In previous generations, there were more than a few women who never married because they didn’t have the looks or money to attract a husband in a world where women outnumbered men by quite a few. Every time a war swept through, a large chunk of one generation’s men would be wiped out by combat, leaving behind women who might otherwise have married. Many of them shared apartments because they couldn’t afford to live alone.
I had a great aunt who we are all sure was a lesbian. She never came out though- simply not something her generation did.
Another middle-aged, straight, and never-interested-in-marriage person here. I’m just naturally a loner/cat lady (we’ll see about the crazy part). I know that most of my family assumes I’m gay, but as long as that keeps them from trying to fix me up with nice, eligible men I’m okay with it. They’re Catholic, so trying to fix me up with nice, eligible women is out of the question.
I wonder if a lot of those people were autistic. Not Rain Man autistic, but somewhere on the autism spectrum such that they are functional in society, but still not good with relationships.
I assume “confirmed bachelor” was code for “gay and in the closet”. Possibly even to themselves.
I am sure there are people who are asexual or autistic or whatever, but I would guess that a lot of families don’t know about Uncle Jim’s life if it involves something they don’t want anyone to know about.
Especially if Uncle Jim didn’t want to know it either.
I am 50 and have never married, and yes, many people assume this means I am gay.
I am 100 percent heterosexual, but very bad at relationships.
For myself, I just don’t want a relationship. I’ve tried it, sex is fun but overall it’s a whole lot of hype for naught, especially as you get older.
There I said it.
I honestly believe there is a segment of the population out there that aren’t meant to become invested in any sort of relationship with another person, no matter the conditions. Some-times, just some-times it has nothing to do with being a closeted homosexual. Some people just aren’t cut out or interested in relationships.
I’m one of them, I’m happy alone and the happiest alone.
Some people will say, wow that’s sad. But I feel sad for some of my friends that have to constantly jump through these little hoops of banality to ensure their mates are content with them.
I’ll pass on that shit.
[quote=“grude, post:8, topic:626003”]
It isn’t the marriage thing really, it was the no lovers, no kids, no friends thing.
There may be a family tendency to a personality “disorder” such as Schizoid Personality Disorder.
In any case, I don’t think you can conclusively say, “they were in the closet.” Especially if “no friends” is one of the defining characteristics of these people. Being gay obviously doesn’t mean you are unable or unwilling to form friendships, even if the times made someone feel that being gay was a deep dark secret that they had to conceal.
What naive statement for someone to make. Is it ironic that they used that word? I can never tell.
My Aunt has been single for about as long as I’ve been alive, yet she has a dating profile looking for a man her age. Her career was her primary relationship for a very long time.
Being in a relationship can be anywhere from near-perfect to a living Hell. Most people end up somewhere in the middle. It’s been quite a while since my last relationship, but my circumstance now is much closer to ideal than it is to a living Hell.
I do whatever I want. All the time. My choices are never subject to approval, I have nobody depending on me for anything except for my job. I eat what I want every day, do what I want, watch the movie I want to, and don’t have to do ANY of the things that people HAVE to do in order to keep things sane. If my married friends aren’t jealous of at least a few aspects of my life, then they aren’t really looking close enough.
I would love to have a girlfriend because of all the inherent benefits, but I’m not exactly living a life of lonely agony. Living alone for an extended period can change you in that you get comfortable with it, and don’t really want to adapt to another person’s way of living. I’m still at the point where I will and want to adapt, but over time the cost/benefit ratio of being in a relationship degrades after years of being single.
I’m male, 51. Never been married, never wanted to be. Straight as a mile, and happier than anyone else you’ll ever meet. I love my life and everything about it, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Everyone is striving to find their own kind of heaven. For some, that means marriage and kids. For some, it means life partner but kids optional. Otherse (like me) find all the happiness, love and fulfilment they want but don’t go the wife/family route.
So in answer to the OP, no, not all of them.
