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How can I deserve and earn someone’s love?

Addictions make me feel worthless, unworthy of being in a relationship. How do I get out of this mess I've made of my life?


I’m a 23-year-old guy, living with my parents, working a low paying job, going to school. I still have a lot of school to do because of taking time off.

There are girls I like and one I really like now, even though we hardly know each other. The problem is I feel so inadequate, so weak and unworthy, so not good enough, so unconfident, and so incapable of winning her or someone else’s heart.

I’ve never had a close relationship with a girl, and I don’t want to die without that. I’m talking physical and emotional closeness. I know there are two big things that have hurt me in developing confidence: I have struggled with porn and wasting so much time playing video games. I know both are escapism and have allowed me not to deal with the real world. Because of these things I basically hate myself for being a coward.

Anyway, this girl I really like. Every time I think about asking to spend time with her or whatever, I don’t, because I think of how she is really involved in church, etc., and I think about what a loser I’ve become and what I could have been by now if I just would have lived better.

I just want to deserve and earn her or someone’s love and I’ve gone so far away from that.

Is there hope?


Is there hope? Oh, man, is there hope! There’s more hope for you than many people, simply because you’ve reached the point of desiring to change. From here on out, it’s just a matter of making the right choices.

One of the biggest hurdles to making progress on the journey of godly manhood is coming to the realization that the road you’re on is not going to get you there. It’s realizing that changes — sometimes drastic changes — need to be made to get you on the right trajectory.

It’s huge that you’ve realized that. Now, let’s take next steps.

Girls can be wonderful motivators for change, can’t they? I’m glad there’s a girl who has showed up on your radar, causing you to do some self-examination. This is a good thing.

But let me say right off the bat, the changes you need to make aren’t simply learning a few new communications skills to help you win a girl’s heart.

It’s OK to be concerned about what girls think of you, but from what I gather from your note, you’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is not, “What would girls think of me?” but rather, “What does God think of me?” When you start asking yourself the right question, you can start working on the right answers. There’s no use trying to go down any other road first. This is the one you need to travel.

Based on what you said in your note, it is God’s heart that needs your attention right now. Desiring spiritual progress in order to impress a girl is at the very least getting the cart before the horse. Let’s make changes for the right Person — God — and move on from there.

Being disgusted with oneself can be a very good thing, properly understood. A biblical view of how depraved we humans are without Christ is an essential part of understanding our need for a Savior.

When I read your e-mail, I thought of Paul, whom God used in amazing ways (and who wrote a good portion of the New Testament), describing himself as a wretched man! After doing some of his own self-analysis, he concludes that his only hope for change, for deliverance, was the person of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he had to completely cast himself into the ready arms of Christ to become the man God wanted him to be. He knew that all of his own efforts to try and “clean up his act” himself would at best be only topical changes, and not the heart change he so desperately needed and longed for. He knew only Christ could lift him out of his depravity.

On the other hand, an improper view of yourself is to think that you are worthless, and to believe that there is no hope whatsoever of your ever amounting to anything. That, of course, is a lie from your enemy, the devil. No one is beyond the reach of God’s presence and power to rescue. Don’t believe the lie.

I’m not advising you to get busy with Christian activities. I’m inviting you to journey into the heart of God. You need to find someone who knows God, knows discipleship and knows spiritual warfare. You need to grab them by the shoulders and say, “Please teach me what you know.”

Meanwhile, start asking God to begin to open your eyes to see things as He sees them. Ask Him to do whatever it takes to make you the man he wants you to be and to grant you the grace and power to make the changes you need to make to get to that destination. Ask Him everyday, several times a day. Keep asking. He will show you what steps you need to take. Determine that nothing will distract you from your pursuit of God. Once you begin that journey, the video games, the porn, the inadequacies, the general malaise of your life, will be replaced with something so much more rich and satisfying, you’ll laugh and cry at how much they used to own you.

You’re only 23 years old. God willing, you have a long life ahead of you. Don’t worry about what you feel has been a waste up to this point — that is not the issue. God can redeem all that. What matters is what happens from this point forward.

Keep me posted.



Copyright 2007 John Thomas. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

John Thomas

John Thomas has been a Boundless contributor since its beginning in 1998. He and his wife, Alfie, have three children and live in Arkansas, where he serves as executive director of Ozark Camp and Conference Center, a youth camp and retreat center.


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