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'In a relationship', 'committed' and 'engaged' are some phrases of the past, this year it was all about self-love most importantly, 'Self Partnering'
It's Implications & Fighting Sexism
There was a social media revolution, a flood of tweets and many other opinion pieces that led to a digital upheaval when Emma Watson confessed of being 'Self Partnered'. “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", said British actress Emma Watson. So famous is the term that even the Urban English Dictionary put a definition to it, "Self-partnered is an alternative for the word single as a relationship status. " It is a term that has turned the 'single and happy' phrase to 'single and learning', which is quite progressive in its own right. It could also be a gentler way of putting across a thought of someone who is single but is not looking for a prospective partner to complete them.
We all live in a day and age where social media dictates our behaviour; from scrolling mindlessly on Instagram to spending hours making vlogs on Youtube, it is easier to get carried away by the glitz and chutzpah of decorative lives of people, that sometimes having a partner becomes some sort of a necessity bestowed by not our 'elders' but our friends! It also greatly helps a woman to tag herself as being 'self-partnered' as opposed to being a spinster, isn't it? Spinster by definition gives rise to borderline sexism and is often seen as a derogatory term as opposed to a bachelor (as for men) In a way, it is more of a positive approach to singledom by making it more fulfilling, happier and goal-oriented.
In fact, when celebrities such as Emma Watson and Gywneth Paltrow frame words such as 'Self Partnering' and 'Conscious Uncoupling' (used by Gywneth Paltrow to broadcast her divorce to the public), it gives a new meaning to the age-old stereotyped words which were seeped deep in misogyny. It somehow validates the social behaviour adapted by most millennials without making it as a cater toward self-pity, worse, the disappointment! In an article in NBC news website, practising therapist Travis McNulty explained the terms in detail, "People form opinions based off of labels traditionally used to define a person’s relationship status, but when Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow come out and use phrases like 'self-partnered' and 'conscious uncoupling', it challenges the psychological implications and narratives behind the phrases being 'single' and 'getting a divorce', These terms remove the stigma associated with someone who may identify as either of these and ultimately lets people know, I’m OK."
The Bollywood Connection
Closer home too, veteran actress Asha Parekh opened up to Verve magazine about being single or most importantly, self partnered at 77. “Staying alone was probably one of the best decisions I made. I was in love with a married man and didn’t want to be a homewrecker so, in retrospect, it was the only choice I had, according to the way I wanted to live my life,” she added, " I enjoy spending time on my own as much as I do with friends, if not more. I have discovered that I have an adventurous soul and enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with indulging in gutsy activities." And perhaps this sums up the definition of this millennial phrase. It is not about hating the people who are in a relationship or are happy in one, but about being happy in oneself without having to justify to the pressures of society. There is no room for self-pity or deprecating behaviour that are detrimental to mental health. And like Asha Parekh herself, sets a bar for every millennial.
So let the next year be about joy, positive awakening and definitely some unfiltered self-partnering if you please!
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