Emma Watson is not single. She’s ‘self-partnered’

Actress-activist Emma Watson.
(Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Emma Watson is single, but she has a very specific term for it: The “Little Women” star calls it “being self-partnered.”

Think of it as the “conscious uncoupling” of her generation.

In a sprawling conversation with activist Paris Lees for the December issue of British Vogue, the “Harry Potter” alum made the revelation when discussing her romantic endeavors. This on the heels of being photographed kissing a mystery man last month. Here’s exactly what she said:

“I am dating, yeah, as in not one specific person, but I am going on dates,” the 29-year-old began, explaining that she’s usually set up through friends she met in college or in her life outside of film. She also has become friends with exes.

“I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel,” she continued. “I was like, ‘This is totally a spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy. I call it being self-partnered.”


Alas, she did not elaborate on the term, which lit up social media and quickly eclipsed the more poignant aspects of her interview. The British Vogue conversation was sharply redirected from the phrase to embarrassing sexual stories, like making out with someone and unexpectedly hearing the iconic “Harry Potter” theme tune play in the background.

All this introspection, including her activism for gender equality, sustainability and her controversy over being a white feminist, were discussed during the 30-minute interview. It arrives right as Watson gears up for the release of her next film, Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of “Little Women,” and as she’s about to turn 30 in April.

“I was like, ‘Why does everyone make such a big fuss about turning 30? This is not a big deal,’” she added. “Cut to 29, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so stressed and anxious. And I realize it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around.

“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,” she added. “There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety.”

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Watson also elaborated on the impact of playing the clever witch Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films. The actress was plucked out of a school lineup when she was 9 to play the career-defining role in Warner Bros.’ eight-film saga. She’s wrestled with her success and celebrity over the past two decades, even going to therapy to discuss the “why me” aspects of her fame and her guilt over not enjoying the breakthrough more.


“It’s so bizarre and otherworldly what happened to me,” she said, adding that had she not gotten the part, she likely would have still pursued performance in some other way. One thing she wants to make clear: She is not Hermione in real life. One could say she’d like to be un-partnered with the brilliant witch.

“I played a symbol — and I know this because she’s a symbol for me — so I understand how this happened. I don’t judge anyone that I meet that [I’m her]... but I’m not [Hermione Granger],” she said. “Even people that are really close to me sometimes can’t let it go. Or just see just me. And sometimes I have to go, ‘I need exactly what you need. I’m just as human as you are. I’m just as insecure as you are. I struggle just as much as you struggle.’ And I get it.”