Single or Self-Partnered?

If you don’t know already, I’m single *Shocking*. In fact, I have been for 22 years, that is unless I already met the love of my life still wearing nappies.  

You may be asking yourself; why am I making a big deal out of this? What’s the big deal about being single? Why am I about to overindulge about my love life for my peers and lecturer to see? That last one was just for me.  Well to answer all of this, I’ve always had ambivalent feelings towards what it means to be single. I mean, I think I’m quite the catch (probably statements like that are one of a few reasons as to why I am).  However, there’s a new relationship status in town…

Hermoine Granger aka Emma Watson has recently spoken about her dating life and has now coined the term, ‘Self-Partnered’. As Emma is approaching the big 3-0 she reflected on her relationships over the years in a recent British Vogue interview and the pressure that is put on women to have everything figured out.

Watson is best known for her role as Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter franchise which cemented her status as a child star. Her acting career has now spanned 20 years, yes 20 years! Aside from her being one of the most recognised female actors of our time, she also holds a very impressive portfolio of other work. Watson is an education lover like her Harry Potter character and recently graduated from one the top American Universities, Brown University with a bachelor in English Literature. On top of this, she dabbles in modelling and fashion as well as being a determined activist and humanitarian. At the age of 24, Watson was appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. I mean, suddenly my breakout role as Mary in the P4 Christmas Nativity doesn’t quite have the same feeling of accomplishment to it.

SG10Hermonie & Emma

Emma seems like the full package right? How is she still single? Well, just like us ‘normal’ people, she has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of dating. As you have probably gauged right about now, we are very similar people…However, were we differ is that I can safely GUARANTEE that I have thee WORST dating history imaginable. I may not be a UN Ambassador, but I am an Ambassador for knowing how NOT to pick them.

I guess you could say that my shambles of a love life is an accomplishment in itself in how much I’ve achieved in the short space of 22 years. What I mean by this is that you couldn’t make the stuff up. I must have a magnetic pull that only attracts absolute WEIRDOS. I can’t even include my dating stories as they are most definitely NSFW. However, I will be producing a movie adaptation in which Emma will be playing the lead, ME.

So, what’s the point I’m trying to make about all of this?

As I mentioned, I’ve had mixed feelings about being ‘single’. I’ve very much felt ‘on-the-shelf’ for years now, heightened by the fact that my closest friends have been or are currently in serious long-term relationships.

As a child, I was bursting at the seams with confidence (Hello, Mary for a reason?) I wish I had’ve bottled some up of it up back then and got drunk on it now instead of drowning my sorrows and being THAT drunk single friend. *Disclaimer: I’m not an alcoholic*

It’s safe to say that my confidence has plummeted since I was a little girl. I look back and wonder where she’s went. Well, she’s been in hiding.

This is because I suffered from harsh bullying at school right up until my second year of University.  I was bullied by different people and as I got older the bullying became much more cruller. During all of this, I was dealing with my own battles which I am still working on today. I’ve been in and out of counselling for years but am now only realising the only person who can help me is me.

Being single was just another character flaw. Something that made me feel like less of a person. Another contributor to not feeling good enough. Therefore, I would actively seek approval and validation from others, in particular guys.  I envied girls who were, ‘living their best (single) life’ while I constantly put myself down for it. Like Emma, “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel,”

SG11Could be worse I guess…

Having said this, the stigma of being single has lessened over time. As a result of women like Emma Watson who have gone on to say, “It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”

Although many critics have called this a cliché, I can see the appeal of identifying with it. ‘Single’ can at times have the connotations of being ‘lonely’, ‘desperate’ and ‘unlucky’ to name just a few. I’m not afraid to say I experienced all of these and more.

However, according to Urban Dictionary (It’s not in the Oxford one YET),  being ‘Self-Partnered implies you are happy & content with yourself and are not looking for a relationship.’

For me personally, although I may not say “I’M ACTUALLY SELF PARTNERED” out loud when asked about my love life; I will definitely be taking a different viewpoint and stance towards dating and relationships. However, the most important message I’ve gained from all of this, is that I have to fall in love with myself again first *insert RuPaul quote here*.

One last piece of advice…STAY AWAY FROM DATING APPS (TINDER) !!!

SG12Been Self-Partnered since day one        

Susan Greer is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram