Cool Spinsters We Love!

About a year ago, a guy I often see while walking my dog said to me, somewhat apologetically, that he thinks “women who’ve never been married are kinda sad” .  I chuckled…until I realized he was serious.   He’s going through a divorce so I decided to cut him some slack.  I merely asked him if he knew any sad married people (other than himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife).

But that was last year, and I was starting to assume that people were beginning to show some progress in this area.  But I was wrong.  My new doctor –who is younger than I am and should know better– spent too much time “counseling” me that I need to get married so I can have a family to share my life with.  I patiently explained to him that I already have a family that I share my life with.  What are my brother, sister, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins if they’re not my family?

When will it sink in to people that not being married does not equal alone in the world? It doesn’t mean sad, it doesn’t mean a small life.  I thought  of several Spinsters we all know who I think have pretty great lives. Here’s a few that come to mind right away:


These women are anything but sad.  I know…they’re all celebrities so they’re not like you and me, right?  Well, you don’t have to be a celebrity to be a Spinster with a pretty great life.  There’s this lady.


And there’s the readers of this blog.  And I’ll bet you can think of more than a few Spinsters –famous or not– who you admire (and who aren’t sad).  Who are they?


This entry was posted in Chelsea Handler, Condoleeza Rice, Elena Kagan, Jacqueline Bisset, Maureen Dowd, Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey, Pam Grier, Patricia Clarkson, spinster, spinsterlicious, Tyra Banks. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Cool Spinsters We Love!

  1. Nissa says:

    Here’s a new one I’ve just discovered: Lise Meitner. Brilliant, no husband, no kids.
    (7 November 1878 – 27 October 1968) was an Austrian, later Swedish, physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics.Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, an achievement for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize.Meitner is often mentioned as one of the most glaring examples of women’s scientific achievement overlooked by the Nobel committee. Element 109, meitnerium, is named in her honor.

  2. Nowhere Girl says:

    I’m a radical spinster – 32, never married, never been in a relationship, never had sex.
    Actually, I’d prefer to have a platonic girlfriend, so one could say I’m an asexual lesbian. But in a world of all these expectations put on women, I’m proud to be a spinster because it is a subversive lifestyle.
    I don’t know if I necessarily do need any role models. I have lots of different interests and hobbies that make me one of a kind anyway. But I do find it hard sometimes that this way of living is underrepresented in culture, especially in modern culture (in modern culture being single has become OK, but everyone assumes single people have sex). Literature… I prefer poetry and popular-scientific literature anyway, I don’t read novels too much, but an unmarried-asexual-happy lifestyle has become impossible to imagine. I think I can do without role models, but not everyone can and I just care for younger girls who may want to follow such a path too and may discover there is no such path because culture had made it invisible.

  3. Andie says:

    Thanks for this post about just a few of the fabulous, beautiful and accomplished Spinsters that grace our community and our lives. These women should be celebrated for who they are as well as their contributions – as should the many less famous singletons whose undivided focus make this world a better and happier place in which to live.

    These women are whole and complete in themselves, regardless of their relationship status, and stand as role models deserving of accolades and admiration to us all. Keep up the good work ladies!

    And Eleanore – you rock! Love this blog!

  4. Pingback: Diane Keaton “Comes Around” To Being Single | Eleanore Wells

  5. Kira says:

    Suhaila Seddiqi is another! <3 She is retired now, but she was the Surgeon General in the Afghan military and served as Afghanistan's Minister of Public Health from 2001-2004.
    Also, upbeat is good. It's a nice change from the world's negativity.

  6. Stella says:

    Wow. So did you get another doctor?
    Bravo to all those women who commented too.
    While I am torn about being single, partly enjoying it, partly wanting to be in a relationship again, I respect any woman who has the guts to listen to what makes her happy even if when society tells us what should make us happy.

  7. Stella says:

    Wow. Can I just say: what an annoying doctor. Did you get another one? Why does he assume he knows what’s best for you . . . he’s just a doctor not a mind reader!

  8. Trudy H says:

    Wow. You are beautiful!!

  9. CLV says:

    What would make me sad is having to put up with another person in my space 24/7 like one has to when married! Actually, that would more likely make me homicidal 😉

  10. Debbie says:

    ME!! I think it’s very telling when my married friends (women) tell me how much they admire me for never settling and being comfortable with who I am-SINGLE!

    Over many years of different circles of friends, I only know of ONE marriage that I thought was great. ONE…now, that’s sad. And I loved you comeback for him “if he knew any sad married people”…made me laugh out loud.

  11. Judy says:

    I am trying to think of my acquaintances that have never married, I do have a few, but I don’t know of any of them that I admire. Sorry girls, but their souls are not soothing or mellow in any way. I have thought of them often when I review my own disposition and it’s one of my personal projects to not become like them. I don’t know exactly what is going on with them (or maybe me) but their brand of sour is different from the other women I know. That’s why I follow this blog, to hear from those who are enjoying their life without a significant other.

