Florence Given on why you are the love of your own life

Mental Health

Stop settling for crumbs, you deserve the whole damn cake

What are crumbs you ask? Crumbs are the audaciously small tokens and gestures that people throw us, in order to keep us under the illusion that they deserve a place in our lives – despite bringing very little (or no) value to it.

We often allow this kind of behaviour because our low self-esteem leads us to believe that this is the kind of love we deserve, and over time it becomes normalised to us.

When we continue to accept crumbs from someone, it enables them to dip back into our lives when they’re bored and treat us like a doormat because technically, no one “closed the door”.

Crumbs can be any of the following:

  • Text messages
  • Liking your Instagram pictures
  • Replying/reacting to your Instagram stories
  • Hitting you up randomly with a “wyd” text
  • Saying things out of the blue that they know will fluff your ego
  • Dropping back in after a period of ghosting (when they’re running low on self-esteem, you’re their “hit” to make themselves feel better)

You’ll notice most of the ‘interactions’ I have listed occur online. That’s because someone who gives you crumbs doesn’t have any actual time for you IRL. Because, surprise! They don’t value you. It’s hard to hear I know, but they only value you for what you can do for their own ego.

If they do “make time” for you, you can bet it will always be when it suits them. During late hours, when they’re bored, or when the person who makes them work for attention isn’t texting them back. They know they can rely on you to boost them back up.

This person will keep throwing you just enough crumbs to make sure they never lose that spot in your life, but not enough to the point of actually spending any of their energy, investing any of their time or reciprocating the energy you give so freely and instinctively to them.

The moment someone who shows the audacity of trying to keep you around for an exchange of crumbs, communicate to them that you want the whole cake (i.e. that you want to be taken out on a proper date/build a relationship with this person).

If they say they can’t give it to you, that they’re not ready to give you the cake, or they promise they can give you the cake at a later date, leave them where they’re at and move the hell on. Promise yourself to stop buying into people’s potential.

When you settle for crumbs it sends a message to that person that that’s all you think you deserve. They know that they can get away with doing the absolute bare minimum to have a seat at your table. That they can come and go as they please – for the price of their mere attention. They’ve become a parasite, and you’re their host.

But my love, you deserve better than that.

Depending on our “desirability”, our childhood experiences, friendships, relationships and trauma, we all received different messages about what kind of love we deserve.

Please know that no matter what you’ve been told to believe about yourself, the toxic kind of love you’ve learned to “accept”, or whatever it is that society has brainwashed you into believing, you are no one’s doormat.

You are not a source of energy for others to take. This is your table, you set the standards and you choose who gets a seat.

Start turning away people who have the audacity to show up in your life with crumbs, because crumbs can’t feed you. Find someone who brings you the whole cake.

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Everything else is a distraction. Every time I catch myself thinking “I need to find someone to come with me to this new place I found” – I just take myself out instead. Life is too short to sit around waiting for someone to ask you out to do all the things you want to do. Take yourself out and see what happens. Take yourself out for lunch, buy yourself a book and read it in a park ON YOUR OWN (doing this actually changed my life), take a journal and sit in a cafe ON YOUR OWN and write how you feel, go to that exhibition you’ve been wanting to see, ON YOUR OWN! Visit another city…ON YOUR OWN! No one’s looking at you, no one cares, just go do something that takes care of no one but you. You will love on yourself 10x harder for doing it, I promise. You are not someone’s ‘other half’, you are whole and you live this life for your damn self. Go go GOOOOO ✨💃 #DatingMyself (Prints available on my store now, phone cases launch 26th July at 7PM!)

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Learning how to love yourself, to avoid relying on other people’s validation to make you feel whole, is the key to not settling. You’ve got to learn to make the cake yourself. Because when you have a delicious cake, the idea of someone else’s crumbs and settling for mediocre love that leaves you starving ceases to be tempting.

You must live your life as if no one is ever going to make you a cake.

Don’t sit around waiting for someone to give you the cake. Bake it yourself. Start from scratch. Add ingredients to the cake. Experiment with your cake. Write your name all over the cake in vanilla frosting and cover it in your favourite toppings. This is how you refuse to settle for less than you deserve! You ensure that you have everything you could possibly need, supplied to and from yourself.

The process of being single and dating to me is very much like making my own cake. Refining the recipe, learning what ingredients I like the taste of and which spoil the mix, so that I will always have enough to fill and satisfy my desires without the aid of someone else.

You are the love of your own life. Make your own cake.


This is an extract from Florence Given’s debut book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, published by Cassell (£12.99). You can buy it from Amazon and Waterstones.

Find Florence on Instagram @florencegiven


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