Don't want to be married, don't want to be single, not sure what to do

The fundamental problem is that I’m not interested in having sex with someone - honestly the whole idea just seems sort of weird and gross. I don’t want kids and I would never be willing to risk having them. In short, I don’t want a sexual relationship. At all. The best it could ever be for me would be submitting to something that I hated to make someone else happy.

But I don’t want to be alone. I want someone I can come home to and watch TV together. I want someone I can share secrets with and not worry about them being married to someone else. I don’t want to be forming relationships knowing that some day they want to marry - every single other person I’ve ever met wants to marry and start a family - and that’s going to change our intimacy too much.

And I just…I hate my life as it is. Even in a marriage I’d feel like a prostitute, trading something I find repulsive for emotional intimacy. It would ruin the relationship. But any other relationship I can form will eventually go away as the other person moves on. I can’t be sharing my life with a married person, and I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t want to be married and doesn’t want to be alone most of the time.

I know, my desires are all wrong and everything, but…that’s not something I can change. I don’t feel like I can make myself be happy like this, certainly not within the constraints of Catholicism. But what am I supposed to do?

You have a history of abuse, so I really encourage you to get counseling. These thoughts of marital intimacy as “gross”, “prostitution”, “weird”, and repulsive most likely stem from your prior situation.

It won’t be easy to heal, but with professional help you can make good progress.

It’s not. Trust me, I had those thoughts way before then. I just…I’m not sexually attracted to men. That’s how it is, and I’m not going to be suddenly turned around and want to be married to a man and have babies with a bit of counseling. Counseling isn’t going to manufacture sexual desire that just isn’t there.

I don’t have any problems with other people having sex…it’s just that, for me, the only ever possible purpose for sex would be something that would be terrifying because I might get pregnant (which with my health would be very very bad in any case) and something that I was only doing because I felt like I had to in order to have emotional needs fulfilled. It couldn’t be anything other than letting someone else use my body in order to get what I want.

Not everybody gets married.

And even among those who do, there will be room in their lives for relationships with other people. I think you may be at a particularly bad age, because your age peers are settling down, are wrapped up in the phase of romantic relationships where the rest of the world disappears, or are wrapped up in early parenthood. So, I’d look around for somewhat older women to befriend–empty nesters or widows may be particularly good prospects. Many empty nester women are very generous with their time and pleased to make friends with younger women.

And I think you may be overestimating the degree to which marriage can offer lifelong companionship. My great-grandma married a man decade or so older than herself and wound up living as a widow for nearly three decades. However, she never lacked for friendship when she wanted it. She had the gift of being able to make friends with younger people and she had many friends, despite being (I suspect) an introvert. She had a vocation that provided lots of opportunities to meet people. She also had a lot of animals at home–some calves she was fattening, a cat, a dog, some geese, a few horses, and probably some other animals I am forgetting. While people mock “cat ladies,” I think there’s a lot of benefit to be derived from animal companionship.

There’s also the possibility of living in some sort of intentional community.

So, to summarize: look for older women, think about getting a pet (when finances allow), consider an intentional community, and work or volunteer.

I think that once you are able to lead a more active and social life and hold down a job, a lot of this will fall into place. There’s no point in worrying about lifelong isolation when the main thing that’s holding you back right now is lack of transportation.

Good luck!

Mary and Joseph were married and they never had sex.

It might be hard to find someone who shares your feelings, but presumably if you found someone you liked who also wasn’t interested in sex at all – or maybe a gay man determined to remain chaste? – you could follow their example.

Actually got the pet part down! I got her before the finances crashed so badly, and I’ve been trading some extra care work in exchange for some of her stuff. Helps some at least - she’s a sweet little kitty that’s perfect for a fairly quiet house. Comes when called too.

The rest of it…yeah, you’re probably right.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your time of need.

Emotional intimacy may be silently sharing a duty or disclosing thoughts and emotions to build a sense of community, offer mutual support, or reach an understanding, These are all qualities that may be part of a friendship, so do not require a sexual relationship.

