I have gone through many phases of who I am in my life, but I have never fantasized about marriage and only after my mom died did I go through a period of time in which I thought I wanted a child. Feeling this way has been a social challenge. I find that as a woman I get asked a lot "How is your relationship going?" or "So are guys going to move in together?" or "Are you guys talking about kids yet?". These questions are ok for me if they come from people that I am close with, but the questions coming from people who do not know me deeply drives me fckin nuts because I FEEL that it puts me in an assumed role that a relationship is the most intriguing thing in my world. When truly any relationship I have is rarely even a topic of discussion.
It is assumed that everyone wants the same thing, and often that is what they are told they are supposed to want.
Partnership. Children. A home. A good job. Friends. The ability to have fun.
We watch the people in our lives, see how they are doing it, and go along with the standard. But more and more people are finding themselves unsatisfied with all of the above listed things.
Maybe that is because our approach is wrong?
It is ok to want things, in fact, I do not think it is the wanting of the things that is the problem. It is the prioritization what we think we should want over what we actually do want that leaves us dissatisfied. It is the lack of questioning WHY we want it before we go after it. Because if we do not have a "why" then we do not have a foundation. Let's look at an example of how this internal/external conversation could work...
I want a relationship.
Because I want partnership.
What does partnership mean to you?
It means someone who is going to support me.
What does support mean to you?
It means someone who will financially help me out when I am struggling and someone who will have my back. .
What would you like to bring to the table in a relationship?
Well, I would support someone by being financially responsible and making sure they always knew I was there for them.
Why do you think it is important to bring these qualities to the table?
Because it shows reliability.
So being a reliable person is important to you and being with someone who is also reliable is important?
This conversation can go on and on but now you at least have a foundation for your approach to relationships. And then entering into a relationship is where the idealogy becomes more fluid. Reliability may mean something different to your partner, maybe they feel as though it is always being on time and feeling like you are available to them whenever. This actually makes it easier, because if you understand their needs you can be reliable for them, and if they understand yours, they can be reliable for you. But if we never stop to question why we may want certain jobs, relationships, or living circumstances then we are just "going with the flow".
It should also be said that these things change according to experiences and need to be questioned regularly. The work is never done.