weeks of knowing someone), and I'm not a flake (I don't get interested in one girl on one day and then totally psych myself out, convince myself she's ugly, stupid or uninterested and move on to my back log of other potentials). So where do I fit here? That's a good question. Perhaps I just need to go back to the real world (like any place outside of Utah).


SarahLee said...

I am goign to quit dating. where does that leave me?

Michael Powers said...

Depending on how long, you could be in a desert oasis, a chasm, or just the desert.

Anonymous said...

I think that there are a lot more in the middle... but I do think that this is a problem in provo. In my married student ward, most people I know dated for about 6-8 months with a 4 month engagement. That is a short courtship compared to the world's standards, but a year is certainly long enough to get to know someone.

Michael Powers said...

It's different for everyone. I think a year is long enough, but I'm not going to say 6 months is too short. However, 3 months is definitely not enough time, and anything under that is dangerous (in most cases).

squirrelyearl said...

I know plenty of people have "rushed" into things too quickly and maybe it's brought some hardship into their lives as far as that marriage thing, but I'd imagine most don't regret it, at least not seriously. I mean things still work out for them. Now the other extreme I'm sure plenty grow to regret. And in the middle, I can imagine a lot of people are fine with where they're at. Basically I'm saying I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with being in any of these categories assuming you don't regret it yourself (and also your significant other, because if they're regretting it that's bad news too) then I think it's just kind of a different strokes for different folks kind of thing. Life is a serious learning experience and it's really hard and not everybody can nor does approach it the same way. And sometimes there are wrong ways of taking on life, but I think more often than not it's just different rather than wrong. Excuse me if my being religious is trite for this forum, but frankly as long as its leading you to God it can't be wrong and I can imagine most of these Provo love fools can say that's going on for them (or at least I hope so).