Do you have a "Spinster Aunt"?

There’s a family archetype of the “spinster aunt” - that somewhat oddball sis of one of your parents who never dated much, prefers to live alone with her cats and knit more quilts, and is rumored to not exactly play for the regular team.

Do you have one?

I had one - she died a few years ago. She didn’t knit or have 80 cats, but she lived with another lady (also a spinster aunt) for about 50 years.

I have one now and had a great aunt too that was that way, however I believe it wasn’t that either picked a side as much as they just wern’t into the sport itself.

I had two. One my mother’s aunt and another a distant cousin of my mother’s. Both lived alone their adult lives. Miss them both. Very nice ladies. No idea on whether either ever had sex with anyone.

I was going to say yes, then realized that I had 3 of them, but they weren’t really spinsters. They were all widowed, one of them for over 50 years.

I have an aunt who is in a long-term relationship with another woman. They’ve been together for about 20 years, I think. It’s possible people might have looked at her as the spinster type if she lived in another time or another culture where they had to keep their relationship quiet.

Yup. I have one. I’ll leave out all the oddball stories that could fill an entire thread, but they’re there, she’s very nice (to the nieces and nephews) but has some offputting qualities that kind off have her a bit on the outs with the family. Nothing horrible, mind you. Not the “I’m never going to talk to you again” type stuff, just the “I’m not going to keep up with your day to day life/I’ll talk to you on the phone once a month and see you at major holidays” type stuff.

She’s always lived alone and the lesbian rumor would surface from time to time, but she’s been having an affair with a married guy for the past 10 years or so, so we figure that’s probably not the case. I think she just likes being on her own.

To some in my family, I am the spinster aunt. I’m not a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I think sometimes people get the impression that their never-married relatives are gay because the never-married person doesn’t feel the need to send out a newsletter to the extended family to report on every drunken hookup. :wink:

I actually said that to a family member. It was brought up at a family event that I had a boyfriend. To their knowledge, I haven’t had a boyfriend since high school. That is patently not true, but I didn’t think my dating habits were anyone’s business but mine. So I didn’t discuss the boy(s) I was dating. Years pass, a BF is introduced and a family member (in one of the classiest moves ever) says, “Oh, really? I thought you were gay?”

“Hmmm, I see. What made you think that? Do you think you’ve seen me out and about with women? Have I been bringing home female roommates or something?”

“Well, erm, um, no. I don’t know…You never have a boyfriend…”

“So when’s the last time you called me up to report to me something about your sex life?”

“Never! Ew!”

“Right, so what makes you think I would call you up to report every drunken hookup? How is my sex life your business?”

:: crickets chirping ::

“That’s what I thought.”

In other news, I was once touring family graves in the various cemeteries around my grandfather’s house. He pointed to his sister’s grave and told me she’d attended my alma mater. I noted her maiden name on the stone and asked if she’d married. I was informed she’d never married and never had kids and had been a teacher her whole life. I immediately wondered if she was that spinster aunt, but then I thought about my own situation and decided maybe she was just a march-to-her-own-drummer kind of person like me. Maybe that’s where I got that quality.

My whole point: I think people sometimes get ideas about other people that are not necessarily accurate based on a few superficial impressions. It could be that your spinster aunt is actually experimenting with cat recipes and that’s why she has a lot of cats, and she only trots out the knitting and quilting when family is around so they won’t know about her secret S&M dungeon. You just never know what’s going on in other people’s lives from the outside.

I voted yes, but it’s really a spinster niece instead of an aunt. Does that count?

In my family I am the sphincter uncle.

I had a slightly nutty aunt who had some sort of relationship with a guy (not married, never lived together). Then they broke up and she became my really nutty aunt.

I was going to say I am the spinster aunt, but I’m not gay and I only have two cats.

My spinster aunt has also lived with another woman for, must be 30 years now or so*. I have NO idea if she’s gay or not, or if they are just two spinster ladies who are really good roommates. I wish I could tell her that I don’t care in the slightest if she is gay, and she and her partner (if that’s what she is) are more than welcome to come to family things, but I don’t want to make assumptions, and it isn’t my business (and I might be wrong, anyway).

*If it is a gay relationship, they’re doing better than most straight couples. Just sayin’.

I’m the spinster not-gay aunt. Always lived alone, and pretty happy about it. 6 dogs, 4 cats and 4 horses, but no knitting. I live my life on my own terms, and I’ve never felt the need to apologize for it.


I, too, am the spinster aunt, or will be in ten years or so. No cats (yet).

I have a spinster aunt. No cats, no quilts, no knitting, and perfectly happy to live alone. I know that she had a boyfriend for a number of years, but his death put an end to any plans that they may have had. No idea about any subsequent relationships–at least, I’ve never heard of any–but I do know that she keeps herself busy with work, with friends and family, and with various activities she enjoys. Overall, she seems pretty happy; and IMHO, she’s not a bad person to be related to.

I had a spinster great-aunt; however, it was not by choice. She had a boyfriend, they discussed getting married, unfortunately her parents put the kibosh on the it. As she was the youngest female in the family, she was told her job as to take care of her parents as they aged. Her mother lived to be 94.

On my father’s side of the family (in Britain), I had a spinster aunt who lived in a Boston marriage with another lady. There was never any indication that it was anything other than friendship, but who knows. They were both wonderful.

I have an aunt and uncle (actually both cousins, but the children of a great aunt, and much older, so they are called aunt and uncle). They are sister and brother, and neither ever married. The aunt has lived with a female roommate for a long long time, and the uncle lived with his mom until she died, and now lives alone. Rumor has it that the uncle once fell in love with a woman, but his mother forbade the relationship because the woman was Mexican.

I have somewhat of a spinster aunt, in that she’s never married, and is somewhat of an oddball (actually, she’s bat-fucking-shit insane, but that’s another set of stories). However, she’s secretly been dating her high school boyfriend for 30 years (we only found out about 8 years ago), and until recently did have a boyfriend living with her and her dying parents in their (the parents, my grandparents) house. But I don’t think they ever had sex.