Alison Taylor on relationships: We are irretrievably married to ourselves, for richer or poorer

 

Alison Taylor
Wednesday 15 April 2015 16:04
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'What's that, love? You're marrying yourself? Come again?" I'm trying to imagine the response I'd get up North, in my local pub, if I announced my wedding, to myself.

I've written a book about my experiences of being single, I've protested in this column about the unfairly elevated status of couples over singles, I even – just two weeks ago – extolled the benefits of time spent alone, but when I read about the woman in Brighton who plans to marry herself next month, I was, well, a little surprised.

Talking to Stylist magazine, the reasoning of the woman in question, Sophie Tanner, is thus: "Self-marriage addresses the notion that being single and thoroughly enjoying it is a viable lifestyle choice... I am a firm believer in the fact that it is possible to live a fulfilled life on your own terms, without a partner to 'complete you'."

Hear, hear! But still, why 'get married'? Why have the ceremony? The bridesmaids? The speeches? In Tanner's case, she will have 10 bridesmaids, her Labrador will act as ring bearer and, quote: "My father can't wait to give me away to myself". I feel bad saying it, but it's laughable. The whole point of marriage is that it involves the coming together of two people. As a solo person, there isn't quite that same need, is there? Because we are already irretrievably married to ourselves anyway? For richer, poorer, and when we're dying on the couch in front of daytime TV?

OK, so she's making a political statement. An attempt to level the hillocky playing field between marrieds and singles: anything you can do I can do better! As Tanner puts it: "Society has many ways of celebrating the milestones shared by couples, but there is nothing to mark your achievements as a single person." She's winding me up now. Why do we need a ceremony to celebrate the achievements of being single? I might get a few certificates drafted up: Excellence At Lying Prone All Day Watching Geordie Shore; Commendations For Successfully Getting Sky Box To Work...

I agree that being married to another person doesn't (or shouldn't) make you a more viable, better member of society. But getting married to yourself? It is something from the classroom. I should point out that the woman in question is an author with a novel coming out where the protagonist – guess what? – marries herself. So there is that.

@lovefoolforever

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