She’s a special person, the woman who never had any help. She is strong, independent, and protective of the life she spent so much effort building. This means that loving her – and earning her love – is nothing if not a challenge. It’s not simple, and you will absolutely have to prove yourself before she lets you truly see what’s inside. Put in the work. She is worth every bit of effort you devote to her.
You may find her resilience and intelligence incredibly attractive, but please, do not waste her time. She cannot stand the idea of yet another person letting her down, of having to navigate the emotional wasteland you leave behind when you throw away her heart. Yes, she expects a lot from you, but that is only because she expects the same from herself. When she’s in, she’s all in, and she is weary of false promises and men who fill her head with pretty lies about the depth of their love.
She demands emotional stability, maturity, someone who is willing and able to meet her halfway on all things. Understand her history. Understand her past. Take the time to get to know why she operates the way that she does. Then you will see the many hurts, the disappointments, the reasons that she blocked herself off and learned to only trust herself. No, she does not suffer fools, but if you don’t find that appealing she is not for you. She has been through enough to cut off anyone who squanders her time.
You must work for her because so many who came before you tricked her into opening herself up, only to leave her high and dry at the first sign of difficulty. They never took the time to find out who she is deep down and celebrate it. They did not nurture her, cherish her, or make her feel safe. When she let down her guard in spite of all that, she learned the hard way that none of them were ever going to change.
The worst crime you can ever commit against this woman, this strong, graceful being who built herself from the ground up and has never leaned on anyone, is misleading her. If you are not committed, respect her enough to walk away and make room for the person who will be.
Once you show her that you are not going anywhere, once she lets herself love you, honor her vulnerability. Respond in kind. Show her the parts of your soul that not many get to see. By demonstrating your trust in her, your steadfast involvement in the relationship, you will in turn earn reciprocity. Show up for her when she believes no ever will. Be her partner in all things, and have her back even when she does not need it. After all, she’s never had someone there to help. She may be fully capable of standing on her own, but often she gets weary of doing it all alone. The burden is more than she bargained for, but she’s never had any choice but to carry it by herself. Be her unexpected relief.
Earning her trust and her respect takes time. The only way to make her believe you’ll stick around is to prove you’ll put in the effort in the first place. Be steady, be secure, and just show up. Show up every single day. Stay when she figures that you’ll run. Talk to her instead of dismissing her fears. Respect her space, set reasonable boundaries, and listen to what she needs from the relationship. Communication will set you both free.
Be patient with her, and you’ll see that what blossoms between you is worth all of your effort. Nothing truly lovely comes with ease, but that’s okay, because you’ve won the affection and companionship of a very special person. She may be used to surviving all alone, but that doesn’t mean she prefers it that way. Be her excitement, her joy, and most of all, her partner in life. Give her the steady love she’s always wanted. In return she will give you more happiness than you ever imagined.
(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)