    I do know a number of women who had the “life after death” experience. These gals soared, in every way, once their husbands died or they divorced. Not one of them ever remarried. I remember Alberta, who was a friend of the family, responding to the question: “Don’t you want to get married again”, with a resounding “hell no”. I never heard her cuss in my whole life!

    • CLV says:

      Are these never-married acquaintances people who really wanted to be married but haven’t had that work out for them? I think that situation produces a vastly different attitude (possibly sour) and vibe from those of us who have no desire to be coupled.

  12. Jill says:

    Diane Keaton. (Technically, Elena Kagen is not a spinster; she’s divorced.)

    • Eleanore says:

      Diane Keaton is a good one. I think you might be mistaken about Elena Kagan. Her bios say she has never married. (I wonder if you’re confusing her with Sonia Sotomayor, who is divorced).

  13. 17/22 says:

    married 17 years, single 22, age 59 so sick of people thinking there’s something wrong with me. bottom line: they’re jealous.

    • 21/21 says:

      I hear you. Many regular days seem like a vacation because of the freedom!
      I learned to absolutely love my alone time. Some married people just don’t understand and want to validate themselves by looking down on single people. Websites like this help single people to FINALLY admit it is wonderful to be single most of the time.

  14. Beth O'Donnell says:

    Do you ever get discouraged? You seem relentlessly upbeat. Some days, it is exhausting.

  15. Charlotte says:

    You are awesome and I can think of many “spinsters” who are far from sad. In fact, I have known many women of all ages who were happily not-married and living their lives as they saw fit. The idea that we need to be coupled off to find happiness is completely absurd. And it does a complete disservice to the members of our family, who are always with us through thick and thin. Never mind our four-legged friends 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am thrilled to be single and I don't want someone disrupting my peaceful life! I have enough to take care of now. Plenty of people think I am a wierdo, so what. And there have been people who have practically fallen off thier chair when they found out I have never been married. I came to a point where I couldn't stand the misery of it all and just wanted to be happy. For some people they meet someone, fall in love, blah blah. With me I would meet someone and it always turned to such crap. I decided to start thinking more about me, to do what I felt like and not worry about what was the right thing to do. No regrets. Plenty of men I knew could just go out and do what ever, for fun. So I did. Its been a long time now cause I am 59 and I made this peaceful happy life style change when I was about 36. I am not sad, I don't hate kids or men and I do have cats…and a dog.

  17. MilanoGirl says:

    Susan B. Anthony. Katharine Hepburn. Queen Elizabeth I. Joan of Arc. St. Catherine of Siena.

    I'm living in Milan right now. (Well, I'm home in Chicago visiting) but I'm planning some fake boyfriend names and stories to stave off unwanted attention when I go back. Because if you're single, you're fair game and must want a boyfriend. No, thanks, I'm good right now.

    I hard remembering to remind myself that some married people are often envious of single people's lives.

    Any why isn't staying single, making the right decision for yourself, celebrated more? Last week, Dov Davidoff was on Chelsea Lately, and in regards to Trace Cyrus announcement that he was going to be a father, Dov said, “we have Mother's Day,we have Father's Day…can we have a day that celebrates self-restraint…National Pull-Out Day”

  18. Rhona says:

    Well, there's me!!!!
    Also, Cherlize Theron and Sanaa Lathan (I believe). Hands down, being a spinster is amazing. Come, go, do, say–on my own wiht noone to report or worry about.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Australia's Prime Minister is unmarried although has a long-term partner – Julia Gillard.

    🙂 i0l…

  20. Janine says:

    I'm not so much a sad spinster as a cranky one, so I would've punched that guy who said spinsters are sad.
    Seriously, I think it's a constant battle to not SEEM sad in the face of so much glossy spin on marriage. Try working for a women's weekly mag with a conservative readership if you want constant validation of how very tragic and wanting you are if you're not a Mrs.
    I often need to remind myself why I have chosen to be single in the face of all that negativity. Those women you name as happy spinsters, and the high-profile spinsters here in Oz (comediennes and academic types feature heavily) are people I identify with, as they are all strong women, smart women, and therefore far less likely to put up with the crap and compromises many other women have to make to maintain relationships.
    I spent all last weekend being caught up in yet another spat between my far more traditional-minded flatmate and her useless, alcoholic boyfriend who treats her like crap. Would I put up with his behaviour for five minutes? Absolutely not. Yet many “happily married” women (and men) do put up with disrespect, with mental and physical abuse, because they're so tragically dependent. Let me tell you, 50% – if not more – of the marriages I know fall into the latter category.
    That, my friends, makes me very happy to be single. And with all that money you save by not having a stupid big wedding? Well, you could have a fun holiday in Hawaii. Enjoy, Jen!

  21. Brooklyn says:

    Me!! And many of my awesome friends. One of them just came up to me in the office today to tell me if this one dude in the office asked her one more time why there isn't a ring on her finger, she was going to punch him in the throat.

    When will it be as cool to be a single chick as it is to be a “bachelor?”

    Well I am leaving for 2 weeks in Hawaii tomorrow and all of my married friends are jealous!



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