The problem DL has mentioned previously is that at her age (20-something), her friends are one by one succumbing to matrimony and parenthood and leaving her world. Also, she has had a lot of platonic male friends and has been discovering that those platonic cross-gender friendships do not survive the male friend’s marriage unscathed.

DL, did I get that right?

Pretty much. Plus of course it’s also an age where there’s lots of moving around. People go to another school, or they get a job somewhere else, or something. Few people my age stay in one town for very long - myself included. There’s just too little guarantee that you can find work in one particular place. I actually think this one’s contributing more than anything - most friendships don’t seem to survive moving around.

Ironically, it’s the friendships with men who are already married that survive the best. It’s the “I really really want a date and if I spend time with another woman no one will date me” stage that messes up friendships. The guys I met after they were married? Those friendships do just fine.

If it is with the opposite sex, then it is a sexual relationship, even though it does not involve foreplay or coitus. Sexuality is much more than* that* including roles and conditioning, yet without that, there is the temptation to sin that should be avoided to contend with, and scandal.

Unfortunately for those of us with SSA, this exact same logic applies to same-sex friendships. That’s often part of the problem - when you’re attracted to the same sex there is no such thing as a relationship that’s free from the possibilities of temptation or scandal.

Oh my goodness, I think I may be having a sexual relationship with the Starbucks drive thru guy!!!

gasp of horror

And you’ve probably even tipped him for his services a time or two!!! Does that make him a, erm, gentleman of the evening? :eek:

Hopefully you are not lusting over him!

At those prices? I doubt it. :wink:

This is not true–at least, not the way I am reading you. You really can have a brother-sister or mother-son or father-daughter relationship with someone who is not literally a blood relative or an in-law. People who experience same-sex attraction can have a relationship with someone of their own gender that is agápe, philía, or storgē, rather than éros. It can happen, and it does. You do have to be prudent in terms of putting yourselves in situations where an inordinate relationship is going to develop with someone who belongs to the gender group that attracts you, but that doesn’t preclude having any relationships at all.

Trust me, the Pope has women in his life that he considers his friends, his sisters in Christ. Mother Teresa had men in her life that she considered friends, her brothers in Christ. Men and women can spend time in proximity, and chastity is possible. That doesn’t mean that gender is irrelevant–of course it doesn’t!–but that the mere possibility of an inordinate attraction doesn’t cut someone off from the possibility of a friendship.

If it did, then pray tell what would you do if YOU were bisexual? Become a hermit?

But perhaps I read you wrong, and you only mean that it is foolish to presume we are always going to be as strong in resisting temptation as we think. If you mean that, then yes, that is prudent.

I agree with you about being prudent.

Rather than commenting on relationships in general, my comment addresses the situation of living together, indicated by the original poster saying: “But I don’t want to be alone. I want someone I can come home to and watch TV together.”

With various forms of sexual attraction, it is important to avoid giving scandal and also to avoid the near occasions of sin. Whatever that takes, if morally possible, is a necessary step.

And this is supposed to do anything except reinforce my original complaint how? I’m sick to death of hearing people who can’t show a tiny bit of compassion instead of throwing more rules at people who are suffering. All this sort of thing does is make hurting people feel guilty for hurting.

I’m not sure if you addressed this, but have you considered a religious vocation? You do not have a desire to be married but I think you concern (of not being single) is more to do with being alone. Convents have a community-aspect to it and you serve God. I don’t know much about the process of becoming a nun or other religious vocations for women in general (I am a male by the way :)) but it might be something worth discerning.

Also, with respect to your male friends who are getting married and your relationship with them is diminishing, have you tried talking to their significant others? Maybe the three of you can set boundaries that respect their marriage, your friendship, and avoid scandal/temptation. This way, your friend’s wife wouldn’t necessary feel threatened and will better understand your relationship with their spouse. Also, it would give you the chance to become friends with your friends spouse too. Hope this helps a little. I will be praying for you.

God Bless.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit