22/01/2016 05:47 GMT | Updated 21/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Being Alone

The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself. Even though you are the only one who is present at every moment of your life - from conception onward - this relationship can sometimes be the most difficult one to cultivate. There are many reasons for this, but I believe the main reason is because society places such emphasis on the importance of being in a romantic partnership. You are conditioned to believe that you must look after the needs of other people before looking at your own needs.

I don't believe that putting the needs of others first is very healthy. It is vital that you put your own needs first. It isn't selfish to do that, because if you don't put your own needs first and look after yourself, how on earth will be you be able to look after someone else?

Putting your own needs first includes getting to know yourself from the inside out. This may mean learning how to be comfortable with being on your own. Learning to like your own company. Not feeling lonely, either when you are on your own or when you are in a group of people.

Until you know yourself thoroughly however, 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.

It is interesting that at no other time in history has it been possible for people to survive, and even thrive, whilst living alone. It is now possible for people to support themselves financially, socially and emotionally without depending on a spouse for survival in any of these areas. With this freedom, you can pursue your own interests and create fulfilling relationships with friends, colleagues, business partners, family members and neighbours.

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

Interestingly, when you move away from tradition and fall into more natural cycles of being in the world today, you may well find that there are times where being alone nourishes you while you find other times in which a partnership is best for your growth. You may need to learn to create spaces to be alone within relationships. When you can shift your expectations of your relationships with yourself and others to opportunities for discovery, you open yourself to forge new paths and encounter 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, whether those relationships fall into recognisable roles or not.

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