Since I’m living on an island, this cliché rings true: there’s a lot of fish in the sea. A lot of people in this world. And a whole lot of opportunities to find love, fear, and everything in between.
We’ve probably all had some share of experiences with love. Good and bad. Some stuck around, and others needed to hit the road. It all comes down to who deserves you or not.
If you don’t recognize the worth you possess and what you should expect in others, you’ll be in a perpetual cycle of despair. You’re setting yourself up for failure. Before you start seeking out the love of your life, first figure out who you deserve. Who we each deserve. The sooner we know it, the less time we waste convincing ourselves we’re “less than.”
I have my own share of mistakes. We’ve all been there. Being a young person, figuring out who you are and what it means to be a human…it’s rough. That journey we take isn’t in a vacuum of space, but shared amongst a plethora of people making their marks. We lay down the foundation for all the experiences to come.
I still struggle with my self-esteem, but that kid back in middle and high school? I don’t know her. She was a mess and a half. She felt so lost, a waste of space simply wanting to disappear. The mere ideas of dating and romance were foreign, and yet they seemed like the sure-fire way of having worth. If someone could want to date you—they think you’re beautiful and interesting—then that must make me worth something. Right?
Except the problem is, I beat myself up every chance I got. Ugly. Forever alone. Worthless. I sure didn’t feel like I mattered, and that dominated everything I did. While others were probably having their first tastes of teenage love, I was writing online about how unremarkable and forgettable I was.
Well, if that’s not self-fulfilling prophesy, then I don’t know what is. Depression and self-loathing clouded my entire being. I don’t know how anybody tolerated me at that point in life. I certainly wasn’t ready to recognize the love I deserved then and now.
your worth, beyond others.
The first obvious problem with how I treated myself was assuming all my worth resided in others’ opinions of me. I craved (and still slightly do) validation. Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Worthy enough?
The moment I realized I was a spirit in this earth-suit body, a unique individual with opinions and thoughts that matter, is when I fully understood that I should never settle for who I deserve to love and whose love I accept.
When was that moment, you ask? Uh, probably last year. Took me long enough. Hopefully it happens sooner for others, but the timing doesn’t matter as long as you see it. Usually it involves a bad relationship for things to click, being with someone else who serves a purpose: teaching you that settling is suffering.
Figure out who you are as a person, on your own. What personality traits do you bring to the table? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Recognize that you’re forever a work-in-progress, capable of learning and growing, changing your mind, and making mistakes.
You are worthy of taking up space. Deserving of love. Worthy of sharing your life with many forms of endless love and joy. You’re a hot commodity, and somebody’s going to be super lucky to have you.
who do I deserve?
It’s good to have standards. And it’s okay if the bar is set high. The right person is out there, and they’re up to the challenge of meeting (and exceeding!) your expectations.
If there’s any sign that things are awry—a family member getting bad vibes, affection not reciprocated—you have every right to leave that situation. It’s selfish for both people to stay in as an unfit pair any longer than necessary. That simply holds everyone back from finding who they truly deserve.
For myself, I know I need someone who I can learn from—without feeling like I’m stupid (been there, done that). I want to laugh until my stomach hurts and freely be my punny, sarcastic, quirky self.
My “someone” will have a lot on their plate with my mental struggles, but they are the voice of reason I need. A steady, thoughtful support system, who encourages me to keep growing and becoming the best version of myself possible.
MY happy, not yours.
The important distinction to make figuring out who you deserve is realizing that person’s purpose: to complement you. This single person should not be the well for all your life’s happiness and satisfaction. You can’t rely on external sources of happiness because they’ll inevitably fail you.
Who you deserve makes you happy, and you make them happy. That happiness you each already possess radiates into a collective pool. All-around good vibes. When one of you feels down, you don’t allow it to have power in the relationship. You set time and space aside to feel your emotions and move forward.
What I realize know that my young, struggling self didn’t was how a healthy dynamic between two people starts with two individuals that are healthy and content alone. Put them together, and it sweetens the deal.
who YOU deserve.
I told you who I deserve, but you deserve someone just as meaningful and wonderful. You deserve who sees how you’re an incredible work of art, a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors and qualities. You deserve be to treated with love and respect, to not be forced into a corner with someone.
There’s no reason for you to settle, to fit into an awkward mold. You shouldn’t have to change your essence for someone else. You shouldn’t emotionally rely upon someone, an addict waiting for their next fix. That’s not a healthy relationship, and that’s not what you deserve.
Who you deserve is made specifically for you. Yes, I’m the hopeless romantic who believes that, out of the over seven billion people on this planet, there’s your person. A soulmate, romantic or platonic. We aren’t meant to face this world alone, so please don’t convince yourself that you’re worthless or forgettable or better off alone.
You deserve the absolute best in all regards, including the people who accompany you in this crazy ride called life. You deserve who inspire you, that drive you toward a greater good, that recharge your batteries rather than draining them.
Everyone who enters your life is there for a reason, fleeting or sustaining. They’re here to teach you something, to carry you to the next phase. Accept every encounter as a blessing, but remember who you ultimately deserve. Plus, know that someone else deserves you; you’re the one someone’s been hoping and waiting for.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie