Are you in an unethically monogamous relationship with yourself? Or are you just an apposexual?

Emma Watson has managed to accidentally fire up western societys jumbo hot take machine again, this time by using an inventive way to describe her single status.

While many have supported her use of the term self-partnered for its more positive framing of single life, its also prompted the usual groans from those who seem to hate everything female celebrities say and do. Piers Morgan, for example, called it rubbish, and asked if it means she cant get a bloke.

While there have been some nuanced critiques, its amazing to see how much new terms can upset people. Isnt this one of lifes small joys to make sense of things in new, lighthearted ways? Im not sad, Im existentially challenged. Were not about to all die on this plane, were simply flying to the scene of the crash. This parrot is not deceased, it is merely resting.

If I were to criticize Watson for one thing however, it would be for stopping at self-partnered. The English language still has a way to go if its going to catch up with all the different shades of alone-ness single people experience.

Here are five new terms that could help:

Unconsciously unpartnered

This is when you cannot for the life of you figure out how youre still single.

Youve tried everything. Youve got all the apps, even the ones with desktop versions. Youve asked for peoples numbers in bars. Youve used Facebook Messenger for the first time in months to organize a catch up with a crush from university before realizing you have nothing in common. Youve gone speed dating. Youve posted a personals ad on Instagram. Youve booked yourself into a salsa class before pulling out last minute because you realize its creepy to go to a salsa class when you have no interest in salsa.

There may be plenty more fish in the sea, but despite you being fully kitted out with a rod, tackle and waterproof trousers, youve somehow found yourself in dating equivalent of Urumqi, the most landlocked place on Earth. And as time drags on, it becomes more and more infuriating and confusing.


You may not know this already because Ive literally just made it up but if you derive pleasure from matching with people on dating apps, youre an apposexual.

Contained within apposexuality is one of lifes cruel cosmic balancing acts. For while you may enjoy the small dopamine hit of self-validation you get upon matching with someone Very Hot, you are both its beneficiary and victim. Why? Because a lot of people are doing exactly the same, and not much else (such as talking).

And once youve logged into this gamified hall of mirrors and start to see your self-worth in a match, can you ever truly escape?


Everyone knows about sapiosexuals, although as Mark Ronson proved, not everyone seems to know what it means (someone who finds intelligence sexually attractive).

But what is it called when youre single because you keep dating people who turn out to be complete idiots?

Whether you like it or not, this probably means youre a dopiosexual (or as some women might say, a straight woman).


This one is quite self-explanatory and not exactly a new term, but you may be surprised at how much of a common denominator it can be for single people. Its like self-partnering but much more extreme, where youre far too in love with yourself to love anyone else.

Its rarely a label you assign to yourself, unless youre being brutally honest. Rather, someone would say, theyre not self-partnered theyre self-centered.

Being unethically monogamous with yourself

While you may have heard of ethical non-monogamy, which is basically an open relationship based on honesty and communication, being unethically monogamous with yourself is slightly less chill. In a nutshell, it means youre involuntarily single and completely in denial why that may be.

The delusions often vary. I just havent found the right person. No youre unbearably picky and obsess over flaws you perceive in people. Im happy being single. Wrong again! Youre just scared of getting hurt. Ill know it when I feel it; lets be honest, you havent felt anything for a while now, and its not the fault of the people youre dating.

In truth, weve all probably been unethically monogamous with ourselves at some point in our lives. And sometimes were not delusional at all. But when we are, its mostly because being honest with yourself is hard. But if you dont want to be single any more, its usually the best place to start.



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