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We can laugh at Emma Watson’s “self-partnering”—but the idea of being happy alone is still taboo

Over 600 years later, the strictures and stigmas of courtly romance still poison our understanding of relationships. If only we had the courage to imagine something different

By Caspar Salmon  

Emma Watson has been laughed at for joking about being "self-partnered." But the question of how we structure relationships is a serious one. Photo: PA

Much hilarity and scorn have greeted the statement in an interview this week from the actor Emma Watson that she is happily “self-partnered.” Not since Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow doulaed the phrase ‘conscious uncoupling’ into existence have online wags had such a shiny new locution to play with.

But any single person over the age of 30—which this writer is—will tell you that Watson’s intervention…

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