I Me Wed: Why Are More Women Choosing To Marry Themselves? by C. Lytton
…Though solo ceremonies such as Tanner’s are unlikely to ever unseat the traditional union for two, they do seem to be on the rise; part of a much bigger social trend for women rejecting the traditional timeline of their mothers and grandmothers, and forging an independent path, worlds away from the ‘spinster’ stereotype.
“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 said of her decision to self-marry.
The 37-year-old, who lives in New York, wed her university sweetheart in her twenties but the pair split aged 30 after growing apart. Committing to herself, she said, was “an act of defiance.”
…Its proponents say that it is a modern rite of passage: “A wedding is just a marker in life,” explains Alexandra Gill, a Canadian food critic who married herself in 2006 and renewed her vows on her 10th wedding anniversary last year. “Our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have the choice to remain single… Self-marriage is an opportunity to celebrate our personal independence, self-reliance and freedom from the chains of convention.”
…Of course, not everyone looks at the trend quite so positively. When news of Tanner’s wedding hit the headlines a couple of years ago, many on social media were quick to call her a narcissist; acquaintances, too, haven’t held back.
“A couple of guys have become a bit incensed,” she says. She has continued to date since her wedding ceremony, but has no plans to marry anyone (else). “One told me I couldn’t have my cake and eat it by marrying myself and then going on to have other relationships, and a man I was having a holiday fling with flipped out.
“I was surprised by the anger – it’s not harming anyone. Most of the guys I’ve been out with have been really supportive. It’s been a good filter to see their reactions when I tell them, as if they suddenly become wary, they’re not the one for me anyway.”
…“You can be more lonely in a relationship that’s not functioning than just being on your own, and a lot of people don’t realise that,” Tanner explains.