Sologamy: The Outcome of a Narcissistic Society
In Charisma News, Bethany Blankley takes a look at a resuscitated trend, sologamy, namely ‘marrying one’s self.’ This trend first emerged in 1993 when Linda Baker married herself.
Various media outlets have been covering stories of people marrying themselves as of late, more often women than men. The wedding ceremonies—none of which have been recognized by any authority, church or state—can be lavish affairs, with up to forty bridesmaids. Family and friends are invited, and someone close to the person is asked to perform the ceremony.
How does one get to the point of wanting to marry one’s self? Some of the women enjoy indulging and self-loving, treating themselves well on the honeymoon. Some saw themselves as “the one” and were happy to no longer be looking for that person.
Dutchwoman Jennifer Hoes married herself in 2003. In a documentary, Hoes reflects on her motivations for the ceremony. Struggling with the early death of her father (age 30), Hoes did not want to spend her life being subservient to the traditions and conventions of society. Looking back on her self-marriage ten years later, Hoes sees her action as something that opens up the path for others to follow, choosing to express their individuality and not be suppressed by society.
Writing in First Things, Timothy George attributes the increase in self-marriages to a narcissistic culture. After years of promoting individualism and the “looking out for number one” mentality, the second decade of the twenty-first century is seeing the bitter fruit of the misunderstanding of human nature.
Blankley attributes the increase to the cycle of perversion within society, namely that cultivating behaviors contrary to natural law within society will lead to an increase and expansion of depravity.
The motivations behind sologamy differ on a case-by-case basis. Some pursue it as a rejection of societal norms, others seek self-love or self-fulfillment, and others are engaged in an alternate form of reality. However, all of these reasons point out underlying issues within the culture—a sense of oppression, a dearth of love from others, and the cultivation of a world centered on one’s own self. Now as much as ever, if not more, good examples of holy and beautiful marriages are needed and Christ-like love for neighbor must be taken up with renewed vigor by Christians everywhere.
About the author
Currently studying theology at The Catholic University of America, Molly Boland is an intern for the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at the USCCB.