Everything my unrequited crushes taught me about self-love

Now, I’m sure most people have experienced their fair share of unrequited crushes. That is, that one-sided admiration of someone who does not reciprocate the same feelings for you, as you for them. From the person who led you on, sweet-talking their way into your mind only to crush it just as quickly, to the person that’s probably just that little bit out of reach or perhaps even that stud you have never spoken to but who has the charm, charisma, and curls of Harry Edward Styles. We have all experienced that heartbreaking crush of covertly liking someone who doesn’t feel the same way back.

Although crushing on someone whose feelings for you are not reciprocated often sucks, through these experiences I’ve discovered that loving myself is even better — and often way, way more important and fulfilling. Here is what my unrequited crushes over the years have taught me about self-love:

It’s not you — its them.

After the bitter-sweet moment when you finally realize that it is time to let go of that unrequited crush comes the waves of self-doubt and questioning. Am I not smart enough, funny enough, or pretty enough for them? Are they out of my league? Am I just too awkward and weird? From my experience, it seems standard to want to put the blame on myself. It must be my fault that they don’t have the same feelings for me that I have for them. However, I have slowly discovered that’s rarely the case. In the past, I have often crushed from a safe distance, secretly admiring my crushes from afar. Consequently, the person who I’ve had heart eyes for probably barely even knows who I am! And I suppose that I also barely know them, either, and have let my feelings run wild. It’s hardly reasonable to expect someone to like you if you’ve barely spent any time together. It’s time to stop doubting yourself and start recognizing your unique worth.

It is time to devote time to you.

How many minutes of the day do you find yourself mindlessly thinking about that cute coworker, or that smart classmate from your second year tutorial? If only we spent the same amount of time thinking about ourselves. Recognizing that a crush is not reciprocated can make it easier to start devoting more time to thinking about you. Sometimes, it is perfectly okay to put yourself first and take the time to be the best version of you that you can be! So, start devoting more time to thinking about you instead of that cute crush with hypnotic blue eyes.

Self-loving looks the healthiest on you.

Ever walked past someone who oozed confidence? They usually sport huge, genuine smiles, their eyes sparkle and they stand straight, because they’re simply proud to be themselves. That’s what self-love looks like. When you love yourself, you look and feel great, as cheesy as it sounds. No, it doesn’t mean you have to arrogantly walk around with your nose in the air thinking you own the place. It simply means you start to feel content with being you; you are less likely to want to look down at the ground and more likely to go forth accomplishing your goals and find inspiration, instead of being intimidated, by everyday life. Plus, by loving yourself you may have the self-assurance necessary to even put yourself out there by asking your crush on a date.

Loving your self is the best ‘payback’ plan.

Okay, okay, so there is probably that one jerk you crushed on who totally broke your heart, just a smidgen, but still has you brainstorming the perfect plan for revenge. Like trying to organize a moment where the two of you bump into each other, after you have put on your best outfit and made sure every hair is in place. However, this likely won’t make you feel any better. I’ve learned the hard way that the best payback attack or retaliation plan is to find the confidence to not even care. Discover for yourself just how awesome, smart, and funny you truly are. Loving yourself enough to not care about that jerk that crushed your heart is definitely a more bulletproof payback plan.

No one can validate your worth like you, and that is PERFECTLY okay.

Everyone seeks validation from others, but when that love, friendship, or validation is not reciprocated, it can be easy to feel unworthy. However, my experience with unrequited crushes has taught me how valuable it is to be able to validate your own self-worth. Being able to praise yourself for what you have achieved or what you aspire to achieve is priceless to your journey to feeling content, whole and happy. Once you have accepted and learned the necessity of self-love you can then more readily comprehend the possibility of sharing this state of euphoria with another. But it’s important to initially be your own special soul mate by loving ‘you’ first.