The case for love…

“I guess it’s true that love was all you wanted, because you’re giving it away like it’s extra change, hoping it will end up in [their] pocket. But it leaves you out like a penny in the rain, because it’s not [their] price to pay.” Tied Together With a Smile, Taylor Swift.

When art connoisseurs analyze a work of art, they go over every single detail to determine its value, uniqueness, and technique. As their eyes waltz around the painting carefully, a nervous artist stands on the sidelines hoping to please its audience. Millions of thoughts run through the artist’s mind, being that flaws are more noticeable to their creator. So all they can do is pray they won’t notice the rough edges, or the I-accidentally-dropped-a-whole-bottle-of-black-ink over my canvas, or I accidentally mixed the wrong colors there.

Wanting to be loved, is very much like and art connoisseur judging a painting, only this time, you are the one who feels the need for approval.

Months ago I came across a very dangerous issue, and it didn’t come because it happened to me specifically, it happened to various people around me. It was almost uncanny how similar events unfolded into the lives of so many people in my life, but then again, I came to the conclusion that the reason that it happened was that everyone was yearning for the same thing.

A lot of people are just desperate to find love, while ironically being surrounded by love.

Listen, I’m not just talking about the whiny “I want a boyfriend” type (or girlfriend, you know, whatever your preferences are), I’m talking about the “I want to know that people love me, to the point that it is eating me away.”

“Hold on maybe you’re losing it, the water’s high you’re jumping into it and letting go.”
This past year, I’ve seen close relatives, friends, even just strangers on social media stress over the lack of love in their lives.
So here’s the picture perfect that everyone wants:

Everyone wants to find someone, that will love them unconditionally. We want someone who can make us happy, that we can go on adventures with. Someone who is kind, and won’t second-guess for a second that they love us. We want to able to come to them and feel safe, to feel butterflies inside of us because they make us feel extreme joy. We can share absolutely anything with this person, because they completely understand everything and they won’t judge us. They will follow us wherever we go; they completely and hopelessly in love with us.

We all just want to find someone who will love us and make us happier than anyone else has.

It could quite honestly be the most beautiful painting if we could put it visually, don’t you think?

Here’s where the main issue is:
This picture, this absolutely beautiful and dreamy picture, that we all day-dream of: is only one-sided.

What I mean by that is that all the time, we dream someone who will absolutely do anything for us, but for that to happen, we have to be willing to do the same.

A very wise woman named Karen Berg helped me realize this.

She led me to realize that just as much as we want someone to love us unconditionally, somebody out there wants the same from us.

So here’s the other side of the picture:
You, are capable of loving someone unconditionally. You are capable of being someone else’s safe space, where they can come to you with anything. You are capable of loving someone, no strings attached, meaning, it’s not all about you and your need for approval and validation, it’s about both of you. You can love someone so much, that you will be able to let them go because holding them back is selfish.
What Karen Berg taught me, is to stop thinking about what others could or should be for me, and instead, think about what I could be for others.

This is where things may get a little tricky.
“…And no one knows, that you cry. But you don’t tell anyone that you might not be the ‘golden one.’ And you’re tied together with a smile, but you’re coming undone.”
And that is with the simple fact, that you can’t be everything for everybody.

You can be so much for others, is being the kind of person you hope to share your life with, not becoming a people pleaser.

Because then that’s when people’s void and thirst for love comes to light. When people do everything they can for people to like them, but that is not love. That’s just wanting to be okay with everyone, and the reality is that you just can’t.

Why? Because people change their minds every single day about what they want and what their expectations are, and if you are constantly trying to please someone, that means changing who you are every single day.
And then you get stuck in this loophole of self-pity of “I’m not good enough for anyone.”

But that is not true, we’re just looking at this the wrong way.

We’re just so in love with this visually perfect picture we made for ourselves. Some people fall in love with this idea of “perfect love” that they fall into desperation. Settling for the littlest amount of love they receive, demanding unrealistic things from their peers in an attempt to fulfill their fallacy.

You can only do so much, you can only be so much for someone.

And in your quest of finding “perfect love,” you also push away people who truly loved and cared for you.

So yes, the search for validation and approval from people is a very vulnerable one. The only validation you need is your own and from the people who do love you, not the people who you hope someday will love you.

Much like a painting’s flaws are more obvious to the artist, ours are as well.
But we can’t rely on the “connoisseurs’” critique to determine how unique or worthy of love we are.

Don’t settle for cheap love from others that walks away at the first sight of trouble, and don’t fall in love with fallacies of what love should be; don’t get stuck in the emptiness and yearning for love.

Love will always follow you, as long as you’re willing to give it.


By Michelle Rojas

Read more texts by this author


Featured Image:

Oil painting “Fresh Roses” 16 x 20 inches by artist Nora Kasten.

Follow her website:

Listen to Taylor Swift’s “Tied Together With a Smile” from her debut album, Taylor Swift, here:



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Totally agree with this! Great post! You really do lose out on a lot of love right there chasing that perfect picture of a relationship. Have noticed this in my own life having lost a lot of close friends over the last few years.


  2. Alex says:

    The way you tied together the song lyrics and painting and what you were trying to say… just beautiful Michelle. We need to remember that relationships are a two-way street. Thank you for this.


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