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HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 18: Roxane Gay attends the Feminist AF Panel at Vulture Festival Los Angeles at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on November 18, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

Honesty is all Roxane Gay knows, whether she’s talking about her body as she did with the memoir Hunger, or telling men and women alike how they can be better feminists. And the same is true when it comes to the author’s musings on love, that thing so many of us crave yet few know how to give, receive, or hold out hope for.

One of the most basic requirements of getting and giving love is being honest, with ourselves and with our partners. With that in mind, we combed through Gay’s plethora of quotables to find these 10 honest truths she tells about love that will hopefully spark a little introspection when it comes to your quest and, most importantly, help you love better and seek love in its truest form.

“I am 39. I am single. I am a black woman. I have too many advanced degrees. Many a news story tells me finding true love is likely a hopeless proposition. Now is the time when I need to believe in fairy tales.”

“Maybe true love isn’t out there for me, but I can sublimate my loneliness with the notion that true love is out there for someone.”

“I love, but I am not entirely sure how to be loved: how to be seen and known for the utterly flawed woman I am. It demands surrender. It demands acknowledging that I am not perfect, but perhaps I deserve affection anyway.”

“I was in love with the idea of love, so I created elaborate fictions for my relationships – fictions that allowed me to believe that what any given paramour and I shared looked a lot like love.”

“I am not easy to love but I am well loved. I try to love well in return.”

“I am not promiscuous with my warmth, but when I share it, my warmth can be as hot as the sun.”

“My mother has often told me there are some things you cannot tell a man who loves you, things he cannot handle knowing.”

“A man has never told me he likes me. Like is more interesting than love.”

“I do not love easy.”

“Not everyone gets sex when they want it. Not everyone gets love when they want it. This is true for men and women. A relationship is not your reward for being a nice guy, no matter what the movies tell you.”

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