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This is one of the more common pieces of relationship advice. Although relationship coaches, dating coaches, therapists and counselors disagree on a lot of things in the areas of love, dating and sex, this is one area that has universal agreement.

If we do not love ourselves, we are not ready for a relationship and the reasons are simple.

If we are not confident about who we are and what we bring to the table, we will settle for less than we deserve because we will not feel as though we deserve what we need.

Step 1 and the most important step to being an emotionally intelligent partner is also the first step in nearly every emotional intelligence cycle. Self-awareness, sometimes referred to as self-perception, is all about how we regard ourselves and how we feel about our potential to be better versions of ourselves. To a partner in a relationship, this is key. We have all heard about how important confidence is and, on the flip side, how much of a turn off self esteem issues are. Beyond how we come across to others however, and as noted earlier, the regard to which we hold ourselves will determine how we are treated and what we will tolerate in a relationship.

Take Amanda, for example.

Amanda has self-esteem issues and has began dating again. She has met a few guys here and there and, more often than not, goes home with them. Unfortunately for Amanda, there is rarely, if ever, a second date. Amanda would like one but the signals that stem from her lack of confidence tell every guy a few things:

1) She has confidence issues that lead to attachment issues,

2) She will need constant affirmation in a relationship, and

3) Despite these first two negatives, she will go home with me and I do not need to commit to anything as a result.

I do not condone this train of thought. However, it is one of the many realities of dating when one does not love themselves enough to ensure they have their needs met.  

Your turn:

Reflect on this question: Was there a time when your self-esteem affected your romantic relationships? If yes, in what way did it affect them?