When you love more, when you can feel that your partner does not return so much of what is essential to you, you start to love yourself less. You see yourself as worthy only to the degree that this person whom you love so much has deemed you worthy, and if they are not loving you with as much passion or conviction as you love them, there must be something wrong with you. There is almost no fault in them which you are not ready to excuse, ready to brush over with the incredibly forgiving rendering of your admiration — and yet your flaws all become tangible, justifiable reasons for them not to be happy with you. In many ways, the more indifferent they become towards your overtures, the more resolved you become to convincing them otherwise.
Suddenly, approval and affection from your partner become the only kind of currency that matter to you — the only thing capable of convincing you that you are good and worth loving. Because so much of you has been invested in convincing them that you deserve them, if they don’t recognize it, it can feel that no one ever will.