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The Modern Dilemma! Opinions on Modern Dating, Love, Life and Career!


mylolita
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52 minutes ago, mylolita said:

I was just out last night with friends for drinks and the couple (woman 27 man 34) were just moving into a rented cottage together after a 3 year relationship. There is talk of kids and marriage and owning a home (all that typical traditional stuff) but it’s definitely not on the immediate radar. They want to travel all over first, get their business ideas out there. It’s all about them and their aspirations outside of that traditional orb, which is so millennial, it really is. It was always a massive luxury to travel around the world for half a year; a year. Now every late 20 to early 30 something I come across sees it as a rite of passage before they “finally settle”. I don’t know where they get the money for it to start with but the idea you would put roots down and start a family before all that seems crazy and totally flat out boring to them!


I once had a friend who, at the time, we were 26. He said, “If all there is to life is a mortgage, marriage and kids, shoot me now.”

 

I feel like all these people a similar age around me are looking for different things now. Maybe this is also transpiring to the dating world? People don’t want the serious. They want the Instagram travel account with their boyfriend or girlfriend and to jump from place to place and try a different city every year and jump jobs. Kids are seen as expensive balls and chains, as if life ends once you go down that path. Your youth kinda does end, actually, I always tell them they’re right about that. You have to stop being the kid.

It's the generation I believe. I am definitely like this. Aside from work, I like being a kid, what is wrong with that lol? I know what you mean btw, I guess 1)it's not for everyone 2) generational thing. 

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16 minutes ago, dias said:

It's the generation I believe. I am definitely like this. Aside from work, I like being a kid, what is wrong with that lol? I know what you mean btw, I guess 1)it's not for everyone 2) generational thing. 

Ha! Dias this is the thing - of course, personally, they can live their life exactly how they want of course. Collectively, if every single 30 something does this well, I suppose, it does change the course of society. Population decline for a big start, all over the western world. 
 

I mean, it’s interesting to look in on it from the “outside” because, as much as I like hanging out with my sister or old friends from college, it gives me this kind of strange vicarious youth thrill - as if I am just by being around them, going back in time. Their whole lives have stayed very much the same for 4 years and my 4 years has looked massively different - bought a house, sold it, bought another one, renovated them in a big way. Was already married, had 3 kids, lost everything financially, got it back, had two deaths in the family. Most of them still live with their parents and flit from job to job.

 

I really relate though, I do. I have that flighty uncommitted mental millennial mind set as well, just as much as my sister or my friends. We just act it out in a different way! 
 

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2 hours ago, mylolita said:

and promotion of the old school nuclear family. I kinda want that to be cool again. We are all such individualists doing individual things all structure altogether seems to have been thrown out which, I don’t know, is that such a great thing? I am all for the options and no stigma - for example, if you want to be an unmarried woman with no children, that is absolutely fine, modern western society isn’t going to condemn you like it’s 1945. I think that’s great. I would like to see the “eternally living in my teenage 20s me me me” culture take a dampener though. There is a lot to be said for taking on responsibility, and I think responsibility is something that bl***y terrifies my generation! 

Why is it either or? Is it individualist when a person chooses to be single and take care of elderly parents, or relatives or a sibling? Or to adopt a child on his or her own? How in the world is that me me me? Just because the person isn't married in a nuclear family? Some people -including parents and married people -are flighty and uncommitted -I see examples of that regularly -they may talk the talk but they are not reliable partners or parents despite having the nuclear family "status".

I have an acquaintance who had a child on her own 7 years ago.  She is now in her 40s.  She works full time in a professional career- more than.  Her mom lives nearby and she also helps out her mom and her mom helps her.  She takes care of their cat, too.  She doesn't get to be me me me despite being single and unmarried and not having a nuclear family.  

I have another friend who I volunteered with for 7 years (ended about 15 years ago).  We keep in touch on FB.  40s, single, never married.  She spent a few years in a third world country working with children there, now lives in a small town in the midwest where she does so much for the community-mostly for the children - and recently for ran a home for foster kids from what I can tell . How is that me me me?

 I don't think I'm nitpicking -I am simply disagreeing with the either/or opinion and while I absolutely wanted a nuclear family before I had that I wasn't me me me despite being single and unmarried and that's not why I waited - I would have been thrilled to find the right person 20 years earlier.  There are so many ways to contribute to the world other than procreating or adopting children and so many reasons not to be married or partnered other than for selfish/individualist reasons.

My life did not stay the same in my 20s and 30s - In my 20s I started a professional career, then in my mid 20s switched to a different one and went to grad school to launch that career.  While in grad school I got involved in volunteer work related to my new field. 

After grad school I went from living with my parents to living on my own and have always lived independent of my parents since (never came back I mean).  I had long term relationships which were life changing.  In my 20s and 30s I was an involved Aunt and had my nieces over for sleepovers and day trips. In my 30s I took on an additional weekly volunteer activity.  I got involved with numerous cultural activities and organizations. I built up my career and amassed a financial nest egg. 

Meanwhile my friends who took the marriage/kids path -to me their lives changed but also stayed the same.  Becoming a married parent is huge -I can attest to that -but to me from the outside it was also far more routine than my life -weekends of kids-activities, lots of talk of house buying/house renovations/in law issues.  I mean I wanted all that so I had a positive attitude but I'm not seeing this "stayed the same" just because a person is single and the other person has married and purchased/renovated homes and had kids.  

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2 hours ago, mylolita said:

Have you ever felt any judgement, stigma - anything like that, for not marrying or having children?

 

Some women tell me they feel pressure, get asked a lot, etc!

Yes and no. I think it's a lot less now than it was 20 years ago, or 40 years ago. The most I get these days (and it's rare) is exactly as you've written here--the pointed question that implies my choice doesn't fit with the norm. That it might stand out and be questionable. That people might judge me for it.

