Yes, that question troubles me from time to time. The things that are most important to me, such as meditative awareness, and peaceful reflection (I don't always have these things - I am a lay person with two dear children) - these peaceful, simple things are not praised by popular culture, or in the media (other than in a superficial, sentimentalized way). So sometimes I also feel like 'a fish out of water' in this sense-enjoyment driven culture we all live in. Because what the Buddha points to looks beyond appearances. Yes, to live an ordinary worldly life, not wisely reflecting as we live it, is not the same thing as living the Dhamma.
But the Buddha was a very practical person. He did not say that everyone
should ordain, after all if everyone did there would be no-one to feed all the monks and nuns! Its simply reality that we all have different karmic influences, and will as a result have to practise the Dhamma in a way suited to our own acquired nature. So yes, he advocated ordaining for those that could make that commitment (or even just try it out for a while and see what happens), and for others he recommended being the best lay Buddhist you can, as another noble alternative rather just 'going with the flow' that is ordinary, unreflective worldly life.
You can be a lay Buddhist and have a nice house, car, loving partner (hard to find, but I wish you luck)...so why not have it all? Buddhist laypersons are allowed to make use of these things, so long as in our enjoyment of the above we do not kill, lie, steal, misuse sex, or take drugs. Now that still leaves: walks in the forest, nights out at the movies, snuggling in front of the fire together...I mean, use your imagination, it leaves lots of 'normal' things that you can still do! But the difference is that you will avoid the harmful consequences of unvirtuous behaviour.
Hope that was helpful in some way. I really do understand where you are coming from with such questioning. That answer is the best I can come up with.