Society typically places a lot of pressure on people — especially women — to get married and have children. However, not everyone shares those goals, and plenty of people have found fulfillment without a partner.
Here are 18 famous women who genuinely like being single:
1. In 2019, Diane Keaton told InStyle that she hadn't been on a date in 35 years. She said, "I have a lot of male friends. I have a lot of friends, but no dates. No mwah-mwah."
She also told People magazine, "[I'm not sad] because I think that I needed more of a maternal aspect. I don't think it would have been a good idea for me to [get] married, and I'm really glad I didn't."
2. In a 2022 blog post, Drew Barrymore wrote, "After two kids and a separation from their father that has made me cautious, I have had the pleasure of shifting my focus when it comes to love for myself and my two daughters. I know that does not include a man nor has it for a while. And since entering life as a single mom, I have not been able to have an intimate relationship. I have had the honor and a pleasure to actually work on myself and learn what parenting is, again something I was not exactly clear on growing up, and I've had many learning curves thrown my way."
On a 2023 episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, she discussed the intersection between her singleness and her experience with alcoholism.
Speaking with guests Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter, she said, "I haven't had a drink — and I'm not sober. I don't work a program, but alcohol was my poison — and I haven't had a drink in almost four years. The narrative that one creates is that 'I can't be with someone.' And I haven't been in a relationship since I stopped drinking, and I'm really looking forward to, one day, not having that bad girl narrative. The instability. The 'I'm not someone who is right to be with anyone, for their sake.'"
3. In an essay for Glamour UK, model and activist Yasmin Benoit wrote, "I live a perfectly happy and fulfilled life as a Black asexual, aromantic woman. I don't need a partner to complete me — I'm complete just the way I am."
She continued, "That's why I use my platform to fight against asexuality stigma, dispel myths and help empower the ace community."
4. In 2020, Sharon Stone told The Drew Barrymore Show, "I'm done dating. I've had it with dating ... I just find people to be insincere and not worth my time. I enjoy my alone time and my time with my kids and my friends more."
She continued, "I just feel like I don't need another kid. I don't want any insincerity and baloney and game playing."
5. In a 2019 interview with Vogue, Emma Watson coined the term "self-partnered" to describe her contentment with singleness.
She said, "I never believed the whole 'I'm happy single' spiel. I was like, 'This is totally spiel.' It took me a long time, but I'm very happy [being single]."
6. In 2020, Charlize Theron told The Drew Barrymore Show that she hadn't dated anyone in over five years. She said, "I'm in a place in my life where you have to come with a lot of game. Not the kind of game that we think of, [but] the kind of game where my life is really good, so you better be able to bring that and maybe better, because I just won't accept anything less."
She continued, "I can honestly say this, on my life, I don't feel lonely. Once I had my children, it's not that it replaces something or that it makes you less interested in something else. I'm still firing on all cylinders. I just think your priorities are in a place that is of high demand; it's a lot of work to be a parent. Part of that is at the end of the day, I get to bed, and I think, Oh my god, I wouldn't want this day to be any different."
7. In 2013, Stevie Nicks told Vulture, "Most women would not be happy being me. People say, 'But you’re alone.' But I don't feel alone. I feel very un-alone. I feel very sparkly and excited about everything. I know women who are going, like, 'I don't want to grow old alone.' And I'm like, 'See, that doesn't scare me.' Because I'll never be alone. I'll always be surrounded by people. I'm like the crystal ball, and these are all the rings of Saturn around me."
She continued, "My generation fought very hard for feminism, and we fought very hard to not be labeled as you had to have a husband or you had to be in a relationship or you were somehow not a cool chick. And now I'm seeing that start to come around again, where people say to you, 'Well, what do you mean, you don't have a boyfriend? You don't want to have one? You don't want to be married?' And you're like, 'Well, no, I don't, actually. I'm fine.' And they find a lot of reasons why you're not fine. But it just seems to be coming back. Being able to take care of myself is something that my mom really instilled in me. I can remember her always saying, 'If nothing else, I will teach you to be independent.'"
8. In 2015, Mindy Kaling told Good Housekeeping, "I don't need marriage. I don't need anyone to take care of all my needs and desires. I can take care of them myself now."