There is pressure for a woman to reproduce. I've said this before: Growing up, I always assumed I wanted to be married and have children because that's what I was told, and that's what everyone around me did--teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, fictional characters on TV, in movies, in books, etc. Nobody really questions it. I didn't even question it. I just didn't do it. And when I got together with my boyfriend I finally recognized that I didn't want to do it. 

I was talking to someone yesterday about buying a house. I told her the towns where I'm interested in buying, and she said, "Town X has a great school systems." I said, "Well, I'm not having kids, so I have more flexibility in that area." She said, "Well, you never know."

"Well, you never know" is a good description of the situation that I sometimes find myself in. It's like there's no room in people's brains for the concept. I think they short circuit. Does Not Compute. She doesn't want kids? She can't possibly mean that. Poor thing. She's confused. She feels hopeless. Maybe she can't find a husband. Maybe her husband won't give her a child. Maybe she's having trouble getting pregnant. I'll say something to cheer her up: "Well, you never know!"

No lady, I do know 😅

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1 hour ago, dias said:

It's the generation I believe. I am definitely like this. Aside from work, I like being a kid, what is wrong with that lol? I know what you mean btw, I guess 1)it's not for everyone 2) generational thing. 

I think there is zero wrong with this. We have friends like that -not millennials -in their 50s. One now is a main caregiver for his aging/ill father because he lives on his own and closer than his married with kids sibling - but before that he would date some but mostly liked his band, hanging out in the city (always had a full time good corporate job -always financially independent and stable).  I remember once when he was in his 30s I tried to set him up with my friend's really pretty, smart, hard working sister.  He was supposed to call her and he did -a year later.  By then she'd met her future husband.  My husband thought it was ok "at least he called" and I thought it was rude to presume that that was ok.  I was glad she was no longer available.  Last time I ever tried to set him up with anyone . 

From my conversations with him it is obvious he doesn't want the responsibility of kids -he works hard and plays hard (no, he doesn't drink or do drugs) - he likes to be a free agent who can travel and take vacations without checking in with anyone.  He was always very handsome, too.  

I have another male friend in his 50s -never married -we dated in 2005 - he says he wants to marry and after many many years had a very serious almost one year relationship recently -looked like could be forever -but she ended things.  Now he's wary of getting involved unless the person lives close by (she was 2 hour drive).  He's handsome, smart, successful, organizes an athletic activity and cares for his aging mom - but..... it's a bit of a mystery why he's single.  And not my business. 

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1 minute ago, Jibralta said:

I was talking to someone yesterday about buying a house. I told her the towns where I'm interested in buying, and she said, "Town X has a great school systems." I said, "Well, I'm not having kids, so I have more flexibility in that area." She said, "Well, you never know."

"Well, you never know" is a good description of the situation that I find myself. It's like there's no room in people's brains for the concept. I think they short circuit. She doesn't want kids? Does not compute. She can't possibly mean that. Poor thing. She's confused. She feels hopeless. Maybe she can't find a husband. Maybe her husband won't giver her a child. Maybe she's having trouble getting pregnant. I'll say something to cheer her up: "Well, you never know!"

No lady, I do know 😅

Oh I so feel this sort of comment. I hate Smug Married comments.  And I am delighted you are strong and firm in your values and beliefs.  I admire you for that and admire all you have built for yourself -especially professionally because I like your spunk and your belief in yourself that you've written about when it comes to your career, and your worth as a professional.  

I have heard though -is this true- it's good for house values to buy where the schools are good even if you don't have kids/empty nester.  Maybe I heard wrong.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

I have heard though -is this true- it's good for house values to buy where the schools are good even if you don't have kids/empty nester.  Maybe I heard wrong.

Yeah, I think it is true. And it's definitely good to consider. But it isn't a total dealbreaker for me.

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2 hours ago, mylolita said:

I didn’t know CPR at all Batya! 
 

The 999 operator on the phone talked me through it and the ambulance didn’t arrive for 35 minutes so it was rough. The consultant said I saved his life. I had to do it every second counted.

That is truly amazing.  You are his hero.  I remember doing a college internship and one of my fellow interns referred to "college women" - never heard of myself referred to as a woman lol.  But from then on I avoided referring to myself as a "girl" in any academic or professional setting.

I personally would feel insecure and scared if I wasn't educated, with marketable skills to make a good living and financially independent on my own whether married or not, as an adult.  If I had to go back to full time right now I could and between that and my savings would be financially secure to be the main breadwinner in my family or the only one (meaning if some tragedy occurred).  For me again, personally -not judging! - that feeling and reality means the world to me.

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Unfortunately there's a trend for people in their late 20s/early 30s to still live or move back home. These people don't have the privacy or finances to date, and complain a lot about "housing costs",  "working on my degree", etc. There's also a trend for people to play video games all day or overdose on social media all day. 

Unfortunately by the time people are in their 30s they may feel pressured to find a relationship so start feeling uneasy about the whole thing.

Especially with the trashcan apps that simply focus on swiping. Sort of like swim by sperm delivery in fish. They don't even have to interact much to get straight to the reproduction process.

Add to this the plethora of youtube dating coaches who make it sound easy if you employ a few simple tricks. Right. Like a video that shows you how to repair a tire with duct tape.

It's not easy finding the right mate. Even for animals. So in the overcomplicated world of human relationships, it's amazing anyone finds anybody anymore. 

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53 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

 

"Well, you never know" is a good description of the situation that I sometimes find myself in. It's like there's no room in people's brains for the concept. I think they short circuit. Does Not Compute. She doesn't want kids? She can't possibly mean that. Poor thing. She's confused. She feels hopeless. Maybe she can't find a husband. Maybe her husband won't give her a child. Maybe she's having trouble getting pregnant. I'll say something to cheer her up: "Well, you never know!"

No lady, I do know 😅

This is exactly what people think. Spot on!!

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6 minutes ago, dias said:

This is exactly what people think. Spot on!!

