There are 5 stages to my ward optimism. And when I say ward optimism I mean how optimistic I am that I will find some lovin in my ward, if you know what I mean. Over time my view on the dating prospects in my ward change, as depicted in the chart below:
Stage 1 "The honeymoon": Optimism is at an all time high. Plenty of attractive girls to go around. Really with this many cute girls, there is no way I don't connect with at least one lass (which luckily is all one needs this century of the church). Give me enough at-bats and I'll hit a home run. Also prominent at this stage is the "novelty" effect, all the girls are new to me and so they actually seem more cute, plus they still have that new girl smell!
Stage 2 "The its-actually-a-lot-worse-than-I-thought-it-was": Slowly (and by that I mean usually within a few hours) the optimism starts to fade. Why? Because I find out this cute girl has a boyfriend, that cute girl is actually pretty freaking annoying, another cute girl actually has gnarly teeth that I just can't get over, and so on. Soon the whole "Plenty of attractive girls to go around" turns into "there is 1 truly attractive truly single girl left and 20 guys are making a run at her".
Stage 3 "All Is Lost": Things are looking pretty bleak. All the girls I was initially interested in are either taken or no longer interesting. I start to write off the ward and stop trying to find girls in the ward to date.
Stage 4 "On Second Thought": At this point I get a little desperate and start giving some girls a second look. And you know what? Ms.Gnarly teeth's gnarly teeth are starting to grow on me a little bit. The girl I thought was crazy is getting a little endearing now. Boredom and loneliness have an amazing ability to lower standards enough to refill the dating pool! Yay!?
Stage 5 "Screw it, I'm out of here" : All time low. This is where its close to the end of semester/year/whatever and I am leaving the ward/city anyways so I just give up on everything. No hope remains. Its useless to date with only 2 weeks left! I need at least 3 to know if she's The One!
I think I am entering Stage 4 right now, which is actually mildly exciting.