How to Love a Girl Who Doesn’t Know How to Be Loved.

Via on Mar 17, 2014

 Photo: Tainara

Whether we know it or not, we’ve all met some form of the typical “Miss Independent.”

Some of us know her better than others; some of us claim that title ourselves.

She’s the self-sufficient, somewhat mysterious go-getter with big dreams and an even bigger heart, though not everyone sees it at first glance.

Some might see her as cold and distant, because she needs a significant amount of alone time to keep her from feeling scattered and spread so thin that she disappears. Sure, she has family and friends with whom she loves to spend much of her time, but it’s in her nature to crave those precious hours of solitude—being only with her thoughts, completely alone in a crowd or in the vastness of a quiet scene.

Some call it antisocial; she calls it sanity.

For any or all of these reasons and then some, she’s never been the type to “fall in love.” In fact, if she has ever been in a relationship to any degree, it was likely one of the most difficult and confusing things she’s ever experienced—and she’s not usually one to be deterred.

Perhaps she’s too focused on her goals to realize that love could be knocking on her door, or she’s so comfortable with being in control that the thought of surrendering even a little bit to someone else makes her uneasy. There’s also a chance that, despite her outward confidence and undeniable potential for success, she’s extremely insecure.

Or, maybe she’s simply afraid of opening herself up enough to be loved.

Whatever the reason, it comes down to the fact that this girl probably doesn’t know how to handle the love that a suitor might want to give her. It doesn’t mean she’s a lost cause, it just means that developing any kind of relationship with her will require an approach that’s more sensitive to her guarded heart.

In an effort to offer some insight, here are a few pointers for learning how to love a girl who doesn’t know how to be loved:

1. Be patient.

Don’t expect her to feel comfortable with diving headfirst into anything even slightly resembling romance. Keep in mind, it’s probably taken her a great deal of contemplation and courage to even consider spending her time with you. And if she does appear comfortable responding to your first moves, it’s quite possible that she’s actually terrified of what you’ll think of her if she asks to slow things down. So, she just musters the strength to submit herself to the moment, only to spend all night feeling horrible about her dishonesty and inability to step on the brakes. This will freak her out enough to make her sever whatever ties were made and withdraw immediately—something she’s not afraid to do.

To avoid that, let things unfold at a pace that feels natural, which might be slower than what’s considered “normal.” Remember, she’s not used to this, and too much at once will surely send her over the edge. Showing sensitivity to her pace will let her know that she doesn’t have to fear being out of control, causing a miscommunication or feeling the pressure of time.

2. Talk.

Because she spends so much of her time alone and in her head, this girl might be under the impression that her thoughts and opinions are a bit too intense for others. She rarely shares the things on her mind, as she fears that whatever’s in there is so deep and inquisitive that people will think it’s overdramatic, oddly philosophical or just plain weird. She values deep conversation, but feels that she can exercise this pleasure with relatively few people, if any at all.

So talk with her. Let her know that she can say what’s on her mind, and don’t be afraid of her ability to dissect every possible meaning of a theory she’s been hung up on for weeks. If she apologizes for rambling about it, tell her she doesn’t need to be sorry, she doesn’t need to suppress it. Make her feel that although she is certainly unique for having such thoughts, she isn’t crazy or abnormal.

Tell her it makes her all the more beautiful.

And then, give it right back to her. Be sure to engage in her contemplations just as much as you listen; she wants to hear your thoughts more than you realize.

3. Support her.

Part of this girl’s struggle with letting herself be loved could be that she is relentlessly focused on her dreams and goals, so much so that she forgets to make room in her life for other things—like relationships. It’s not something she does intentionally, she’s just extremely determined to achieve whatever she has set out to do.

If she is forced to make a choice between a love life and her goals, she’s already chosen the latter. So don’t make her choose.

And certainly don’t make her feel guilty for not spending more of her time with you as a result—she’ll take that as another sign that she needs to sever the ties, even if they’re stronger at this point.

