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I know many women who feel they need to be a lesser version of themselves as they believe they will make their partners feel uncomfortable. That is such an outdated concept. Confidence doesn’t need to be kept in the background.

Man or woman, it doesn’t matter. A person who has interests, passions, ideas, and opinions and is not afraid to share them, demonstrates confidence. When we first meet someone, we often find them interesting for those reasons.

When we lack self-worth, we don’t feel good about ourselves. It isn’t possible to fully see the beauty in our romantic relationships when we don’t see it in ourselves. We can’t see the positive. We often are anticipating the worst. We unconsciously sabotage our relationships.

It always starts with us. Look in the mirror first. Who do you see? Describe the attributes that we like most about ourselves. What are our strengths, skills, and personal characteristics that make us feel good? How often do we use these traits? What type of reaction do we get from others when we demonstrate these traits?

It is critical to love yourself first. When we don’t think we are lovable, we are likely to think others won’t find us lovable. Our fears and negative perceptions will eventually erode our relationship.

There are no sparks in a relationship that is full of negativity, criticisms, blaming, fears, accusations and a lack of trust. Especially if there is no evidence to back up the negative thoughts.

Everyone enjoys something. There is at least one attribute that we can feel good about that will give us some degree of confidence. Find that one part of you that YOU like, that feels right, that makes YOU feel good. Then use it as much as you possibly can.

For example: If you are compassionate and empathetic and enjoy helping kids in need then find opportunities to do that. You can volunteer through Big Brothers Big Sisters or any other organization related to kids in need. Find opportunities to talk about it, find related articles, celebrate it and enjoy it. Surround yourself with like-minded people who share your passion. Allow yourself to feel happy and proud of your perspective. You will start to feel confident.

Building confidence in your romantic relationship comes from being confident in who you are.

When you are passionate about something, you inspire others to do the same. Make the effort to share your interests and let your excitement show through. Ask your partner about his/her passions and interests.

The best gift you can give another person is to love them for who they are and not judge or criticize them for not being exactly like you.

Be confident in what you like and what is important to you. Others may have a different opinion – that’s OK – it doesn’t diminish your perspective.

Don’t hesitate to recognize that you are an interesting person who is fun, light and sees and expresses joy. Bring that part of you to the surface, based on the few attributes you are most proud of. Over time, you will find even more attributes.

You will find that you show up in a more positive light. You can’t help it – you will hold your head up, make better eye contact, smile more, have more approachable body language and be a participant in conversations that interest you.

Your confidence will start to show. Your partner may start to become more engaged in your relationship. You will find that confidence is sexy!