I am a single 25 year old male who has served a mission and is a current temple recommend holder. I’ve been worried and been having anxiety lately when it comes to the world of dating. It’s a very tough world to be in. I am not as handsome as other men (physically) and plus I struggle with a lot of fear issues which prevents me from trying any further. I want to get married but what if I didn’t get married, do I get to be exalted still? Can you cite a scripture that supports that?
I can feel your worry and anxiety about finding your eternal companion, and I want to try to put your mind and heart at ease about it. But first, I want to answer your question. In the October 2008 General Conference, then-Elder Russell M. Nelson, in a talk called Celestial Marriage, said,
[W]hat of the many mature members of the Church who are not married? Through no failing of their own, they deal with the trials of life alone. Be we all reminded that, in the Lord’s own way and time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.
His footnotes in the talk refer us to a statement by Joseph Fielding Smith (“The Lord will judge you according to the desires of your hearts when blessing are withheld in this life, and He is not going to condemn you for that which you cannot help.”) and to Alma 41:3 and D & C 137:9 (which indicate that in addition to being judged according to our works, we are judged according to the desires of our hearts). Refer also to The Living Christ, paragraph 12 (“Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts”). Basically, if your righteous desire to be sealed for time and all eternity to your eternal companion goes unfulfilled in this life, you will be judged according to that desire and you will not be deprived of any blessings.
Now, to help put your mind further at ease by offering some advice. RJ, you are only 25! Your life is far from over and your situation is far from hopeless!
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, offering some words to young men in the October 2012 General Conference said,
Yes, brethren, we have work to do. Thank you for the sacrifices you make and the good you do. Keep going, and the Lord will help you. At times you may not know quite what to do or what to say—just move forward. Begin to act, and the Lord assures that ‘an effectual door shall be opened for [you]’ (D&C 118:3). Begin to speak, and He promises, ‘You shall not be confounded before men; for it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say’ (D&C 100:5–6). It is true that we are in many ways ordinary and imperfect, but we have a perfect Master who wrought a perfect Atonement, and we have call upon His grace and His priesthood.
Marlin K. Jensen said in the July 1999 issue of the Liahona,
Friendship is also a vital and wonderful part of courtship and marriage. A relationship between a man and a woman that begins with friendship and then ripens into romance and eventually marriage will usually become an enduring, eternal friendship. Nothing is more inspiring in today’s world of easily dissolved marriages than to observe a husband and wife quietly appreciating and enjoying each other’s friendship year in and year out as they experience together the blessings and trials of mortality.
And M. Russell Ballard said in April 2015,
[D]on’t forget that classes and activities offered at your local institute or through your young single adult ward or stake will also be a place where you can be with other young men and young women and lift and inspire one another as you learn and grow spiritually and socialize together.
The essence of these quotes is that you need to get out and grow friendships. Meet people and get to know them. Social anxiety can be a real thing and hard to overcome. Pray in faith for the courage to approach girls and get to know them and then put your faith into action! Try to keep in mind that other people (even those to whom it seems to come naturally) get nervous about meeting new people—your self consciousness is shared by others. Try to think about the fact that the worst thing that can happen in meeting new people is not death or dismemberment, but simply not hitting it off. So what? There are more women out there! Remember what Wayne Gretzky said: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You can do this!