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“If people could see me the way I see myself — if they could live in my memories — would anyone love me?” John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)

I think the most terrifying thing about any relationship is how vulnerable we feel, not only because of the magnitude of our emotional investment but also because of how much we reveal of ourselves to others.

Everyone has a public face, a carefully constructed image that we polish meticulously. We only post our most flattering pictures, only reveal the confident success stories and best marks and milestones. The way we present our identity is a gold mine of smiles, put-together clothing, and done up hair. How easy it is to be admired and respected when only the tip of the iceberg is shown.

But to be loved? Love is a tangle of messy hair and morning breath. Love is the tears and fears and insecurities that are wrapped under layers of shiny gift paper. The world sees only a colourful wrapping, perhaps an occasional rip or stain. But lovers are witness to every scar, every blemish, every scratch in a sea of gaping pores.

How do you love someone when all the fault lines are laid bare? How can you expect to be loved in return when the shine has dulled, the darkest recesses drawn to the spotlight? It’s so easy to admire from afar, and so terrifying when you lose that cover.

In the end, we are all cracked figures, frayed edges, and peeling paint. No one’s got their shit together.

But in a way, it’s also the most beautiful thing to have that insight and connection with someone if the love still grows. How miraculous is it that we can still be loved for the dustiest parts of our soul?

“I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.” – John Green