Like marriage, singlehood has its ups and downs, as any unmarried woman will tell you. While some women are adept at the art of being single, others are not. Chicago psychotherapist and sex counselor Marion Holtzer offers these suggestions as a guide to being a well-adjusted single woman:

Remember that guilt feelings about not being married usually stem from pressures put on you by family and friends and society in general. But a mature woman must be her own person.

As an adult she should throw off the messages she received from her parents as a child. It may not always be easy to do, but those messages that say you have to get married to be a fulfilled person must be disconnected. You can't be expected to marry until you are ready.

Deal with you sexuality any way you want to deal with it. How you choose to lead your sex life is not the business of your parents or your peers. As an adult, you do not have to ask permission to have sex; the responsibility is yours.

Do whatever you're comfortable doing, but don't feel that you have to submit to a male's advances simply because he calls you a "frigid" woman if you don't. If you feel uncomfortable with casual sexual encounters, don't engage in them. And, don't be pressured into living with a man because you feel you might lose him if you don't do things his way.

Everyone needs support and a single person can look for it in many places, such as family and friends (who, by the way, can be a kind of extended family). Although you may have come to terms with being an independent person, it is normal to continue to need interdependent relationships with your parents and siblings. Help them to understand that while you welcome their support, they must give you the freedom to do what you feel is right and not what they expect of you.

Learn to take time to commune with yourself so that you can enjoy your own company rather than always frantically searching for social activity. Try taking a vacation alone, for instance, to train yourself to get along with yourself. It may help you avoid deep feelings of loneliness and make you feel more comfortable in your singleness.

If you think you're in a rut-going to work and back home again-try new activities, such as volunteer work or getting involved in an organization that interests you.

Don't be afraid to take a risk in forming what could become a satisfying relationship with a male. Fear of being rebuffed may be keeping you from being a giving person. Don't let false pride stand in your way in reaching out to someone with whom you would like to be close. If you fail, so what? Try again.

And, remember, the closer you are to your natural self in a relationship, instead of playing a role, the truer the relationship and the happier you will be.

Have realistic expectations of others; everyone cannot be expected to supply your particular needs.