As a whole, I love this article. Beautifully written, eloquent, candid. Awesome writing style! It flows incredibly well — love the clarity.
You talk about the cookie-cutter lifestyle, which is comprised of a relationship that leads to marriage, family, and a home. Evidently, you have no interest in such a lifestyle — nothing wrong with nonconformity, more power to you! However, you mention love as validation. In fact, you argue against it.
Fun fact: Love is not validation that you’re “doing it right.” Love is a double opt-in between two people who mutually believe their lives are better together than apart, and between two people who believe their lives will improve together at a greater rate than if they remained apart.”
Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. You seem to have a solid understanding of relationships as a healthy addition to an otherwise happy life. Two people who complement each other and share a mutual belief that they are genuinely better together than apart.
For many people, a marriage and a family complement them in precisely that way. What I mean is that, not everyone who pursues — or eventually achieves — marriage with a house, white picket fence, two children and a dog is doing it for validation. In fact, I seek no self-validation from my relationship, but the prospect of marriage with my partner (not the idea of marriage in general) represents a wonderful opportunity to join two lives that truly make each other better.
A house is a financial investment which will eventually become an asset, as opposed to renting.
Children, like romantic relationships, offer positive value to many people’s lives.
Although maybe some people pursue the storybook lifestyle for its validation and social acceptance, that is not always the case. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s best not to assume you know someone else’s motives. What’s important is that everyone pursue what truly gives them fulfillment. Freedom? Marriage? Children? Living in an RV? Great! As long as you’re not harming anyone else.