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Move Over Monogamy, Meet Sologamy

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Move Over Monogamy, Meet Sologamy

What do Indian millennials think about the latest wedding trend?

Are your parents pressurising you to get married? Do you run to your room or pretend to get a phone call each time they utter the word ‘marriage’? Well, for whatever reason you’re trying to dodge the subject, we’re sure you’ll soon run out of excuses. But here’s a novel one–let them know that there’s a new kind of wedding that may very well trump monogamy one day, and that you’re all in favour of sologamy!

What is Sologamy?

As the term implies, sologamy is the act of marrying yourself, a solo marriage if you will. People who wed themselves are called sologamists, and real-life cases indicate that women are doing it more than men. According to records, the first person in the US to marry herself was 40-year-old Linda Baker. That was way back in 1993. Since then it has been sporadically seen since the early 2000s, and is only increasing in popularity.

Sologamy garnered even more attention last week, when a news story on 37-year-old  Brooklyn based woman Erika Andersen marrying herself went viral. Dressed in white and holding a flower bouquet, she looked like a regular bride having a traditional wedding. The only difference was that once she walked down the aisle, she was the only person standing there. Not only was the wedding successful–she celebrated it with a solo trip to Mexico. She is open to the idea of a traditional marriage and plans to continue dating to find the right man.

Solo Loving: What Millennials Think

With reactions to sologamy ranging from ridiculous to desperate to narcissistic, it is anything but. The idea behind it is beautiful, something all of us must practice: self-love. Self-love is something women particularly struggle with, and sologamy can help them achieve it, more so if  they are single even after they have reached or crossed their “marriageable age”. In fact, that is exactly what motivated Erika. She says, “When you’re single, society tells you that you are a woman who has not been chosen by someone else. I decided to choose myself. It was an act of defiance.”

Owing to our patriarchal society, sologamy is increasingly attracting the attention of single metropolitan ladies. Here’s what they think of it.

Not surprisingly, many women think it’s an awesome idea. 27-year-old student Neelam Sanas is one of them. Just because you haven’t found a partner doesn’t mean you can’t get married. And the perks are undeniable! You get to have your big day and get a ton of amazing gifts. Then, you don’t go home to someone who you simply settled for, or in another extreme, simply sucks – but you probably don’t know how much just yet. Think about it; no cheating, no heartbreak, no divorce; just self-love. It’s a win-win situation all around.”

Lubna Shaikh, 25-year-old software engineer believes that actually executing it (marrying oneself) is taking it too far, but the concept is interesting. She says, “The modern and independent woman of today marries because she wants to, not as a rite of passage. However, suitable partners are getting more and more difficult to find – more so if you are a woman who has standards. Such a woman knows what she is worth so she won’t settle for anything less than what she deserves. I don’t really think one needs to marry themselves to love themselves better, but if it helps them, what’s the harm? After all, it is just a ceremony, and it is not even legally binding. Plus, it’s better to marry yourself than marrying the wrong person. I don’t  get why women are getting so much flak for it. Especially when I don’t see anyone making a big deal of Shinder. ”

However, the idea doesn’t sit well with some ladies. 26-year-old HR professional Priti Gholap thinks it’s a farce. She opines, “Is marriage so important that you have to marry someone, even if that someone happens to be you yourself? If the basic idea is to promote self-love, does this mean that there is love only after marriage? If you truly love yourself, there is no need to prove it by engaging in sologamy. I neither like nor agree with this concept.

Stories of men marrying themselves have been significantly fewer, but they do exist. Here’s what Indian men think of it.

27-year-old author J. Alchem thinks it is an act of self-obsession. I respect (those men’s) decisions, but marrying yourself is going too far, it’s like self-obsession. When you love your singlehood, celebrate it. Spend time with yourself, read books,  travel the world, climb mountains, but this marrying yourself is just self obsession. It does not add anything to life. It is like you are trying to prove that you are happy being single, which you are probably not. That’s why you felt the need to prove it in the first place! I mean, look at the people who celebrated their singlehood and were proud of it, like Abdul Kalam, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, etc. The whole nation is proud of them. Imagine if instead of dedicating themselves to their goals, to the nation, they had married themselves.”

19-year-old student Siddhartha Sen has a rather radical view on this trend. I don’t know much about sologamy or our generations concept about anygamies in general…we seem to be a slightly confused bunch. Working with what we think is best for each of us. I know that both Lennon and Cobain didn’t have successful marriages because they realised being confused alone is tragic; but it’s better than dragging down another. I prefer to think we’re all trying to find our footing in a world racing by bottom lines and profit margins and startup ideas and busts and every odd thing our millennium has so stupendously exceeded itself with.”

I personally feel that this trend is only going to get more popular, and that’s a good thing. Marrying yourself doesn’t mean you can’t love or marry anyone else. It only means you will always love yourself first –  and never forget your self-worth.

What is your take on sologamy? Would you ever consider marrying yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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Mahevash Shaikh is the twenty-something author of Busting Clichés. She loves to write, draw and laugh (among other things). You can find her using words and pictures to express herself and redefine the word "normal" at www.mahevashmuses.com.

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