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: What to look for in a partner:

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



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 Rodriguez is a passionate writer and thinker (and probably some other things). Her work has been published on Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog, Enlightenment is Sexy, Rebelle Society and The Footnotes. You can read more from Sara on her website, follow her on Facebook and peruse her attempts at artsy iPhone photography on her Instagram.


363 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 ( 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 ( 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,

  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!

  16. okpapiamishrine says:

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    God bless you Dr. Okpapiami. Please contact him immediately for help via:[email protected] whatsaap Phone +27610682653

  17. okpapiamishrine says:

    I'm David fred from USA. I advise that you conduct a good research on spell casters maybe then you will finally come to know the true power of spell casting that we all underrate. Trust me i experienced it firsthand. Having a sex addicted wife who is not always satisfied is bad as not getting married at all. Knowing that she loves you with all she’s got but can’t help only cheat on you. I know some will rather suggest a rehab, but just to clear the air she checked into rehab four times and was discharged with a report saying she was well but really outside rehab she was back to being an addict of sex. All thank to the spell prepared by Dr. Okpapiami which changed my wife and save my marriage. I will live his email address here for you to contact him for help [email protected] whatsaap Phone +27610682653

  18. okpapiamishrine says:

    am Mrs Janet James from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband James Michel, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady called Natacia who charm him with his beauty, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I met my friend Miss Joy and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Okpapiami. who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss Joy ask me to contact Dr Okpapiami. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or the was the spell that was casted on him that was working on him. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr.Okpapiami on any problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact [email protected] whatsaap Phone +27610682653

  19. okpapiamishrine says:

    My name is Cindy Patrick. Seriously i flattened when my Husband of 8 years left to be with another woman in Texas. I cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I couldn't bear it anymore. and i reached out to the Internet for help, until i hit on the real thing, and that is you Dr.Okpapiami. I almost gave up trying to get my Ex Husband back and having a contented family again.. I had tried the whole lot I knew, and with your spells, blessings and extraordinary magical powers, you did all the work, and immediately after 24 hours, my Ex Husband came back to me and he was penitent for everything that he has done. And now my life is balanced and i am happy again. Dr.Okpapiami you do a great service to people, and I don't think many people had known about you. You are the diamond in the rough. Thank you Dr.Okpakpiami You are talented and you give off yourself so freely like you did to me. Thank you for weaving your magical love spells for me and Sergio. He is back to me just the way it was when we first met.. from the depths of my soul! I am immensely happy now. Thank you and God bless you so much sir. now my man is back to me just in 24 hours, as you have said i am fully rewarded. Thank you so much sir, Lots of appreciations.. Here is Dr.Okpapiami and his Email:[email protected] whatsaap Phone +27610682653

  20. Chelly says:

    Wow. Exactly what I needed. How amazing it is every time I get just what I need when I need it. It is so comforting to know you are not alone.

  21. Carolyn .L. Martinez says:

    May be someone out there knows what i am talking about and know how its like to be invisible mostly by the one person you are in love with. I was in love an unhappy married man.His marriage was going to limbo and i was the only one there for him. He only saw me as a friend but he was more than that to me. I wish i had the heart to tell him before the went ahead and got married then, may be he would never had be unhappy and may be we both would have been together. Yeah it turned out i was too much or a chicken. Though we are together now literally because of the spell Metodo Acamu a very powerful spell caster i must say helped me cast to make him love me just as i loved him. A lot of people may have different opinion as to if what is did is wrong or right but really, it do not matter because he was in pain and his life was falling to pieces and i was his friend who was in love with him. I knew he was going to be happy with me and he is now. For the first time in three years i have he really happy i mean he tells me every time how free he feels . We are perfect together and i know we are always going to be like this. This would not be the case if not for the spell Metodo Acamu helped me cast. All that was required of me were just the materials that was going to be used to prepare the spell and note Metodo Acamu does not do spells for money i wish i knew why but i do not. He told me that i should get the materials needed for the spell preparing he told me to get them myself and if i can't find the materials all i had to do was send the total cost for it so he can help me. It wasn't easy to get them but i found them but it took a lot form me i would advice against getting them yourself because there are not only hard to but also difficult to mail believe me. I am only writing this short article for those out there with problems similar to the one i had. If you want to contact him use this email its what i used metodoacamufortressx@(yahoo). com rewrite this email in the usual email standard form for use!!!!!

