Friedrich Nietzche: The 3 Reasons Nietzche Never Married

Nietzche in the style of Van Gogh
Born15th of October, 1844
Died25th of August, 1900
Famous Quote“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
Known For19th-century philosopher, cultural critic, establishing the theory of will to power as innate virtue of man
Region of WorldGermany, 19th century

The now-famous 19th-century German philosopher Fredrich Nietzche never got married for 3 main reasons. There are several theories surrounding the subject along with his personal stance on the concept of love and marriage. Nietzche today is remembered for his stances on power, will, and destiny, but this article will demonstrate why Nietzche’s philosophy resulted in him never getting married.

Generally, Nietzche viewed the concept of modern marriage as inherently problematic for 3 reasons. First, married couples tend to produce unhappy unions. Second, Nietzche believed most marriages tended to be one-sided. Third, Freidrich Nietzche believed that instead of looking for marriage someone should look for companionship.

Nietzche never got married over the course of his life although he proposed 3 times to his lifelong friend Lou Andreas-Salomé who repeatedly rebuffed his advances.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 reasons why Nietzche never married.

Nietzche Believed That Most Marriages Lead to Unhappy Couples

One of the main reasons why Nietzche never married was due to his belief that most marriages would lead to unhappy couples. This was because according to Nietzche most people get married for the wrong reasons. It was not that Nietzche did not want to get married, it was just that he believed that it should come organically and not be pushed by society.

Within his philosophy, Nietzche outlines how most couples would get married out of love for another person’s physical body or resources. To Nietzsche, this inherently presented a problem of what happens when these things fade due to time. At some point, beauty will fade and money will be spent. To Nietzsche, this presented a massive problem in most marriages.

Nietzche asks within his philosophy of what happens when this reason people got married disappears. In old age do people then simply abandon their lover? It’s not that Nietzche never wanted to get married. For him however, his philosophy on marriage surrounded discovering the nature of romantic love. Most married couples according to Nietzsche’s view of his modern time would become unhappy because they married due to transient things. At some point, each person in the marriage would begin to drift apart naturally over time but be stuck together in a union.

This presented a problem for Nietzsche’s philosophy. According to Neitzche men must cast aside societal beliefs to become a better version of themselves. But getting married due to romantic love created a societal belief that in theory would prevent people from pushing towards what Neitzche called the Übermensch.

This inherent philosophical problem would be one of the main reasons why Nietzche would never marry over the course of his life.

Nietzche Believed Most Married Couples To Have A One-Sided Power Dynamic

Another reason Nietzche never married was due to his beliefs on the concept of power within a marriage. One of the main philosophical beliefs of Nietzche was the concept of will to power that all people inherently strive to control their surroundings.

However, Nietzche’s views on marriage heavily conflicted with this theory. Within 19th-century marriage, Nietzche believed that a married woman would have to sacrifice her individuality to obtain social security. This inherently limited a married couple’s will to power which Nietzche’s entire philosophy revolved around. This was because an individual in the partnership would have to sacrifice their individuality. Further, the married man would have to provide for a family and his wife in the marriage. This inherently limited the man’s will to power as no longer was the man free from societal expectations.

As such, to Nietzche, the concept of a married couple inherently only did one thing successfully. It reinforced the societal constraints which in Nietzsche’s eyes inherently limited people’s ambition and sovereign will. Because of this Nietzche was against the idea of a traditional marriage. Instead, he wanted people to get married out of a gradually growing affection instead of marrying for resources or transient beauty.

Simply put, a normal married couple in Nietzsche’s eyes only served to reinforce social stereotypes while limiting both the man and women in their possible life ambitions. This is one of the main reasons why Nietzche never married. For him, the concept of a normal marriage was inherently constraining. There is only one example of a marriage that Nietzche would agree with.

According to Nietzche, There Was Only One Type of Successfully Married Couple

Another reason that Freidrich Nietzche never got married was because he believed there was only one reason a person should get married.

The only reason Nietzche would ever get married was to secure friendship. A successfully married couple according to Nietzche was one that was built around mutual friendship and not resources or physical appearance.

Because of this viewpoint, Nietzche would propose to his lifelong friend and traveling companion Lou Andreas-Salomé three times. Each time Lou would rebuke his advances.

This was the only instance of love and a desire to get married that Nietzche would exhibit over the course of his life. After Lou Andreas-Salomé left Nietzche would fall into a deep depression where he lived for the remainder of his life.

A happily married couple according to Freidrich Nietzche was one that got married due to an everlasting friendship that they both never wanted to leave. To Nietzche, you should get married to a person that you can talk to for hours and perpetually enjoy their company instead of transient things.

As such this remains one of the main reasons why Nietzche never married, he simply only ever found one person to whom he would have considered marrying.


There you have it; an entire article that details the 3 main reasons why Nietzche Never Married.

Friedrich Nietzche at the age of 44 would suffer an unknown illness and collapse. From this point on he would never write nor speak again.

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