'I do' take myself - marrying oneself is gaining popularity globally
Posted September 7, 2016
Polonious may have been just a tad ahead of his time when in Hamlet he counseled, "This above all: To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night to day, thou canst not then be false to any man."
According to Literarydevices.net, he was talking about "living a good and balanced life." But he might have been speaking of the latest quirk in marriage ceremonies: The marrying of oneself to … oneself.
Sologamy, as a "wedding for one" is called, is not attracting a tidal wave of people who want to do it, but it's capturing some attention in parts of the world as diverse as Denmark, the United States and Japan. Single women, particularly, are pledging in formal ceremonies to love themselves, be good to themselves and treat themselves as a best friend. It's not just the gals, either, though they're a bit more apt to take the solo plunge.
According to Ariane Sherine in the United Kingdom-based The Spectator, "the women taking the 'we' out of wedding are representative of a much bigger social trend."
Sherine writes, "But while this may all sound mad, narcissistic or completely pointless, self–marriage is one way to embrace the reality in which ever increasing numbers of women find themselves — wanting to settle down, have children and make a lifelong commitment, but being short of a man to do it with. Today there are more single people than at any previous time in history, especially in large cities. In America, where Beyoncé sang about ‘All The Single Ladies,’ unmarried women now outnumber the married. In the U.K., this happened ten years ago. Fewer women than ever want to become wives. Those aged between 25 and 44 are not even cohabiting — they are five times more likely to live by themselves today than they were in 1973 — and almost half of children are born out of wedlock. That figure is likely to expand massively in the next generation. The Marriage Foundation predicts that, of people in their twenties right now, only one in two will marry at all."
In America, there's a marriage gap between the college-educated and the less-educated. According to analysis by Pew Research Center in late 2015, "College-educated adults are more likely to be married than less-educated adults. Among those who were ages 25 and older in 2014, 65 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or more were married, compared with 53 percent of adults with less education."
There's no question marriage has been changing, but a wedding for one is still unusual. As Timothy George wrote on First Things, "Sologamy is the marriage of someone to one’s own self — the his- or herness of it is not relevant, although it seems to be mostly women who are doing it. Apparently Linda Baker was the first person to marry herself back in December 1993. Others have followed suit, including Sara Sharpe, who wrote about her self-marriage in "A Dress, A Ring, Promises to Self."
An article in the Deseret News near Valentine's Day on unusual marriages noted that "crowd-sourcing the funding for a honeymoon or saying your vows while skydiving have nothing on sologamy, when it comes to being decidedly non-traditional."
Sherine notes the self-wedding is especially sought-after in Japan, where "Cerca Travel, a travel agency in Kyoto, offers a two-day ‘Solo Wedding’ trip for the comparatively inexpensive price of £2,500." It includes all the fixings for a modern wedding, from trying on dresses and choosing desserts — except the groom. No one took the company up on the offer of a fake groom, she wrote.
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