Do you think society puts too much pressure on people to be in relationships and/or have children? Do you think this ostracizes people who would be perfectly content to remain single and/or child-free? Is this pressure worse around the holidays?
Yes, I definitely feel pressured by family and family friends. I'm 26 and single and a lot of people that surround me seem to think something is wrong with this. Admittedly I don't want to be single. I want to be in a relationship with a nice guy. The key to that sentence is I want to be in a relationship. It's my choice. If I wanted to be single the rest of my life, that's my choice too. I'm looking for a nice guy to date and maybe become serious with but the added stress of people always harping on me about getting married and popping out babies is awful. A casual date with somebody suddenly turns into an interrogation. Is he Jewish? Is he older? Is he white (I kid you not)? One date doesn't mean marriage. I might be involved with a guy for years before I want to marry.
Also, I'm not looking at only Jewish men. I'm not saying no to a guy if he's Jewish but I'm keeping my options open by keeping an open mind about men of other religions. Or no religion for that matter. The man can be Agnostic or Atheist. I'm Agnostic myself, borderline Atheist actually. I'm ethnically Jewish, meaning I'm proud of my Jewish history but I'm not religious at all and I wouldn't even label myself a reform or re constructionist Jew. I don't believe in a god or gods...or goddesses for that matter. Any man I date must respect that if he does believe. I always look at their spiritual belief, that's actually a major point for me when looking at a potential man. Do they believe in god? If they do, will they shove it down my throat, make me feel guilty for not believing, or be 100% okay with letting me have my view?
The same goes for an Atheist\Agnostic person. They share my view on it but will they be in your face to religious people in my life? I'm respectful about my lack of faith whenever I'm around somebody religious. I don't broadcast my views and I stand for prayer, only out of respect to the person saying it. If I got serious with an Agnostic\Atheist, would they be respectful as well? Or would they be very rude about their views to people I care about? That's a complete turn off as well and it causes unwanted drama in my life.
Why did this become about potential men in my life? I think I'll get back on subject.
So anyway, yes, I do feel pressured. Marriage also comes up a lot around me, my future marriage included. I always hear talk of religious weddings and what I need to do for my wedding. No. I don't think so. It's my wedding and you could gather from the above paragraphs, I'm not religious. I don't believe in a god\s. Why would I have a religious wedding? There will be some Jewish things at my wedding, the breaking of the glass for example. That's more for tradition then religion to me. I also plan on having non Jewish things at my wedding. I want hand fasting, that's very Pagan. My wedding dress might not be long sleeved unless, of course, if I find one I like that is. The men and women will be mingling. I'll have a kosher caterer only because it's respectful to my guests, but that's not a big deal.
As for kids, oh my goodness, am I pressured on that! I will probably have kids down the road. Can I see myself with kids tomorrow? Oh, hell no. I'm not fond of kids. I know some small children I get along with either because I'm grown fond of them by exposure or because they are my nephew\niece. In general though, I'm extremely uncomfortable around kids and babies....especially babies. I dislike being surrounded by babies, it makes me feel really awkward and uncomfortable. Then people shoving it in my face and saying "you need to get married and have your own kid!" is just awful for me. I know I have a window of opportunity to safely carry a baby to term myself...as well as adoption. I know that you can't adopt if you're too old. So, yes, the odds are pretty high (about 45%) that I'll have a child or two. But don't' pressure me about it and don't guilt me when I say there's a possibility that there will not be children in my life.
By the way, the ranting portion of this entry isn't directed to anybody in particular.