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Q: My question is about relationships: Is it necessary to have a close relationship to live a wonderful life? I see around me so many relationships that would not be what I would want. I have had such relationships only twice, and neither lasted very long. People tell me significant-other relationships are hard. I ask them why they have them. I find the world difficult enough; to bring a hard and difficult partner into my home seems overwhelming.

— Jane A., Long Beach, California

Dear Jane,

Relationships are spiritual assignments in which people are drawn together to provide each other maximal opportunities for soul growth. Many times those relationships take the form of romantic intimacy or partnership, but sometimes they do not. Ultimately, our relationship issues are the same no matter who we relate to; they are "laboratories" of the spirit through we are both challenged and motivated to become—in time—our better selves.

You won't escape your relationship lessons simply by leaving them outside your home! But at the same time, if you feel drawn to a more solitary home life, then there is nothing "less than" about such a choice.

Marianne

Every week, Marianne will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your questions now!

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer who has published several books, including New York Times best-sellers A Return to Love and Everyday Grace. A popular guest on numerous television programs such asThe Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC's Good Morning America, Marianne has lectured professionally since 1983. For more information, visit her official website.


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