We are already conversant with the terms, monogamy (when a man is married to one wife), and Polygamy, which could be Polygyny (when a man is married to more than one wife) or polyandry (a woman having multiple husbands). But a new form of marriage Sologamy (the act of marrying one’s self) is recently becoming trendy.
On the Valentines day of 2017, Emma Jane Love dressed in a flowing orange kaftan and reciting vows into a mirror, got wedded to herself on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The 33-year-old relationship and sex coach decided to marry herself for a second time after a devastating breakup with her ex husband. She was only 17 when she got hitched the first time, a marriage she admits she very well regretted.
Love says she is now focusing on caring for herself after experiencing “unhealthy” romantic relationships in the past.
“I’d been numbing my life through partying and men and sex.
“I was trying to gain outside approval and love outside of myself – which never worked and ended up in these toxic situations and abusive situations, because I didn’t love myself.” Love had posted on her Instagram page.
Emma Jane Love’s ceremony took place on Miami Beach, on Australia’s Gold Coast. In the picture, Love was seen looking at herself in the mirror and reciting her vows.
Emma Jane, originally from Christchurch, but now based in Queensland, studied online as a “love coach” via a US academy. She now conducts self-marriages and has conducted many self-marriages of women and occasionally men alike.
Although self-marriages aren’t yet legally binding, sologamy is recently becoming a growing global trend.
Sologamy may appear to be a recent type of marriage but it started quite a while back. In the summer of 2000, New York-based performance artist Gabrielle Penabaz threw a wedding party for herself while nursing a broken heart.
The event was colorful, symbolic and well attended by friends and family like any other wedding, but it lacked one crucial component: a groom.
Recently, more and more people around the world are choosing to “marry” themselves in symbolic ceremonies, and businesses are also catering to the trend. But what motivates someone to say “yes” to themselves?
Love explains that the people she usually works with most often are going through a devastating breakup. Such ceremonies in this case aides a person to heal speedily from trauma resulting from toxic relationships.
Clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo believes self-love can be a good thing, but there is a danger of sliding into self-absorption.
“It sounds like a woman who self-marries makes a public commitment to herself, demonstrating her own worth to her family and friends, and this can be psychologically helpful for her.
“It’s extremely important to think well of yourself… however you need other people too.
“If you rely too much on yourself and constantly put your own needs ahead of everyone else you may be heading into the narcissistic territory.
Nimmo also thinks that sustaining yourself can be such a hard task, and advises bringing a thick skin to the marriage ceremony.
“If you’re going to do it, you need a great outfit, a supportive family and friends and a fair dose of resilience because some people will think you are weird – and they may not hold back in saying so.
“But a ceremony is only the formality. Like marriage, the real work happens over time. You can’t just put on a party dress, drink a toast to yourself and let it all happen.
“The difficult part is, it can be hard to support yourself in the way you truly need because you get stuck in your own head, you can’t get outside your own perspective — which can make things worse.”
Nimmo, further explains that self-dislike is the root of so many psychological issues, so if marrying one’s self can heal a person from past trauma or other relationship issues, then it can be helpful.