4 Principles of Empowered Dating:

1. There is nothing wrong with being single.

It is possible to have a full life while single and that is a legitimate choice. Some people choose this for certain periods of time, some for the long term. Many people say that they would prefer to be partnered, but they are not willing to settle for just any relationship.

2. It's okay to want to be in a partnership.

Despite many messages to the contrary, there is no shame in wanting love or even in boldly seeking it. One of the ongoing tensions for many single women is to be able to hold this paradox of investing in a full life outside of the domain of partnership, while also being active in the search for a partner.

Wanting partnership DOES NOT negate your wonderful life. It does not mean you are desperate or incomplete. It does not mean anything bad about you. You want intimacy from a committed partner in your life. Go ahead and want it. You're powerful. You're wonderful. You want a partner. Awesome!

3. There is nothing wrong with you!

"If only I lose 20 lbs....resolve my issues with my family of origin...cleanse my liver....THEN....I will be deserving of the man/woman of my dreams." We are programmed to believe that if we want partnership but are single, there must be something wrong with us. You deserve love, intimacy, commitment and connection exactly as you are. You do not need to lose any weight, resolve any childhood issues, or do any self-improvements in order to have partnership.

4. Being single, like any other challenging time in one's life, is a great opportunity to do some work.

Life is a journey that includes joy, grief, loneliness, connection and many other profound and mundane human experiences. Sometimes, the most challenging aspects in our lives also provide us with the biggest opportunities for growth and healing.

Being single and wanting partnership - a time that is lonely and fraught with hopelessness and confusion for many people - is a wonderful opportunity to do some introspection about what you want in a partner and in your life, to build a stronger and more positive sense of yourself, and to work through baggage from childhood or past intimate relationships.

You don't have to do this in order to deserve partnership. But all the work you do while you are single to cultivate insight, awareness, and relationship skills will help strengthen your partnership in the future.

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