One of the things I try to impress on my children is that things MEAN things. Or to say it philosophically, there is a final cause. Nearly all human traditions share the theme that it is not good for man (and I include woman here; “man” is an inclusive term, and I don’t feel it’s degrading to our females to be singled out with a special variation) to be alone. The bodies and minds of men and women were built to be together, to join with each other in the creation of families. Please don’t think I’m saying that you can’t have a full life without marriage. But please also recognize that the telos of our differentiation is to be joined together. If we choose not to do that, we lose part of ourselves. Wurtzel’s words:
By never marrying, I ended up never divorcing, but I also failed to accumulate that brocade of civility and padlock of security—kids you do or don’t want, Tiffany silver you never use—that makes life complete. Convention serves a purpose: It gives life meaning, and without it, one is in a constant existential crisis. If you don’t have the imposition of family to remind you of what is at stake, something else will. I was alone in a lonely apartment with only a stalker to show for my accomplishments and my years.