Then, in 2022, she told Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast, "Why not me? Why am I not the person that got married? I'm still examining it. It makes me emotional ... I am often amazed at how different my life looks now. I'm 43. I have two kids. I live with a nanny, whom I love. I have my community that allows me to have that decision, and also, I waited until I was in my late 30s to have children because I knew I needed the resources to be able to do it comfortably."
9. In 2022, Julie Bowen told The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she "retired" from dating and adopted a dog as a "retirement gift."
She also joked that she'd come out of "dating retirement" for Harry Styles.
10. In 2020, Fran Drescher told People, "Getting really connected to myself has been a great journey, because now I'm not even feeling like I have to be in a relationship, because I'm in a relationship with myself — and it's going quite well."
She also said, "I think that I've had to very consciously work on not being codependent, not being fearful of being by myself or doing things by myself. I really had to make a concerted effort to get past that. And I think that I am good with it now."
11. In 2021, Jane Fonda told Harper's Bazaar, "I don't want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again. I don't have that desire."
She continued, "Do I fantasize? Yes ... [But] I'm very grateful that I don't have to get naked in front of anybody again ever, even in candlelight."
12. Appearing on The Drew Barrymore Show in 2021, Allison Janney said, "I really am, at this time in my life, getting to know who I am and what I want. So I'd love to eventually find someone to share my life with, but if it doesn't happen, I think I'll be just fine."
She also said, "I think if I'd found the right guy at the right time and wanted to have kids, I probably would have with the right partner. Because I wasn't ever really confident that I wanted to have kids, and I would rather regret not having kids than have kids and regret that. I'm okay with it."
13. In 2017, January Jones told Red magazine, "Something else would suffer if a relationship came along. Yes, I'm willing to make that sacrifice for the right relationship — I just don't feel I need a partner. Do I want one? Maybe. But I don't feel unhappy or lonely. It would have to be someone so amazing that I would want to make room. Someone who would contribute to my happiness and not take away from it."
She continued, "After I had Xander, I went on a couple of dates and I was like, 'I'd rather be at home sleeping or watching TV or hanging out with my kid.'"
14. In 2019, Teri Hatcher told People, "There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I have been single for a very long time, but there is nothing lonely about my life. I want to remove the stigma of that."
She continued, "Many women who get divorced will not get remarried. That kind of sounds depressing, but it doesn’t have to be. Many women are not just surviving alone, they're thriving. They're empowered, they're making money, they're being healthy, they're traveling. You are allowed to be proud of your life when you're not part of a couple."
15. Sheryl Crow almost got married three times, but she's grateful that she never went through with it. In 2022, she told The Howard Stern Show, "I go, 'Thank you, God. Thank you. I didn't get married.'"
She continued, "I got breast cancer at the end of one relationship, and it was horrible, but when I came through it, I was like, you know what? I'd still be in that relationship had I not had breast cancer. So in a weird way, I'm grateful. And you think you're gonna be like, 'Oh, F that guy' or whatever, but by the time you get to that point, you've moved on, and you don't really care anymore."
16. In a 2016 essay for Time magazine, Chelsea Handler wrote, "After experiencing all that [dating and romance] and seriously thinking about marriage, I respectfully reserve a table for one in the restaurant of life."
She continued, "It’s not just OK to be single for both men and women — it's wonderful to be single, and society needs to embrace singlehood in all its splendiferous, solitary glory. Next time you see a single woman, instead of asking her where her boyfriend, husband, or eunuch is, congratulate her on her accomplished sense of self and for reaching the solitary mountaintop by herself without a ring on her finger weighing her down like a male paperweight."
17. In 2018, Carol Vorderman told the Irish Independent, "Being single, in my mind, means I have lots of boyfriends at the same time and no commitment to any of them. Perfect. I haven't had a committed thing for years, out of choice. I don't want it."
She also said, "I love being single. It means I never have to compromise — if I want to move to a new city, that's up to me and I don't have to consider anyone else. It's how I like to be. I don't need a man to look after me financially, thank you very much."
18. And finally, in a 1981 interview with Barbara Walters, Katharine Hepburn said, "I put on pants 50 years ago and declared a sort of middle road. I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I've just done what I damn well wanted to, and I've made enough money to support myself, and I ain't afraid of being alone."
She also said, "You couldn't [have a marriage and a career] when I got started. At least, you couldn't have a marriage that would please me.''