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:



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 


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

  1. bon says:

    This aritcle is Exaclly the way my now ex gf is like. For me i never met a girl like this before and after this article i relized it wasnt me thinking she was pushing me away. And i pushed to hard and forced her into needing space and not wanting a relationship she just wants to be alone. I just want to know if there is any chance or way to get this girl back since i didnt give the space a independant girl needs and forced her to break up with me. I realy love this girl and care for her it just i came at the relationship wrong thinking every other girl in my past needed me to support them all time. And for this chick i seen something else and reacted wrong way to her needs. Any advice on how to get a independant girl back after she broke it off needing space but she will still talk to me just doesnt want to talk about the relationship just need time find where her heart is..

  2. Thank you Sabina! So gla you enjoyed it :)

  3. Christopher says:

    Terrific article. This should be required man-reading.

  4. Thank Sara, my love just broken few days, she's everything to me. But now is nothing. May be read look easy, but love never become what you think. At least is for me.

  5. Carrie S. says:

    A Wonderful Insightful Well Written Article, Sara.

    I forwarded the article to my bf to help him understand me better.

    Thank you!

  6. krystalfrasier says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Like some of the others above, I feel this is me. At 22 and never having been "official" with anyone, I feel that there have at times been something wrong with me, but now I know that like the article says, I need to be patient in finding that someone, just like that special someone will need to be patient with me. It will be a (very long) two way street for us, but will be worth it in the end, I'm sure. I've read a lot of blogs about independent women and not being loved, or knowing how to love, but this is the only one I have ever related to so much. Just in the first point alone, every single sentence has fit in some way in my life. Definitely needed this, and I'm going to thank my friend for sharing this on Facebook so others could read this amazing article. Again, thank you!

  7. ZoticussLife says:

    Wonderful article, I hope many people are able to read this and even take away one or two things. You touched on looking at things as two wholes, which I feel very strongly about not just in the situation of an independant women but in every relationship.
    I'm not trying to hijack the comments I swear! If you're to be able to love someone to the fullest extent I've found you need to learn to love yourself first, because if you can't handle your own personality you're not ready to love another wholeheartedly… I think you understand that though.
    Keep up with the good articles and have a wonderful Month not just day!

  8. heinzkarl5700 says:

    Sara Rodriquez !!!!!!
    Please Help me! This post really hit home for me. I am currently dating an amazing girl who is this personality type. She has recently been involved in relationships that make it difficult for us to "get to the next level". We are currently on a break so that she can have some space. I let her dictate the pace of the relationship because she has been through some really severe stalking issues. I want to help her because we are compatible on many levels. She enjoys her time alone and I am okay with hanging out with her once or twice a week. She works two jobs and the time we do spend together is amazing. Totally relaxed and we share a lot of emotions, conversations and intimacy is not an issue (beyond amazing). I feel as if she needs and wants her alone time and I know she is into me because I am introduced to friends of hers and they say "oh, so glad to meet you (miss X) has told me so much about you" …… she seems distant and vague at times. Do I just hang in there or give her space?

  9. aarjay says:

    WOW! Just WOW! Thanks for the wonderful insight! This hits like a nail on my head. And I am glad that I'm not the only one who feels this way!

  10. MeAgain says:

    I am that gal & i do not know how to accept or feel loved.I know i can& do love ppl emensly,i struggle to acknowledge exactly "what it is" im supposed to "feel" to know it is infact love.fact is a traumatic life of never being loved AT ALL.I have always been passed along,someone else's burden to resent.Even due to such neglect,this has never refrained me from doting/loving others.Im generally too nice& attract dismal flavours to say the least.Its a nasty feeling to be "vulnerable"especially being independant,feels shameful.The way i see it is… always upfront& honest.I have to expose a past id rather not disclose,but if i would like that special click,then i am obliged to inform partners,that my behaviours are reflections of circumstance & nothing hes done or caused.If & i mean IF,he has actually cared enough to listen,he should at least be ready for "understanding & compassion"These are not a dcream for attention,these are infact the very basics needed to start a foundation upon.These days ppl seem to think i need a pity vote….far from…i need a loyal decent caring man with respect towards being utterly understanding.I begin at victim for that is what the past has maintained in giving.Some circumstances are way beyond anyones comprehension,including my own.I am miss independent….BUT…I've been socially engineered,manipulated,used,discarded& many other unspeakable wrong doings.I now live in solitude due to fear of ppl.I try my damn hardest to get help…(haha yeh sure)no one is really interested,hence to begin with(independence.).It kind of pees me off to hear ppl moan about my behaviour when all i ask is to be understood.I wouldn't impose my life upon anyone.Sorry for negativity…sometimes have to be negative to try put my point across.Not an easy subject to explain.

