Groucho Marx once said, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."
What he means: As you are well aware of your flaws and weaknesses, you refuse to join a club that accepts an imperfect person such as yourself. They are just as inferior as you are and unworthy of your membership.
What does this have to do with love?
We fall in love because it allows us to escape from the reality of our imperfect selves with someone who is, at least in our minds, perfect. When we fall in love, we place this person on a pedestal and idolize them because we believe they are better than us. Loving this person gives you hope that their perfection will make up for your weaknesses... laziness, fear, dishonesty, lack of courage, and all the other disgusting things you fill your life with. Because you can't find perfection in yourself, you find it in someone else and it is comforting to know that there is a chance that by being together, you will be perfect, too.
Most of the times, the people you love don't love you back. Sure, you'll be sad and upset, but you'll move on because you've loved many people that didn't love you back before. However once in a blue moon, you find a person that says the words, "I love you, too." That's when you stop loving them.
In the simplest terms, their act of returning love lowers their status down to yours and unlike them, you are not perfect. You are full of defects. If they return the love, that means they too, must be imperfect, full of defects, and as inferior as you are. Are they really just as broken, confused, and insecure as I am? I was hoping to escape when I fell in love, but instead I just found a duplicate of my shitty self. There must have been a mistake...
No longer interested. Next.
You don't fall in love with people who are of the same level as you. They don't elicit any sense of awe or wonder. When you see or think of them, you're just reminded of your own mediocre strengths and inadequacies. Ugh.
You definitely don't fall in love with the people whom you feel are inferior to you. Why would you? He's short, average looking at best, and overweight. No thank you.
You always fall in love with people that are better than you though. Upgrade!
"I love you, too."
"Wait... Am I even worthy of an upgrade?" "What's wrong with this person?" I don't love anyone who is inferior and imperfect, why would they love me? It doesn't work, it doesn't make sense, and because you don't believe it to be a possibility, when love is returned, you reject it.
You reject it like you've been rejecting yourself. You don't deserve it. You're not worthy.
Or are you?
At the end of the day, the people you love are normal at best. They're like everybody else. Human beings. It is your love that places them on a pedestal, which perpetuates your feelings of unworthiness.
I actually think this is quite unfair, because those who return your love should not be rejected due to your own lack of self-confidence. As if there is a set criterion you must first achieve before anyone can love you.
The purpose of this essay is to be aware. To not fall prey to our own psychological hiccups. In order to be loved, you must first love yourself.
You have flaws. So do I. And so do the rest of us.
by Jason Lam