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 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.

 

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 

 

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

  1. brian says:

    So, my girlfriend's friend sent me this article and said "do this, do all of this and you'll win".

    When I recieved it, I'll be honest, I saw the title and was like, "meh-whatever-girls". Then I read it, and I'll admit it, her friend was right. This is my girlfriend to an absolute 'T'. A strong-willed, tough, just all around awesome girl who just needs her alone time. I've always known she was worth the trouble (cue the aww's), but didn't understand why. This certainly helps me understand my miss independent, so thank you. And, I'm sure she's thanking in some way also.

  2. dai says:

    For a long time I’ve searched for an answer to 2 questions on my mind. This has just answered them both And showed me exactly where I was going wrong. Thank you

  3. Fion says:

    Thank you for writing this, the very essence of my living.

  4. Brandon Nelson says:

    This article saved my relationship with my Miss Independant. We been dating for a year and it has been difficult. We hardly spend alot of time together and I push for more and all she says is she needs her alone time. She stays busy with work and the kids and I always feel like she can make more time for me. Now I understand why!! This is her to a Tee!! Thank you for your very well written article. I showed her and she loved it. Because she thought she was uniquely weird and now she knows there are other women like her and shes not messed up lol

    • Brandon, I am so happy to hear that you feel like you understand more after reading this, and I'm glad that your lovely lady feels relieved about not being alone. It's messages like yours that make me smile and warm my heart. All the best to you both. :)

  5. Diana says:

    Thank you! I've read this about 5 times, because i can identify with it so much! Great article, and thanks again for clarifying that I'm not crazy!!!

  6. Taylor says:

    My bf jokes that I'm like a cat. Move too quickly and I run away, but then I want attention. Then it scares me. I love this piece. I love the honesty in it. Being bold is hard, being vulnerable is even harder. I'm going to share this with him. I think we both will benefit from the insight.

  7. Sarah says:

    Are you a 'Miss Independent' or do you know a 'Miss Independent' inside out? Because this is such a perfect description!

  8. James says:

    Thanks for this article, I love a special girl but as we have grown it has become hard. Lately I’ve been pretty frustrated with her and didn’t know where we were going. This article really helped me to know what was going on , And gave me a refreshed look at her and us. Thank you, thank you

  9. Veronica says:

    I actually cried when I read this. Never have I seen such an accurate description of who I am, and how I feel. Some day when I work up the courage to allow someone into my life, I will send them this article to read. I’ve never been able to find the right words, and now I won’t have to. Thank you. .

  10. Chaz says:

    Interesting. But if she doesn't know how to love herself, it's all for not anyway.

    • Thomas says:

      Hello Chaz, I just left a very long reply to this article and I agree with you 100%…I won't go into more detail, you can read my reply if you want. Name is Thomas

    • Chaz, I agree with you. I'm not proposing that anyone should try to make this girl love herself, nor am I insinuating that she doesn't love herself already; in fact, she may very well love herself, but struggle with understanding how to let others love her intimately, as would be the case in a romantic relationship. You are right that self-love must come before loving others, however that's not exactly where I planted the roots for this article. Thanks for reading.

  11. Thomas says:

    I think I'm going to be the only person to not only say that you have beautifully defined many women in our lives but also left out an entire critical aspect of our relationships that must be addressed. My wife and I are separating because of this issue specifically. She sent this article to me in an effort to, I don't know, perhaps help me understand why she has neglected our relationship due to her inability to connect. I'm a very compassionate, supportive husband that, after 3 years of being put on the back burner and always second seat to her work, is almost giving up.

    Your article clearly defines so many people…look at the responses…"yes, this is me to a T", "I'm not alone", etc. It's great to identify. Some of your advice – support her, talk to her, be patient – these are necessities for any relationship to work. Other pieces of your advice – allow her space, don't push her, tip to around her anxieties – these are great for a moment but will not allow for long term success if you don't CHALLENGE her to change her behaviors. Unless you are a man who does not need attention from a woman that doesn't have to be constantly coherced from her – you better challenge her to recognize her issues or you will be the one doing all the work and that will eventually lead to resentment. I hate resentment. I'm swimming in it right now…along with buckets of tears.

