Social Question

partyrock's avatar

How important is family to you ?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) December 27th, 2011

How important is family to you ? The older you get has your views on having a family changed ? What do you think about people who are loners, or never want kids ? What do you think about people who are anti-social? Do you think being a family and having a family of your own is essential to living a more fulfilled life? Why or why not ? Are you close to your own family ? Are you closer with your blood relatives, or friends that become family ?

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33 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

My family is very close. My Fluther friends and I are very close.

I have my own opinion of people that do not want children. But, I will not discuss that here.

Having a family is everything in life.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Family is very important to me but I concentrate on interacting only with those who are positive. There were years when I kept my parents at a distance until they let up on stuff that would just make me miserable, decades later we enjoy each other now!

I’m one of those people (not a loner) who’s never wanted kids and when I finally did give it some thought, I was with a man who already more than plenty of kids. Observing his kids, I don’t necessarily think kids enrich your life unless you nourish those kids first.

Yes, my longterm friends and few close family members are my “family”. These are the people I like to spend holidays with, take vacations to visit with, share the greatest highlights of my life with and make memories with. They are a whole lot more fulfilling than when I was in my teens and early 20’s beating myself up, trying to get my family to be “family”.

linguaphile's avatar

I love my uncle, grandma, mom and kids to the moon and back. They’re the people in my family I’m close-close-closest to and they’re the ones that know, accept and love me for who I am. These people are the most important to me.

Some of my other family members’ approval is very condition-based and I have to be careful all the time while others don’t take the time to talk with me. I love/like them, but to a different degree and in a different way—they don’t know me, really, and never took the time to find out. When I got older, I put forth effort, but it always ended up the same way- with politeness and distance. With some of them, I talk with them from time to time but have to “follow their invisible rules” to be accepted—it’s not authentic. If I had a choice between going on a cruise with these folks, and sitting in front of a campfire chatting with my closest friends, I’d pick the campfire without hesitation.

My uncle, grandma, mom, kids and closest friends have gotten me through the roughest bumps in my life, are the people I have the most fun with, and those are the people I hold nearest and dearest. Friends sometimes become more than family.

jonsblond's avatar

My family is the most important thing in my life. I am blessed to have sisters, a brother, a father, a mother, aunts, cousins, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, children and husband who are always there for me no matter what. We all look out for each other. I have a few friends I consider as family, but I can count them on one hand.

Yes, I do feel that having a family of my own is essential to having a fulfilled life (for me), but I know that it is not the same for everyone and I’m not about to judge another person for not having a family of their own.

mazingerz88's avatar

Very important. I’m giving more than I’m getting but with family, I guess that’s almost expected. Plus I don’t mind much since they’re all good people.

In case you might be interested, there’s a nice little movie called, “Marvin’s Room” that surprised me with one life lesson about family. It was in that kitchen scene with Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep towards the end of the movie. It also stars Robert De Niro and Leonardo di Caprio. Check it out. : )

Harold's avatar

There is nothing more important. Now that my parents have passed away, the times that my family gets together with those of my sister and brother seem to be even more special. All of the cousins are great friends (7 young men), and there is never a bad word or disagreement.

Within my own family, the rare times when we are all together are very special.

I feel very sorry for people who are loners- I don’t think anyone would be that way by choice. I just can’t imagine how or why anybody would want to be in that situation. In my opinion, having a family is essential to happiness.

Blackberry's avatar

Well, it’s important for children, but as an adult, if you’re on your own I don’t see the need to call home every other day and visit people. And I won’t be family man (S/O and kid) for a long time, if ever, who knows, but there’s nothing wrong with people that don’t do that. And no, I don’t think we need those things to be fulfilled, either.

flutherother's avatar

As close as close can be.

Brian1946's avatar


“And I won’t be family man (S/O and kid) for a long time, if ever, who knows, but there’s nothing wrong with people that don’t do that. And no, I don’t think we need those things to be fulfilled, either.”

I agree. There’s no need to submit to that breeder propaganda, or to put it more politely, to acquiesce to the perceived expectations of external influences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

THE most important thing in my life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Brian1946 and @Blackberry… Family being important to you really has nothing to do with calling home every day. It’s more like…just being there when they need you, or CLEANING UP THE DAMN HOUSE FOR THEM AFTER A CHRISTMAS PARTY THEY THREW FOR EVERYONE and just, in general, being aware of who they are and what is important to them and letting them know you care. There are a lot of different ways to do that.

Blackberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III This is true. When I visited home, I was spending time with my 8 year old cousin. She was playing with my iPod touch and downloaded like 20 games. If anyone else did that I would be pretty upset, but since it was her, “Meh, I can just delete them later”

fizzbanger's avatar

I love my family, but we’re not very close, except for my mom and I (live on opposite ends of the country but talk on the phone often). Both sets of grandparents died before I was born, and much of my extended family on both sides are addicts or have mental problems, and are or have been incarcerated (hence not being very close). I never really had the whole extended family thing going on, except for an aunt that emails occasionally. My in-laws are nice, but our interactions are always somewhat awkward. My brother is mentally ill, and we will have to look after him one day when my parents go. I love him to pieces.

The husband and I cannot foresee ourselves ever wanting kids. We are looking into the possibility of sterilization (at 25, my doctor refuses to talk to me about it, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic…). He’s 28 and may get a vasectomy. We do not feel “lonely” without children and get a healthy dose of them at friends’ houses.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Excluding my immediate family (parents, sisters) I am far closer with my friends that have become family than most of my blood relatives. And, of course, my husband and my stepsons. My mother’s side of the family mostly lives in Ukraine, and my father’s side of the family is spread out all over the globe. I was always extremely close with my grandparents, but I only have one grandmother who is alive now.
My family (biological and otherwise) is the single most important thing in my life. I don’t think that people who are not close to their family (or who choose not to have one, or a very small one) are missing anything. I think it is different for everyone.

