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I’m a hopeless romantic. 

I know everyone says that, but it really is true. I believe in love and what it can do for other people, and it’s so beautiful seeing people in love. The way their eyes glow when they see their specific person and the way they get visibly nervous and try to hug them or hold their hand is just so heartwarming, and it makes my heart just scream looking at them. 

I won’t lie though. It also makes me want to cry, throw chairs and vomit, but we’re not going to get into that right now. This isn’t about me. 

But even so, I’ve always found it hard for me to believe I’m deserving of this sort of love. It’s complicated and I’ll spare you the long, grueling story of my horrible, no good, very bad love life. Basically, I clung to anyone who gave me a single sliver of attention, got too attached too fast, and then got my heart broken into five little itty-bitty pieces. Rinse and repeat five times. Boom. You have a recipe for extremely low self-confidence and relationship anxiety with a side of distrust for anyone that is romantically interested in you. 

Whoops. 

It’s not my fault. It never was my fault, and I now understand that. It was what had to happen in order for me to learn the one saying I hated: “If you don’t love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else?” Character development, babe — we all knew this. Looking back, it all makes sense now. I was desperately clinging to the attention and craved validation that others gave me when they liked me. It was almost like I wanted to be wanted.

After that though, I have been taking a break because I’m still in the process of prioritizing myself and loving myself. I deleted every single message, burned every object and closed that chapter in my life. I am no longer going to waste my time and energy on those who don’t give the same dedication back to me, and I realized that I’m going to be the only person constant in my own life. If I’m stuck with myself for the rest of my life, I’m going to have to know the ins and outs of myself. I need to know my boundaries, my likes and dislikes, my green flags and even how I like my eggs in the morning. 

Repeat after me: We are not doing charity work anymore. Nope. Absolutely not. 

I won’t deny it though. It’s a hard and long process. Somedays I think to myself, “Wow, I am not having any fun right now,” when I see people go on dates and easily get into relationships. It honestly makes me jealous, but jealousy can wait. I’m in my villain era — Megamind, if you will. I deserve to be confident and a little narcissistic, in a healthy way of course, because of how long I hated myself. 

“OK, so what is the point of telling me all this?” I hear you say. To that, I put one shoulder up and the other, and then I drop them both. 

Well, maybe the point of this might be that prioritizing yourself is the key to self-love. Like I said, you’re the only person that’s constant in your life, so you might as well learn how to love yourself and be comfortable with yourself. Take yourself on that shopping date. Buy yourself flowers and write a love letter to yourself. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and be that dream partner you’ve always wanted since elementary school. It’s fun! 

Sincerely, 

Reece <3

Reece Miller

Virginia Tech '24

Reece is a junior majoring in Psychology and Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Music Technology. She loves spending time with friends, shopping/fashion and going out, but if you can't find her, they're probably sleeping or curling up with a cheesy romcom or horror movie!
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