Being single is wonderful, says Jana Crämer, 41 years old. She has never been in a relationship, held hands or kissed anyone. “I don’t miss anything,” she says, clearly hitting a nerve. They receive several hundred messages every day.

Jana Crämer is 41 years old and has never been in a relationship. She also doesn’t hear a biological clock ticking or feel the urgent need to sleep with someone. She has long been known on social media and is a role model for many. In addition to her relationship status, she also speaks openly about the fact that she was bullied at school as a child and teenager and suffered from an eating disorder for years.

This article is part of a mini-series. The second article (focusing on bullying, eating disorders and therapy) will be published next week.

FOCUS online: Ms. Crämer, how do you react to the supposedly well-intentioned advice: The right one is still coming?

Jana Crämer: I actually always reacted to it a bit annoyed. But now I know that it was only meant to be kind. There are people who define themselves very strongly through a relationship and for whom it is absolutely important to have a partner. Because otherwise they might feel incomplete, unworthy, or wrong in some way. And if they wish me something that is essentially essential to their life, then that is only meant to be kind.

So it’s no longer annoying?

Crämer: No, because I no longer feel the need to justify myself. Or it depends: If we are curious about each other, then we like to talk. But when someone strokes me on the back and says, “Oh God, you poor thing,” I think to myself that there are probably reasons why someone defines themselves so much through a relationship. But it’s not my job to play therapist.

But isn’t single shaming also a social problem rather than an individual problem?

Crämer: That’s true. And I think it’s a shame that it’s still seen that way. For this reason, many people still have great inhibitions about simply saying: Hey, I have completely different goals in life than starting a family and having a relationship.

Whenever the topic comes up, people tell you that a) something is wrong and b) everyone starts looking for errors. Too fat, too thin, too loud, too quiet, too educated, too uneducated, etc. – whenever the topic comes up, a lot of people immediately have an opinion about it.

For me, for example, that I am selfish and only think about myself. That’s not true either, because I have a lot of relationships, just not romantic ones with holding hands, kissing and sex.

Jana, 39, unkissed: A true, encouraging story

But you wouldn’t rule out a relationship completely.

Crämer: I no longer rule out anything in life. To be honest, I have become happy, I would never have thought that possible. So yes, of course it may be that at some point I will be willing to give someone this space. But right now I don’t know when, where or how. But if someone comes around the corner and I think: Wow, you’re worth it, that I’m so curious about you or that I feel such strong feelings, then I’m there!

I think you can’t live a fulfilling life if you rule things out from the start. Apart from eating oysters, for example, I can really rule that out (laughs).

You write that you have no sexual desire. Even if you don’t call it that yourself, there could be asexuality behind it, right?

Crämer: I’m not the type to be pigeonholed, but when people come to me and say that I make them feel understood and less alone because they are also asexual… Well, I’m not an expert now, but whenever If someone feels less alone when they put a stamp on me, then please: Stamp me!

But I never promised or agreed to anyone that I would never have sex in my life. I can freely decide and change at any time. But now I don’t feel that want or need, that lust… is that how you put it?

So yeah, I don’t have that feeling of pleasure. When I look at someone, I don’t think about how nice it would be to kiss them or sleep with them.

So it’s not a waiver.

Crämer: Exactly, that’s a big difference. I recently had an interesting conversation about this via Instagram. Because a woman said: I’m just like you, I’m celibate. She wanted to wait until marriage for religious reasons. And she asked me how I could do it. But that’s not how it is for me. Abstinence means giving up something. I don’t give up, I just don’t want to force myself to do something just because other people think that’s what I have to do now.

On the other hand, you have completely excluded children.

Crämer: Yes, I have definitely ruled out having children. I do have children around me and it’s not like I don’t feel love when I hold these little miracles in my arms. That really breaks my heart, I won’t give it away anymore. But I certainly don’t want any of my own.

Why? Only if you want to answer it…

Crämer: I’m just not ready to… or let’s put it this way: I think if you decide to have a child, then it’s a 100 percent decision. When you have a child you have a responsibility and every child deserves to be loved unconditionally and put first. And I’m not ready to give myself up unconditionally for someone. Plus I don’t have the time, unfortunately I don’t even have time for a dog (laughs).

You experienced some severe bullying attacks in your childhood. In your book you also describe these experiences and how much some of the statements have stuck with you. To what extent could the propagated single existence also be a kind of intrinsic protective mechanism – out of fear of perhaps not being enough?

Crämer: I actually just recently thought about it again because a girl asked me that… but no, I would really say that I can totally understand now when people find me attractive (laughs). I like myself too. And of course, I’m curious too. I’m curious to see whether I too will find someone attractive.

But so far it’s more like this: It has to be popped up beforehand. For example, after an interview question like yours. When I’m out and about, I sometimes remind myself: Check whether you find someone attractive. I have to remind myself, so to speak, that this feeling doesn’t come naturally.

Otherwise, I don’t know what would stop me. I don’t have any fear of commitment or trust issues. On the contrary, I have very, very intense long-term relationships and can give up control wonderfully and trust people unconditionally. I actually think I would have an advantage in a potential relationship. I don’t have any pre-existing burdens and I don’t bring a bag of problems from old relationships with me.

I think that if I do have a relationship, it will just be exciting and beautiful. And if it doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Can it happen? I don’t know, but I’m not ruling anything out.

You are a social media celebrity with several hundred thousand followers on Instagram and TikTok. Do you get a lot of messages?

Crämer: Yes, especially since the book has been on the market. I get about 400, 500 messages a day.

You address many topics in your book. What are most of these messages about?

Crämer: Many people write to me saying that they lie all the time because they don’t dare say that they have never been in a relationship or never had sex. Then there are others who write to me saying that they are in a relationship, but only because everyone else says they have to. They also live their lives for others, so to speak.

Or even violent: young students who write to me saying that they have a challenge in class that everyone should now lose their virginity. It’s just terrible that this is conveyed. It makes me proud when they write to me: I didn’t do it because I know you didn’t allow yourself to be forced either. It’s a nice feeling to know that thanks to me, these many, many people no longer feel so alone.

Transparency note: This article first appeared in September 2023.