I don’t think that I’m brave, having those conversations or admitting to having them. I think the brave thing would be to let him convince me that he really believes those things, and eventually that maybe I really am those things (pretty, talented, smart, good). I know for a fact that the need for constant reassurance, especially when he’s never been anything BUT reassuring, wears thin after a while: we’ve had many fights about it. But he does it anyway: patiently, stubbornly, with an edge of irritation in his voice and sometimes shouting the words at me in the midst of a fight.
Although I think you know yourself and what you want out of life best, and I would never want to tell you how to feel or who you are, I do take umbrage with the idea that you’re not “wired” to be loved. Because being loved platonically and being loved romantically are different in some ways, but my particular insecurities react with expressions of affection of either sort in very similar ways.
Here’s something my therapist wants me to work on, and I think I ought to pass it along: you don’t need to be beautiful or talented to be worthy of being loved. You don’t need to be a specific kind of beautiful or talented or useful to be loved or to accept that love. You are, of course, beautiful and talented and altogether worthy (QUIET, YOU. YOU ARE), but those are not prerequisite to being loved or to accepting that love. I don’t know if the little voice inside your head has the same script as mine, but often it’s “someday I will be worthy of that love but right now they are wrong about me and I can’t accept it right now.” (With a lot of other very mean things thrown in.)
Someone that loves you – romantically, platonically, whatever – will love YOU and everything that comes with that. They will love whatever it is that makes you yourself. That person will love your singing voice even when you sing off-key and they will love your weird crooked teeth and the three hairs that stick up straight from your eyebrows and every picture of you even when you’ve been caught mid-blink and you look possessed; they will love everything you ever make for or give to them; they will love that sometimes you drool while you’re sleeping and the fact that you care too much about things that don’t matter to anyone else and they’ll love your terrible puns and music jokes that they don’t actually get and your irritating know-it-all voice; even your insecurities will become dear (if annoying) to them because they love you and they want you to think of yourself the way they see you.
It does take bravery to love, but sometimes it takes more bravery to accept the love that people want to give you without prevarication.
You do not need to be anything in particular to be worthy of love. You just are.