Once in a lifetime, one has the pleasure to meet a Sologamist, a society disruptor, a judgment breaker, and a person so happy with who she is that she chose to marry herself. We present you, sologamy champion, author, self-love advocate, and coolest girl on the planet, Sophie Tanner. Creator of I Married Me, a much-needed website to encourage and support self-loving and author of Reader I Married Me: ‘One of the funniest novels I’ve read in a long time!
We sat down with Sophie and talked about self-love, sologamy, and of course, hair. We re-lived her Self-Wedding Day and learned about self-growth and self-empowerment along the way. Are you curious? Read on!
What’s Sologamy and Why is Important For Our Self-Growth
Sologamy is the act of marrying yourself, but for Sophie, “it was an act of self-commitment to demonstrate that self-love is just as important as romantic love”. She told us that society puts pressure on people to get married to achieve happiness; Sophie and all the sologamist around the world prove that wrong. Let’s get into the questions, shall we?
What’s sologamy, and why is it important?
Sophie Tanner: Other cultures have coming-of-age ceremonies which celebrate adulthood and independence but in Western culture, the only milestone event we have is a wedding, which is a shame because rituals are so important for human growth. Nowadays, many people choose to marry later in life or not marry at all which means they have nothing to mark their individual milestones. Self-weddings offer an opportunity to officially recognize personal development.
What’s the most empowering aspect of living a sologamist life?
Sophie Tanner: Since marrying myself I have stopped feeling the need to apologize for my single status and explain why I haven’t ‘settled down. I’ve set a standard of what a happy relationship is, and I feel secure and content with my life. I like to call it: living happily ever now. I enjoy my own company and find solitude very empowering and, equally, I have the time and space for lots of other meaningful relationships in my life, which give me love in so many different ways.
Do you consider yourself a feminist or a self-lovenist?
Sophie Tanner: I am definitely a feminist and believe wholeheartedly in gender equality. Sologamy can be seen as a feminist statement, mainly because there’s more pressure on a woman to marry. Historically, marriage was the first social goal for a woman because it was necessary to maintain the patriarchy; a wife was owned by her husband and needed him to survive.
The term ‘spinster’ comes from spinning wool since it was one of the few livelihoods available to allow women to live independently of a male wage. The term ‘spinster’ described a woman who had forgone the opportunity to be married and has now evolved to become derogatory. In contrast, unmarried men are known as ‘bachelors’ and are commonly described as ‘eligible’; I think that outlines just how different the pressure is on men and women!
Self-marriage is, of course, an option for men. I think men face their own challenges, for example, in our culture, they’re less able to openly demonstrate emotion and are told to ‘man up’ if they feel hurt or insecure. I think that developing a sense of self-worth and self-love is important regardless of gender.
Is there any specific thing that inspired you to decide to marry yourself and practice sologamy?
Sophie Tanner: For me, it was the welcome revelation that I didn’t necessarily need ‘another half’ to complete me! After the third time, I’d been cheated on, and I was on a downward spiral – because when the person who knows you chooses someone else, you can’t help feeling that it must be your fault.
You can’t help comparing yourself to the new person, wondering what they’ve got that you haven’t. But that morning, looking around my bedroom with the sun shining through the window, I was so relieved to feel my natural sense of optimism finally returning. It suddenly struck me that I wasn’t the loser – he was! I loved my life, I loved my home, my friends, my family, and, most importantly, I loved myself – and I always had.
Sologamy recognizes that you don’t necessarily need to find ‘another half’ to complete you and live ‘happily ever after’ – that you’re enough, just as you are.
Has Sophie’s identity changed since her wedding?
Sophie Tanner: I am the same person that I was before I married myself, but I’ve become more accepting of who I am and less afraid to express myself – in both my appearance and my words! I feel more confident in myself these past six years than I ever have. As a pleased outcome of my journey, I wrote a novel loosely based on my experience, called Reader, I Married Me, which means I am an author, which has always been a childhood dream.
What are some ways you practice self-love regularly?
Sophie Tanner: Self-love is definitely a journey, not a destination! It’s a bit of a buzzword/hashtag at the moment, and many people use it in the context of pampering themselves. I enjoy taking time out to have a hot bath, a glass of vino, a face mask and to treat myself, but there’s a bit more to self-love than that.
For me, it’s all about checking in with yourself, even if that means asking some uncomfortable questions. I try to make sure I have a strong sense of self-awareness and really pay attention to my physical and instinctive responses to situations and people. I also try to recognize negative self-talk and give myself a break.
Is there anything you would tell your younger self about practicing self-love?
Sophie Tanner: So much! I often think of my younger self chaotically careering through my teens and twenties, making terrible decisions and allowing other people to tell me how to live. I would advise her to live every day like it was a precious gift, only to do the things that fulfill her and make her happy, then everything else will fall into place. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my younger self’s mistakes anyway, so it’s all good.
Has your self-love practice changed your view on beauty?
Sophie Tanner: Interesting question! I guess I don’t compare myself to others as much as I used to. I think it’s more important to fill my life with lovely things and soak up the beauty of my environment rather than worry too much about my own ‘beauty! I do definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin now though – and this has actually led to me naturally doing more fitness and feeling healthier.
Now that you’re committed to yourself, are you open to love someone?
Sophie Tanner: Yes, absolutely, the beauty of nurturing self-love senses that it’s limitless – there’s plenty of it to go around! I try to approach everything in life in a loving way and am actually a huge romantic. I believe the deep love connection people can find in each other is wonderful and special and deserves proper respect and value.
Would you ever divorce yourself?
Sophie Tanner: No, divorce is not an option. It’s been such a brilliant journey to get to this point of sologamy, and the commitment I made to myself is a lifelong one. I can’t even imagine being in a space where I couldn’t live with myself – that would be a very sad state of affairs!
Do you set aside a hair-loving day?
Sophie Tanner: I haven’t done that, but it sounds fun! Actually, after 15 years of dyeing my hair, I’ve started to grow out my silver hairs over lockdown. I figured it was about time I practice what I preach and accept my natural hair for what it is. It’s amazing how empowering it feels. I actually feel excited to finally see my true colors, and my hair already feels softer and healthier without the dye. So, right now, every day is a hair-loving day.
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