Choosing Yourself While In A Romantic Relationship: What The Two NANA'S Taught Me

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I was unable to see that my own worth was not determined by beauty or desirability to men.

My romantic life has been a string of rejections that has left me feeling undesirable and ugly. I wanted someone to see the beauty in me and love me fiercely. . In essence, I did not love myself.

The overwhelming need to be loved resulted in me deeming any kind of male attention as acceptable.

When I finally found love, I was terrified by the thought of losing it and failed to realize how emotionally abusive my relationship was. I blamed myself for everything that went wrong and after parting ways I was convinced that finding love again was impossible.

One day in a post break-up haze of self-pity, I watched NANA, an anime centered on the lives of two women named Nana with drastically different lives and personalities. It is a tale of love and friendship. Here is what both Nana's taught me about the importance of self-love in dealing with romantic relationships.

1. Komatsu Nana: The woman searching for happiness in the wrong places taught me that I deserved more in my romantic relationships


Komatsu Nana is a country girl with a tendency to fall in love frequently, never doubting the intentions of the men she gives her heart to, which repeatedly ends in heartbreak. She was a reflection of my reality, desperately seeking men to give her the love and happiness she desired. Her desperation for love blinded her from recognizing detrimental traits in men.

Observing her character, I realized I did not love myself enough to see I deserved more than mediocre attention. She taught me that a tremendous component of self-worth is the ability to set standards for yourself. Not only for what you want in a man, but in life.

Loving yourself is an essential part of allowing the right people into your life. To know your own worth and what you deserve from relationships enables you to recognize when people are not right for you nor deserve your love. Your happiness does not derive from others but shines from inside.  

2. Osaki Nana: The woman who loved herself enough to pursue her dreams taught me that I should continue to follow my dreams without hesitation even if that means leaving the one I love

The second Nana is Osaki Nana, a musician on the rise. Motivated by fame and recognition she is unwilling to sacrifice her dreams for the man she loves. Contrary to the first Nana, Osaki Nana has one life-long love: Ren. Previously the bass guitarist for BLAST and Nana’s Ex-lover, Ren left their love and hometown behind to debut in Tokyo as part of the band Trapnest.

Knowing her own self-worth & talent, Nana refused sacrifice her own ambitions and follow him blindly. She is who I strive to be, a woman who knows her worth derives from more than being in a relationship. 

While seeing her character in action, I learned that self-love means taking time to invest in yourself, your aspirations and to put yourself first. To charge towards your goals without hesitation, knowing that a relationship should not deter you from your dreams. When I considered this in relation to my past relationship, I realized how I blinded I was by my need for love.

I let go of my own ambitions, willing to leave a job that I worked hard to achieve just to accommodate the needs of someone who I mistakenly thought was ‘the love of my life’.

Knowing your worth is about being selective about who enters your life and deciding whether they enhance or detract from your personal journey. Both NANA’s are a personification of two differing desires that simultaneously demonstrate how loving yourself is an important prerequisite to romantic relationships.

I highly recommend checking this anime: NANA out if you are struggling with your self-worth.

This article was written by #SelfishBabe Arcade

Arcade is a British girl from across the pond, with a love for anime, music, and helping those in need. An Immunology scientist with a flair for creative writing, she is passionate about living life to the fullest, pursuing her dreams, self-acceptance, and healing.  You can say in contact with her below:


Instagram: @ArcadetheOtaku

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