Instead, support her. If you really love this girl and she really loves you, then she’ll welcome the encouragement. She’ll want to support you, too. Let her; with a heart as passionate as hers, you’ll want her on your team.

4. Don’t be two halves of a whole, be two wholes that make an even greater whole.

Remember that this “Miss Independent” is just that—an independent chick with an ability to fend for herself. She might even be afraid of relying on others, no matter how much she trusts them.

Therefore, don’t think of a relationship with her as one that joins two halves together to make a whole; she won’t treat it as such, and she definitely won’t feel comfortable if you do. Rather, see it as two wholes becoming an even greater whole—two individuals who love each other enough to respect the other’s independence and uniqueness.

This includes honoring her need for alone time. She realizes that you are a person with or without her and asks that you see her in the same way. Being able to spend time apart is important to her; she doesn’t want to rely on your presence, nor does she want you to rely on hers.

Don’t try to spend every hour of every day with her unless you want her to feel so bombarded that she tailspins into a mess of tears, word vomit and utter confusion, ending with her breaking it off and swearing to never interact with another human ever again.

But when you are together, be together. Completely. Let her know she is loved until she begins to understand what that feels like, and then keep doing it. If it’s right, she’ll come around. And because she’s loyal by nature, she’ll stick around, too (so don’t give her any reason to think that you won’t).

Truly, this girl has a lot of love to give, even if she’s a bit awkward in showing it at first. She just needs time—time to figure things out for herself, to better understand how this works.

Let her figure out that deep down, she just wants to love and be loved—just like everyone else.

If she happens to let you close enough to love her, take it seriously. It means she’s trying. It means she wants to love you. And remember that helping her learn how to be loved in return is the surest way to win her heart.
~

Bonus: Yoga star Seane Corn talks love & career:

One of the more honest descriptions of love I’ve heard: 

 

relephant:  

Things I would like to take off my List so I can read your Name.

How to Love an Empath 

Date a Woman Who Knows Everything (& Nothing) 

Strong Independent Woman Syndrome 

 

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: Flickr

About Sara Rodriguez

Sara is a curious cat who loves words, yoga, scrunchy-nosed smiles, a good sweat and deep conversations. She’s pretty sure there’s no such thing as asking too many questions, and even if there is such a thing, she’s pretty sure she doesn’t care. Her heart is her tour guide on this crazy beautiful journey and she’s loving every second of it. You can check out her blog and find her on Facebook to get in touch.

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347 Responses to “How to Love a Girl Who Doesn’t Know How to Be Loved.”

  1. Lyka says:

    Beautiful. I never would have imagined that someone would really understand what i feel. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This article really touch my heart. This is me.

  2. Jeri says:

    I enjoyed your article. It was fairly accurate, articulate, and beautifully stated that a girl does want to love and be loved and with patience, it can be achieved. However, I think there is more you could have added.

  3. Leonor says:

    So accurate… Thank you Sara for helping me understand myself. And that I’m not “abnormal”. And that there’s is a possibilty for a relationship but I have to make sure the other person will respect my pace. Which means I have to respect it first and not submit to imaginary pressures (of what is “normal”).

  4. Wayne says:

    Well, done. I enjoyed the article, it was well written. Just a little thing I would like to point out. I am a man, but I still related to this a lot. I don't think it is a gender based phenomena, but rather an "introvert", based phenomena. Perhaps the author knew this, but tried to put a new angle on it for views/uniqueness. Anyways, sounds like the perfect description of highly introverted & intelligent behavior. As a final note, I would love to find a woman like this. I/She/We would struggle like hell at first, but if we managed to break down the many barriers… what a victory that would be.

  5. Tyana says:

    This is written about me! Every word of it! So much that it's scary. Moreover, yesterday I had a conversation about all of these points with the guy that have been pursuing me for quite a while now being very very patient all that time but now rushing things a little . These things are not easy to explain sometimes, thankfully the guy is very understanding, so this article is a gift from universe for both of us. Thank you so much for being so insightful and brilliantly eloquent in putting into words feelings and emotions that is hard to understand even for yourself.

  6. jayne says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article. Fantastic insight .

