Katharine Hepburn's Best Quotes on Love and Marriage

13th July 1940: Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003) and Cary Grant (1904 - 1986) are the ex-husband and wife who rediscover their love for each other in 'The Philadelphia Story', directed by George Cukor.
Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Katharine Hepburn was a role model for many women: she lived her life the way she wanted to, was independent, feisty, and stated her beliefs.

Although she said she didn't believe in marriage, she portrayed many wives in marriages based on equality and respect.

Her first marriage to Ludlow Ogden Smith in 1928 ended in divorce in 1934. Her great love was Spencer Tracy, with whom she made nine movies and shared 27 years of her life.

Here are some of her more notable quotes on love and marriage.

On Marriage

  • "Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn't interest you, don't do it - I would have made a terrible mother."
  • "I don't believe in marriage. It's bloody impractical. 'To love, honor, and obey.' If it weren't, you wouldn't have to sign a contract."
  • "Marriage is a series of desperate arguments people feel passionately about."
  • "If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married." (This quote is also attributed to her mother.)

On the Differences Between Men and Women

  • "I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."
  • "Only when a woman decides not to have children, can a woman live like a man. That's what I've done."

On Sex

  • "My father, a surgeon and urologist, studied sex professionally all his life. Before he died at 82, he told me he hadn't come to any conclusions about it at all."

    On The Meaning of Love

    • "I've been loved, and I've been in love. There's a big difference."
    • "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything."