Dating and Relationship Advice

A letter to my past self

I know you’re feeling vulnerable and alone right now. It’s incredibly hard to feel unlovable, and it’s incredibly isolating.

I know it feels like you’re the only one who cares. It feels like you’re the only one in the world who feels this way. And you believe you’ll feel unlovable forever.

I know it’s hard to believe this, but you’re not the only one who cares. Lots of other people feel this way, and this feeling is temporary. It will not last forever. And you can get through it.

You are tender-hearted. It is one of your most lovely and endearing qualities. And at the same time, you’re vulnerable to feeling negative emotions, and feeling them really intensely. You take this more personally than other people might. And that’s okay.

You might feel like you’re the one who is always reaching out. Always calling, texting, or messaging on social media. Maybe your efforts are reciprocated — maybe not. Or others don't initiate as much as you'd like.

That can feel painful. But it’s not your fault. You are not responsible for others’ actions. Most likely, their response rate does not have anything to do with you. People have big stuff going on in their lives, and you might not know about it. You might be more social and purposeful than others about teaching out. That’s okay!

It’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to feel disappointed by that. It’s alright that you want more contact, attention, or support. But don’t let it obliterate you.

Your friends and family care about you, even when they aren’t available to show it. Or maybe they’re showing you in a different way. Make sure you look for those ways — the small ways your friends and family show you they care about you. The ways that they show up for you. Don’t gloss over those moments because you’re looking for something else.

You might feel the urge to stop reaching out, to withdraw, or to stop trying. I know you want to give up. I know it can feel like it would be easier to drop the rope. But it’s not, in the end. Because then you are left with bitter isolation, and feeling even more unloved than before. Don’t do that to yourself.

Keep reaching out. Keep trying.

You can’t sit back and wait for others to give you what you need — or even to know what you need. You need to give you what you need. And what you need is connection.

You are worthy of connection, and you are worthy of love.

My therapist had me write, “I’m worthy of love because…” and write in the reasons. I’m proud to say the first thing I wrote was that I was a human being. And after that, I couldn’t really think of any other reasons that felt nearly as compelling. You deserve love because you’re a human being. That’s it. Done.

You deserve love from others and you deserve to feel love from within. It’s okay if it doesn’t come for a while. It takes building over time, and just because you don’t feel it right now, doesn’t mean you can’t hold out hope to feel it in the future.

I see your pain. It’s okay to feel it. Remember that your emotions are your strength. Don’t let yourself be hardened by them. Even when you feel unloved or unlovable, you are worthy of love. And you are loved, but you may be loved in different ways than you think. Keep trying, and keep reaching out. Because forging those connections will help you on your path to self-love. You are not you without them.



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