To love someone who does not love you back does not make you weak. It does not make you any less worthy or deserving of the things you desire. It does not make you less attractive or less smart or less funny. It does not make you less of anything.
Loving someone who does not love you back takes courage. It takes bravery and vulnerability. It takes looking the risk of rejection in the eye, and accepting that you do not have control over whether or not it comes.
“Here I am,” you say. “I am flawed and imperfect and sometimes very afraid, but when I look at you, I know that my heart lives outside my body now. I do not have many riches to offer you in gifts or gold, but I can give you the most invaluable currency there is: My love. I love you even though you may not feel the same. I love you without condition—I love you because I know no other way.”
To love someone who does not love you back takes strength. It takes the ability to bear the heartache of hearing them say that they do not think of you the same way. It takes the ability to then look in the mirror at all that you are and not just see, but to really, truly believe: Yes, in fact, you are still more than enough.
But if you love someone who does not love you back, you must use that same courage and strength to leave when it is time. You must know when to go.
Because to love someone who does not love you back will deplete you. It will begin to bleed you dry as you try to fill the half that they are unable to reciprocate. It will take away from the love you could be giving to the one person who will never, ever leave you: Yourself.
When you love someone who does not love you back, learn when it is time to leave. Learn when to take that very same love, and return it to yourself.