  11. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this! I felt like you wrote it about me. Are you by any chance an introvert, scorpio, highly sensitive person? :)

    • Kim says:

      Oh my goodness, I just read the article and thought this was eerily too much like me. And then I read your comment! Introvert, Scorpio, highly sensitive person right here too! Gosh, I think I know what I'll be pondering the next while, as not knowing how to be loved feels like something to work on.

  12. Closer says:

    Thank you for this. I've read this at least 10 times. I've never been able to fully make someone understand who I am and you did it perfectly. <3

  13. Lizette R says:

    Wow! Right on the dot, totally me! Great article, totally felt like a weirdo with major issues for awhile but now after reading this and the comments Im so happy I am not alone (or strange) Thank you! =)

  14. Sherri says:

    This can be applied to men, too. With each word I read, I felt more and more like it was about my boyfriend. Perfectly timed, too. I have been considering taking time apart, though my heart is screaming not to. A reminder that being patient may be more than worth it is what I needed.

  15. Bhagavati says:

    Thanks for this one! :)

  16. Jennifer says:

    I used to be this woman…and I used to joke with my friends that *if* I met the right guy, we’d have to live happily on two separate floors of the same building (back then I lived in Chicago). LOL

    Four years ago I met a man who was patient enough, and I decided that I was daring enough, to let myself fall in love. To date, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life…and absolutely the most rewarding. And I married that man.

    The unfortunate part of being the woman above is that we have SO MUCH LOVE to give…yet we keep our hearts behind bars…hoping that someone else will bring the right key.

    But the thing is, *I* had the key. I had to surrender…I had to surrender to my fear of Love, and just trust that everything would be ok. And in the end, it always is.

    Love love love this post – thank you for writing it. Blessings. :)

  17. Chef Morrison says:

    Basically, this mentality says, “Men (or lesbian women–though this seems like a generally heteronormative article), you are responsible for everything in the relationship even though she’s so distant that it appears that she doesn’t want you.”

    Basically, rape culture. Pursuing without permission.

    When a woman is open to love, then–and ONLY THEN–should a man pursue her. Anything else is a patriarchal tool that perpetuates rape culture. If you’re shy and distant, you can’t expect any person to do everything in your relationship. If you’re independent and focused on a career before love, then don’t feel entitled to have love given to you. Love is a two way street, and men aren’t responsible for loving the woman that doesn’t take the time to reciprocate or even bother to learn how to navigate a relationship.

    Don’t tell people to love you. Learn how to be loved.

  18. Jingjing says:

    My goodness, this is so spot on. Love this! Thank you for shedding light on it!! Beautiful!!

  19. Pernilla says:

    This is me, exaxtly. I was trying so hard to convey this message to my ex but he just never got it so I walked. He was insisting on my every waking, and asleep, moments. I was never free to just sit and watch a bird cause he was claiming my ears and my eyes the whole time. He was so jealous he wanted me to turn blind so all I could rely on was him. He was a complete nut case, of course. And Im fiercly independent. Have always been and will always remain so. Thank you for putting that in words!

