In 2019, Emma Watson sat down with British Vogue and described herself as “Self-Partnered”. She discussed how cultivating a healthy relationship with herself was her priority.
The ensuing reaction, both by mainstream media and online users, was huge.
Talk show hosts ridiculed her, pondering why she couldn't just call herself single and many simply brushed her off as another out-of-touch celebrity. However, many resonated with the new term, feeling as though the lone category of 'single' was not enough to accurately portray the vivid and diverse experiences that accompany the label.
Is She Onto Something?
Let's take a look at how being 'self-partnered' can lead to a happier and healthier relationship with yourself and why it's important, especially right now.
What is Self-Partnering?
The topic isn't discussed for very long in her interview, but Emma later clarified that it isn't about becoming isolated and solitary.
On the contrary, self-partnering is about healing through nurturing a relationship with yourself and not allowing society to set your standard of happiness and success. For example, it is frowned upon for someone, especially a woman, to eat alone at a restaurant.
This is where self-partnering comes in to play; prioritizing yourself makes you feel whole and empowered without being dependent on a partner to make you feel this way. Essentially, it is a positive spin on the term 'single', as it rejects the negative connotations.
Emma Watson has also mentioned that she is currently dating people, dispelling the rumor that she is anti-relationships. She makes it very clear that you can be 'self-partnered' and in a loving and committed relationship at the same time.
Creating new ways to describe the human experience of love should be celebrated, rather than condemned.
This new term was met with sharp criticism, despite the lack of nuance in the English language for describing love and relationships.
Everyone experiences the relationship we have with ourselves and those around us differently. Creating new ways to describe the human experience of love should be celebrated, rather than condemned.
As Emma Watson put it:
“If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out ... There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety,”
Becoming 'self-partnered' involves rejecting societal standards of what success is. From a young age we are taught that there is one concrete model of a successful person. Being self-partnered is to experience happiness and fulfillment while dismissing the timeline and model imposed on you from childhood.
How Do You Become "Self-Partnered"?
Interested? Read some tips to find out ways to feel happier, no matter where you are in life.
1. Don't put yourself into a box
The whole idea of being 'self-partnered' is to acknowledge that not everyone experiences the relationship with themselves and others the same way, allow yourself time to find out what it means to you.
You can be happily in a relationship and still practice 'self-partnering', it is simply about taking time for yourself and participating in hobbies or activities that make you feel happy.
2. Start Journaling
Journaling has a huge amount of benefits; being able to track how you're feeling over a period of time is essential to getting to know yourself better. By looking back through previous entries, you can spot patterns of behavior/emotion and find ways to improve on them.
3. Take time for yourself
Take the time to make sure you're eating your five-a-day, drinking enough water, exercising and taking regular breaks from social media.
Although it can sometimes be difficult checking these off each day, remember that a little is better than nothing. It is all about being content with who you are. By carving out time during the day to check in with yourself, you're becoming more self-sufficient in creating your own happiness and wellbeing.
4. Compliment Yourself and Express Gratitude
Now we're not encouraging you to become narcissistic — that isn't healthy.
But be kind to yourself and remember everything your body does for you: it allows you to walk, run and jump, it lets you talk to new people, see brand-new things and, it enables you to eat delicious food! Try to express gratitude for everything you have, even for just ten seconds a day.
With the rise of social media, understanding who you truly are is of the upmost importance.
Seemingly every day there is someone new vying for your attention and time. We are living through a period in history where everything is moving so, fast. We are continually told by society that to be accepted and successful; we need to follow every new trend, and simultaneously achieve a huge number of milestones before we have even experienced life. Or else we have not 'made it'.
Prioritize spending time figuring out your goals, aspirations and identifying what you can do to achieve them. Do things that bring happiness and joy into your life. Take time out of the day to strengthen the connections within yourself and those around you, disregarding the standards of what is supposed to be. Whether you want to label it as 'self-partnering' or create a completely different word for it.
Self-partnering is great for creating healthier relationships and being able to communicate needs with friends, relatives and partners in a better way. It helps create a deeper sense of stability and connection to your mind and body.
No matter the motivation, you are with yourself your whole life, it can't hurt to get to know yourself a little better.