26/08/2014 06:07 BST | Updated 23/10/2014 06:59 BST

Being Alone

I believe that the most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself.

Think about it, you are the only one who is present at every moment of your life - from the moment of conception onward. And this relationship can often be the most difficult one to cultivate and maintain.

This is possibly because society places so much emphasis on the importance of being in a romantic partnership, and you were probably conditioned to believe from a very young age that you should put the needs of other people first, and think about yourself last.

But, until you know yourself, really know yourself, you cannot possibly choose the right relationship to support your mutual growth toward your highest potential. By allowing yourself to be comfortable with being alone, you can become the person with whom you want to have a relationship.

I don't think there has been another time in history when it has been possible for people to survive, and even thrive, whilst living alone. In our current age we have the freedom and ability to support ourselves financially, socially and emotionally without depending on a spouse for survival in any of these areas.

With this freedom comes the opportunity to pursue our own interests and create fulfilling partnerships with friends, business partners and neighbours. All of these are done unselfishly, but it is vital to look after yourself first, since if you don't look after yourself you will not be able to look after anyone else.

You may find that there are aspects of you that you don't like. Maybe you discover you are jealous of someone, or you don't like someone. Think about what you are jealous of, think about what it is you don't like about that person. Could they be reflections of you? Is what you don't like about someone something you don't like about yourself. It is a journey of discovery.

And being alone does not mean being lonely. And being alone does not have to be permanent, it can just mean having your own space for a weekend, a week, an hour or whatever timescale you prefer.

Once you have satisfied your needs and created your support system, a partner then becomes someone with whom you can share the bounty of all you have created as well as the beauty you have discovered within yourself.

It may be that you need to learn to create spaces to be alone within your relationships. But if you can shift your expectations of your relationships with yourself and others to opportunities for discovery, you then open yourself up to forge new paths and discover uncharted territory.

Being willing to know and love yourself, and to find what truly makes you feel deeply and strongly, gives you the advantage of being able to attract and choose the right people with whom to share yourself.

Choosing to enjoy being alone allows you to explore more fully your most important relationship--the one with your true self.