  20. Rachael says:

    At 41 I have felt like this in every relationship I’ve ever had, seemingly doomed to repeat the pattern over and over again because I felt I wasn’t “normal” in being happy to have space, and not want to spend every waking second with someone. Inevitably I have turned tail and fled countless times, as the prospect of being overwhelmed and losing my identity and dreams hasn’t been something I could bear. Thank you for putting so perfectly into words how I feel, and also for making me realise I’m not the only one. This will be mandatory reading for anyone I may decide to have a relationship with in the future, so I live in hope

  21. Summer says:

    Great article!!! 10 out of 10. :)

  22. veera kay says:

    This is exactly my twin sister! She'll stay in her room and call it her "sanity leave" just like you said, Hahahaha! Thx for this I just read this with her we're both laughing n having a heart to heart because now I fully understand why she's like this. We both are different in so many ways but always try to talk everything out and understand one another the best we can. This article helps a lot. Thank you Sara

  23. Timo says:

    There are guys out there who are excactly like this girl discription, it may sound weird but it is like it is.
    Maybe all us comenter should open up a comunity to talk deep:)
    I would definitly love it. Thx for the writing.

  24. Gloz says:

    I found this article by chance and it describes me so well…Thanks for sharing! It helps much and its absolutely well written. Best of wishes :)

  25. Joe says:

    As a dude i feel this article is a perfect start. I recently fell in love with a runaway girl that has never had a father or figure innher life. Clearly i knew she has no clue about love. My goal was to just be unconditional ,patient and compassionate. She never opened up. But recentley she has been in jail and writing me really deep messeges. She never let me in! She would was just a shell running and pushing people away. I was hoping to be encouraging as i could. She slowly seems to be trusting. We ll see, i really dont know what to do. Wish this article to touch in the Fatherless ladies that “dont know how to be loved” . Just a thought.:)

  26. Carmen says:

    “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
    Your article seems to resonate with many “early adults” between 17-45 this age is considered the “early adult years” and are the most stressful and filled contradictions. From ages 18-30, it is still considered “provisional adulthood”, and many people still like having total autonomy and this is often times a priority. As life stages change, usually so does one’s ability and desire want to share your life with someone to create long term intimacy, especially if children are involved? That does not mean giving yourself up like you very well said, it means “two whole people create something more” and sometimes that is in the context of a mature relationship, in a long term partnership, or marriage. The tricky part is finding or creating that wholeness in you first, not looking for it in the other person. Some people don’t want exclusivity or monogamy and prefer to have open relationships, so it’s good to know the other persons expectations when going into any relationships. The ability of people now to form strong long term commitments, with the advent of social media, is being really tested and is a new rising social phenomenon.
    This article answers seemed to resonate with many people, but beware since there is no cookie cutter answer for any situation or behavior? Can one behavior that is more serious look like something else that might be less important? Take care when overlapping canned solutions to your own situation. These solutions may or may not work for you! Is she just showing normal introversion or is there another legitimate reason either conscious or subconscious, as to why she is not able to have a committed loving relationship, now or maybe ever? If so, then what is he waiting for?
    Do you know for certain there is a “heart of gold” there or maybe no heart at all? Some of the other postings hint to some of these other reasons. Are there residual fears about loss of control, past traumas or bad past relationships? Did she ever have any modeling for healthy intimacy? Are there family or societal expectations, or pressures factored in? Does she have self esteem or body distortion issues? Maybe she needs to focus on school and career, i.e., the one thing at a time? Many women get their education first, and then focus on partnering and parenthood in their late thirties. Then issues focus around finding a long term relationship with the bio clock ticking and/or infertility issues. The question often then becomes, go with Mr. Right now or give up on family altogether? Oftentimes, this was not their intended plan but life just sort of happened, while focusing on career. One reason so many couples divorce after having their children was they got together to for having children, once they have them issues arise.

