More and more people are single, while our hetero normative society expects you to get married at a certain point. Some singles seem to have found the answer to all the annoying questions on their marital status; they get married with … themselves.
What is sologamy?
In a marriage you commit to one single person, with the intention to stay with that person for the rest of your life (”till death do us part’). For some the thought of that alone is terrifying while others think such a commitment is at all realistic. But what if that one person that you promise to be loyal to is yourself?
In the United States and Japan, a trend is going on, that is called sologamy. In monogamy you get married to one person at a time, with polygamy with multiple persons at a time, and with sologamy you marry yourself.
So, no issues with parents in law, no discussion over who to invite for the party, no prenups, and no debate on the destination of the honeymoon.
Saying ‘yes’ to yourself. You promise to be loyal and love yourself, without even having to change your name. That seems quite narcissistic. For some supporters of sologamy, it is nothing more but a solemn moment in front of the mirror, while others trow a big party with a wedding dress, brides mades, and a six layers wedding cake.
Japanese travel agency Cerca Travel is being run by divorcee Yukiko Inoue. This agency primarily focuses on organized travels for Japanese women. A couple of years ago, co-worker Natsumi Akai wanted to make a professional photo shoot in a wedding dress. This idea turned into a service with the opportunity for self-marriage. Meanwhile, almost 100 women used the service. The costs are about €2.800 for a two-day arrangement, in which you get to choose a kimono, hair, make up, hotel and the photo shoot.
As yet, mostly women decide to choose for sologamy. This group experiences the biggest pressure from their surroundings to get married. LGBTs and men experience a lot less peer pressure.
Sasha Cagen married herself in 1999, because she was afraid that she had no-one to kiss on new years eve. On her website she writes that it is nicer to be single, than having to date random persons.The website is so popular, that she gives courses on how to be alone and she offers a service to engage in a self marriage.
Cagen is not the only one. On the website I Married Me you can order a package for self-marriage.
It is not a trend that many people follow, but it happens more frequently lately, according to an article in The Sun. In the Netherlands people are also ‘sologamified’. Last year, 37-yo Juul from Nijmegen married herself. Dutch author Barbara Tammes wrote a book about it (‘Het Trouwboekje’), that instigates to saying ‘yes’ to oneself.
Women seem to have some kind of fear of being alone on their thirties and to be called the pathetic cat lady. In the Netherlands there were 7.8 million households in 2017 and 3 million singles (including single parents). That is 45% of all households. Still, the image of being pitiful is unjustified, according to Eric Klinenberg, professor at the university of New York. “Singles have more social interactions with others than married couples”.
People that marry themselves do it to deal with the conventional idea that you can only be perfect with a ring around your finger.