Getting engaged and married might be “lovely”, but it’s not an accomplishment, says Sophie Turner.
If you post a photo of your engagement ring on social media, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a lot of likes (as proven by this viral social experiment from 2017).
And Sophie Turner – who plays Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones – was overjoyed at the flood of congratulatory messages she received when she announced her engagement to Joe Jonas last year.
However, while the actress agrees that being engaged is “lovely”, she admits she doesn’t equate it to the thrill she gets when she reaches a major milestone in her career.
“I’m still like, ‘Holy s**t! I’m engaged,’” Turner explains to Marie Claire.
“[But] there’s this weird misconception that being married is the greatest thing that’ll ever happen to you.
“I’ve always found that my career is something I work for, and when I achieve something, there’s a sense that this is the greatest thing I’ll do in my life.”
It’s a very valid point: in the Fifties, women were primarily housewives and getting married was typically the end goal. However, things have changed dramatically since then: female entrepreneurs alone were responsible for a massive £3.5 billion contribution to the UK economy in 2015, with the proportion of women starting a business nearly doubling from 3.7% in 2009 to 7.1% in 2012.
And while there is still a long way to go before female entrepreneurs can claim equal footing with their male counterparts, especially with the UK’s gender pay gap still stuck at an appalling 18.4%, opportunities for women in business have changed dramatically over the last 100 years.
It is also worth noting that the number of marriages between men and women has hit a record low (according to the Office for National Statistics, “marriage rates for opposite-sex couples are now at their lowest level on record following a gradual long-term decline since the early Seventies”).
But, as dating and relationship coach Ané Auret points out, this doesn’t mean that people don’t want to get married.
“It’s not that millennials don’t want to get married, they just wait longer,” Auret tells BBC Three.
“For my parents’ generation, the milestones for your early twenties were getting married, buying a home and having children.
“Today, having the freedom to focus on what you want to do as an individual is more important to people in their twenties than it was several decades ago.”
Turner adds: “It’s lovely to be engaged. Not like I achieved anything, but I found my person, like I’d find a house that I love and want to stay in forever. There’s a sense of peace that comes with finding your person. But there’s a drive that comes with your career.”
The couple went public with their news using corresponding Instagram posts on Sunday 15 October. Both Turner and Jonas shared an image of the actress with her hand on top of the singer’s, showing off her diamond engagement ring against their black clothes.
“I said yes,” Turner captioned the photo. Meanwhile, Jonas wrote: “She said yes.”
Jonas and Turner have been dating since November 2016, after they were spotted together at a concert in the Netherlands.
However, despite eventually confirming the relationship on Instagram, Turner has made a point of keeping her and Jonas’ romance “very private” – and for good reason.
“I’m in a relationship, but it’s a very private relationship,” Turner told the Sunday Times.