Let’s talk sologamy: Would you marry yourself? - Evewoman
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Let’s talk sologamy: Would you marry yourself?

Sologamy - marrying oneself – is mainly reported as a way of being empowered after a heartbreak (Shutterstock)

Although not a legal arrangement anywhere in the world, reports of sologamy - marrying oneself - have been reported across the world both as a way of being empowered after suffering a heartbreak or as a protest against societal demands.

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Earlier this year, a Kenyan Twitter user @Canduh_ asked her followers to tell how or where they met their current lover. The results were as varied as they were numerous.

But what stood out were the number of couples who had used social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and dating apps, specifically Tinder, as avenue to get love.

“He swiped, I swiped and we’ve never looked back since,” one user said, referring to Tinder, something that would have raised eyebrows just five years ago.

And another responded: “He was one of three finalists from OkCupid.” That is another dating site.

Tinder and competing apps such as Bumble and Happn are changing the game, and dating as we used to know it, is evolving before our very eyes.

An admission of finding love on Tinder would have raised eyebrows and even been considered deviant some years back. Yet as the modes of communication change, so are the ways in which couples meet.

Should this question have been posed some a few years ago, the answers would have been expected – work, church, college or even on a bus.

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E-dating

But those days are gone, now companionship and sexual satisfaction is more accessible at just a swipe or a Direct Message (DM) away.

Especially to a younger generation -- millennials, the centennials, ideally, the Linksters -- that has come of age in the era of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, DM has become the setting of a number of love stories, to the extent that ignoring a message is akin to saying no to love.

Earlier this week, a video of a Ghanaian choir made up of three men was circulated on social media. In the widely shared parody song, the singers make fun of girls who were ‘lonely’ and had no one to spend Valentine’s Day with because they had warded off all the advances that were made towards them in the DM.

“About a month ago I sent you a DM but you ignored it. Now Valentine’s is coming, where is your boyfriend?” they sang.

The need for a boyfriend or girlfriend is steadily moving lower down the ladder of priorities (Shutterstock)

But societal norms are shifting, and thanks to that, the need for a boyfriend or girlfriend is moving lower down the ladder of priorities, bypassed by the need for careers and economic self-sufficiency.

Now these work routines and the chase for money have made it more difficult for singles to meet organically, hence the rise of e-dating. Online dating provides a way to find love without breaking their routine.

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That has spawned a whole array of dating trends that are now becoming very popular.

For instance, you can now do all the things couples do such as going out on dates, treating yourself to a nice evening or something that makes you feel special but without the need to be with someone else.

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Now there are increasing numbers of women who are not pining for committed relationships, instead focusing on their education and launching careers.

Because you are single does not mean that you are missing anything. The roses and love hearts can still be part of your Valentine’s Day but rather than waiting for someone to get them for you, you could get them for yourself.

Although not a legal arrangement anywhere in the world, reports of sologamy - marrying oneself - have been reported across the world both as a way of being empowered after suffering a heartbreak or as a protest against societal demands.

Of course before marriage there is courtship. Or dating. And so, it follows that before you commit to sologamy, you must have been single. Self-partnered. Single status has a new name. But that is a story for another day.

The downside to love becoming more accessible is that it has now become a minefield to navigate. It is almost impossible to know what you are getting yourself into when you get into the market.

“It’s not just the abstract nature of dating that has changed; it’s the minutiae, the details, the small things,” Anna Iovine writes in Mashable.com.

“The idea that someone’s photo on your phone can turn into a real-life person that you connect to in some way — maybe even marry — has taken hold.

“But, of course, just as often the photo on your phone turns out to be a person who is a some combination or rude and idiotic or just plain creepy,” she says in a December 2019 article titled The 10 worst dating trends of the decade, from orbiting to breadcrumbing.

 ‘Bread-crumbing’

One of the emergent trends in the world of modern dating is “bread crumbing” a term coined to refer to a person who is not fully invested in the relationship and only offers mere breadcrumbs – flirty messages.

If it is a person that you met online, they have no intention of ever getting into a relationship or meeting in person. They have not put themselves on the dating scene to actually date anyone but are there for the ego boost and someone to exchange messages with.

Besides bread crumbing as a dating trend, there is, or has been, also cushioning, stashing, cryptomancing, kittenfishing, submarining, cloaking and orbiting.

Some of these have been listed as so, so last decade. But in this dating game, it is forward ever, backward never, and for 2020, there is leapfrogging, capfishing, vampiring, flexing, weaseling and other phantom animals.

Oh, yes, there those phantoms you meet on these apps who will go forward to meet with you, let you think that everything is going well then will suddenly cut all communication with no explanation.

That is ghosting which has made it into the Oxford Dictionary as the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

The downside to love becoming more accessible is that it has now become a minefield to navigate (Shutterstock)

"The reason why there are more people going on apps more than ever is because the old school method had its own drawbacks, as the world became modernised it has become difficult to meet people," Karatu Kiemo, a Sociologist from the University of Nairobi says.

He argues that the concept of attraction can change when meeting someone because they could look different from what you expected.

“The challenges to do with social media and online relationships are more complex. It is as if we skip a certain process, that one of attraction or assessing the physicality of the other person or how they talk. It is easier to fake with someone who you are not in physical contact,” he said.

By the books, the starting point for any relationship is agreeing on the rules of interaction.

“When two people are dating it means there is physical attraction and then they start engaging to test each other’s values and beliefs to see if they are consistent with their own and that takes a while,” he said.

Comparatively, the emergent forms of dating

 Era of catfishing

“As that happens, impression management takes place, in the very early days people are still wearing a mask, they are putting their best foot forward. For example if you think that they may not like that you are smoking or that you do not go to places of worship,” he said.

Exaggerating your interests in order to seem more appealing, for instance proclaiming that you are a sapiosexual, is common in online dating, as is catfishing - using someone else photos to get a date.

“With dating and apps you might not know who is on the other side, the photo might not be theirs. There is a level of anxiety that you could be talking to a ghost,” he said, explaining the reasoning behind potential suitors developing cold feet after setting up a date.

When you are engaging through apps or websites, there is the issue of physical attraction, you do not know how the other person looks like, you may only see their face but there is a lot else you are not seeing

There are also those who are using social media as a buffer for their relationships, to arm themselves with a back up plan in case it does not work out for them.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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