Marrying with self
Solgamy, with its argued pros and cons, is practiced in several countries across the globe but will take some time to get legal and social acceptance in India
In recent news from India, a young lady decided to tie the knot, with a difference. Her better half was she herself. With the media in a frenzy, eyeballs rolling, political uproar and legal pundits citing their opinion, the reason why this was a hard pill to swallow was that the person in question was practising 'sologamy' or 'self-marriage.'
What is sologamy?
The term refers to marriage by a person to himself/herself. Also called self-marriage, it can refer to a self-uniting marriage without an officiant but can be chosen to be celebrated with the same gala and pomp.
Why would someone indulge in it? Why are more people hopping on to this phenomenon?
Most humans crave a romantic relationship. Yet this primal need can sometimes be a source of distress when you land with a person that doesn't seem cut out for you. In such cases, what if the person you can trust, love and be with 24*7 literally, give and receive unconditional feelings, is you. And yes, a few people like to solemnise this bond of love with the act of marrying themselves in a public ceremony. This is called self-marriage or autogamy/sologamy.
The idea is to affirm one's own values, emphasise self-love, independence and lead to a happier life.
Is this even legal?
This marriage is not a legal process. According to Indian laws, you cannot marry yourself. There has to be two persons in a marriage. The Hindu Marriage Act uses the terminology 'either of the spouse', which simply means that there must be two persons to complete the marriage.
Around the world
The first marriage of this kind is believed to be that of Linda Baker, in 1993.
Recently an uptick was noticed in women marrying themselves during the pandemic.
With single being normal, yet the desire to marry being on their mind, a lot of individuals choose this process to celebrate themselves. Being a bachelor or spinster doesn't have to be frowned upon and in fact can be embraced. Self-marriage ceremonies have taken place in the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the USA.
Who goes for it?
While many secure, self-indulgent individuals like to take the plunge with themselves, some can also be having trust issues and hence find it easier to be with themselves rather than risk being with another. People going for sologamy are:
⁕ Those who want to declare their self-love to the world
⁕ Someone who identifies as fiercely independent and self-satisfied
⁕ Folks who identify as asexual but not aromantic
⁕ Abuse or rape victims who choose to spend their life-loving themselves
⁕ Someone looking to feel independent and self-reliant to deal with issues
The negative aspects as looked upon by the others:
⁕ Some may feel that the need to have a human connection with another person is lacking
⁕ In times of need, you may desire someone to lean upon
⁕ Loving thyself may appear narcissistic or self-indulgent to others
⁕ A few may consider it to be a sad attempt to rationalise loneliness
The show 'Sex and the City' has Carrie Bradshaw marrying herself in an episode.
In a more recent development, on Valentine's Day 2022, a French visual artist, Éva Ostrowska, became the first person to marry herself in the Metaverse wearing the virtual reality headset.
The Indian context
In the Indian context, the idea may seem blasphemous to many. In our country, the idea of matrimony is to have someone take care of you and your needs, and the automatic next step of having a biological family. Of course, with modern science, one can go for IVF, adopt a baby, or simply choose to not have a child.
Our country may take some time to absorb this concept.
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