I believe “deserve” means “are worthy of, but not necessarily entitled to”.

When people say, for example, “You deserve better”, when exiting an unhealthy relationship — That would sound like, “You are worthy of, but not necessarily entitled to, a better relationship.”

That makes sense to me.

“Deserving” and “entitled” have different meanings.

“Deserving” means that one is worthy of an outcome (be it positive or negative) — not that it is owed to them.

“Entitled” is an inherent state of “deserving”, irrespective of worth or merit, that does indicate being owed something.

It’s a subtle nuance, but an important one, and in line with Maarten van Doorn’s assertion that no one deserves to suffer.

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com

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