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When appreciating yourself is enough: a fairy tale without the prince

A few weeks ago, 35-year-old Meg Taylor Morrison from Atlanta, Georgia, put on her perfect wedding dress and walked down the aisle. Her family and friends were there. The ceremony included a custom-made wedding cake, a sparkling diamond ring, champaign, food and dancing. But no groom.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend – just four months before their wedding date – Meg decided that she didn’t want to wait for the perfect partner to come along before hosting her perfect wedding.  

She married herself in an unconventional but intimate ceremony in front of her closest friends and family, as an “act of self-love”. She read the vows she had written, accepted her own wedding ring, and even kissed herself in the mirror.

Talking about her arguably eccentric decision, the 35-year-old life and business coach from Atlanta said the primary reason for marrying herself was to move away from trying to please other people and instead focus on putting herself first. For Meg, marrying herself has been an “overwhelmingly positive experience” reminding her to trust her own judgement and put her own happiness first.

However, Meg was not the first woman to marry herself. In fact, the act of self-marriage or “sologamy” has attracted increasing attention over the last years, with a growing number of women pledging love to themselves. 

But is it legally recognized, one may ask. No, marrying yourself is not legal anywhere in the world. However, reports of people holding mock ceremonies go for several decades in many countries around the world, from Japan and Australia, to Italy and the UK. 

But what motivates women to say “yes” to themselves?

“Everyone celebrates getting together with someone and becoming married, but there’s no milestone in society that celebrates escaping something awful or returning to your own happiness and contentment.” So had said 38-year-old Sophie Tanner back in 2015, speaking to “The Independent” about her decision to marry herself.

At the time, this act of sologamy had drawn plenty of media attention and made headlines. But in the years that followed, more and more women decided to marry themselves. And even though it is not a commonplace, it is certainly less shocking than it was a few years ago – at least in some countries.

However, not everyone welcomes this sologamy trend. Some call it narcissistic and others criticise it as “a pointless submission to a patriarchal institution”. Karen Nimmo, a clinical psychologist in New Zealand, says: “If you rely too much on yourself and constantly put your own needs ahead of everyone else you may be slipping into narcissistic territory – and that’s an unhealthy and lonely place to be.”

On the other hand, those who choose to walk down the aisle and pledge love to themselves instead of someone else insist that it’s not about being narcissists or superficially obsessed with themselves. People like Tanner say that it’s about “marking their commitment to self-love as well as recognising the value in themselves as a being in their own right, not necessarily needing another person in order to feel ‘complete’”.

Others say that their decision to self-marry does not mean that they refuse to have a partner. “I think it’s hard not to adopt whatever society’s messages are…and I certainly think that one of the messages is, ‘You are not enough if you are not with someone else,’” Erika Anderson, a New Yorker who self-married told “The Independent”.

Maybe, after all, sologamy is not about being alone – it’s about being enough.

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