Last week, actress, activist, and feminist, Emma Watson sat down with British Vogue. During the interview, Emma Watson discussed the romantic aspect of her life as well as turning thirty this year. Her response to these topics was everything and certainly something I could relate to.
Watson stated, “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. I was like, ‘This is totally spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”
This self-coined phrase of Watson’s took the internet by storm, and with good reason. Over the years, the word, and status, “single” has acquired a negative connotation. Let me be clear, this is for women, in most cases. As a woman in society, being single turned into something to be dreaded as years progressed. When you’re single in your late twenties and early thirties, that’s even worse. The term spinster comes to mind for me.
Wouldn’t you like to be married? Wouldn’t you like to have children? My, my, my, you should have children before thirty! Yes, it’s a thing. Everyone around you is coupled up. Try one of those dating apps. Oy vey. Unlike men, who are labeled bachelors and praised for their abilities to charm multiple women, when females are single it’s awful. It. Just. Can’t. Happen. And so, the pressure and the search for a partner begins.
We women even see this in television and movies. We believe, and see, that a woman can be happy while single. A woman can live an independent life. A woman can do it all on her own! But, when push comes to shove, these characters are always searching for a partner. For example, Jessica Day (and all her failed dates), Carrie Bradshaw, and Bridget Jones- to name a few. In all honesty, they aren’t truly happy with their relationship status. Instead, they work relentlessly to become coupled up and to change their dreadful single status. So, it leaves us wondering, will it ever be acceptable to simply be single? Will it ever be acceptable to forget the search for a partner?
This is something I have battled with in my own personal life. I am someone who has prioritized my career, my opportunities, my mental health, and caring for my little sister over a relationship. Yes, ones have come my way, ones have gone, and I’ve been single. At times, I feel content with this status. I like tweets, memes, and pictures on social media about the single life. Who needs a relationship, right? However, there are times when I feel this deep shame, worry, and most importantly, panic. I’m twenty-six years old and I’m single. Everyone I know is coupled up, happy, living together, engaged, and discussing plans for the future. I go to bed alone at night. I question, will I ever find someone?
So, Emma Watson’s phrase and discussion in British Vogue was very relatable for me, and quite frankly, something I needed to hear. It settled all my shame, worry, doubts, and panic. And, for that, I am forever grateful to Emma.
This is what I learned over the past week: I am self-partnered, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I should celebrate myself, love myself, live life for myself, and be happy like Emma is.
We all find love when the time is right. There’s no need to rush it. There’s no need to constantly search for it. And, if you’re self-partnered, congratulations- what a great status to have.