When I was in my early 40s and trying to get pregnant with my then boyfriend/future husband one of my married friends with three kids in the burbs got back in touch - we'd been close for years but had lost touch in the last few years-she knew I was in an LTR, didn't know we were trying to conceive -anyway she asked me how the "wild crazy single life" was going.  Her assumption since I lived in a big city on my own.  I replied that I was incredibly busy at work, as was my boyfriend, and that we were trying to get pregnant and planning on looking into fertility treatments if it didn't work given our ages.  Yup  Wild and crazy for sure.  

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3 hours ago, Batya33 said:

That is truly amazing.  You are his hero.  I remember doing a college internship and one of my fellow interns referred to "college women" - never heard of myself referred to as a woman lol.  But from then on I avoided referring to myself as a "girl" in any academic or professional setting.

I personally would feel insecure and scared if I wasn't educated, with marketable skills to make a good living and financially independent on my own whether married or not, as an adult.  If I had to go back to full time right now I could and between that and my savings would be financially secure to be the main breadwinner in my family or the only one (meaning if some tragedy occurred).  For me again, personally -not judging! - that feeling and reality means the world to me.

I do understand why women might feel like that, especially with kids.

 

I’m in a bit of a strange financial situation because, we have valuable art and other collections which I would auction off, we are nearly due to pay off our mortgage or maybe buy another property (just small to rent out if things keep going well business wise). If my husband died I would sell his business, we had it valued. I’d be more than okay. If he left me he’d pay child support and I’d stay in our family home. I’m as close to “financially secure for the near and kind of far” future as you can be. I have a luxury lifestyle I wouldn’t try to maintain if my husband wasn’t here.

 

I guess, what would I do? I’d probably take my real estate qualifications and go into house sales. I’m a bit like my husband, not as naturally talented as him but I can sell things, and being decent at sales is no small thing, it can be very profitable. I don’t think too much most days about security like that though - I am, probably, a risk taking fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal so, I am taking the “risk” to stay home and not have a career. I’m risking it to be a full time Mum for as long as I can, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. 
 

We have, large life insurance. We still need to make a will. Things are kind of as covered as you can without going over the top. I’d just sell off our assets, instead of, in the past, selling off my assets (which, worked out well then HA!)

 

I could do a degree or night school at the moment, nothing is stopping me. I just don’t want too. I feel as secure and provided for as I can, above and beyond. There is a big element of risk in our lives that I think the average sane person probably has their toes curled up by, my Dad included. My husband takes big business risks, he is, naturally, a risk taker. I guess I’m a little like that too as well, I never thought I was but just having this convo makes me think actually, I’m definitely not a planner and I just feel like I could handle and adapt to whatever life throws at me so, while the good is good, I’m going to sit back and enjoy it - because I realise hard times will come. They always do. We are all going to die. So, I just try to savour everything at the moment. Enjoy the kids, enjoy my free time - live life on my own terms, do what makes me happy - is I understand, a huge luxury and privilege I am very grateful for.

 

If something went terribly wrong tomorrow I’ll have to have my cry brush myself off  and get on with it and use the resources I already have. 

 

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I'm getting older and I'm not upset about it.  Why on earth would I be?  There isn't a darn thing I can do about it.  It's like getting upset that the sun rises or because water is wet.

I prefer to enjoy aging.  Sure, my body doesn't work the way it used to.  But I've been sick for so many years (since my early 20s). My joints ache a lot more than they used to (that whole sports thing where injuries aren't important when you're young but you'll feel them when you're older is so true!), but I'm used to not being super healthy anyway.

I don't have anyone to worry about but myself.  I can go where I want and do what I want.  Why would that be upsetting?  I just joke and laugh about my gray hair and my little old lady driving style and wearing old lady warmup suits.

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6 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I'm getting older and I'm not upset about it.  Why on earth would I be?  There isn't a darn thing I can do about it.  It's like getting upset that the sun rises or because water is wet.

I prefer to enjoy aging.  Sure, my body doesn't work the way it used to.  But I've been sick for so many years (since my early 20s). My joints ache a lot more than they used to (that whole sports thing where injuries aren't important when you're young but you'll feel them when you're older is so true!), but I'm used to not being super healthy anyway.

I don't have anyone to worry about but myself.  I can go where I want and do what I want.  Why would that be upsetting?  I just joke and laugh about my gray hair and my little old lady driving style and wearing old lady warmup suits.

I admire admire admire your humour and optimism regarding this Bolt!!!

 

Hopefully I can get to the same place as you soon! 
 

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

I do understand why women might feel like that, especially with kids.

 

I’m in a bit of a strange financial situation because, we have valuable art and other collections which I would auction off, we are nearly due to pay off our mortgage or maybe buy another property (just small to rent out if things keep going well business wise). If my husband died I would sell his business, we had it valued. I’d be more than okay. If he left me he’d pay child support and I’d stay in our family home. I’m as close to “financially secure for the near and kind of far” future as you can be. I have a luxury lifestyle I wouldn’t try to maintain if my husband wasn’t here.

 

I guess, what would I do? I’d probably take my real estate qualifications and go into house sales. I’m a bit like my husband, not as naturally talented as him but I can sell things, and being decent at sales is no small thing, it can be very profitable. I don’t think too much most days about security like that though - I am, probably, a risk taking fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal so, I am taking the “risk” to stay home and not have a career. I’m risking it to be a full time Mum for as long as I can, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. 
 

We have, large life insurance. We still need to make a will. Things are kind of as covered as you can without going over the top. I’d just sell off our assets, instead of, in the past, selling off my assets (which, worked out well then HA!)

 

I could do a degree or night school at the moment, nothing is stopping me. I just don’t want too. I feel as secure and provided for as I can, above and beyond. There is a big element of risk in our lives that I think the average sane person probably has their toes curled up by, my Dad included. My husband takes big business risks, he is, naturally, a risk taker. I guess I’m a little like that too as well, I never thought I was but just having this convo makes me think actually, I’m definitely not a planner and I just feel like I could handle and adapt to whatever life throws at me so, while the good is good, I’m going to sit back and enjoy it - because I realise hard times will come. They always do. We are all going to die. So, I just try to savour everything at the moment. Enjoy the kids, enjoy my free time - live life on my own terms, do what makes me happy - is I understand, a huge luxury and privilege I am very grateful for.