    see part two next post

  27. Carmen says:

    Or maybe, she really likes you as an “occasional friend” but you are not the one she sees as long term relationship material yet fears confrontation? Maybe due to her last experience with the “stalker, she learned be careful not to reject any one since things ended badly, so saying, “I need space” is easier and safer than saying, “sorry, I don’t feel as intense or as in love as you do right now, and so much time together is too much pressure with little enjoyment”. How many people can honestly say to their lover’s face, “You know, I do not feel like I expected to after giving this relationship some time and effort and I just can’t see this for me in the long run. I don’t feel like I need to for a major commitment. I realize it has gone on way too long, and I want to end it because I feel it is not fair for either of us to continue on when I have no intentions of having this be a long term situation or partnership, and I know you feel differently. This is really hard for me to do, but I care enough about you to want to let you know and honestly express my feelings, that I don’t share your desires. I am very sorry.” Life is a delicate dance and sometimes honestly, there is no compatibility or desire even and after a good faith attempt is made. That might be another reason to go slow. It is fair and honest to realize this, and to share it as soon as possible. Put closure on the relationship in a clear, kind way, for both of you.
    Finally remember, not all people are able to love you back in the same way you love them. Sadly some are not able to ever love anyone, but themselves. So how do you tell the difference? Is there perhaps less than honest behavior going on here? Are they just shy or not interested? Or are they unable and unwilling and opportunistic? And then no matter how much of your time, heart effort you give, or wait, usually more often than not, that will not change? It is not a mandate to be in a long term relationship. Many people prefer to have open freedom, or are very happy single, thank you very much. The honesty you bring to your relationships and to yourself, about what it is you want and need, and what it is or is not happening and developing, is important.
    What you described here in my opinion, is probably not a woman who would be defined as having antisocial personality issues. That would involve callous harm, lies, and disregard for their “significant other” with little to no remorse of the harm done, nor accountability of the harm. Nothing in this scenario suggested that.
    Still have questions? Consider if getting professional feedback from a marriage and family counselor might be an effective option to really understand yourself and your own relationship situation? I am a licensed relationship counselor, yoga teacher and relationship consultant that might be able to help clarify your issues. I offer “individual or relational consulting” over the telephone or on Skype. Check out my website and feel free to contact me to see how I can best serve your needs. I offer licensed professional relationship or individual counseling in person and in my office only.
    Life has a long learning curve, so be kind to yourself & talk to others. Do you really need to reinvent the wheel? Why not let someone help you explore your situation with you that can shed some new light?
    Thank you for getting this wonderful discussion going ….Carmen

  28. Laura says:

    Hi everyone,
    Carmen, great post. I am a professional myself. I studied something like child psychology (it is a bit different from that, but there is actually no word for in English, I live and studied in Amsterdam). In your post I can see you have a lot of experiences and all the options you give for the miss independant’s behavior could all be happening indeed. Having that said I have to say I totally recognize myself in this article. Together with the list of options you suggest I can see where I’m coming from too. Although I already thought a lot about it myself of course…

    I love the comment someone gave about being this girl in the past and finally meeting someone patient and vinding herself surrendering to a situation of love.

    As I read this article my own insight and conclusion is that I have to be proud of who I am. So if you think your thoughts are to intense and philosphical, be proud of them instead. If a guy doesn’t like them, the guy is not a match for you. If you feel like you want to much alone time, don’t feel like that! If you need that, you need that. Be who you are, tell that guy you need alone time because that is who you are and wait for his response. Maybe make a compromise but don’t feel ashamed of your needs. If he would rather hang out everyday, than the match isn’t right. Learn to argue with and disappoint people. Sometimes you just don’t like someone enough. It is okay to doubt about that for a while (everyone needs time to figure out) and then disappoint someone. You’re in this too and it could happen to you as well. That is the whole point of dating…I always feel really guilty and scared about that cause I was/am still a bit of a people pleaser. Like my own needs are not important. Like I have to feel sorry for it all the time especially when dating. That feeling is really strong so it is important to take time to sit down with it and tell yourself the truth to oppose the lies that cause the feeling. I know this doesn’t sound like fun dating but it will make you stronger in the end. And maybe, someone comes around with whom you fall in love so strongly that you won’t even need all this…but just in case that doesn’t happen, remember these words…. (Part 2 in next post)

  29. Laura says:

    (Part 2) Lots of words from me but just remember: don’t be ashamed. Be who you are and feel free. So you are able to see if the guy and you really match.

