Very well put. I must confess I was being tongue in cheek to a degree. When we met she asked where I saw myself in 5 years. My reply was living on a sailboat in New England for the summer and the south Atlantic for the winter. Until I learn enough and can take off across the ocean.
I've planned this out for years and can retire in 1 year when I turn 50, but I want to do this sustainably. I don't want an air conditioned dock condo with a fat monthly payment, nor do I want to do this in my 1979 Hunter 25 (it was cheap but isn't a great boat).
A compromise is in order. When she first started looking at boats she was looking and new Benateaus and Jenneaus. Then she started looking at Halberg Rasseys and Cape Dorys. Then we looked at a (I think) Ta Shing Nantuckett (I'm sure it was a Nantuckett but fuzzy about the maker). Everything else, in her eyes, pales in comparison. It was an absolutely beautiful boat. Watching her taste evolve as she learns more has been great, but that boat is out of our price range to purchase out right and a monthly payment is a deal breaker financially.
For me 30-35' costal cruiser capable of a well planned occasional bluewater trip, with a recent engine, large water tanks, solar and wind, good size galley, solar heated gravity hot water and foot pumps otherwise, a dingy capable of double duty as a life boat, and a well insulated icebox. I am mixed on a watermaker, they are only good in open clean water and I'll spend most of my time anchored along the coast.
She is very close to this but wants 38-42' with a fridge, AC, pressure hot water. We are actually quite close. I think after a few trailer trips on my Catalina 22, she will be so in love with cruising her needs will minimize. I do see pressure hot water in my future though.
I don't want an auto pilot, radar, chart plotter, forward looking sonar, satellite phone, or RIB. I don't want to camp. But as I started selling things off I become less attached to things and technology. I am more in tune with Vega's lifestyle, for instance.