 

If something went terribly wrong tomorrow I’ll have to have my cry brush myself off  and get on with it and use the resources I already have. 

 

x

Exactly why I wrote "me personally" - by the age of 12 at the latest I knew college and a career were musts for me and by the age of 15 I knew ultimately my dream career- meaning I knew I might not choose that at first because it required grad school but it was my dream.  That summer I had an internship and was mentored and experienced more than my 15 minutes of fame because of it, all related to my future career. My co-intern that summer who was 16 went on to be really successful in a very similar field.  

I knew I would never feel fulfilled or ambitious unless I went to college at least and had a career.  From the age of 12 at the latest I knew I wanted to get married and have children.  Just as much as a career. 

I never wanted to be an entrepreneur, still don't.  Had a couple of opportunities.  No thanks.   

You feel financially secure for other reasons.  That's why I wrote personally -it's such a personal thing.  I also have financial security and more than through my marriage and his assets.  That feels good.  But what's essential to me is my financial independence, my ability to make a good/great living in my industry that I worked hard to be part of and succeed in and that's all mine, not anyone else's.  It's a very subjective and personal thing. 

Possibly also colored by being an outsider to those women who did not have that, got divorced and paid dearly in legal fees and stress and aggravation to fight for what they were entitled to.  I am not worried about divorce at all - it's just what I need to feel good about my situation and to feel like my own person and independent while I enjoy the heck out of being married and having a family -won the lottery for sure. 

My point is that they relied on their partner for financial security and lacked marketable skills to be the sole provider if needed and lacked past experience working full time.  For me that wouldn't work.  At all. 

I totally respect that it works for others. I know you said you'd likely pursue a real estate career and/or be able to sustain via your marital property.  I respect that!

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5 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Why is it either or? Is it individualist when a person chooses to be single and take care of elderly parents, or relatives or a sibling? Or to adopt a child on his or her own? How in the world is that me me me? Just because the person isn't married in a nuclear family? Some people -including parents and married people -are flighty and uncommitted -I see examples of that regularly -they may talk the talk but they are not reliable partners or parents despite having the nuclear family "status".

I have an acquaintance who had a child on her own 7 years ago.  She is now in her 40s.  She works full time in a professional career- more than.  Her mom lives nearby and she also helps out her mom and her mom helps her.  She takes care of their cat, too.  She doesn't get to be me me me despite being single and unmarried and not having a nuclear family.  

I have another friend who I volunteered with for 7 years (ended about 15 years ago).  We keep in touch on FB.  40s, single, never married.  She spent a few years in a third world country working with children there, now lives in a small town in the midwest where she does so much for the community-mostly for the children - and recently for ran a home for foster kids from what I can tell . How is that me me me?

 I don't think I'm nitpicking -I am simply disagreeing with the either/or opinion and while I absolutely wanted a nuclear family before I had that I wasn't me me me despite being single and unmarried and that's not why I waited - I would have been thrilled to find the right person 20 years earlier.  There are so many ways to contribute to the world other than procreating or adopting children and so many reasons not to be married or partnered other than for selfish/individualist reasons.

My life did not stay the same in my 20s and 30s - In my 20s I started a professional career, then in my mid 20s switched to a different one and went to grad school to launch that career.  While in grad school I got involved in volunteer work related to my new field. 

After grad school I went from living with my parents to living on my own and have always lived independent of my parents since (never came back I mean).  I had long term relationships which were life changing.  In my 20s and 30s I was an involved Aunt and had my nieces over for sleepovers and day trips. In my 30s I took on an additional weekly volunteer activity.  I got involved with numerous cultural activities and organizations. I built up my career and amassed a financial nest egg. 

Meanwhile my friends who took the marriage/kids path -to me their lives changed but also stayed the same.  Becoming a married parent is huge -I can attest to that -but to me from the outside it was also far more routine than my life -weekends of kids-activities, lots of talk of house buying/house renovations/in law issues.  I mean I wanted all that so I had a positive attitude but I'm not seeing this "stayed the same" just because a person is single and the other person has married and purchased/renovated homes and had kids.  

What I was meaning, or trying to convey is - in the past, the nuclear family was promoted and upheld as an ideal. Think back to the 50s, or if you speak to Grandparents. That meant, marriage, man going off to work, the wife waving him off and raising the children. That was seen as a respectable aspirational thing. The white picket fence, so to speak. People still had other obligations - sick parents, many other things but, this promotion and idealisation of the idea of marriage, children, picket fence was there, was aspirational. 

I am not saying I definitely want that for the world, pushed and promoted (although, I actually don't think it's a bad thing at all) - but - where we have become more secular, where we have become so much more varied - the cookie cutter is no longer in use, it's up on the shelf. Now anything goes. Egg donors, gay couples adopting 3 kids, women getting married then re-married, men getting married then re-married. People never having children, a lot of them actually, unprecedented numbers - and saying, I want to focus on travel, career - my pets maybe, my hobbies. This is a big cultural shift in the Western World and we can't say it hasn't happened, because we are no longer living in the 50s. That ideal is gone. 

Now that "past ideal" is scoffed at and we are told it is backwards and wrong, just like religion is backwards and wrong. Now, I'm not religious at all, but I do think there was something to be said about everyone meeting up and singing together in church on a Sunday. Something community driven that in modern life, we do lack. And now absolutely anything goes, don't we feel a bit - directionless? Or is it just me? We almost have... too much choice? It's like, we can go be a doctor then have our babies then get re-married and then have open hook ups and it's all cool. No ones gonna say anything, just pat you on the back and tell you - you do you! You can have it all! Travel, pets, family, boyfriend, sexual adventures, careers, degrees. Everything is feeling a bit lost sometimes. Younger people seem to be blowing around like leaves in the wind - no direction.