    Practicing with family and friends to be yourself, maybe have disagreements sometimes is a good way to teach yourself how to be in relationships. I am a christian and if any of you is, I encourage you to sit down with God and feel His love and appreciation for you. He has made you in a special way and doesn’t want you to be ashamed of it even though a lot of people are different. Feel His love and know that it is enough to live from. And enough to give away His love and to pass it on to others. Feel His love and know that He will go with you in every risky relationship step you make. He made you well enough to explore love and make good decisions about it that fit you. He doesn’t want you to feel guilty or afraid. You are His beautiful daughter and you may act like who you are.


  30. Kathleen says:

    I think others have posted this already, but this sounds so Scorpio to me. If anyone knows about Scorpio's this is what they can be like in relationships if they feel they're not getting enough space and or they fear losing themselves. I'm an extroverted introvert :-) and a Scorpio and this article rang true for me.

  31. Helena says:

    This is me. This is not independence, it’s fear of intimacy. Don’t get me wrong. I have a great life. I’m 28. I’m thin, I’m reasonably attractive. I’ve climbed mountains and traveled extensively. I have two sisters I’m very close to. I’m a Girl Guide leader and drive a motorcycle. I have a great job and make $70000 a year.

    I’ve also never had a boyfriend, or so much as held hands with anyone. I used to go out on dates and felt my future close in on me every second he kept talking. So I stopped dating.

    I can’t stand the thought of giving up control over my own life and showing someone how normal and vulnerable I am.

    All things considered, my life is pretty good. I like to flirt and laugh, but keep men at bay. Men are still attracted to me, but I’ve decided to stick to myself.

    Like a lot of women who are used to getting their own way, I find strong, powerful men attractive. But this is precisely the type of man who will take away my freedom. Beta men are nice, but I tend to walk all over them.

    In short, I’m better off alone.

    • Brian says:

      Hi Helena. Fear of intimacy is associated with NPD. I have been dealing with this myself for 18 months. This article describes a woman with NPD and does not know she has a personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be very draining, time consuming, and destructive to the other person in the relationship. These individuals cannot experience intimacy which is why you are not allowed to get close to them. They shut down and the NPD cycles continue (over-evaluation, devaluation, discard). It is hard to recognize, but ultimately can be overcome with professional help! Praise the Lord!
      Other NPD Traits: easily hurt or rejected, extremely impulsive behavior not mature enough for a reliable relationship, can not feel intimacy, romance, empathy, contradictory personality, cannot stand change, shuts down, tunes out, cannot listen to other's feelings, very trendy – based off appearances, superficial sex seeking self-pleasure rather than closeness, must do in order to feel

    • Shaiah says:

      Sounds like what you need is an equally adventurous guy who knows how to be assertive and has a go-getter attitude; but also knows how to compromise when needed. Someone who’s neither an alpha control freak nor a beta doormat.

  32. monameged says:

    Sara, you're brilliant ! your words and everything in your article is Great !
    How can i follow you? i can't access your Facebook or blogger?

  33. Anne-Marie says:

    Yup! Yup! I relate to this so much………But, it feels very real. I can't have a relationship AND achieve my dreams…..and I'm not giving up on my dreams…..

  34. ChelseaEdgett says:

    A thought on how to love the broken open woman…

  35. Je suis entièrement en аccord avec toi

  36. Niharika says:

    It's exactly me. Thanks a tonne!
    I feel normal. and I'm glad there are many like me. I'm not alone.

  37. Praveen Raj says:

    Joe, it doesn't really matter where…it's just that when that change does occur, you gotta be there…

  38. Terry says:

    Sadly, if this article’s subject were a male, and it had been published in, say, Cosmo, he would be ridiculed as: weak, a wimp, a momma’s boy, immature, scared, insecure, unhealthy, and a high risk when it comes to being a mate.

