Every few months, it seems, there’s another story about the growing “sologamy” movement. A woman (usually) who is fed up with waiting for The One decides to commit via all the trappings usually reserved for coupled people. She marries herself.
This month, the BBC tells the story of Laura Mesi, who has claims to be the first woman to marry herself in Italy, though the BBC shadily notes: “The ceremony carries no legal weight.” Mesi ended a 12-year relationship in her late thirties and made a bold decision:
“I told friends and family that if I had not found my soul-mate by my 40th birthday I would marry myself,” she told La Repubblica newspaper.
“If one day I find a man with whom I can plan a future I’ll be happy, but my happiness does not depend on him.”
The popularity of marrying yourself continues to grow, though Carrie Bradshaw long ago perfected the art of getting the wedding gifts with no wedding—or partner. In 2016, Abigail Pesta wrote a piece about women marrying themselves for Cosmopolitan; here’s how one woman she talked to explained it:
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” she’d noted on the wedding invitations. “I had cold feet for 35 years. But then I decided it was time to settle down. To get myself a whole damn apartment. To celebrate birthday #36 by wearing an engagement ring and saying: YES TO ME. I even made a registry, because this is America.”
In her piece, Pesta mentioned the growing self-marriage cottage industry, which includes a travel agency in Japan dedicated to the process since 2014, and the I Married Me DIY marriage kit, which sets you up with all the necessary accoutrements for only 50 bucks. It’s getting pretty basic.
A self-commitment ceremony could literally be anything! Go sky-diving, get baptized in gravy, invite your friends to watch a one-hour solo dance performance, pay to have a thousand balloons released on top of you in a gymnasium while blasting Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” It’s hard as hell to love yourself sometimes, and it is for sure worth celebrating. Let’s just find some new ceremonies to do it.
Mesi’s wedding does seem to have been a happy occasion for her, and as the BBC points out, the public reaction to her personal decision has been at times pretty negative. There are lots of terrible comments on her lovely wedding photos, calling her “sad,” and that’s sad. Marrying yourself is old news, but the world still reacts to people doing it like they’ve taken a crap in the Bishop’s hat.
And maybe that’s one legit reason for continuing to cling to old traditions and then breathlessly reporting them to the pearl-clutching masses. “Look at me, world,” a sologomy ceremony says, “I won’t be denied the validation and acknowledgement married people get. I will have my cake, my gifts, and my hashtag, and you will shut up and have an open bar.”
Marrying yourself won’t be over until marrying someone else is, but I’m still personally saving up for a ceiling full of balloons.