I love this question. Actually, that’s not true. I hate it. Why? Because it’s right up there with “Is he cheating on me?” As they say, if you have to ask…

I guess I get my knickers all in a twist over this not so much because the question is slightly inane but because really, why the hell are you even asking? And even better: what the hell are you doing in a relationship that does not make you feel secure in the first place?Dr. Ruth Ann Column 1

I see a lot of patients in and out of my office, many of them women though a lot are men and they ask me this question and I just sit back and wonder: when did you start to feel so bad about yourself that you decided to settle for someone who does not make you feel confident, loved, and adored every freaking minute of the day?

Look, I get it. We’re all busy, lots going on. Emails to respond to, business to run, Twitter feeds to check. I get it, I do. But if you’re too busy to treat someone with love, respect, ADORATION, dignity and all of that then why are you even with them in the first place? I mean really? And on the flip side, why would anyone settle for anything less?

Most people hate being alone. I’m right there with you. I hated it too, but that was a long, long time ago before I fell in love with someone: me. And no, I’m not an ego-maniac I just think that if you don’t love yourself, I mean really love yourself what you settle for is a direct reflection on you. Think about that for a minute. Now this isn’t some mumbo-jumbo exercise where I’m going to ask you to stand in front of the mirror and say “I love you” to yourself twenty times a day (hell, even I hate that one). What I’m asking you for is a true assessment of how you really feel about yourself because everything else in your life is a mirror.

Loving yourself isn’t woo-woo, it’s reality. It’s boundaries. It’s knowing when to say no and when to invite something into your life. It’s knowing what you want and what makes you feel good, as opposed to what makes you feel like crap. Like the guy who makes you wonder how he really feels about you. Unless you’re 9 and he’s your first love, he should step the hell up, man up, and tell you how he feels. Even “I really like you” is better than a lingering question.

There’s a great exercise that I teach my patients and it’s this: Whatever burning relationship question you have, pretend it’s your daughter asking this of you. So, like the gal who wants to know if her boyfriend loves her. Imagine your daughter came to you with this question.

Your answer to her, is your answer to yourself.