Quiz: how self-reliant are you?
Are you comfortable being on your own? Find out whether you're self-reliant
Answer all the questions, noting whether you choose A, B or C, then scroll down to see what your results reveal.
1 How long is it since you spent quality time with a close friend doing something you both enjoy?
A Two weeks
B Time for yourself? It never seems to happen these days
C Three months
2 Your partner wants to go on a men-only weekend with some old friends. How do you react?
A Fine. You have enough interests of your own to keep you busy
B Secretly hurt. Why can't he take you with him?
C You worry that you'll feel lonely without him around
3 How many of the following can you do? Put up shelves/fill in a tax return/check the oil and tyre pressure on your car.
A All or two out of three
B None. Your partner always does it.
C One out of three
4 How would you describe your social life?
A Good. A variety of activities shared with old and new friends
B You're in a rut and could do with some fresh faces
C Mainly consists of meals out with other couples
5 A friend did an art degree a few years ago and has just sold her first painting. How do you feel?
A Delighted for her and motivated to sign up for a course in a subject you're good at
B Inadequate in comparison. Why does she have all the luck?
C Annoyed with yourself for not using your own talents more
6 How financially on the ball are you?
A Very. You save regularly, stay in credit and budget for bills
B Money doesn't interest you. You leave that side of things to your partner
C Where did I put that statement?
7 How do you feel about your children leaving home?
A Philosophical - it's a life stage and you'll have time to pursue your dreams
B Dreading it - you'll feel redundant
C It'll be odd at first but you suppose you'll get used to it
8 Would you ever consider taking a holiday without your partner?
A You often go on breaks with friends
B No. It would mean there was something wrong in your relationship
C Never say never, but it doesn't appeal
How did you score?
Mostly As You value interdependence but you and your partner aren't joined at the hip. Your self-love muscle is strong enough to have achieved a good balance between meeting others' needs and your own. If your world came crashing down, you'd focus on rebuilding it.
Mostly Bs Operating solo daunts you and you don't enjoy your own company. Start small. Visit an art gallery or beauty spot on your own and notice that you're able to enjoy it without anyone else,' Francine advises. Then take a bigger step. Join a gym or that pottery class.
The key to becoming more independent lies in bite-size chunks.'
Mostly Cs Inside that apprehensive soul burns an independent spirit. The more you rely on yourself, the easier it will become,' says Fiona Harrold in 'Be Your Own Life Coach' (Coronet Books, £8.99). When you feel most uncertain is when you need to be bravest and resist asking someone else to make you feel better. Look for the courage that's there.'
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