As a lifelong single person, I used to get asked if I wanted to get married someday. I’m happily single, marrying another person has never interested me. Now I’m now getting a different question: Why don’t I marry myself?
Marrying yourself, also known as sologamy, is having a moment of popularity and mockery. For example, it has been described as self-obsessed, selfish, desperate, defensive and pathetic – and that’s just by one person in one article.
Sologamy’s appeal is not as silly or as obvious as it seems. I’m sympathetic to the sentiments motivating people who go through these rituals of self-love. I agree that you don’t need another person to complete you. You can love yourself. You can commit to yourself. You can articulate what’s important to you, and then vow to live by those values, in the presence of the significant people in your life. You should feel just as entitled to celebrate your life as couples do to celebrate theirs.
But I don’t want this for myself.
I want to live my life outside marriage, on my own terms. I want to resist the notion that the best life is a married life. By engaging in a new form of marriage that borrows so heavily from the old, I’d just be strengthening the grip of marriage rather than freeing myself from it. Self-marriage expresses a yearning rather than a resistance.
Besides, I don’t like dresses.
It is not just self-marriage that gives me pause. I think regular marriage ceremonies have an outsize role in our cultural values and practices. Jaclyn Geller, author of “Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique,” proposes this alternative: “When every person turns 25 he or she gets a party. The celebrant can register for housewares, furniture, linen. He or she might even have a ceremony that involves committing to important people, one of whom might be a lover. But these material rewards would not be contingent upon finding ‘the one.’ It’s moving that the older…