Self-partnering and the pitfalls of narcissism

Self-partnering and the pitfalls of narcissism

Can self-partnering cause blindness?

Asking for a friend. Which is exactly the kind of snarky remark that makes the kids roll their eyes and mutter, okay boomer. Seriously though — what a gloriously self-contained term in which to reframe female singledom — to self-partner.

An active term, fizzing with joyful can-do. In just a generation, we have gone from a sozzled Bridget Jones yowling ‘All By Myself’ in her pyjamas to EmmaWatson coolly renaming unattached lady status as ‘self-partnering’.

Whether you’re partnered, unpartnered or self-partnered is never anybody’s business but your own(unless you’re one of those so-called involuntary celibates in the US, keen to make it everyone’s business via automatic weapons in fast food outlets).

However, incel losers aside, the way singledom has been gendered since the dawn of patriarchy remains built on lies. Big fat ones.

Single women are sad, lonely cat ladies living sad, lonely lives, given to buying duck-flavoured premium sachets for their cat babies, while single men are out with their mates, having it large in Ibiza in beery packs .

Loving it. Mad for it. Free from the tyranny of coupledom, as their female equivalents sit home alone cry-eating Magnums.

Obviously this does not reflect reality. Just ask any male suicide statistic. Or the health stats showing how partnered men have better health than partnered women, but once a woman leaves a partnership, her health — physical and mental — improves.

Immediately. Could the propaganda be a ploy created by those worried that once we discover the joys of self-partnership, we will never return? Why else are we so insistently told that we must find The One? That we must, to achieve Happy Ever After, locate him urgently, because without our Other Half, we are incomplete. Yeah?

Are we really though?

We are taught this before we can even walk, never mind put on a pair of uncomfortable shoes to make ourselves more sexually attractive. Princesses, trapped in towers, need princes, ambling by on horseback, to rescue them. This is what we have been told, forever.

If we are single, we definitely want someone to put a ring on it.

Go on then. Go ahead, march up that aisle in your uncomfortable shoes, sign the documents, open the joint account, do it. But only after you’ve properly road-tested self partnership — and yes, it’s more than just going to a movie matinee by yourself. There’s the big stuff — going on holiday alone, travelling alone, buying a house alone, having a baby alone, moving cities/ countries alone — and the weirdly scarier small stuff: going to a gig alone, the theatre alone, a football match alone, a party alone.

Some people even worry about having dinner in a restaurant alone. (Surely one of life’s great pleasures, excellent company guaranteed and nobody to pinch your dessert).

Being your own Other Half, whatever your gender, is peak humanity. Just don’t actually marry yourself. That’s not self-partnership, that’s narcissism. There’s a difference.

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