January 26, 2023
In the Sex and the City episode A Woman’s Right to Shoes, Carrie Bradshaw confronts the idea that success is reserved for married people with children. She announces that she plans to marry herself, a move many practicing sologamy make.
But what is sologamy? And what does it mean?
Let’s take a look at the movement towards partnering with yourself and what it would look like to practice sologamy.
In a 2019 Vogue interview, Emma Watson described herself as “self-partnered.” She used the term to describe how she wasn’t pursuing a partnership, but was instead focusing on “dating” herself. The term “sologamy” really isn’t much different.
As opposed to monogamy, or even polyamory, someone prescribing to sologamy is first and foremost dedicated to loving themselves. This idea isn’t meant to promote selfishness and narcissism. Instead, it promotes self-love, focusing on improving and adoring yourself. It also isn’t to say that you need to see yourself as perfect in your current form. There’s certainly room for growth, as there is with any relationship. Instead, it focuses on loving yourself in your current form and accepting that you have the capacity to grow as an individual.
Self-love comes in many forms. You could choose to spend a night in, instead of going out with friends when you don’t have the social energy. It could also look like you deciding to pursue your masters, because you want to invest in yourself and believe you can become better.
There’s no one way to love yourself. But at the root of this self-care and self-compassion is self-understanding. You need to take the time to get to know yourself better. Explore who you are as an individual. Figure out what lights a passionate spark inside you. Decide who you want to be, and figure out how you can reconcile that future self with who you are now.
People marry and then divorce all the time. But for better or worse, for rich or for poor, you can’t leave yourself.
It’s so easy to let your identity become wrapped up in your partner’s. Before too long, you don’t remember who you were before them. Everything you do, you do together. It feels like you don’t even have separate friend groups at this point. You feel lost when you aren’t around them.
A close relationship can quickly shift into codependence if you aren’t careful.
But someone who practices sologamy takes the time to stay an individual. They can happily be a partner in a relationship, but they won’t let themselves get lost in the partnership.
When you talk about marrying oneself, you can’t mean literally, right?
While you can’t legally marry yourself (filing taxes jointly with yourself would be just a little complicated), some people practicing sologamy will have a symbolic ceremony. Most people won’t go the full nine yards and buy a wedding dress and a venue for 500 people, but a small celebration or token of your affection for yourself isn’t too out of the ordinary.
Kshama Bindu married herself in India’s first sologamous wedding. She performed many of the rituals of a traditional Hindu wedding, but only invited 10 close friends and family members.
She isn’t the first person to have a sologamous wedding. In 1993, a dental hygienist named Linda Baker in LA declared she was tired of "waiting for the chain of events that lead up to feasting on [a] wedding cake." So she invited seventy-five friends to watch her marry herself, becoming “her own lovely wedded person.”
Plenty of monogamous relationships have symbols apart from the wedding day itself.. The majority of married people wear wedding bands to symbolize their infinite commitment to their partner. What if you got yourself a promise ring? Having a small token on your person to remind yourself to love, cherish, and care for yourself doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
If you’re already married to someone and your ring finger is occupied, you could have a small pendant you wear every day to remind yourself that you deserve to love yourself, too. You don’t depend on the love of your partner to fill your cup. Within yourself, you possess all the love you need to sustain yourself.
You don’t have to have a giant wedding ceremony or post all over social media the details of your decision to practice sologamy. Caring for yourself and seeing yourself as a full and complete person can start without fanfare. Spend time with yourself by going out to dinner alone. Figure out what you love to do and what makes you you. You are the only person you can never cut out of your life, so it’s important that you love the person you see in the mirror.
In a way, we all could benefit from a bit of sologamy. Whether you already tied the knot with your partner or you are happily single, it’s important to recognize the other people and your relationship to them does not define you. Only you can do that.
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