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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

I’ll admit, sometimes my FYP on TikTok is a bit too accurate. Sometimes the exact relevance to my current situation or thoughts is a little scary. I’ll often be left in tears after reading through a slideshow of shattering poems that resonate with me. Or I’ll gasp as I realize that the song I’ve been listening to on repeat was in the background of the first video when I refreshed the page. But that’s the point, right?

Well, without getting into too much detail, I’ve had quite a few experiences that have made me question my outlook on romantic relationships. A couple of months ago, I had reached my breaking point. I was so discouraged because it felt like all of the time and love I poured into my connections was never worth anything. And I felt that it would never be reciprocated, either. It seemed all I was left with was this hurt and a fear of being vulnerable ever again. I spent a lot of time reflecting on this over this past summer, and there was a question I kept asking myself over and over.

Is loving someone ever a waste?

Maybe it was a result of me reposting one too many sad quotes or cute couple videos, but not long after I started asking this question, my FYP started providing me with answers. I started getting videos of people explaining why they believe that every experience with love (as long as it isn’t unhealthy or unsafe) is always worth it.

loving someone is never a waste of time

So, it got me thinking. Is this true? Could even the most heartbreaking of experiences be worth it in the end? While I think this is a question everyone has to answer for themselves, I chose to make it true in my life. I found that searching for the good in what I previously considered strictly damaging situations gave me a better way to look at things.

As someone who clings to the statement “everything happens for a reason,” this concept in the context of relationships really helped me. It gave me exactly what I needed to heal and move on from some painful experiences. It gave meaning to every connection I’ve ever had and made me realize each one had a purpose, even if I couldn’t see it at the time. I found that I would not be the person I am today without them. And this is applicable to every aspect of our lives. Every single thing we’ve gone through helps shape who we are. This also helped me realize that if something does not work out, it is because it’s helping guide me exactly where I am supposed to be.

find something good in love

But obviously, there is one buried experience that comes to mind that is permeated with a deep sense of hurt and regret, and I feel I could never find anything good that came out of it. But (I say this through a clenched jaw), at the very least, it taught me a valuable lesson. It gave me signs to watch for and helped me realize what I do and do NOT want in a relationship. It also helped me realize my self-worth, even if it significantly damaged it for a while because of how I was treated and what happened. But overcoming that and accepting the fact that I deserve better is something that helped me grow as a person.

I met someone this summer who solidified this concept for me. The very fact our paths crossed in the way they did proved to me it was true, just as I was starting to contemplate and accept it. Meeting him showed me there are so many amazing people I haven’t met yet that I will connect with. I found we had so much in common and that we struggled in similar ways, which led to us understanding each other and connecting on a deeper level. This reinforced the idea that good can come out of any situation. He helped me hold onto the notion that everything will always be okay no matter what (and I did the same for him). Without even meaning to, he helped me change my outlook on life entirely. Life may be pulling us apart now, but I know for a fact that we were supposed to meet. And it’s been hard, but I’m trying to maintain the same mindset that he helped me find. I really wish things could be different, but even if the future doesn’t bring us back together, the influence he had on my life will never fade.

loving someone will be worth it

So, the next time I find myself hesitant to open my heart up in fear of getting hurt, I know I’ll think back on this. And remind myself that there are really only three ways it could go. If it ends and things go badly, it will teach me yet another lesson and help me grow even more. But if we part ways and it’s amiable, the memories and love we shared will have changed us both for the better. Or who knows? Maybe this time it’ll work out. Maybe they’ll be the one.

And maybe this concept isn’t true for everyone. But it is something I have to hold onto to keep me going. Choosing love inevitably means there will be a lot more pain, but also a lot more that makes life worth living. 

So, no matter how hard it gets, I choose to never stop loving as deeply as I do. 

Because for me, loving someone is never a waste.

Kendal is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, double-majoring in English Literature and Digital/Print Journalism. She is a content writer and associate editor for Her Campus UCF. She's also a reporter for NSM Today, UCF's student-run news outlet, and The Community Paper, a local newspaper in Downtown Orlando. Kendal has a passion for news reporting, her favorite coverage areas being breaking news and sports reporting. She also loves to write about art and music (along with anything relating to love). She's always stopping to take pictures of the sky and write her thoughts down in her notes app. Her go-to way of expressing herself apart from writing is by creating an endless amount of Spotify playlists.