You may think, after all the years of moving and different places I have called "home", that I might be a little biased on this subject. Especially since that "Forever Home" still eludes me. But, I think I had an epiphany one day while I was thinking of the possibility of a "Forever Home" situation for myself. A "Forever Home" is thrown around today like the word "soulmate" for relationships and it gives young adults an expectation that is highly unrealistic. When my mind began to compare the two--I felt I owed it to myself and others--to maybe put some light on the subject so we can all keep our expectations from going through the roof.
First, what is a "Forever Home"? - This term is used to imply that a home you are looking to buy, is going to be THE HOME for all of time for you and your family. This will be THE place you will raise all your kids and live until the day you die peacefully in your sleep, in that perfect Master Bedroom (with an en suite bath) in that perfect Master Bed. No other house will compare--because this house will have everything you ever want right from the start. It will be the perfect size, the perfect layout in the perfect location with everything working perfectly and all the perfect style your little heart has imagined all these years.
Secondly, what is a "Temporary Home"? - This is any and all homes or dwellings that you may live in UNTIL you find that all elusive "Forever Home". It is the place where your life is lived with (or without) your kids, where nothing is perfect, where you are always wishing you had the perfect floor plan, or the perfect style or the perfect location. It is the place you cuss when something breaks down, or when you have a family gathering and you don't have the room, or where your Master Suite is more like a little larger dorm room. A "Temporary Home" is highly undesirable and, tragically, where we spend the majority of our lives waiting for the "Forever Home" to appear.
Now, when you are looking for a home, it's sort of like dating. You can go to a website and "click" on the one you like. You read all the things about this house and see if you are "compatible" or not and then maybe make a date to see the house. Sometimes you feel nothing when you meet in person. Other times it seems it may be "the one" only to discover it wasn't going to work for you for some reason or another. Once in a while it is "right". You buy the house, with all your hopes and dreams and expectations of what this house will be and then the reality sets in. The commitment. The "in sickness and in health" part of home ownership is a doozie. When you have to keep repairing that drippy faucet or fix the furnace (again) or hear the wind howling through your house when you have brand new windows...all of these things can lead to discontentment and before you know it you are "out there" looking for another house to check out!
I have lived in a lot of places I called "home" but only two actual houses ever really felt like HOME to me. One was the house my parents built, and the other was the house I raised my kids in. Neither of those houses were "loved" by me in the beginning. The first I was dragged to (whining and complaining) when I was 13 years old and the other we moved into out of necessity because my mother was ill and it was the right size, price and in the right location at the time. I did some dreaming about the future in both of those houses, but, a lot of those dreams were never realized. Which all leads me to here: there is NO SUCH THING as a FOREVER HOME that is described above.
I know. It's like telling you that there is no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but, it's the truth. So why bother looking? Here's why: because we all need a place to live our lives. To raise our families. To take care of our parents. To house our "stuff". To be ourselves. If a building on this earth can do those things, then it should be enough for us. In our relationships, no one is perfect. We all get sick or have bad days. We all have faults. But, if you want that relationship to work, you have to put in the time and effort to make it work. Sometimes you learn it will never work--but a lot of the times, you grow closer and have shared experiences that make you see each other in the best light...and love just blossoms.
So, when you are on that house hunt, you are looking for the best compatible options for you and go from there. Sometimes you will spend your life in that home, and sometimes you will just share a portion of your life there. Both are just as important and just as valid because they shape who you are and where you will go next in your journey on this earth. But, HOME will always be in the people you love. Not in a place. Even if you have "love at first sight" with a house or a person, true, deep love comes over time--which is something we can never buy or find online.