I’m a Farmer’s Son with No Desire for Marriage

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m the eldest son of a farmer in my late 30s. I’m single and live with my parents. My younger sister, who came back after getting a divorce, lives with her three children in a separate house on the same property.

I got into a fight with my mother because she wants me to sign up for a matchmaking service to find a partner. My mother believes that a person is only able to mature after getting married and raising children. She also says, “Your father and I will gradually become unable to move around and work.”

Even though I tell her that I have no desire to get married, she doesn’t understand, and I’m sick of it.

Being a farmer, I don’t have many days off and my income is not very high. I don’t want to get married and raise children under such circumstances, and I don’t think a possible marriage partner would like that either.

I’m shy and not very social, so even if I date someone, it never lasts very long. I’ve been single for more than 15 years.

How should I live with my mother, who still wants me to have kids even though she already has several grandchildren? My father doesn’t say anything about marriage, so I feel at ease with him.

G, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Mr. G:

Over many years, I’ve observed the process of farmers’ children getting married through local marriage support programs.

As you say, parents tend to pile pressure on their children to get married and raise children. However, the reality is that nowadays, some women simply avoid marrying farmers.

On the other hand, I’ve heard of a man who convinced an office worker to marry him by telling her: “I’m a farmer, so if we have kids, I can take care of them at home. You can continue to work as you like.”

By just changing your way of thinking, being a farmer can become an advantage. If your reason for not wanting to get married is because you don’t want your partner to experience the hardships of being a farmer’s wife, try changing your mindset.

Lately, more women are becoming interested in farming. As I mentioned, it is also possible for you to support your partner’s profession.

If you don’t want to live with your parents, you can live separately on the premises like your sister.

If you really don’t want to get married, then don’t force yourself to look for a partner. You should just shrug off your mother’s complaints and continue to live as you are. However, do try to maintain a good relationship with your sister.

Masahiro Yamada, university professor