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?
I definitely think there is a lot of pressure to get married, not just be in a relationship. There's this undocumented, Western life map...birth, childhood, school, adolesence, college, work, relationship, marriage, parenthood, divorce, retirement, death. Or something along those lines. People feel they have to hit certain milestones to be "normal". The folks who walk to their own beat are often looked at as eccentric, to say the least, or fucked up at worst.
Having done all up to retirement and death, I felt this urge to get back into a relationship at all cost, because that part of my life had failed or was missing. I have my kids, but I have not "partner". The more I try to find "someone", and the more I'm nostalgic to be married or in a relationship, I realize there's this other part of me now that says "hey, wait a minute. I like being in charge". I don't miss having to consult with someone else about virtually everything...ok, literally everything. I think I will only be able to be in a relationship again if it's much much more equitable than the last. Add kids, work, and any of my own personal aspirations to that mix, and I'm asking a lot of someone else.
I have no frame of reference for anyone who doesn't have kids. I have mine 24/7 and we haven't heard from their mom in over 2 years, and I get only breaks now and again, which I mostly use to recharge...LOL. I could understand not having kids and being content in your own skin, but I love having mine so losing them would be even more devastating than losing my wife. I don't remember what it was like not having them in my life and what I was like before I had them, but I know it certainly wasn't better. I think they made me a better man and person for having them in my life.
Do I feel worse around the holidays, yes. But that is because my ex walked out on me after 13 years, 10 married, on Thanksgiving and I really struggled through that first Christmas. She, of course, made it worse because she walked out on me and directly into the bed of another. Complete with a Christmas tree photo on their little website. So I don't know if it's the holidays or my own personal experience. Thankfully, now, I realize what a shitbag she truly is and was to me and the kids...hell, to everyone she came in contact with. The holidays are great with my family and the kids. So I'm guessing it was her and not the seasons.