The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

What do you think you deserve?

In Stephen Chobsky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, there is a quote that says: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” And if you know me personally, you’ve probably heard this from me once or twice.

I believe that nobody picks the person they fall in love with, it just happens. Whether it’s right, illegal, painful, or perfect, the feelings we get for a person is not a choice. The initial spark, the incredible chemisty, connections we have with people, whether they’re appropriate, just happen.

But I think what we choose to do with these feelings are a choice.

Do you continue loving a person that abuses your love, who breaks your trust?

Do you pursue someone already committed to someone else if they don’t exactly reject you?

Love is not a choice, but everything else is.

What you do with your feelings, what you choose to accept from the person you love, you can’t blame anyone else for it, because it was your decision.

You chose to go into a relationship because you’ve never felt this way before, even if you know that this will ultimately cause you problems with your family.

You chose to go into a “relationship” with a married man, because he’s told you that you’re the love of his life, but will not leave his wife for you because he’s scared that she might take away his kids.

That is your choice.

We choose the people we see everyday, who we talk to, who we spend our precious free time with, with what we think we deserve.

So my question today for you, my dear reader: Do you think you deserve the love you have today?

2 responses to “What do you think you deserve?”

  1. You know I always hear people bring up that quote, “we accept the love we think we deserve” and I understand how it hits home for a lot of people. Part of me says it’s true but another part of me thinks falling for another person is not even about a question of who deserves what kind of love because if you frame it that way, it becomes a little egoistic. When we fall, we’re not really asking ourselves if we deserve that particular love or not. It’s less about us than about the experience. There was a time when I fell in love and I can honestly tell you that at no point during that relationship did I ever pause to think if I deserve her love or not. This is probably a little facile, but to me, it’s just falling–falling almost mindlessly without any care for reasons or consequences. Did I deserve it? Did she deserve me? There was none of that. If I had any of that, I would probably be thinking now that “Well, she left me and it was not my fault. I clearly deserved someone better or a better kind of love.” But there’s none of that and up to this day, I still can’t put my finger on what really makes us fall or fall out of love. Probably that’s all there is to it and that exact shallowness is its greatest depth.

  2. That’s good insight. I think mostly for me, the quote mainly means, how do you want to be treated? Are you deserving of pain, the hurt, the betrayal someone who “loves” you is putting you through because it’s “love” and vice versa? What’s keeping you in the relationship? Etc.

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