Finding the right partner or spouse is not like finding the right person to help you survive a lonely summer — it means finding a person that you can see yourself growing old with.
Love yourself – loving yourself before you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll be committing yourself to that person for the right reasons. You don’t have to be 100% satisfied with yourself, but if you’re unhappy with who you are, you’re at risk of getting together with someone just because he or she makes you feel better about yourself.
Be (reasonably) happy being alone: Let’s face it — being single when all of your friends are happily dating or married is no picnic. You may want love more than anything in the world, and it’s natural for you to feel lonely or sad if you can’t find it. But part of loving yourself is loving spending time solo, and finding ways to stay interested and excited about life without a significant other. This will make you feel even better when that special person comes along!
Get some experience: If you find your first love when you’re sixteen, then you are a rare and lucky breed. However, most people do not in fact marry their first, or second, or even their fourth boyfriend or girlfriend. Dating more people lets you understand the endless ways that a relationship can work, and can make you see that there are so many forms and dynamics that a relationship can have.
Don’t settle: Not settling is related to loving yourself, loving being alone, and having some experience. People settle all too often because they find someone who makes them feel less alone and loved, even if it’s not in the right way. Another reason people settle is because they’ve been with the same person for five years and realize they “might as well” get married because that’s what everyone else is doing or because they’ve been together for so long that it’s the only logical step.