It's an over-used saying, but the experts all agree: if you don't love yourself, it's going to be pretty difficult to step up and love someone else.
You probably think that you do love yourself, but according to leading US relationship expert and elite matchmaker Kailen Rosenberg, in many cases people are often lying to themselves, and should really be looking within.
"I had one client who was an Ivy School-educated CEO of a Fortune 200 company. He said his friends bugged him to come see me. And he said to me, 'My life is great, my childhood was perfect, my parents are lovely, family life couldn't be better, my friends are perfect. I'm handsome, rich and successful – I just need you to find me a perfect woman,'" Rosenberg, who is best known for dissecting relationships on TV with Oprah Winfrey, tells IBTimes UK.
"But when I asked him if he had had many relationships, he told me that he had been married and divorced twice. We need to dissect it and find out the real reason why the relationship broke down. Most of the time they're not lying to you, they're lying to themselves.
"They're going round reporting this false story. After some work, this guy ended up crying and telling me that his dad was always travelling the world for work, cheated on his mum, treated her horribly, was never there for him and he could never get his attention.
"So because of this, he would go after women that he didn't have to get close to, and those women would often end up having a lot of issues of their own."
Key indicators of psychological blocks a person might have are most apparent in the state of their homes, according to Rosenberg. This is why she always insists on making a home visit as part of her work in finding people a true love match.
Rosenberg, who touches on this subject briefly in her book Real Love, Right Now, has given us some interesting pointers. However, it's important to remember that a little bit of anything is not a big deal, either.
"It's all about balance. These aren't bad things, but they are just not good for people in their relationships," stresses Rosenberg. "Our job as Love Architects is to teach people how to have a healthy, structured love house with solid foundations and walls, so they can let love in."
So are you hiding any psychological blocks beneath the veneer of your seemingly perfect life? Let's find out:
1. Too many photos of yourself
It's healthy to have a good self-esteem and like how you look, but if your walls are full of photographs of yourself compared to pictures of other people, Rosenberg warns that you might have self-worth issues and be struggling to hold onto yourself and your personal identity.
But knowing the problem is half the battle, and you can start taking steps to build up your self-worth.
2. How cluttered is your apartment?
Do you have a lot of stuff in your home? How is it arranged? According to Rosenberg, if your clutter is structured and makes sense to the eyes, it's fine, but if your stuff is unstructured with an energy of discord, this means that you might have an area in your life, a part of yourself that you're abandoning, and this needs to be dealt with.
And if you're literally having to wade through piles of clothes and junk on the floor, you are very likely are suffering from depression.
3. Having a home that's just too perfect
On the other hand, if you have a home that's absolutely perfect, to the point that it is impersonal and only seems to reflect the taste of the expensive interior designer you hired, then that isn't good either.
A home that is too clean indicates an OCD complex, or, if you hired someone to make all the decorating decisions and your home looks like an interior design showroom, this says that you probably have issues letting people in and being in a romantic relationship.
4. Get rid of all photos of your ex
It's pretty hard to move on and find someone new if you're stuck in the past. No matter whether you're still friends, you need to get rid of, or at least put away, all photographs of ex-partners. Second to that is making sure that photos of your parents aren't a major feature in your bedroom. Not only is this an instant turn-off, it also signifies that you're definitely not ready to begin a new relationship.
5. Don't keep your walls bare
Maybe you're into minimalism, or maybe you're worried about losing part of your security deposit. Nevertheless, according to Rosenberg, bare walls in a home signify that a person constantly needs to be in control, and is cold and closed off from other people. She advises that you hang things on the wall that make you happy, such as art.
6. Collecting too much stuff
Maybe you're a die-hard Formula 1 fan, or perhaps your biggest hobby is building model airplanes. Or perhaps you take great pride in your extensive Star Wars memorabilia collection. Whatever it is, Rosenberg cautions that balance is important.
It's OK to have elements in your home that showcase your personality, but too much of attachment to collectibles, toys and childlike, whimsical fantasy items could mean that you have emotional wounds from childhood that still need to be dealt with and released.
7. Having too many pets
Again, this perhaps sounds obvious, but if you have an over-abundance of animals in your home or you treat your pets far better than you treat your friends or partner, then you might have a problem. This type of behaviour can indicate that you are unable to be intimate with people and have trust and dependency issues that should be discussed.
8. Having an unbalanced fridge
As part of a home visit, Rosenberg always looks in a person's fridge and freezer to see what they eat. If a person only eats organic fruits and vegetables and nothing else, or they have lots of junk food hidden away in an ice box, this reflects an imbalance.
Apart from not eating a healthy, rounded diet, the person could be using food as a way to self-medicate and numb themselves from an issue they don't want to face, or are being too harsh with themselves. "It's not normal to have no junk food at all", says Rosenberg.