Honestly, I am not totally pessimistic here, I am just making a general observation of todays cultural climate and, within my generation. 

Until very recently, throughout the whole of human history, at least 100,000 years, a woman's goal was to be a mother, and a mans role was to father children and protect and provide for his family. This has been flipped on its head big time and just like we can't quite adapt our brains to the ever advancing speed of technology, I feel the same way about our cultural switch ups over the last 50 years. The difference for example in what is expected from me, to what was expected of my Grandma, is vast. Her fate was marriage and lots of children, it was very simple. What was my fate at 14? I was faced with a career advisor and reality tv and media telling me so many different things. No one ever told me you could still be a mother, still aspire to be a housewife, and do that alone and as a singular thing. At school I was told you have to get a degree, like everyones lives depended on it, as if, how would you manage, how on earth would you ever survive or thrive, unless you took those three years or so, got your interview in and started up somewhere. The man came second, the kids, third, fourth - way down the line. I was told I was a fool to do the kids and the man first. One of my teachers broke into tears when I told her I wouldn't be going onto further study and I was just gonna "pick up a retail job and go move out and live with my boyfriend".

I always find it a curious observation, I am not saying either way but, it's definitely something I have noticed with regards to myself (I don't know if other women have had similar experience or not), but always women say to me, kind of, mortified - well, you have NO degree?! How will you survive if he leaves you?! How will you feed your children?! 

I always find it extremely curious that no one has ever said that to my husband, who has absolutely zero education (I have, far more than him, he never even finished school). No one says to him well, what will you do if your business fails?! How ever will you cope without a degree?! How will you look after yourself or your children?! 

No man has ever said that to me. It's very curious. It's only women. Do we, collectively, as women, feel very vulnerable? Something men don't have pressed onto them? Everyone, my husband including, just presumes he'd get on with it. I've ever asked him: what if I passed away? His response was, "I'd deal with it. We'd be okay, don't worry." 

What happens if my response is the same? I'd just deal with it. I'd work out a way? Why is that not acceptable coming from me, but acceptable coming from him? Why do I need all this extra backup but he doesn't? 

I realise the difference between him and I is not only education, but that he went onto build his own successful business and has been running it for 20 years. I never did that. 

Everything I have ever wanted to do in life never required a degree. Being a mother, being a wife, and maybe a dream of mine, writing a book. All, if overly educated in any of those areas, I think, only add damage. It's an instinctive thing.

I just find it an observation that sticks out too me - women say this to me all the time, openly, without thinking it's rude, that because I don't have a degree in fine art or English literature or marketing like them, that if he goes off and starts up an affair or if he dies, I am instantly wiped and ruined. I don't know, maybe other women see something I don't see? 

We have been together 15 years. I am a risk taker, and my bet is, on my husband. I think me and him are one sure thing. Maybe people say, you idiot! You idiot in love! Ironically, if I divorced him, it would terribly be the most advantageous financial move I ever made! If he sadly passed away, I will pick up the pieces best I can and do the best I can - what more can anyone do? 

If I squirrel away at a night school for the next couple of years, I really don't know whether that will take the sting, the pain, or the worry away from if the most horrible thing happened.

I'd just have to count on myself and the arsenal I have within me.

x

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

What I was meaning, or trying to convey is - in the past, the nuclear family was promoted and upheld as an ideal. Think back to the 50s, or if you speak to Grandparents. That meant, marriage, man going off to work, the wife waving him off and raising the children. That was seen as a respectable aspirational thing. The white picket fence, so to speak. People still had other obligations - sick parents, many other things but, this promotion and idealisation of the idea of marriage, children, picket fence was there, was aspirational. 

I am not saying I definitely want that for the world, pushed and promoted (although, I actually don't think it's a bad thing at all) - but - where we have become more secular, where we have become so much more varied - the cookie cutter is no longer in use, it's up on the shelf. Now anything goes. Egg donors, gay couples adopting 3 kids, women getting married then re-married, men getting married then re-married. People never having children, a lot of them actually, unprecedented numbers - and saying, I want to focus on travel, career - my pets maybe, my hobbies. This is a big cultural shift in the Western World and we can't say it hasn't happened, because we are no longer living in the 50s. That ideal is gone. 

Now that "past ideal" is scoffed at and we are told it is backwards and wrong, just like religion is backwards and wrong. Now, I'm not religious at all, but I do think there was something to be said about everyone meeting up and singing together in church on a Sunday. Something community driven that in modern life, we do lack. And now absolutely anything goes, don't we feel a bit - directionless? Or is it just me? We almost have... too much choice? It's like, we can go be a doctor then have our babies then get re-married and then have open hook ups and it's all cool. No ones gonna say anything, just pat you on the back and tell you - you do you! You can have it all! Travel, pets, family, boyfriend, sexual adventures, careers, degrees. Everything is feeling a bit lost sometimes. Younger people seem to be blowing around like leaves in the wind - no direction.

Honestly, I am not totally pessimistic here, I am just making a general observation of todays cultural climate and, within my generation. 

Until very recently, throughout the whole of human history, at least 100,000 years, a woman's goal was to be a mother, and a mans role was to father children and protect and provide for his family. This has been flipped on its head big time and just like we can't quite adapt our brains to the ever advancing speed of technology, I feel the same way about our cultural switch ups over the last 50 years. The difference for example in what is expected from me, to what was expected of my Grandma, is vast. Her fate was marriage and lots of children, it was very simple. What was my fate at 14? I was faced with a career advisor and reality tv and media telling me so many different things. No one ever told me you could still be a mother, still aspire to be a housewife, and do that alone and as a singular thing. At school I was told you have to get a degree, like everyones lives depended on it, as if, how would you manage, how on earth would you ever survive or thrive, unless you took those three years or so, got your interview in and started up somewhere. The man came second, the kids, third, fourth - way down the line. I was told I was a fool to do the kids and the man first. One of my teachers broke into tears when I told her I wouldn't be going onto further study and I was just gonna "pick up a retail job and go move out and live with my boyfriend".