  7. Jessica says:

    HOLY CRAP GIRL!! you nailed it!!! Love this so much, it massively helps paint a clearer picture for me of me…. no matter how much work you do on yourself there is always more to learn. THANK YOU xxx

  8. Nicole says:

    This is me too, to a tee. I’ve just called a break with my partner of nearly 2 years because I’m feeling smothered and judged because I’m not giving him enough. I feel like I need time and space, he’s like a child or am I being cold, distant and/or emotionally unavailable…? Who knows very confusing that’s for sure…

  9. Liz Cotterell says:

    Thank you Sara for this wonderful insightful post. It's as though you have a line directly into my psyche! I, like other readers, always thought there was something a little bit wrong with me but reading your post makes me feel like it is just part of who I am… I'm fearless about just about anything, but when it comes to romantic relationships I get scared easily and shut them down straight away (or actually run away) – unless they're on my terms, in which case I invariably choose people who are not interested or not available… It's comforting to know I'm not the only one!

  10. Liz says:

    Hi Sara!

    This is a fantastic article! It resonated with me greatly. :) I have an odd & completely unrelated question – regarding your profile picture, and the t-shirt you're wearing – where did you get that, it's absolutely adorable, haha! 😀

    Thanks for putting your wonderful writing out into the universe!

  11. Andrea says:

    Hi, chanced upon your article and saw another site (goodmenproject.com) with the exact same article albeit the title was changed a bit. I posted a comment on that site with a link to this page of yours and they have taken the article down since then. But I just wanted to let you know, here is the link (http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/how-to-love-someone-who-doesnt-know-how-to-be-loved-wcz/) and it will still come out as a search result on Google.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Thanks for the heads us, Andrea! I see the article has already been removed.

      With ele love,
      Katarina

  12. Mark says:

    A female friend of mine posted this and I knew right away that she did so intentionally because I would read it. I have read it over and over and after doing so I have taken a step or two backward to see what she has been maybe trying to say but can't either express it the right way, I don't understand, or both. All too often I believe some guys (including myself) want so bad to help "fix" things that they don't realize they are actually pushing the woman away without doing it intentionally or without knowing it. Her and I haven't discussed this article yet as I was out of town for the weekend and she had some alone time to think. While reading the article I saw many things in it that "appear" to fit her perfectly at times. I look forward to discussing this article with her and how it applies to herself on a daily basis. She is a wonderful woman and I thank her for purposely posting this article for me to see it otherwise I might still be that guy who wants to keep trying to "fix" things! Thank you for such a wonderful post! Like I said, I have read this several times now and each time it brings a tear to my eye!

  13. gR says:

    A BIG THANK YOU AND HUG to the author of this article. I am deeply in love with a girl described “to the T” here. Of course she is too special to be stereotyped, I know she can relate to this description immediately! Though we were in a relationship, we have decided to slow it down more recently. She keeps saying I am very understanding and appreciates my efforts & patience. I think it is precisely because of these qualities of hers that I am so hopelessly in love with! I know now what I have to do!

    Since she is young, she hasn’t really introspected all these qualities mentioned in the article. Through time, I am now starting to understand her. This article helped me see her point of view in a way even she couldn’t explain. I am the exact opposite of this and perhaps my failure to understand her was one of the reasons for breaking up.

    I’d like to thank the author and would like to ask her motivations for writing this piece? Is she like the ones described? Or does she know someone close to her who is?

    We are now friends, strengthening our bond.

    I hope eventually, with the blessings of all those here, I will win back my love, my bestest friend. Wish me luck!

  14. Sean Maac says:

    This is so me! I've never seen anything more descriptive EVER! Thank you for this, thank you with all my heart!

  15. Kat says:

    Thank you for writing this! I never thought I could read something that explains and expresses this aspect of my life. It’s brilliant!

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  22. Rich says:

    Before she gets into a relationship she needs to figure herself out. This relationship sounds seriously one way. You: be all the way in. Her: I'll think about it. Never ever see someone as a necessity that sees u as an option

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