Let me tell you something kind of depressing that’s actually encouraging: No one "has to" love you. Friends hang out with you because they choose to, and they can choose not to. Your significant other may have fallen in love with you, but people break up all the time. And just because someone loves you, doesn’t mean they’ll love your work. You probably don’t love everything your annoying (but beloved) S.O. does.
As for parents, even they don’t “have to” love you, even though, duh, of course they should. Life isn’t a fictional story where parents will only abandon their kids for noble reasons. Plenty of parents out there are straight up terrible. And even if they’re great, that doesn’t mean they’ll understand what being an author means to you.
I’ve seen some authors post on facebook about getting pestered by their “fans,” and then laugh about how it’s actually their parents, like they're trying to say, "Ha ha, I’m such a loser because my parents love my books!" I honestly stared at one of those posts in confusion for a bit because I couldn’t work out what they were trying to say. Oh, you mean you're a loser because your parents are your biggest or only fans, in a "my mommy says I'm special" kind of way. Took me a minute to figure that out, because plenty of authors don’t get any support from their parents. I’m over here wondering how you got them to read your books at all.
So, no one has to love you. Maybe you think they’re more likely to fake love your work because they love you. But have you ever tried fake-loving something you weren’t into? Especially if your book is long or involved, it’s going to be hard for someone to lie about loving it if they don’t.
I used to think my boyfriend didn’t really love my work, he just said he did because he “has to” love me. Until someone else finally asked me something that opened my eyes: “So, have you ever cooked a meal for him that turned out bad?”
“And was he honest about that?”
So, why wouldn’t he be honest about this? Well, this is my whole life, and cooking isn’t, so there’s that, but that dude still had a point. Just because he loves me doesn’t mean I can do no wrong. My boyfriend has pointed out some things in my books that don’t quite work. Oftentimes, playfully in silly conversations about my writing. And just the fact that we have those sorts of conversations speaks volumes. You can’t fake love for a fictional world.
So, what’s the point of this long rambling post? The point is, appreciate the people you’ve got. There aren’t a lot of genuinely supportive people out there. When someone says they love your work, believe them. And I’ve got to admit, I do not take my own advice on this. Of course I appreciate the people who support me, but it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to follow “You’re so good at this!” with “Pshh, no I’m not.” But I’d like to think I’m getting better.
Now go hug someone who supports you!