I have a lot of experience living in tight living quarters. I spent three years sleeping in a bunk bed in a one bedroom apartment with four roommates. After I got married my husband and I moved into a 500 square foot apartment in New York City, which we eventually shared with our colicky infant son who I am sure kept the neighbors awake at night. Now we are renting a small house in Ohio.
You would think that sharing a small space with my husband and two children I would never feel alone. But too often I can feel cut off and disconnected. I sometimes wish that my friends and I could all move into a “tiny house village” where we could raise our children alongside other like-minded families in little houses that are sustainable and modest, yet beautiful and functional.
Maybe this is a funny idea, but I think the interest in this kind of living speaks to a longing that a lot of us have–a longing for connection, a feeling of belonging.
As experts report, many Millenials feel isolated from work, from marriage, and even from each other. But we don’t want it to be that way. We know that we need each other. Especially in achieving our dreams of a stable marriage and family life, we can’t travel alone. We need social support.
One young woman that I know explained that when it comes to relationships, especially marriage, “you need support from your friends and family. Otherwise, you’re pretty much on your own. And you can’t do stuff like that on your own.”
Another young unmarried woman once told me that she would love to be able to sit down and have dinner with a married couple. She doesn’t know many people who are happily married, and just being able to spend time with someone who is would be helpful, she says. Sometimes we may know what we want, but we just don’t know how to get there. Being around people who are good models for us to follow can feel like a godsend.
And that’s what I Believe in Love means to me. It is like my virtual “tiny house village”—an online community where I can not only share my story, but even more importantly learn from you all. There have been times when I was feeling overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood, and lo and behold Michelle has a post about timesaving tips for moms. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone in my struggles to get everything done that I want to do. Then Kelly writes just what I need to hear about fighting fair in relationships, or I read Jazmin’s story and am reminded of the beauty of committed love, and of my own marriage vows.
I Believe in Love is about us coming together to support each other in our relationships and families. Because when it comes to marriage, as Jazmin writes, our generation wants “something real.” Jazmin explains:
“We want to show that people of our generation still want what our grandparents had, lasting relationships that span our lifetimes. To get married and build a life, a family together. That marriage isn’t just about what you do in life—it’s about getting the chance to do it with someone you can’t imagine being without.”
Together we can learn how to do this. Thank you to all of you who contribute to and comment on this site. I hope that we can continue to learn and grow together as a movement of young adults who will not give up on love and marriage, or on each other.