You shouldn’t be a second choice. You shouldn’t be a replacement. You shouldn’t be what someone settles for when they’re running out of options.
You shouldn’t be a plan B. You shouldn’t be someone’s maybe. You shouldn’t be the person someone reaches out to only when they’re lonely or only when they want attention.
You shouldn’t be a temporary solution. You shouldn’t try to convince someone to give you a chance or text you or call you. You shouldn’t let anyone make you feel like you have to work too hard for the simplest things.
You should be someone’s first choice. You should be someone’s plan A. You should be someone’s all in instead of one foot in and foot out.
You shouldn’t put a discount on yourself just because you don’t know your worth and you shouldn’t be okay with something just because everyone else seems to be okay with it.
It doesn’t put a smile on your face when you’re always initiating conversations and getting cold responses. It doesn’t put a smile on your face when you’re always wondering if that person is talking to someone else or if they care or if they even think about you. It doesn’t put a smile on your face when you always feel forgotten or invisible. It doesn’t put a smile on your face when you keep giving and not getting anything in return.
And you deserve to smile. You deserve to be remembered. You deserve someone who keeps reassuring you that you matter, that they want to choose you. You deserve someone who doesn’t make you feel like you’re in a competition.
I know modern dating has made these things sound so outdated, idealistic or extinct, but I’m here to tell you that they’re not. Because I’ve seen it happen, and I know people who still believe in romance, loyalty, monogamy, and commitment. I know people who outgrew playing games and wanting attention and favoring quantity over quality.
I know people who realized that they want the real deal. They want a forever person. They want true love and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to find it and if you’re one of those people, then you should just stop falling for the ones who only think of you as a temporary solution.
Stop falling for the unavailable hearts that only want you when they’re broken. Stop giving chances to those who can’t even give you one. Stop falling for the ones who make you cry.
Because you shouldn’t sell yourself short just because someone doesn’t understand how precious you really are. You shouldn’t stop cherishing yourself just because someone else doesn’t know how to cherish you.
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.