  39. Elliot says:

    From the man’s view on this:

    I’ve dated a girl like this for years. I completely understand everything you are mentioning here, but you left out many of the feelings from the other person’s point of view.
    As I’ve stated I have dated someone like this for years and it was one of the most frustrating and draining experiences I’ve had. I’m not saying the person was horrible or bad, just the constant up and down feelings and not knowing involved with it all. I have had bad relationships in my past, abusive and completely controlling partners that didn’t leave me so drained, frustrated and hurt as this relationship has.
    The way you describe everything here it seems we should give complete control over to the other person and hope one day love will be returned. That right there does not make for a healthy relationship. We did have at many times where she would completely let me in and she was completely loving and open, but the second things got too close (even if it was something she initiated) she would backtrack and be distant and cold again completely shutting me out and acting like she didn’t care. Stuff like talking about getting married or looking for a place to live together with her seeming to be the happiest in every way and happiest I’ve ever seen her, then would turn into her breaking up with me right after and canceling everything. No fight, no argument, just fear and looking for reasons to push me away. Then it gets to where if you say one wrong thing, or a joke taken out of context to being completely shut off and ending the relationship. It constantly would leave me feeling like I was doing something wrong or that I was not good enough.
    I do believe she is completely worth it, but it’s the hardest struggle I have ever been through.

    • michael says:

      Elliot. My brother thank you so much for sharing, I am in a relationship right now and have been for 15 months and every word you shared is what I’m dealing with . Amazing,

    • Larry says:

      Hi Elliot. I have been dealing with this myself for 18 months. This article describes a woman with NPD and does not know she has a personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be very draining, time consuming, and destructive to the other person in the relationship. These individuals cannot experience intimacy which is why you are not allowed to get close to them. They shut down and the NPD cycles continue. It is hard to recognize, but ultimately can be overcome with professional help! Praise the Lord!

  40. JT says:


    I couldn’t write a more exact scenario to my relationship, if I tried. For the past five years, I have been in and out of this relationship, that either has me walking on eggshells or kicked to the curb. Through this period, I have witnessed her raise a wonderful daughter, now about to go to college, take on a successful career path, where she has earned Master’s degree in the process. And for the past two years, we had managed to not break up at all. However, in the past few weeks, her “need for space” had suddenly raised its weary head…and I discovered through a friend, that she chose to lie to me regarding her plans to not spend time with me, choosing instead to meet with another man at a local bar for a few drinks, which nothing happened, per my friend who witnessed her presence at the bar. However, a few days later, when I asked her about it via text, she denied the entire thing. Sharing that, “I never left the house!” (We don’t live together.) I chose to apologize for having to ask her about it, sharing that my friend “swore it was her” and actually having a pic sent to me, to see for myself. I wanted to give her an opportunity to reconsider her lie and come clean. But she felt the need to admonish me with, “I can’t even believe you would ask me such a thing!” And that was an act of total disrespect and loss of trust, that could no longer be accepted by me. I am a very confident man, who loves this woman deeply. But her deciding to flake, lie and then treat my kindness as weakness just wasn’t going to fly. My reply to her was, “You’re absolutely right. I can’t believe that I asked you such a thing either, as I already knew the entire thing is 100% true! Unfortunately, you clearly have zero respect for me. Please take care. And I promise to never contact you again.” Her reply was “Wow.” I have to think Borderline/Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because she would have to be struggling to tell me one thing and then so publicly do the opposite, that I’d so easily find out about. And two weeks later, not a word.

    I just can’t grasp the concept of her opening up to me regarding her plans for us to be married in the next few years, to pulling this stunt to push me away.

    It’s crazy.

    Thanks for hearing me out. Peace.

  41. michael says:


    did you break up with her or are you still dating ?

    • Elliot says:

      No we are not together now. It was one of those things where we were talking about living together, marriage and more and then she backed off, got distant and ran.

    • Elliot says:

      It went from her saying she wanted me in her future to being with me and letting her walls down and letting me in and getting married, to just weeks later completely shutting me out and stopped talking to me in any way. There was no fight, no argument. If I try to talk to her or see her or anything she just gets distant and even mad at me acting like I'm doing something wrong.

      • Brian says:

        The 3 cycles of Narcissistic personality disorder are : Over-evaluation, devaluation, and discard (on to the next person to suck the life and emotions out of).

  42. Maw says:

    I'm going out with a girl a bit like this at the moment. I think there can be various reasons for this but suspect that in many cases they lacked love or affection as children or had parents who in some way also had distant relationships. So in some way they feel they are not worthy of love. They don't ted to reach out and are governed by their fears so they have no capacity left to empathise properly with their partner. If they are women they are not giving feminine warmth (the self initiated messages to say I missed you or are you okay etc) so either the bloke gets needy (which women don't tend to like) or usually, because a bloke wants to feel like a bloke and not ask for her to say she loves him, he will get frustrated and just walk away. No bloke of any personality type wants to date someone who seems like a business associate or just another bloke! One of the posts further up (think it was Jennifer) nailed the issue. The girl (or bloke) with this problem has to decide to take a leap of faith at some point. How do I know this? Because I was a bit like this in my 20s and met someone who taught me how to be a couple. What's happening nowadays is because women had good careers and leave nesting late, they are getting stuck in their ways and find engaging in a relationship even harder because they have been single so long. Thats's fine if they really want to just be single but all too often they say they want to find someone and bemoan the partnership difficulties they have. s they appear non-commital they attract non-commital men who quite often use them. This reinforces the idea that couples don't work and breeds more fear of rejection. Decent blokes don't understand their aloofness and walk away. They are stuck in a vicious circle. Some blokes are like this as well by the way. What is the answer? You have to let yourself love and be loved. Love is not perfect, it's a leap of faith and you are best starting with a foundation of someone who can give and is a decent person and then let yourself love them.

  43. Nadya says:

    Wow – im not so abnormal as i thought i was – there r ppl like me around – yayyyy

  44. dave b says:

    wow… this is one of the few “relationship” type articles I actually found informative, and doesn’t talk down to you in the least. I feel like I’m seeing a girl who is like this, for one reason or another, and this actually makes me feel better about the slower pace I’m taking with her ….

  45. moonchild says:

    this is how it is with my ex boyfriend, whom I still love. he has ptsd, and it's so hard for him to accept love, or love himself. I wish I could help him. I wish he would let me in.

  46. Dina says:

    Wow, when I read this article I thought that she was describing me! So glad to know that I’m not the only one, because I certainly am in my circle of friends.
    I feel like we should create a support group for girls like us; the misunderstood, sometimes skittish, introspective girl.
    Great job Sara on the article!!

  47. Gwenie says:

    I thought I was the only 'independent' woman out there. Now if I could just find a man to love it….

  48. Douglas says:

    We all crave companionship at times, and many people are seeking to understand to find our own answers. But to me this is just another article where men are expected to ride in on a white horse to rescue a damsel. And it just doesn’t work like that. Everyone has thier own journey to travel and that needs to be understood and more importantly respected. When we try to accommodate another person that goes beyond our own place we chance becoming lost ourselves. We all have to do our own work because only we have the answers that are right for us!
    Understanding as best we can is the only gift we can give that may help, but ßue time just stepping back and letting the other do their own work is the most precious way to love!

  49. Dana says:

    You could maybe start by not sounding like a creepy pedophile. This article is about WOMEN, right? Why doesn't the headline say so, and why is there a photo of a LITTLE GIRL accompanying it? I'm the mother of a daughter… any creepo concerning himself with whether my 10yo "knows how to be loved" is gonna meet the business end of a sledgehammer.

    I've started calling this out EVERYWHERE. No one seems to want to understand that we are GROWN WOMEN and should be discussed as such. They want to infantilize us and that includes female writers, who OUGHT to know better. I don't care what you call your female friends at the club. I'm not your friend or any other sort of intimate and you should learn to be more formal with strangers.

  50. Katia says:

    Hellο my loved one! I wish tto saƴ that this рost is awesome, nice written аnd come
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