Emma Watson isn’t single. Emma Watson is “self-partnered.”
The 29-year-old actress and activist coined the novel term to describe her relationship status in a British Vogue interview published Monday.
In it, Watson points to the stifling anxieties that come with navigating adulthood while not following the traditional timelines of getting married and having children.
Her new term might remind some people of when Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and Goop founder, announced a “conscious uncoupling” with her then-husband Chris Martin, singer of Coldplay. In the much-talked-about move, Paltrow took a similar approach to reframing a word that often has negative connotations — in her case, “divorce.”
“I think they’re kinder, gentler terms because there’s so much baggage with them — certainly with ‘divorce’ — and sometimes with ‘single,’” said Sarah Wright, a social worker and former board chair of the nonprofit Unmarried Equality, which advocates for single people and couples who are not married.