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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

I am going to be brutally honest right now: I haven’t been in an actual relationship for years. Sure, I have had the occasional “talking phases” and the one-off dates, but I haven’t had an actual partner since the middle of high school. During the periods where I was interested in finding a relationship, I was notorious for complaining to every single person I knew about being single; that is, until I started going to therapy (for unrelated issues) and eventually learned about self-partnering. 

According to my therapist, self-partnering is the concept of treating yourself in the same way you would treat someone you were in a relationship with. While self-partnering, you can put complete focus on personal growth, healing, needs, and goals; you can take this time to care for yourself and stop yourself from neglecting the personal attention you deserve. However, what makes this different from being “single?” Let me put it this way, when you are single you are not necessarily self-partnered, but when you are self-partnering you are single. Self-partnering and being single are both mindsets and being single denotes that you are isolated from having a relationship while self-partnering denotes the inclusion of a relationship with oneself.  

If you are self-partnered, could you still possibly enter a romantic relationship with someone else? Of course! Self-partnering allows you to take the time to find within yourself the qualities you want in a relationship with someone else. Once you do enter a relationship, if you choose, you don’t have to stop self-partnering. Instead, you can share the personal focus you have put upon yourself with your partner, thus allowing growth to continue and begin in both relationships. However, it is important to make sure that any desires for a partnership with someone else come second to your focus on your internal relationship. By doing so, new connections with others will come more freely and you will spend less time hunting for the new partner you so desire. 

HOw do I self Partner?

  1. Get yourself out of the “single mindset” 

This step is honestly the most difficult of all the steps to self-partnering. During the beginning of my own self-partnering journey, it took me a while to accept my new relationship with myself and my desire for a partner often outweighed the connection I was building with myself. It is important to recognize that you are still “single” while self-partnering and having feelings of desire for more than a relationship with yourself is okay. Despite this, your own needs and goals should come first. Once I realized this, self-partnering became much easier and I began noticing improvements in my personal growth. 

  1. Take time to reflect on your partnership with yourself 

Whether it is by journaling, meditation, or just taking a mindful moment, checking in on your self-partnering relationship is incredibly important. Your reflection on your internal relationship can happen as often as you would like, although I recommend doing so at least once every one or two weeks. While considering your self-partnering, think about some positive and negative aspects of your relationship. Try to find ways you can improve upon your self-partnering and things you would like to accomplish before your next reflection. Taking the time to reflect on how your self-partnering is going will help to make sure that your inner partnership is running smoothly and will ensure an easier relationship as time passes. 

  1. Treat yourself to self-care days 

Everyone has a different idea of what self-care means to them. To me, self-care is getting my nails done, watching my favorite show or movie, ordering food, and being absolutely lazy for an entire day. Self-care is key to self-partnering as it acts as a substitute for the traditional dates you would go on in “regular” relationship. Self-care days don’t have to last an entire day, just taking the time to treat yourself to the things you love is enough to enrich your self-partnership. 

  1. Limit your time on social media and delete all dating apps. 

Okay, maybe I lied earlier. This step is honestly the most difficult of all the steps to self-partnering. Social media can perpetuate negative views on any type of relationship while dating apps count as a distraction from self-partnering. While self-partnering can lead to a naturally forming partnership with someone else (key word naturally), that natural flow will not occur if you try to find a partner on a dating app. 

Self-partnering takes time and special care, but it will be one of the most gratifying experiences should you try it. And should you start self-partnering and find that it isn’t for you, then you can stop it at any time. Self-partnering is right for some, wrong for others, and you won’t know which until you try it. The journey of a lifetime is waiting for you, so what are you waiting for? 

Theatre BA, TCU 2026, Leo Sun, Libra Moon, Capricorn Rising