Like Emma Watson, I Am Self-Partnered And I Couldn’t Be Happier
By Rose Sgueglia
Speaking to British Vogue, the star explained: "It took me a long time, but I'm very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered."
Going on to describe the pressure she felt as she approached 30, she continued: "If you do not have a husband if you do not have a baby... There's just this incredible amount of anxiety."
A recent survey released by Tinder revealed that more and more UK millennials are choosing to be single: in fact 70% of daters are opting for the single life for a period of time believing that singledom brings them more happiness and opens them up to new experiences.
The survey also sees 48% of millennials being more cautious about entering into a long term relationship and 56% of women believing that being single has allowed them to be more independent.
Also, data found that 82% of millennials state that being single helps them focus on other aspects such as studying and personal growth.
At 32, I am one of those millennials. Much like Ms Watson, I refuse to let society dictate what and where I should be now that I am in my 30s. Yes, I am self-partnering and couldn't be happier.
As we reach adulthood, we, as women, often experience anxiety and pressure on what and where we should be in our life.
As Emma articulated, it can sometimes feel that by the strike of midnight on our 30th birthday, we should be married, possibly with kids while also juggling an admirable career and a mortgage. If we are not, well, we should really be focusing on one thing and one thing only: pin down that single man.
Until we do, there should be no rest for the wicked.
No matter if this prevents us from enjoying the moment losing ourselves in the way too familiar, "I will wait until [please insert unrealistic milestone] before doing that".
There is no such thing as waiting to reach that highly overestimated milestone in order to do what we want and there is most definitely nothing to wait in order to focus on yourself, self-partnering if you like.
Relationship expert Claire Goodwin-Fee from the TheTherapyCouch.org says: "Taking time out to get to know yourself and connect with who you truly are, helps to connect and build a relationship with yourself.
"After all, this will be the longest relationship any of us will ever have. Getting to know yourself helps to reduce shame, that inner critical voice ('what I call Negative Norma') the one that can harshly criticise and create emotional distress which contributes to creating low self-esteem."
The way I see it, self-partnering is nothing short of dating yourself, taking that precious time to establish a connection with yourself, and could either work as a long-term life choice or even as a liberating exercise to practise from time to time.
There are no rules, you are the boss.
Don't get me wrong, I love everything about dating: choosing what to wear, the anticipation, the five minutes of fear before, should I stay or should I go, the gin and tonic, the second gin and tonic, and 'is this turning into a dinner?'
But, dating myself, exploring that fundamental partnership with myself, has its perks. No doubts about that. It's fun, it's sexy and as a single millennial woman, highly empowering.
It is really not that complicated and provided I have enough time, I would even go as far as making a full day out of dating myself. Ideally by starting my morning with a nice bath and whatever Spotify's Throwback Thursday offers that particular week playing in the background.
I would probably spend the rest of the day writing from my favourite coffee shop over a nice hearty lunch, maybe somewhere where I could eat and work outside. Autumn is my favourite season to go out on my own, the weather is gorgeous, and the fresh air really puts a nice, positive spin on my day.
My perfect day would probably then continue, making time for a little quiet afternoon, social media free, which could either play out with me staying in with a new book, or just meet a friend and have a chat over a nice cuppa, taking the invaluable, equally important, time to connect with those I love.
Evenings would usually go in a completely opposite direction. Fresh and recharged, I would probably wear a nice dress, something I feel comfortable and happy in, and attend a night event, anywhere I want, like a theatre show or perhaps, something arts-related like a local art exhibition.
At times, I would even be brave enough to attend somewhat intimidating, high profile events. Once I even had the chance to meet writer Adele Parks during a wonderful party in Bath.
When I can't take a whole day off, I would also just make the most out of little moments. I love being out there on my own, grabbing a coffee or taking myself to dinner, it gives me the perfect opportunity to meet new people and makes me naturally more open towards others, reinstating the fact that my self-partnership is more than enough.
"By getting to know yourself and what you like and don't like you are better placed to know what you would like in a relationship," adds Claire.
"Knowing that you don't need a partner to make you happy can create a huge sense of contentment and confidence in your own abilities as an individual. This is a healthy place to be emotionally and helps to create a balanced and positive connection to others."
Naturally, it's not always perfect.
Sometimes it's Saturday night, your friends are busy and the last thing you want to do is put on your coat and go out on your own (and, perhaps, that's probably when you need it the most).
Perhaps you feel like, after all, you do need someone in your life in order to reach that totality, that perfect level of pure happiness and maybe you do or maybe you don't.
One thing only is certain: on debating if and where true love will ever come, you are surely meant to miss out on life and its romance. You are losing momentum and are jeopardising the most important partnership in your life, the one with yourself.
I strongly believe that self-partnering is the most romantic gesture us millennials could do for ourselves.
Let's allow ourselves time, time to understand what works for us and not what is convenient to society, succumbing to its pressure. We have had enough of labels and anxiety caused by not being allowed to be ourselves.
It's time to live in the open and enjoy every single moment, no matter if it's a lonely Saturday night with a book and a bag of popcorn, or a night out on our own with our lovely self as a date.
That is what I would call romance, romance at its finest, romance for a life you earned and deserved, romance for you, the person you are and the kind of person you want to attract.
I am starting to think that there is nothing more romantic and thrilling than being there for yourself, grounded in the now, and in the life, you have already built.
So, please, if you do one thing today, stop waiting, grab your coat and start your most important partnership yet, the one with yourself. You won't be sorry.
Featured Image Credit: Rose Sgueglia