Most of us are looking for the perfect mate. What I mean by perfect is “perfect for you.” We’re aiming to commit to our version of the cream of the crop, but how many of us actually take a cold hard look at ourselves and what we’re bringing to the table?

One of the most overlooked factors in the equation of dating is self-evaluation. Choosing the right partner is more than selecting someone you feel that you are compatible with. It’s being able to accept the fact that you don’t have it together as much as you may think you do.

It takes a lot of courage to actually put yourself under a microscope. You’ll be confronted with a myriad of unflattering traits that can make you question if you’re even as wonderful as you think you are. While the practice of self reflection can be scary, it is necessary in order to find a mate and have a loving relationship in which both people are happy.

Choosing the right partner doesn’t start with them, it starts with us. Here are a few benefits of self-evaluation that will aide you in a relationship.

You Provide Yourself the Chance to Face Your Fears

A lot of people do not wish to confront each and every part of who they are because it’s downright scary. But imagine what life would be like if you conquered every last bit of yourself? Just committing to taking a closer look at your thoughts, actions, behaviors and patterns is a feat.

You Are Investing in Yourself, So it Makes it Easier for Others to See Your Worth

Let me first start off by saying that your worth isn’t determined by how many people recognize it. Millions of wonderful people in the world get overlooked, robbed, cheated on, and taken advantage of. With that being said, being someone who is worth investing in can increase one’s chances of being in a long-term, healthy relationship. For example. You put a hefty down payment on a new car that comes with a note each month. You’re going to make sure that vehicle has regular maintenance because you want it to last. You’re also going to get a little ticked off if someone comes and puts a dent in it even though it’s still functional. Why? Because you’ve invested in it. You see the value in having a vehicle and you want to keep it in tip top shape. Same with yourself. When you work on yourself, it demonstrates that you are valuable, and allowing yourself the chance to correct some of your less flattering traits.

You Are One Step Closer to Who You Pretend to Be

There’s no room for pretending when it comes to self-evaluation. When you take a deep, raw look at yourself, you’re either going to run from, or fix, whatever it is that you see. Either way you will recognize that what has been holding you back, and while the behavior(s) may be comfortable, they no longer serve you positively. When you correct negative behaviors and patterns, then you’re one step closer to being that person who you wish to be.

Relationships are about more than being satisfied with who you’re with. So invest in yourself. Commit to fixing what is broken. Admit that you’re not perfect. Work on yourself and execute actions that lend themselves to self improvement. Eventually, you will attract someone who is doing the same thing.

Shantell E. Jamison is EBONY’s senior editor of love and relationships. Her book, Drive Yourself in the Right Direction, is available on Amazon. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.