The 65-year-old media mogul got engaged to her long-time partner Stedman Graham in 1992. Though they are still together, they never got married or had kids.
Speaking to People magazine, Oprah revealed that she has no regrets over deciding to not marry or have children.
Winfrey told People that she did consider becoming a mother following Graham’s proposal, but felt it was the one job she might not be cut out for.
She said: “At one point in Chicago I had bought an additional apartment because I was thinking, ‘Well, if we get married, I’m going to need room for children’.”
She added that she decided against having children because she witnessed “the depth of responsibility and sacrifice that is actually required to be a mother” during her years on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
“I realised, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is,'” Winfrey said.
“I don’t have the ability to compartmentalise the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don’t know how you do that all day long.
“Nobody gives women the credit they deserve.”
Winfrey continued by explaining why she and Graham decided to remain engaged for so long. She admitted that she believes things “would have changed” between them if they had gotten married.
She said: “I used to think about this all the time, that I was working these 17-hour days, and so were my producers, and then I go home and I have my two dogs and I have Stedman, who’s letting me be who I need to be in the world.
“He’s never demanding anything from me like, ‘Where’s my breakfast? Where’s my dinner?’ Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married.
Winfrey added: “Both he and I now say, ‘If we had married, we would not be together’.
“No question about it — we would not stay married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it.”
Oprah says till date, she still stands by her decision to not marry or have kids. She said she “filled that maternal fold” with charitable work.
She explained: “I have not had one regret about that.”
She continued: “I also believe that part of the reason why I don’t have regrets is because I got to fulfil it in the way that was best for me: the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
“Those girls fill that maternal fold that I perhaps would have had. In fact, they overfill — I’m overflowed with maternal.”