I’m reasonably sure that my Uncle J and my Aunt M, flatmates of long standing, were not lovers. Setting aside attitudes about incest, it’s hard to imagine Uncle J being interested in someone as… mentally fluffy… as she was.
Another Uncle J (sibling to the previous ones) got married at 55, to a 56yo bachelorette; since both died past 90, their marriage actually lasted longer than most. We still don’t know which family was most surprised but hey, it worked for them.
Assumptions like the one the OP is facing are akin to that situation where, in one of the last Spanish censuses, someone read any same-sex people who were housemates and not related in the first or second degree as being lovers. That would make the previous Uncle J and Aunt M lovers to their nephews who lived with them through college; it turned any students’ flat, dorm and monastery into a continuous orgy - outside of a certain brand of porn, just no.
This, particularly after WW1.
Edit: and also, with the vast improvements in healthcare, many women survived longer, so there were fewer young men looking for second wives when the previous wife had died in childbirth or through illness.
My great uncle was, as I learned late in his life, gay. Though the official story was just that he was a confirmed bachelor who lived with my great grandmother to help take care of her.
On the other hand, my brother really is a confirmed bachelor and I know he’s straight. Oh god, do I know in the most horrible way. I fired up the VCR once and he’d left a homemade tape in it. shudder.
I think the idea of someone not wanting to get married is becoming slowly more accepted, just as being childless is. I believe that the assumption in discussion here will slowly decrease as time goes on (although I don’t think it’ll ever disappear entirely, nor do I think marriage will ever cease to be an institution that’s “expected” - at least not in the lifetimes of anyone alive today).
Some people seem to be struggling with vocabulary here, so let’s get one thing straight: the female form of bachelor is spinster. You don’t need to coin ugly nonsense words like “bachelorette”, there’s already a perfectly cromulent word with that meaning.
It’s funny though how spinster seems like a fairly negative term whereas bachelor does not. I can see why you would not want to self identify as a spinster as it comes along with a number of other assumptions that I don’t think bachelor does. For instance I naturally think of a spinster as being old.
Don’t give them ideas, my mother is daily-mass Catholic and at one point she did try to fix me up with nice, eligible women. Not only am I straight, but her idea of “nice” leans towards degrees in the humanities and no interest for travelling, whereas I’m a nerdish airport warrior - she kept introducing me to lit teachers.
Back before I met my first [and my current husband] my parents kept trying to set me up with the sons of their friends and business associates. It got to the point that I would take my own car and pay for my own meal, and I would double date with my 6’4 drummer and his fiance/wife so I wouldn’t ever be alone with the assorted guys. I have no idea WTF was going on, I had single blind dates arranged with guys ranging from truely stupid jocks to nerdish bible pounding bookworms in seminary school who wanted to convert me. :dubious: I was never so happy to do anything until I moved to Virginia Beach with an exfiance and I finally got enough distance to avoid being set up on dates. Although I did occasionally get phone calls from guys who were given my number in case they ended up in Va Beach…:eek::rolleyes:
As I near fifty, I firmly embrace my spinsterhood. Mostly straight, but not completely, but that’s not why I’m not married, I just haven’t met someone I liked enough to want to spend forever with. I’m pretty set in my ways and I enjoy having the house to myself with the mutts for company and I suspect that after living alone for as long as I have, it would be a major adjustment having to live with someone else.
I’m in my early 40s, straight and very happily single. I’m attractive (blonde hair with trendy bangs and bright green eyes…too soon for umkay jokes?) and socially well adjusted, though a bit of a loner. I was married and had a child in my early twenties and had a few long-term and assorted short-term relationships after that, but for the last 5-7 years I’ve not even dipped a toe in the dating waters and I give the “I’m not ready to date” excuse when asked.
The truth is I might never be ready to date and I’m okay with that. Like others have said, I like my independence, I like my way of doing things and I like not answering to or compromising with anyone else. The only thing that crosses my mind occasionally is that I hope I don’t hang around too long if I have a medical emergency or pass at home (like my dad did. He was found the same day, thanks to concerned coworkers.) Morbid, but there you have it.