Tammy Wynette Once Said She ‘Hated’ Living Alone and Didn’t Like Dating: ‘I’d Rather We Be Married’

With a personal life that was almost as famous as her music, country star Tammy Wynette once explained the reason she’d married five times before her 40th birthday. She hated living alone and didn’t like dating, taking more of an all-or-nothing approach to her romantic relationships. And even though a few of her unions ended poorly, she never seemed to lose faith in marriage.

Tammy Wynette in a portrait, circa 1969.
Tammy Wynette | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Wynette walked down the aisle for the first time at 17 and was often married throughout life. But around her 1975 divorce from George Jones, her third, she was on the dating scene.

Burt Reynolds was romantically linked to Wynette during that time, and she was rumored to have saved him from drowning in her bathtub. Furthermore, according to The Washington Post, reports emerged that she woke up “married” to former New England Patriots tackle Tom Neville.

Wynette officially had her fourth wedding in 1976, which her fifth husband attended. According to the Post, that marriage only lasted a few weeks before her soon-to-be ex allegedly fired a pistol into the air outside her home. On a related note, Wynette claimed Jones drunkenly chased her with a loaded shotgun. So, she seemingly had a low tolerance for such displays by then.

Her fifth husband, George Richey, remained married to the woman who’d served as her fourth maid of honor. However, she began dating him before his divorce, she confessed. “That’s something both of us were taught against,” she told the Post, adding, “It’s against every belief we ever had.”

She noted, “At the same time, he couldn’t get his divorce over with for us to get married right away,” which is what she preferred. And she told the Post why she hoped to achieve that level of commitment instead of dating.

Tammy Wynette hated living alone and didn’t like to ‘play the dating game’

People who got to know Wynette described her as a person who loved being in love. And she confessed that she preferred marriage and commitment to casual dating. “I hate living alone, I hate it,” she told the Post, adding, “I don’t like to play the dating game. It’s not for me.”

According to Wynette, to know that someone liked her was enough. She explained, “… If they like me and really like what I am and like what I stand for, then they’re gonna love me.”

When she fell in love, she didn’t want to “waste … time” with both of them dating other people. She declared, “I’d rather we be married.”

Tammy Wynette said she wanted to live ‘as much of a normal life as possible’

Tammy Wynette pictured outside her Nashville, Tennessee, home in 1982.
Tammy Wynette | Paul Harris/Getty Images

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Though Wynette had reached the heights of country music superstardom by the time she married Richey, she also told the Post she still wanted to “live as much of a normal life as possible.”

Following an alleged abduction, Wynette explained that she planned to increase her security to live in peace with Richey. She didn’t outright accuse Jones of somehow disrupting her serenity, other than falling behind on child support.

However, she did tell the Post, “It’s nothing really personal. It’s just that I’m very happy for the first time in my life. I want to keep it that way, and I don’t want anything with George Jones and me to interfere with my life now.”