  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

  23. Sai-G says:

    Wow thats awesome,but personality must be first.

  24. Angelina says:

    Fascinating !!! No words can describe the feelings that it gave me. Congratulations on this wording so wonderful !!!

  25. Kris says:

    Wonderful article! I’m not alone! What makes us this way, anyway?

  26. Lorena says:

    I was that girl for a long time, then i just met someone that opened my heart forever, he passed away, sadly, but what he teached me i will bring with me forever

  27. Kris says:

    How do you convince someone to stop running scared from you? I meet someone I instantly connected deeply with. It was mutual even though that scared her. She had a bad history in relationships especially one several mns prior and was scared to date and let people close. We agreed to be friends 1st and spent a lot of time texting, talking and hung several times. Really enjoyed each other’s company. I did not push being more than friends as I knew she was scared. After a few weeks, she asked me out on a date. It went great and she wanted to see me again. A few days later she suddenly went distant and then MIA. I can only assume her emotions scared. Contacted her a few times no response. Now giving her space. Been almost 2 weeks since she went MIA. I really like this person and am completely willing to be patient, just unsure how to proceed. Advice is appreciated.

  28. Jamie says:

    I only just read this article today for the first time, and the timing couldn't have been better. I berated myself and cried myself to sleep after another bad date last night, thinking I would have to just swear off dating forever. I spend the day today journaling and sitting with it. It helps to read this. Thank you.

  29. Luthur says:

    Thanks for the insightful article, it is indeed an eye opener for an outsider such as I, you see… my ex fits the profile to the dot. When I first fell in love with her, I knew she was special, but it was ironically for that same special reason that drove us to drift apart. She’s attractive, intelligent, and came from a good family. I would be considered blind and stupid to not have fallen head over heels for her. She was also very career driven. To her, her career defines her self worth. Like any ordinary guys, once you find that special someone, especially in that first few months, you just couldn’t get enough of her. I knew she needed more time, so I took it slow. Believe me, my previous ex had borderline personality disorder, so patience is literally my middle name… and so I thought. But how do you deal with a girlfriend who can go about her business without even having the desire to call, message, or meet up with her boyfriend? Like a robot, she offers no passion in return, as though she does not know what love is. She hides in a nutshell which she calls her safe house where she is free from the exposure of any emotional pain. She might be very capable in her work place, but as a girlfriend, she was a really lousy one. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to bad mouth anyone. But if you are considering starting a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to be loved, patience may pay off in some cases, but not for the extreme ones. To her, the world evolves around her. How does two persons come together when they don’t even share the same understanding in the most fundamental values in a relationship? I love her with every bone of my body, but if she was meant to live a single lifestyle, there’s not one damn thing in the world that we can do to change that. Good luck everyone!

  30. Kaustuv says:


  31. vera patrick says:

    My Name is Vera Patrick from USA,i want to use this opportunity to thank the Great DR ADUDU for helping in getting my Ex boyfriend back to me, i have been in great pains until the day i contacted DR ADUDU he casted a love spell for me and told me to wait for just 24 hours that my Ex boyfriend will call me and i did according to the instructions given to me by him and surprisingly, in 24 hours, my Ex Boyfriend really called me and started apologizing for all he had caused me. I am the happiest Woman on earth today because DR ADUDU has done a wonderful deeds in my life and i will continue to share this testimony, if you would love to contact DR ADUDU and if you know you are encountering same condition, visit him: [email protected] is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you.he is the answer to your problems. Here's his contact email:[email protected]

  32. Amber says:

    Great article. Very insightful.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing this perfect words! I’m glad the article touched you as much as it did me.
    Thank You !!

  34. Dee says:

    oh wow, this is me! I don't feel alone.

  35. Pankaj says:

    Cant believe.only week before met with the same kind of girl and was trying to understand her. This article is something which could enlighten me in this matter. Thanks

  36. Renae says:

    Holy Smoke–thank you for the self portrait–I am absolutely flabbergasted. Amazing. Thank you.

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