I always find it a curious observation, I am not saying either way but, it's definitely something I have noticed with regards to myself (I don't know if other women have had similar experience or not), but always women say to me, kind of, mortified - well, you have NO degree?! How will you survive if he leaves you?! How will you feed your children?! 

I always find it extremely curious that no one has ever said that to my husband, who has absolutely zero education (I have, far more than him, he never even finished school). No one says to him well, what will you do if your business fails?! How ever will you cope without a degree?! How will you look after yourself or your children?! 

No man has ever said that to me. It's very curious. It's only women. Do we, collectively, as women, feel very vulnerable? Something men don't have pressed onto them? Everyone, my husband including, just presumes he'd get on with it. I've ever asked him: what if I passed away? His response was, "I'd deal with it. We'd be okay, don't worry." 

What happens if my response is the same? I'd just deal with it. I'd work out a way? Why is that not acceptable coming from me, but acceptable coming from him? Why do I need all this extra backup but he doesn't? 

I realise the difference between him and I is not only education, but that he went onto build his own successful business and has been running it for 20 years. I never did that. 

Everything I have ever wanted to do in life never required a degree. Being a mother, being a wife, and maybe a dream of mine, writing a book. All, if overly educated in any of those areas, I think, only add damage. It's an instinctive thing.

I just find it an observation that sticks out too me - women say this to me all the time, openly, without thinking it's rude, that because I don't have a degree in fine art or English literature or marketing like them, that if he goes off and starts up an affair or if he dies, I am instantly wiped and ruined. I don't know, maybe other women see something I don't see? 

We have been together 15 years. I am a risk taker, and my bet is, on my husband. I think me and him are one sure thing. Maybe people say, you idiot! You idiot in love! Ironically, if I divorced him, it would terribly be the most advantageous financial move I ever made! If he sadly passed away, I will pick up the pieces best I can and do the best I can - what more can anyone do? 

If I squirrel away at a night school for the next couple of years, I really don't know whether that will take the sting, the pain, or the worry away from if the most horrible thing happened.

I'd just have to count on myself and the arsenal I have within me.

x

I don't agree with most of your analysis, assumptions or perspective and that is what I love about this forum among other things -all the different perspectives- not interested in debating but want to make clear I respect your opinions and perspectives despite disagreeing with most of it.

What I do love is there's something called a "working mom" but no "working dad" - what the heck is that all about?

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

We almost have... too much choice?

Yes we have and this is certainly one major parameter in the equation.  However, it does not mean our generation is happier (which is subjective) or things are easier than before (which is objective). Our great grandparents and grandparents had it difficult with 2 WW. Most people had absolutely nothing. These generations faced hardships, we coast through life in comparison. 

Then there was a generation in which things were relatively easier (our parents generation) as there is always prosperity and stability after very difficult periods, and then our generation which is more self-absorbed and more of a wuss tbh but I wouldn't say we have it easy. 2008 recession*, pandemic, war in Ukraine which affected Europe substantially, inflation out of control, house and gas prices through the roof, same salaries as 20 years ago, very competitive and demanding job market....

Travelling? Yes people travel more because the cost of travelling has decreased compared to 50 years ago, it's "cheap" to travel now. The only good thing I can think of.

Degrees? I believe our generation was the last one which was kind of "forced" to get a degree, a degree does not give you much practically speaking unless you are a doctor, dentist or a lawyer.  I believe this trend is on the decline nowadays. Everyone has a degree...

Careers? Fancy term for work....

Sexual adventures? Yeah right like there were no kinky people before on this earth hahaha 😘 . I don't think there is any difference than before. If anything it was because people had to work more and didn't have time. Just read what was happening in Ancient Rome and Athens lol If anything I believe people have less sex in our generation. 

Cultural shift? Yes, "culture" is nothing more than the trends of each generation based on the conditions at the time. Sometimes this shift is better than other times (which again is subjective) but not always. The law of nature dictates nothing stays the same, things change, good or bad who knows....

*I have first hand experience when I was looking for my first job in 2014 with 30% unemployment (and 70% unemployment for young people under 25 - my parents had it so easy...)

 

 

 

 

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A 1950s housewife was basically screwed if her husband passed away or (in rarer cases) left her. She was left on her own with no job skills and usually with children to try to support. It happened to my mother, who had to try to re-enter the job market after being a stay at home housewife and mother for 15 years after my father left us. And in the 1950s million dollar life insurance policies didn't seem to exist. So the poor wife/mother had to rely on family or try to find a man and remarry quickly. Oh, and if your husband ran around on you or smacked you around or was a mean drunk? Suck it up because you couldn't afford to just leave him. It wasn't like life was perfect back then. it just seems that way because people either weren't alive back then or time has fogged their memory. 

I do feel wife/mother or stay at home wife/no children are absolutely legitimate, good choices for a woman who wants to do them. It's hard work and oftentimes doesn't get the respect and appreciation it deserves. But romanticizing the 1950s is just not historically accurate IMO.

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1 minute ago, boltnrun said:

A 1950s housewife was basically screwed if her husband passed away or (in rarer cases) left her. She was left on her own with no job skills and usually with children to try to support. It happened to my mother, who had to try to re-enter the job market after being a stay at home housewife and mother for 15 years after my father left us. And in the 1950s million dollar life insurance policies didn't seem to exist. So the poor wife/mother had to rely on family or try to find a man and remarry quickly. Oh, and if your husband ran around on you or smacked you around or was a mean drunk? Suck it up because you couldn't afford to just leave him. It wasn't like life was perfect back then. it just seems that way because people either weren't alive back then or time has fogged their memory. 

