For as long as I can remember I assumed that the purpose of a relationship--a steady one of a considerable period, that is--was to set you on the path towards marriage and children. I love kids (in that perfectly-legal fashion ) and believed that a solid coupling was based on the exchange of marriage vows.
But lately I've had a change of heart.
I do believe that one day I may want kids, a secure environment to raise them in and maybe, if I'm lucky, someone by by side. But those are no longer the driving forces in my life. That is in no way meant to denigrate anyone who has chosen otherwise, has a happy marriage and is blessed with wonderful children. You are the truly fortunate and I say that with no sarcasm or empty sincerity at all.
But I now find the ideals I kept close to my heart for so long served more like safety nets or life floaties. As long as I was married or engaged then I felt I was 90% on the way to happiness an security. But that is never the case. I'm not saying marriage won't bring one such. For some marriage may very well be the great sundae under which you place that cherry.
But people need to know themselves before they can confidently be a partner for another. I can't say I don't want to be loved. We all do, whether in or out of wedlock in whatever combination works for us. But what I want now is to be in a relationship where each person has their own thing, they're own ambition and accomplishments, and are not so intertwined. The people would certainly support and cheer the other on but it never falls into the unfortunate assigned roles of a caretaker and the cared for (barring a horrible disease or accident that would require such, since I would also have no intention of ending a relationship out of infirmity. This is about partnership, not selfishness).
I'm almost certainly rambling here. These thoughts have been with me for weeks but this is my first attempt to try and craft them as some sort of coupling canon. I want the person I love to be able to fulfill their best goals. I want the same for me. And, when the time seems right out of professional, financial but most importantly emotional stability, then the idea of children may very well become a reality.
I don't expect everyone to agree with this. I welcome all different opinions. I want to hear from people, not talk at them or just stay locked in my headspace with ideas I'm too afraid to challenge. One of the driving forces for me now is the courage to, quite frankly, fuck up. Only then can I finally figure out where my horizon line is and my path to it, alone or with another. So please, I implore you to share your thoughts.
And hey, maybe next time I address this topic it'll be in the form of a far more lucid narrative. :)