Move over, conscious uncoupling — a new star-powered relationship status is in vogue.
Emma Watson — the actress best known for growing up on-screen as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies — got personal about turning 30 in a cover story for British Vogue’s December issue.
“I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel,” she’s quotes as saying in the story. “It took me a long time, but I’m happy. I call it being self-partnered.”
And many on social media embraced the new term, which had Watson trending on Twitter TWTR, -0.27% through Tuesday morning and into the early afternoon.
Others cringed at its potential to become as exhausted as Gwyneth Paltrow’s famous use of “conscious uncoupling,” however, which is how the actress and Goop founder infamously described her separation and eventual divorce from Coldplay singer Chris Martin in 2014.
Watson, who stars in the latest “Little Women” film adaptation opening next month (as oldest sister Meg), also discussed her anxiety at entering her 30s without hitting many of the traditional adult milestones.
“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 … [t]here’s just this incredible amount of anxiety,” she said.
And she’s not alone there. Indeed, much has been written about how millennials are waiting until later in life to get married, start families and buy homes — if they opt into doing any of those things, at all.
And that’s because many are simply not financially stable enough to do what their parents and grandparents had already done at their age. Indeed, a 2017 Pew Research survey found that more than half (57%) of the millennial generation (between the ages of 21 and 36 in that report) had never been married, compared to only 17% of the Silent Generation (ages 72 to 89) who had never been married when they were in the same age range. And the average age for getting married jumped from 21 to 27 for women and from 23 to 29.5 for men between 1965 and 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
For one thing, they are earning 20% less than their boomer parents did at the same age, according to the recent “The Emerging Millennial Wealth Gap” report.
To make matters worse, millennials are also saddled with record levels of student loan debt. Borrowers between the age of 18 and 39 owe $840 billion of the nation’s approximate $1.5 trillion dollar student debt, while those aged 18 to 49 owe $1.16 trillion, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York data.
As a result, it’s mostly the rich ones who are getting hitched and buying homes; the recent Millennial Millionaires report by Coldwell Banker found that 67% of millennial millionaires (defined as ages 23 to 37 in this report) are married, compared to 40% of the general millennial population. And 92% of millennial millionaires are homeowners, compared to 63% of millennials overall, according to the report.