I do feel wife/mother or stay at home wife/no children are absolutely legitimate, good choices for a woman who wants to do them. It's hard work and oftentimes doesn't get the respect and appreciation it deserves. But romanticizing the 1950s is just not historically accurate IMO.

I’m sorry your mom was in this situation. My mom married in 1956 so same era. I heard of those situations and I’m sorry you all had to endure this.  
someone wrote above career is a fancy term for work. Wasn’t for me. I worked at jobs that were not career related from ages 14 to about 23.  My careers meant I worked only at jobs and in environments that were related to my fields and that hopefully would enhance my career related skills and chances for advancement. Perhaps some people use the terms interchangeably. I didn’t. I worked very hard as a full time mother for 7 years. It was my main job. It was not a career. 

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3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

My mom married in 1956 so same era.

Actually my mom married in the mid 1960s, but the mindset was just beginning to shift. "Career girl" (see: Mary Tyler Moore Show) was a new thing. However, it was expected that once a woman married she would give up her career. My mother had a job until she married, then she stopped working. And then unfortunately my father decided he didn't want to be married to her anymore and he left us and paid almost no child support. So the mindset that a woman should stop working once she married turned out poorly for her and for us kids. She struggled and we kids did without a lot of basics while she tried her best. And our father skipped merrily away and went on to marry twice more (and have another child 🙄 )

And that's why I kept up my job skills. I wanted to always be prepared.

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We love Mary Tyler Moore.  My husband and I were just laughing again about the veal prince orloff episode lol.  My mom worked her first few years of marriage as my father started up a business that didn’t go so well.
My mom stopped working when pregnant with my older sister in the early 60s then resumed part time work about 12 years later when I was 6.  But my grandparents lived across the street and that’s where I went after school.  They couldn’t have afforded a sitter.  I was an easy kid.  

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15 hours ago, dias said:

Yes we have and this is certainly one major parameter in the equation.  However, it does not mean our generation is happier (which is subjective) or things are easier than before (which is objective). Our great grandparents and grandparents had it difficult with 2 WW. Most people had absolutely nothing. These generations faced hardships, we coast through life in comparison. 

Then there was a generation in which things were relatively easier (our parents generation) as there is always prosperity and stability after very difficult periods, and then our generation which is more self-absorbed and more of a wuss tbh but I wouldn't say we have it easy. 2008 recession*, pandemic, war in Ukraine which affected Europe substantially, inflation out of control, house and gas prices through the roof, same salaries as 20 years ago, very competitive and demanding job market....

Travelling? Yes people travel more because the cost of travelling has decreased compared to 50 years ago, it's "cheap" to travel now. The only good thing I can think of.

Degrees? I believe our generation was the last one which was kind of "forced" to get a degree, a degree does not give you much practically speaking unless you are a doctor, dentist or a lawyer.  I believe this trend is on the decline nowadays. Everyone has a degree...

Careers? Fancy term for work....

Sexual adventures? Yeah right like there were no kinky people before on this earth hahaha 😘 . I don't think there is any difference than before. If anything it was because people had to work more and didn't have time. Just read what was happening in Ancient Rome and Athens lol If anything I believe people have less sex in our generation. 

Cultural shift? Yes, "culture" is nothing more than the trends of each generation based on the conditions at the time. Sometimes this shift is better than other times (which again is subjective) but not always. The law of nature dictates nothing stays the same, things change, good or bad who knows....

*I have first hand experience when I was looking for my first job in 2014 with 30% unemployment (and 70% unemployment for young people under 25 - my parents had it so easy...)

 

 

 

 

I agree on the whole - I think there have been a few studies actually, that we are, on mass, much more unhappy than previous generations! I think there are so many factors to that, I really do. Y'know what I'm like Dias! I blame a lot of things. Break down in smaller communities because people work more and don't have time to bond and organise local things, just switch on the tv and call it a day. Too much social media, lack of real life connections. Also, we don't have a challenge, a real serious challenge do we - we have nothing pressing at our doorstep demanding us to suck it up and get on with it. My Dad was too busy trying to study and raise us tiny girls and work 6 days a week to get too stewed up and depressed, he simply didn't have the time. Previous generations only 100 years back were mostly busy surviving. I think sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves is a massive luxury, I really do - something I indulge in way too often and I think it's such a thing now, such a generational thing! 

And I totally agree, my Grandparents had brothers and sisters killed in both world wars. Just before my Grandad died this year, he told me of a haunting story where a woman a few doors down from him had only one arm since she was 21 because her house was bombed, her newborn baby was killed and the force of the blast was so strong it pushed her up into the void in the fireplace and ripped her arm off. I mean, we couldn't even imagine this kind of stuff, we have it unbelievably easy. Our homes are heated, no one is starving. My Grandad used to talk to me and kind of almost chuckle, saying there is no such thing as poverty anymore. He told me over half the children in his class at school would walk to school without any shoes on in snow that was 4 foot high, they went without a meal. My Grandparents even still lived in the realm where it wasn't too unlikely you could lose a child to a childhood illness. My Grandad lost his sister when she was only 5 (he was 1 of 9) and my Grandma who was 1 of 7 lost her sister when she was 15. She went out to work as a maid at 14 for a wealthy family and she was alone the whole year in a tiny attic bedroom, no other servants or friends or family to talk too, getting up at 4am to sweep and set fires. She still did it into her late 80s - that is, waking up at 4am to clean. It was kind of, beaten into her, literally, I think. She only left this extremely damp and lonely life at 17 to go work in a factory. I remember her telling me she got 2 weeks off a year when she was 14, she used to walk back to her family farm and it took her 3 days from the city, and she would hitch rides on carriages! I can't even imagine! 

My Great Grandfather was fighting in WW1 when he was 14 - he lied about his age, and then went back again as a sniper in WW2. Two of his brothers were killed and the other one lost his leg. He went onto have 5 children. The things he did so young, he was a man, so much younger. I look to boys 14 now, girls like my Grandma, 14 now - could they do it? We don't know how well we have it!

And yes! It's a strange one isn't it! Our generation is having the least recorded sex than any generation before! But at the same time, it is as liberal and open and celebrated as ever before. Gay couples can marry, you can have a sex change without stigma, identify as whichever gender, be unmarried, be married, have multiple partners - it is all celebrated now in western secular society - but ironically, our generation is just not having the frequent sex!!! HOW BIZARRE! And you have this massive liberal liberated feel about our generation in regards to sex, yet - how strange, we are still single and watching porn, from the reports. I get the feeling our generation feels very isolated and lonely. Maybe I'm wrong? I just get that collective vibe.

Even though my Grandparents and Great Grandparents hardships were immeasurable compared to our easy ride, they always seemed happy and grateful to me, very positive. I guess this is the mentality of survival. You can't be thinking of the worst all the time, you can't be moping and defeated. They brushed themselves off and carried on. "Keep Calm & Carry On" as the war time Winston Churchill motto went. They really embodied that. When my last two Grandparents passed last year and this, I feel like it was a blow, like some sensibility, some class and elegance, had been taken. It's a shame to say it but, I looked up to my Grandma even above my own mother. I found her to be an embodiment of a strong woman. I would love to think I am carrying some of her finesse for life and her traditionalism through to my own daughters and son. 

I do agree regarding the degree culture as well - everyone, I mean absolutely everyone, has a degree now, to the point where you need two or three or to have completed a masters now to even get a look in. I had this conversation with my Dad a year back. He said, hardly anyone got a degree when he was growing up. He said they picked the top 3 in his class, they went off to serious further education and the rest, like him, were left to go it alone or get an apprenticeship or a technical diploma. If you ask the majority of people what their degree is in, it's not really in psychics or maths or chemistry... it's things like, "product design", "sociology", "marketing", "anything to do with art or drama" or what I would have probably ended up doing which would have been a total waste of time for me "English Literature". Me and my Dad have a joke that comes from a comedian called Chris Fleming: Ohh that's interesting! What did you major in? "Oh... belly buttons." "Oh? You mean, something to do with biology?" "Oh no. Just belly buttons. I can tell if you have an innie or an outtie just by looking at you." 

You get my drift.

If I had gone into anything serious or useful it would have had to have been medicine because I got my top marks in biology. That was the only obvious, "serious" route for me. But then, I have friends who are GPs. They are stuck in a tiny office all day, looking at old peoples feet and private areas and discussing the texture and scent of their poop, basically. Sometimes having to deliver bad news. Often, it is mundane and pressing. Pop a cyst. Look in another throat. For the next... 30 years?! In that same chair?! 

My husbands Uncle was a dentist, and had his own practise. He did it for 35 years, and has a twitch or facial tick (very common for a long term dentist) due to just bending down and peering in concentration into mouth after mouth for 35 years. His dream was always to be an explorer and he wanted to start up his own rock climbing business. He had a stroke a few years back and is incapacitated. I often wonder if he regrets all those years in the same office pulling teeth? I know it wasn't his life's passion because he told me so. It paid the bills very well, supported his wife and three children. Was he happy doing it? I don't think so. He got stuck in because he had a family and didn't want to take a financial risk setting up another business. 

Some people adore their work. They could be a happy whistling bin man or a chirpy fast food server and they love it and do it very well. Or you can have a highly paid lawyer, like my friend, who owns a huge house and has many a luxury but despises his stressful profession and only did it because he felt obligated to his parents who paid him through private school and he told me he felt like he had to do something "proper" or he was a failure. His dream was to go into sports science and teach kids rugby! Just because you are in a career type job doesn't automatically mean you hit your jackpot.

I read a quote once... from Jordon Peterson. He said, "It is a luxury to pursue what makes you happy. It is a moral obligation to pursue what is meaningful."

x

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12 minutes ago, mylolita said:

I do agree regarding the degree culture as well - everyone, I mean absolutely everyone, has a degree now, to the point where you need two or three or to have completed a masters now to even get a look in. I had this conversation with my Dad a year back. He said, hardly anyone got a degree when he was growing up.

I've never heard of a degree culture.  I achieved my degrees because it was really important to me and I worked really hard for the years it took and it's still paying off all these decades later. I didn't feel pressured or go because it was trendy or some sort of culture.  In the 1980s my first career required at least a college degree and my second a grad degree. Wouldn't have met my husband otherwise. My parents both achieved college degrees and my dad was in the medical profession -in the 1950s -and it was really important to them too.  My maternal grandparents didn't finish grade school and my paternal grandparents did but not sure about college.  

My maternal grandfather had his own small business and worked so hard to provide for his family after they came to the US (he was young when he came here -I think still single).  I'm so proud of him.  He couldn't understand why my mom wanted to go to college but his son went to college and then another degree to be in the medical profession.  There was a  gender difference back then for sure.  

I strongly feel that people should not attempt to achieve a college degree because of some notion of degree culture or the like.  It's too much work and too much $ and too many years out of the work force.  If they can get a job without it and a job they like or a trade they like or whatever go for it.  In the 70s and 80s when I grew up it was much easier to get a good paying job with a degree.  Later it became maybe even more important?

I don't know because I didn't analyze it -I wanted to achieve what I did for myself (husband felt same way about himself- both his parents had college and/or grad degrees - they also went to school in the 1950s).  His dad was extremely handy around the house and loved to garden and cook.  

I loved college and grad school.  I miss both.  My mother went back to just audit classes for ten years in her 70s and 80s to the college we graduated from.  I'm done with degree programs but I could see myself auditing classes once I'm retired.  She loved it.  My dad did so as well.

I know some people see college degrees and marriage licenses as pieces of paper.  I cannot relate but certainly if a person really wants a certain job and doesn't see the value of a college degree for the option to pursue the job then yes do it as a piece of paper-means to an end.  I get it! Just like a marriage of convenience/green card marriage.  Otherwise I don't get why someone would dismiss the achievement of a college education as a piece of paper. 

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