Dear 100 Hour Board,
Does anyone here like going to the singles ward? At age 22 I felt like I aged out so I left and never went back. I am also not very social and felt like the family ward helped me come closer to Christ.
I'm not trying to hate on the singles ward. I know everyone is different and their needs/wants are different. I'm just curious how everyone feels.
-My Name Here
In my experience it depends a lot on the ward, and it also depends on you as a person. For the most part I have really enjoyed all of my singles wards. I think I've enjoyed wards the most when my level of socializing matched with how social the ward is. My preference also depends on what hour of church it is.
There are different things I like about sacrament meeting for both family and singles wards. I prefer singles wards for talks and for hymn singing. However, it's just so weird for me to be in a sacrament meeting without at least 1 child or baby talking. I also really like youth speakers.
I really like singles ward Sunday School. It's great because you get lots of participation, and you don't get some of the old crazy people in Idaho that are racist and sexist.
Elder's Quorum is the part of church where I hands down prefer family ward. I have not every really had meaningful positive experiences in singles ward Elder's Quorum. My last 2 wards would just spend almost every week talking about building unity in the quorum. I get that it's valuable to make friends and support each other, but could we talk about Jesus? In my experience family wards do a lot better job of talking about the gospel, as well as relevant things like how the gospel applies to work and at home.
Anyways, that's just my two cents. Hope this helps!
Tipperary's right that it depends on the ward, but man, I just really dislike singles wards as a general rule. I loved the ward I moved into my sophomore year of college (which I shared with Alta, coincidentally), but that's about it. Since then, it's basically been differing levels of dislike.
For me, I think a big problem is that single's wards really put on the pressure to go to activities. I honestly get so exasperated with all the subtext that to be a good involved member, you basically need to be an extrovert.
To be fair, my view is probably colored by the fact I haven't found anyone with whom I mesh well with in most of my singles wards. Which I know implies something about me, but the end result is that I don't like the wards.
I loved my first singles ward back when I lived in the Bay Area. It's because I had so many friends and cousins from my stake that went. Plus it was a really sociable ward! One of the bishopric counselors did an activity where we all took the official Myers Briggs test and the overwhelming majority of the ward were NFs.
Here at BYU, I really loved my Cinnamon Tree singles ward. I mean, I may or may not have met Carl there... But I would have loved it the same even if I hadn't. I think it really depends on the ward. Some single wards I didn't like and click with at all. I think it depends on the people, honestly.
I hate them. This answer is going to seem incredibly cynical and possibly offensive, but it's honestly how I feel.
I had ONE singles ward (not a BYU ward) that I didn't hate because the bishop was a music professor so Sacrament Meeting always was interesting. Even then, I didn't really like Relief Society, Sunday School, or any of the other activities. Not because the people were bad, but because the culture of a singles ward made me feel icky.
Besides that, I have hated every other one I've been in (3 others), for a lot of reasons:
- RM culture is gross and the guys always seemed to be creepin' because the only thing they could ever think about was getting married. Everything feels like people have ulterior motives for being nice to you. Every interaction feels like a performance.
- The bishops were always pushy about me and Pebble going on missions before we got married. Even after we told them that we weren't interested and it was our decision to make.
- No one seemed like they had anything interesting to say. Everything felt cliche and disingenuous. It's always "On my mission... [insert story that sounds vaguely like another story you heard last week]" (don't get me wrong, I think missions can be great for people and they learn a lot of unique things. But when the experience follows the same rules, it feels manufactured, and when 100+ college students all have an "on my mission" story to tell, it gets bland really really fast.)
- Lessons were boring and everyone only had predictable things to say. No one could think outside of Preach My Gospel so I never felt like I was learning anything or being enriched by attending Sunday School. I like the lessons where we talk about things in a new way instead of missionary-rehearsed ideas.
- Since pretty much everyone else was an RM, I felt left out because people talked about the temple and missions and other such experiences as if it was true for everyone, which it wasn't. I always felt like an outsider in my ward, and nobody ever seemed interested in talking about how we are all different.
- EVERYTHING feels like it's about setting people up, and that's just gross.
Basically, I hate singles wards because they're fake, cliche, tacky, and feigned.
I know some of it is my attitude, and some of it is the fact that I didn't try to get to know people... but also, singles wards are just bad.