The link below offers a very good read on why there has been a decline in religious vocation in years past, the changing cultures as well as our innate desire to give ourselves completely to another typically misconstrued to mean giving oneself to a spouse, and only to a spouse (if that spouse would only show him or herself already!).
I particularly enjoyed reading the paragraph on Marriage Life “vs.” Religious Life, showing how in many ways, these 2 paths are the same in that there is commitment, a sense of sacrifice and giving up of one’s self, bearing fruit, and living love in a community.
As Scott Hahn once said, the love of the mother and father becomes so real, that nine months later they must give it a name. And so too, the love of a religious must become so real, that new souls are born around the world through it. But if the fruit of marital love is children (the physical presence of which–the smiling, giggling, crying–constantly reminds us of our obligations), the fruit of consecrated love is spiritual children (which is more hidden, abstract, and therefore requires a greater act of the will to be able to stir one’s heart to love).
Read this if you feel you need a more rounded perspective in your discernment. Read this if you want to explore a little whisper inside your heart. Read this even if you have already chosen to give yourself in marriage, to remind yourself that this is still vocation, a life our God has called you to. Read this to pray for those who have already chosen this higher calling, that they be strengthened and blessed each day. Read that your eyes may be opened to living life, wherever you are, to the full.