“You don’t just love me on my good days. On my pretty days, when I have makeup on and my hair looks decent. When I’m cheerful and witty and affectionate and feeling well. You love me when no one else possibly could. You love me when I’m pale and hollow, when I haven’t laughed for days and I’ve worn the same pajamas for a week. When I curl up in my little corner of the bed and try not to think about life. When I’m irritable and ugly and bitchy and I yell at you for stupid things. When my hair is greasy and I have bags under my eyes. Those are the times when with great patience and care, you brush my hair behind my ear, kiss my forehead, and tell me,’You’re beautiful and I love you.’ That’s how I know … that’s love. — Breanna”—Daily Tumblr Love Quotes (via thelovewhisperer)
The most valuable words of wisdom I’ve ever received, from someone I love very much, were “I cannot make you happy.” It’s true. As much as I care about this person, they are not responsible for my actions or state of being. I am. I think that we, as humans, have a tendency to look outwards to identify the source of both our joy and anguish—blaming our parents for inadequate care as a child, blaming our ex for emotional instability, or blaming that bully in 7th grade for our confidence problems.
People influence our levels of happiness and sadness because we are inherently social creatures. But I fear that we have come to rely too heavily on others, especially those we love, for validation, as well as an excuse for when things go wrong in our lives. I will be the first to admit that I fall victim to this. Sometimes I assess my value or importance based on how many people talk to me one night at a bar, or how many people like my profile picture. Other times, I blame ex-friends for trust issues, or my parents for my rigid perfectionism.
But, at the end of the day, I am the one who internalized their comments and actions the way I did. I am the one who chose to respond the way I did. Whether my response and the resulting emotions have been positive or negative (or neutral), I cannot blame these people for what I have done or my current state of being. Sure, I can analyze my actions and feelings to figure out where they stem from and who may have influenced them. But it isn’t helping anyone if I become infuriated with every person who contributed to a bad decision I made.
At the end of the day, you have to fall asleep knowing that you are the best you that you can be. You have to learn to forgive yourself for mistakes and pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments. Your Facebook friends, Instagram followers, classmates, ex-boyfriend, or the bully from middle school aren’t going to be there, as you close your eyes, telling you how to think or feel.
And I know this is all much easier said than done, but there is something beautifully unique and incredible inside of each and every person—if you stop blaming people and relying on everyone else for validation, you will find it.
I want to take away all of the pain and I want to put the pieces back together for you. No one did that for me, and I know it would have been a lot easier if someone had come along and helped me. Not necessarily better, but it would have been easier. Putting yourself back together is lonely and isolating and scary. I know that it’s important to deal with heartbreak alone, without relying on attention from the opposite sex as a crutch. But during the actual recovery process, all I wanted was someone to fill that void.
I want to be that someone for you
We all have those relationships, past or present, in which the other person constantly makes you feel bad about yourself. Maybe the other person takes their insecurities out on you. Maybe the other person does not recognize the beauty of the love you have given them. Maybe the other person emotionally abuses and takes advantage of you. These relationships have a way of decaying our confidence, independence, and self-esteem. We usually just stay in them because we are comfortable, scared, or too lazy to remove ourselves.
But there comes a point in these relationships, somewhere between devastation and acceptance, where you realize that you deserve better. You realize that you do not deserve these feelings of constant disappointment and betrayal. You finally realize that you are worthy.
You are worthy of friends who love and care for you in the same way you love and care for them. Having friends that you can rely on and cry to when you are upset is one of the most valuable things in life.
You are worthy of a significant other who appreciates and adores you. It may take some time to find the person you are meant to be with, and you may have to go through some trial and error along the way. But never settle for someone who treats you poorly or who always thinks about themselves before you.
You are worthy of a family who loves and supports you, even when you screw up. Especially when you screw up. It may take some time and effort to build solid relationships with your family members, but it’s worth it.
You are worthy of your own self-love. Because there is only one you, and there are dozens of things about you that make you unique and beautiful. Sometimes I’ve found this particular concept hard to grasp, but the more I learn to love myself, the easier it is for me to develop healthy relationships with other people.
Everyone, no matter what they have gone through or dealt with in the past, is worthy of respect, love, and kindness from others. When you realize that you deserve these things, you can appreciate the people in your life who do treat you right, and you can address the people who don’t—whether that means communicating your issues or cutting them out of your life. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who don’t realize how amazing you are.
The difference between the two words “need” and “want” is gargantuan. To need someone implies dependency and a habitual sort of reliance. Needing someone in times of crisis or extreme sadness is a part of being human, but needing that person constantly is suffocating. Of course, this logic does not apply to children, or even adolescents who rely on their family for financial support and nurturing. This commentary applies more towards romantic relationships, or even friendships, between two functional adults.
A lot of people confuse “needing” someone with loving them. But they are not synonymous. When you need someone, you lose your independence and agency as a human being, because you’re constantly reliant on another person. You lose the ability and desire to complete basic tasks by yourself, you forget what it’s like to be alone with your thoughts, and you can barely remember a time when you were capable of existing alone.
Sure, that may sound like love, but it’s not. I can only speak for myself here, but I definitely don’t want a partner who I “need” in my life to survive. Just like I don’t want my partner to “need” me. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure for both people, and it is not healthy, nor is it fair.
Falling into this neediness is not a conscious decision—it often happens quickly and discretely. Early detection of this neediness is crucial, although often overlooked. To “need” someone is to buy yourself a first class ticket to the land of codependence.
Wanting, on the other hand, is the first step in learning how to love someone. You want to be around the other person because they make you smile, they make you happier, and time goes by quicker when they’re around. You don’t need them to be there to walk to CVS with you, or fall asleep next to you, or sit with you in the library while you study for a final — you can do all these things by yourself. And, while you’re fully capable of completing tasks alone, you like having the other person there with you. You don’t need them to be, you just want them to be.
When you want someone in your life, you want them there because life is more fun with them by your side. You want them because you are a complete person without them, but you know that they make you happy. You don’t need to use them as a crutch — you can stand alone.
The difference between need and want is the difference between codependence and love. Love and codependence are very, very different. And loving someone is much more beautiful and rewarding than leaning on them for all things, at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
at 6am when you’re waking to go to work, to school, or whatever road life takes you on, and when you didn’t sleep well, your hair is a mess, and your eyes are sleepy.
at 8am when we say goodbye for the day and you’re rushing out the door with a cup of tea and your car keys in the other hand.
at 5pm when you’re exhausted from the day and people have worn you out and you feel like crying, and falling asleep and escaping from everything. I will kiss your forehead, and wrap myself in your arms.
at 10pm when you’re heading to bed, even though you won’t sleep for hours. Especially when we become a human knot wrapped up in sheets and kisses.
at 3am when loneliness and sadness do not destroy you, but consume you and when you weep without an explanation, I’ll kiss your lips softly and tell you you’re the absolute best and that things will be better soon
I will love you when you grow old, and I will love you after that. I will love you if I’m no longer here. I will love you, I will love you, and I will love you.
“I have never felt so alone, so miserable and so stuck in my thought. I used to feel so happy and lucky but they said those feelings were shortlived. I can’t deny that only love got this ability on me. This cup of mine seems to be always half full, not more not less. They say find someone who love you more than they do but I’m always at the disadvantage although it was the opposite at the start. I am an anchor that sinks if you allow me to and I won’t stop sinking so please don’t be a buoy and go in the opposite direction from me. Please love me till I don’t feel this pain anymore.”—
“I need someone who could be there for me when I need him and not see me as an irritant when my tears fall because of him. The importance of my existence in your eyes is probably decreasing. I have never felt this distance until now.”—