Never Married. No Kids. Why Do People Care?



I’m  46-years-old.

I’ve never been married and I’ve never had children.

It isn’t upsetting to me. NOT AT ALL. Not in any way.

Evidently, this bothers some people. Some, not all. If you’re not bothered by it, I’m not addressing you.

People will tilt their heads to the side like a confused dog and ask, “Don’t you want a family?” They ask the question as if there MUST be something wrong with me – that there MUST be some answer that will explain my condition.

My answer is simple: I have a family. I have a mom and dad, a brother and a sister and a brand new adorable niece. I also have aunts and uncles and cousins.

They will clarify: “I mean, don’t you want a family of your own.”

Aside from explaining the people I’d just mentioned are my own family, I know they mean a husband and children.

When I was a younger woman, I always figured I would have a child. Note that I didn’t say “I always wanted a child.” I just figured I’d have one. My mom did, so I figured I would. I’ve never been that woman who needed to be a mom.

Marriage has always a big maybe for me. BIG. Maybe.

As it turns out, I never did have a child and haven’t ever been convinced marriage is the best idea – for me. If it works for you, GREAT! Have at it. I promise I won’t judge you or tilt my head to the side when you say you are, or want to be, married with children. It’s just not for me. Not yet, anyway.  Maybe I’ll meet someone one day and he’ll change my mind. Who knows? It’s doubtful, but I have been known to be convinced of things I never thought I’d do before.

Here’s what I find so irritating: I and other women are asked these kinds of questions as if there’s something wrong with us. And then we have to explain –  because OH MY GOD!!!!!. We’re not married with children!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!

To the people who are so uncomfortable with how I – and women like me – choose to live our lives, I can only guess that somewhere deep down, you might envy our ability to NOT wrap up our worth into being wives and mothers. Lord knows the radical right wants to shame me for believing that sex can be great fun – even if it’s with a man that I have no intention of marrying. Even if it’s with a man who I may not even like very much, but he’s hot. But that’s my business, isn’t it? Anyone who wishes to shame me can kiss my hind quarters, because I really don’t care about their judgement. I do tilt my head though, and think they’re silly – and that they’re missing out.

If someone has such a difficult time with a woman who chooses to be single and childless, maybe they should look into therapy and explore why they care so much.

I once dated a man who was fun. He and I had great chemistry and we enjoyed each other’s company, but we weren’t in love. I never wanted to marry him. Sometimes he would say stupid things to me. Sometimes he was insulting when he thought he was being clever or funny.  Since I wasn’t completely invested in him, I let it slide. On one occasion we were arguing and he said to me, “You love your cats more than your boyfriends.” I had to correct him and explain that wasn’t true. I loved my cats more than I loved him. 🙂

Just because a person isn’t married doesn’t mean they don’t have lasting romantic relationships. Just because a person isn’t a parent doesn’t mean they don’t love kids.

To the folks who have a hard time with my life choices, and who tilt and scratch their heads when I say I am not married with children, I ask: Why are you so locked into the gender roles that you’re unable to even comprehend an alternative way of living?

Proud #SpinsterOldMaid 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Kimberley Johnson

Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN: The Poll Dance & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB