1.  It may not initially console you, but while single you have an abundance of the commodity which most people in a relationships value the most, freedom. At first glance this may seem obvious, and perhaps having too much freedom may be the source of your discomfort, but if you choose to value this, you have the opportunity to utilize the time while you are single to a greater advantage.

2.  While single, you have the opportunity to grow in ways that you will be unable to do when you are paired up. This includes inner emotional work. It includes trying new experiences, in which your future partner may have little interest. This is a great time to explore new activities and experiences; to learn new skills. Expand your horizons, and in fact, while doing so, your chances of meeting someone new is increased.

3.  While single you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself in ways you cannot while in a relationship. If you put much effort into living a full and satisfying life while single, it will boost your chances of 1) being the kind of person another would want as a partner. 2) you will be growing stronger and be in a better position to make a good choice of future partner, and 3) you will be a satisfied and complete person, the kind others find most attractive. Remember, a happy, strong person is the most attractive kind of person.

4.   Do not force your journey while single to be a desperate and obsessed search for a new partner. It is a well-known adage that says the person you desire to meet will appear at a time you least expect. Forget about finding a partner. Instead, make the effort to find out who you are and what kind of life satisfies you the most. The more you know yourself and know your values, likes and dislikes, the greater chance that you will be able to establish a healthy relationship when the opportunity arrives.

5.   Be involved in activities from which you get the most pleasure. When you are doing what you love, you are at your best; it is then that you shine. If you are doing what you love, then the people you are likely to meet will be those who share at least one of the activities you love. These people are also likely to share some of the values you have, because they enjoying doing what you also enjoy.

6.   Being single is an opportunity to make yourself strong. Practice to learn to be strong in asserting yourself. Practice respecting the feelings and choices of others. If you are solely focused upon finding a partner, you are ignoring the relationship you need with yourself. If you feel desperate to be in a relationship, then you are likely to make the choice of a partner mostly because that person’s availability and not their qualities; a recipe for choosing the wrong person resulting in a disappointing experience. If you feel desperate to be in a relationship, then you probably have a poor relationship with yourself. Work at improving that. No relationship you have will ever be healthy if you are weak, insecure or have low self-esteem. It takes two strong people to make one strong relationship.

7.    Being single is an opportunity to get your life in order without the complications another’s influence, input and demands. Straighten out those troubled areas in your life. Get stronger in the areas of your life you are less strong. Be the kind of person who posses the attributes to whom you would be attracted. It is best that you work to possess the qualities you want in your partner.

8.  Delay sex as long as you can; this helps to rule out potential mates whose main interest in you is motivated solely by gaining sexual gratification. You should not be having sex with a new person with whom you are still uncomfortable talking about sex, asking about his or her sexual history, and asking if he or she has a sexually transmitted disease. If you would be uncomfortable sharing with this person your sexual history then you probably do not know them well enough. Remember, the two of you can talk about sex without being sexual. Doing so can add deliciously to the exciting build-up of sexual tension. Sex can be talked about as a way of determining if and this new person may be sexually compatible and share similar sexual values.

While being single, and while exploring the possibility of a relationship, masturbation can be not only a pleasurable relief from the build-up of sexual tension, but also it can be valuable practice to know your sexual response more fully. This will better enable you to teach your future partner how to please you. During your single days, to be the best lover you can for when that time arrives, if you are a woman, you might practice Kegel exercises so as to improve your sexual responsivity. If you are a man, you might practice developing strong ejaculatory control.

If sex occurs too early, the relationship will speed up dramatically in its emotional intensity, reducing your ability to choose what happens. Once sex has been experienced, your emotions will become more fully involved causing you to be much less rational, and therefore less able to be aware of all that is happening. Old unconscious patterns more strongly assert themselves after sex has become part of a relationship. If your partner wishes to be sexual and you are not ready, this person will demonstrate the depth of his or her of love for you by waiting. If all seems right between you and this special person, let the sexual tension between the two of you build until it is driving the both of you crazy. Let it build to fever pitch.

Undoubtedly after the relationship is much older, you will look back and view this sweet, early time as all too brief. There are many exciting ways to show you care without including your genitals. If this person is truly great, and the two of you make a good match, there will be plenty of opportunity for great sex in the future!

Good luck at loving yourself, loving life and being loved by others!

Andrew Aaron, LICSW 

Sign-up for exclusive content. Be the first to hear about updates from the Aaron Institute.