I’m leaving UVU at the end of April, and I’m not really sure where I should go after I finish up. I’ve spent 20 years in Utah, and now I’m seriously considering leaving the state. My major is pointing me eastward, and this place is pretty stagnant. I, however, would probably be doing it alone. I don’t really know anyone that lives in other states or anyone that I would trust to take with me. I’m aware people do this all the time, but how should I plan for such a solitary leap out of Utah?
SINCERELY, WANDERLUST IN WASATCH
DEAR WANDERLUST IN WASATCH,
Do me a favor – close your eyes, and imagine what life would be like if you stayed in Utah five or ten years down the line from now, instead of leaving. Imagine staying in the same old place and seeing the same environment over and over again as your friends and peers come and go; as you eventually replace your optimistic view of the future with a trove of mediocre “I remember when..” stories and regrets of not going on any adventures. Imagine being that guy. Now, open your eyes – he was a buzzkill, huh? Listen to me: stay here and you will become that guy.
Unlike going away on a simple vacation, you’re going to be hanging your hat up on an entirely different rack in an entirely different town, and after 20 years it’s going to be a bit overwhelming, especially when you have to make a new network; but regardless, you’ll adjust and appreciate the experience for what it is – an experience. And like I said, it’s not a vacation, but you should still leave a clean house and feed the fish
before you leave, so make sure your departure is done on a good note and your current relationships are still being fostered. That way, you’ll have a familiar face to fall back to in case you become homesick, which I promise you will.
DEAR MR. GERULAT,
As a non-LDS woman living in this valley, my dating life pretty much doesn’t exist. Every time I meet a guy on campus or around town whom I think is attractive and fairly interesting, I usually find out he’s either LDS or in a committed relationship. I have nothing against LDS men. It’s just that they have a certain goal when it comes to dating, and that is something I cannot give him. It’s easier in the long run this way. But by cutting out nearly 75 percent of the dating pool here, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find someone to date. I sometimes go to one of the two bars in Provo with friends but the idea of going alone to meet guys seems kind of skeezy. Where else can I possibly meet non-LDS guys?
SINCERELY, DEIST IN DATING DISTRESS
DEAR DEIST IN DATING DISTRESS,
Birds of the same feather tend to fly in the same flock, but unfortunately for non-LDS folk, the dominant flock here may block out the sky for the rest. It exists out there – you just have to look out for an opening.
To do it effectively, you need to widen your scope. Meeting guys in bars can be an appropriate, if not cliché, tactic, but usually for those who live in a sizable metropolitan city. Don’t get me wrong: local small town dive bars can be fun but usually consist only of grizzled bar flies old enough to be your dad who have vacant profiles on EHarmony.com, and for good reason. Lucky for you, the salty horizons of the north aren’t too far away and have far less of a Mormon populous. Try going up to Salt Lake City on a weekend for a drink or a concert with your friends. Worst case you’ll come out just making a few new friends – friends who might know other friends that may be suitable dating partners who are not priesthood pigeons.
HAVE A QUESTION OF YOUR OWN? EMAIL GREG GERULAT AT ADVICEFROMTHEV@GMAIL.COM