Emma Watson might always be Hermione in our hearts, but the 29-year-old actress is all grown up an in a happy, steady relationship… with herself?
In a recent interview with British Vogue, Emma opened up about her relationship status. With her 30th birthday looming on the horizon, she admits that she’s been feeling a lot of pressure, even anxiety.
“Cut to 29, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so stressed and anxious,” she said in the candid interview.
“And I realize it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around. If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby and you’re turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out…There is just this incredible amount of anxiety.”
Most of us would think that an incredibly successful film star and activist like Emma has nothing to prove to anyone. It’s weirdly comforting to know that she also feels the same pressures that many women do to follow a certain society-approved path.
Although Emma claims that she rejected the idea of being single and happy for a long time, she’s now comfortable with labeling her relationship status in a new way: “I call it self-partnered.”
The term spread like wildfire on social media, with many people embracing the idea wholeheartedly. Of course, there were plenty of critics and jokesters, too, but Emma’s description seemed to really strike a chord.
Will Facebook start offering “self-partnered” as a relationship status? Possibly not. But like Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous “conscious uncoupling,” the term speaks to a need for more ways to describe ourselves in the modern world.
“Single” can feel like a bad fit for folks who aren’t actively looking for a relationship, whereas “self-partnered” implies that you already have everything you need. Get approached by someone you aren’t interested in? You can honestly say, “Sorry, I’m in a relationship.” They don’t need to know that relationship is with yourself.
As long as you have a good support network–and, specifically, someone to bring you chicken soup and nasal congestion relief when you have a cold–there’s no need to hurry up and get hitched.
Ironically, Emma will be playing Meg March, the oldest sister, in the upcoming Little Women adaptation. Meg’s ambition is to be married and start a family, while her outspoken sister Jo finds the idea of being married to have little appeal.
As Emma said of the two sisters, “[j]ust because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.” In the era Little Women was written, an unmarried woman over a certain age would be labeled a spinster. Now, as it becomes more common to spend our lives solo, there’s a real need for updated terms to describe ourselves.
The Harry Potter star has proven throughout her career that she is a role model for young women everywhere. So don’t be surprised if you hear a lot more former singletons describe themselves as self-partnered in the future.