The Real Reason Oprah Never Got Married May Surprise You

She’s worth billions. Her talk show ran for 25 seasons before it came to an end. Oprah Winfrey’s life story is full of both hardships and successes. But there’s one major milestone she has yet to accomplish and likely never will: She’s never said “I do.” She isn’t the only celebrity to say “no thanks” to being a bride. But the real reason Oprah never got married may surprise you.

Oprah has always put her career first …

oprah gets emotional during one of her last tapings

Oprah is the embodiment of a career woman. | Peter Wynn Thompson/AFP/Getty Images

She’s always dominated the screen, becoming the first black woman to work as a TV correspondent in Nashville in 1973. Looking at all her accomplishments since then, it’s no wonder she’s had trouble making the necessary space for a husband.

Next: Focusing on her career has made her one of the most successful talk show hosts ever.

… And it’s paid off

Oprah speaks at the Golden Globes 2018

She one of the most successful TV personalities of all time. | Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Over the years, The Oprah Winfrey Show won 45 Emmy awards and made her one of the most successful talk show hosts of all time. She has her own network, media company, and magazine — and the net worth to prove it.

As of 2018, Oprah’s net worth comes to about $3 billion. And guess what: She doesn’t have to share any of it with a husband — just charity organizations and victims of gun violence.

Next: Is Oprah single? Her love life might be more interesting than it seems.

She’s not married — but she’s not single, either

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have been going strong for over three decades. | Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

There’s a reason you don’t hear much gossip about Oprah’s love life. There are no wedding plans in her future — but not for lack of a soulmate.

Oprah and longtime partner Stedman Graham have been together for over 30 years. That’s a long time to spend with a person without making things “official.” But they have a good reason for deciding not to take their relationship in that direction.

Next: Here’s the real reason you’ll never see Oprah walk down the aisle.

Oprah says marrying Graham never would have worked out

The couple don’t see eye-to-eye on marriage. | Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images

She told Vogue, “We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world. His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”

She admitted that she once seriously considered what it would be like to marry him. But she decided against the idea as soon as it became a real possibility.

Next: She never married, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t thought about it.

He did ask her to marry him once, though

wedding cake

They mutually called off the wedding. | JANIFEST/iStock/Getty Images

Just because the two decided against the matrimony route doesn’t mean they’ve never considered it. They were engaged to be married in November 1992 but called the engagement off shortly thereafter. They figured they’d be better off keeping things as they were between them.

Next: Is Oprah against society’s views on marriage?

How Oprah really feels about marriage

oprah speaking

She’s not afraid to tell you what she thinks. | Getty Images

In a casual discussion with TV titan Shonda Rhimes — who has also never married — Oprah said, “I  don’t want to be married because I could not have the life that I created for myself.”

She realized early on that she valued the success of her relationship with Graham, and herself, more than being a Mrs. — and that’s OK.

Next: Oprah isn’t the only American woman to forgo the idea of marriage.

Only 56% of women in America were married in 2010

Vintage wedding dress

Marriage is beginning to feel old-fashioned. | George Marks/Retrofile RF/Getty Images

Think marriage isn’t for you? You’re not the only one. The data seem to suggest fewer women are marrying now than in decades past, and a decrease in the gender wage gap might be the reason.

There was a major drop in marriage rates among American women between 1980 — when 74% of women were wives — and 2010. As more women work, and do so for better pay, many of them — like Oprah — decide they’d rather focus on their careers.

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