CaptainHarley's avatar

My family is the second most important thing in my life. I would give my life for them. As I have gotten older, they have become even more important to me. This, however, is not for everyone. Some people are naturally loners. Although I have trouble understanding why anyone would want to live this way, they are entitled to live their life however they choose. I respect the decision to live alone, or to live in a marriage without children. Wanting to live alone, or not wanting to have children, do not equate to being anti-social. Having a family can be very fulfilling for some and a veritable nightmare for others, but there is no right or wrong involved, only preferences. I am closer with my children, grandchildren and wife than I am with anyone else. Some of my sons-in-law and daughters-in-law have come to be almost like my own children; others not so much. Although I value my friends, family is always first.

cookieman's avatar

Depends. Whose family we talking about? Or, more to the point, how do you define family?

I am of the mind that biological relationship or title through marriage have little to do with who my “family” is.

I don’t even like to use the term “friends”.

I have, in my life:
• acquaintances (people I know from shared history, school, work, etc.)
• relatives (people I’m related to by blood or marriage)
• family (people who are drawn from the first two groups but who have earned the title “family”)

The third group is the only group of people I genuinely love, respect, and want to spend time with.

It’s a really small group.

Soupy's avatar

Biological family often take a back-seat in my list of priorities. It’s difficult to want to maintain family relations when their love depends on fulfilling conditions they’ve set. “I’ll love you so long as you have the job I want, and the interests I want” really isn’t going to make me want to maintain contact with them.

I think it’s entirely possible to have a fulfilling life without children or a spouse. Some people need one or both of these things, and some people don’t. Having a family of your own is not necessarily essential for a good life.

Ayesha's avatar

Very, very important.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But not important enough to make us hold the baby all the time, right @Ayesha?!

Ayesha's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh definitely :)

Eureka's avatar

The older I get, the smaller my family gets, and the tighter we become. As to having children – well, my son is an adult. He is the best thing I ever did in my life, but not the reason for it.

Bellatrix's avatar

How important is family to you ?

My immediate family is hugely important to me. They are the most important part of my life. My extended family, not so much.

The older you get has your views on having a family changed ?

Yes. My relationship with my extended family is totally different now.

What do you think about people who are loners, or never want kids ?

That’s their choice.

What do you think about people who are anti-social?

Depends on how you define anti-social. Not wanting to participate in family gatherings does not necessarily mean a person is anti-social. They may have very valid reasons. Some within a family may label non-participants anti-social though.

Do you think being a family and having a family of your own is essential to living a more fulfilled life?

For me yes. I can’t speak for anyone else. Jobs come and go, my husband and children are the constant in my life.

Are you close to your own family ?

To my husband and children, yes.

Are you closer with your blood relatives, or friends that become family ?

I speak to very few of my extended family.

creative1's avatar

Family is everything to me even my friends whom I consider part of my family but are not actual blood relation are very important.

For those whom don’t want to have children or are anti social, I feel to each their own, all I know is that I could never live without my daughters and would love one more whom I gave birth to since I adopted my 2 I still have the want to experience the whole pregnancy thing. But if that doesn’t happen for me I am still over joyed and thankful for the 2 I have.

I am very close to my family, when you loose a parent young I think it can go one way or the other where it can divide a family or bring them closer and I am very lucky it made us extremely close. The only people whom you can count on to be there through thick and thin is your family. I know when my daughter got sick it was my sister whom helped me through it all there, she without hesitation took my other daughter so I could spend the days and nights in the hospital. I don’t know what I would ever do without my family!!

Sunny2's avatar

@partyrock You’ve asked 8 questions in one. Let me just say that while I love who is left in my childhood family (1brother) and my immediate family is extremely important to me, I mostly feel independent from them. I was brought up to be by myself and when it comes right down to it, I am.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I love certain family members dearly but I wouldn’t say my family are everything to me. Spending too much time with my family is often hard work and I feel very claustrophobic. My boyfriend and my dad are the only family members that I enjoy spending large amounts of time with.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Now I feel I must qualify my answer, which is “The most important thing on earth to me,” or something to that effect. I’m referring to my children and my grandchildren. My parents are deceased, and I have two sisters who, for crazy reasons that they can’t ever seem to explain quit talking to me long ago (hint..I’m 99% sure it has to do with $10,000 I borrowed from my mother in 2002. They feel that was their “inhertence” {there was nothing left of anything else of her assets when she died and I’m not going to get into why…nothing to do with me, though.} I don’t think they’ve stopped to calculate what $10,000 / 3 is… really? Family is to be shunned for the grand sum of $3,300??) As a result, I’ve lost touch with my nieces. My nieces are important to me, but not like they would have been had I been in their lives. It is SO sad and I feel I have entirely too many parenthesis in this post!)))))[[[[[]]]]{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}{{{{{{{{((((((((((((((((((((()))))))))))))))))))))))

partyrock's avatar

@Dutchess_III – I dig parenthesis !!

Response moderated
Response moderated
partyrock's avatar

@Dutchess_III – LOL…. :’(... It was fun while it lasted :) lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know. They took all your Christmas Present! Scrooges!

((())) > those ar NOT parenthesis, Mod’s. It’s that eye on the dollar bill, only sideways. Leave it alone!!

MilkyWay's avatar

Never really had a family life, don’t really care about the future for my parent relations, but at present, my siblings mean a lot to me.

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