    I'm not spouting off without first hand experience. Maybe my wife is an extreme case. But I know I need to be more important in my relationship every day and it's very hard to feel that way with a woman that cannot, without a lot of clinical help, offer that. I'm not saying give up or that this article is bad, I'm just saying it's not complete. A relationship requires 2 people working on it…not one coddling the others issues so that maybe there will be reciprocation of love and passion.

    I applaud you for being able to openly discuss yourself in a public forum, Sara, but I challenge you to give your readers a complete set of advice to succeed in a relationship with a woman that struggles with these concerns. I hope that, during my separation and our counseling, that my wife will work hard on identifying her priorities and putting me higher on her list. I'm completely with Chaz – if she doesn't know how to love herself, it's all for not anyway…

    • Thomas, first of all I am sorry to hear what you are going through right now.

      In response to your comment, I truly respect all that you have to say, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that being in any kind of relationship requires two people working on it. I, however, am only one person, what would be one half of any relationship; therefore, I can only speak to my needs, and that's what this article is, essentially. Also, my intention was to make the tone of this piece cater more towards beginning a relationship with this 'girl,' with the hope that over time, she will come around and feel more comfortable in both giving and receiving love, as this has been my experience. I can see why this didn't read well to you, given your current situation and the way you came across this article.

      Lastly, I am not an 'expert' in giving relationship advice, or any advice for that matter. I apologize if my words came across as anything other than my own experiences and desires in the context of a public article. I believe it to be complete in its purpose, which is to represent what I feel based on my own experiences; like I said, I can only write for me, not for both halves of a relationship.

      I sincerely wish you all the best Thomas. I hope things get better.

      • Thomas says:

        Thank you Sara. This is a very difficult time for me and one of my biggest issues is her lack of accountability – I'm not saying she doesn't fully acknowledge the issue – she's just not accountable. And so, with my big old wall of resentment up and my fuse very short and my trigger very loose, I replied with my bias intact. I wish I had read this 3 years ago. I'm not saying it would have helped because, quite honestly, I've done all of the things you recommend because I've always been able to read the emotions of those near me and I'm inherently a giver so I adapted to the day to day needs she has. But that didn't satiate my appetite for my very basic needs which is why we are where we are.

        This is move out weekend and within a few days my house will be empty of her and her things and that is sad. I hope that distance and time will allow us both to grow through this.

        I hope that I didn't offend your position by my comments. I have read a few more of your posts so that I can get an understanding of where your perspective is coming from and, like I said in my first post, I admire your strength to be so vulnerable. Take care and journey on…

    • Mindi B says:

      Thomas I could not agree with you more. Without writing a long winded response, I was engaged to a woman very much like what's described in this article, and those traits do not make it possible to have a successful relationship with someone. The thing is too, you can't change them – they need to recognise what attributes are required for a successful partnership and make their own changes. But they have to WANT to. My ex didn't – she still clings to her old habits, while I did everything I could to adapt and change, be patient and to listen. She ended the relationship TWICE, both times running away. Now I just don't think I can do round III – it's too exhausting, too complicated, she fails to see the easier path and insists on making things difficult. I've had enough.

      It's taken time but I've now recovered (albeit, I still feel a bit angry as I was given false promises of growth and change which never came, just more demands on me instead) and look forward to meeting someone who might not be perfect, but is open to growth and challenges and being along side her partner as she moves through life.

  12. Thomas says:

    I think I'm going to be the only person to not only say that you have beautifully defined many women in our lives but also left out an entire critical aspect of our relationships that must be addressed. My wife and I are separating because of this issue specifically. She sent this article to me in an effort to, I don't know, perhaps help me understand why she has neglected our relationship due to her inability to connect. I'm a very compassionate, supportive husband that, after 3 years of being put on the back burner and always second seat to her work, is almost giving up.

  13. DixieChopsuey says:

    I’m an empath dating a Mr. Independent and as much as I sacrifice my needs in my acceptance of him as a Mr. Independent, he doesn’t seem to meet me halfway and accept me as an empath. I don’t think anyone should change who they are but if you’ve committed to a relationship with someone who is the complete opposite of you, be prepared to compromise instead of dominate and insist on being yourself 100% while the other person changes to deal with your independent personality. Naturally the empath is the one who will bend over backwards to adapt to you and if you think you’re worth it, we are too.

    • I understand what you're saying, and I can identify with being an empath. I don't necessarily think that being independent has much to do with being rigid; domination and independence are different. Relationships require compromise, without a doubt, and this is just my take on one side of a relationship. I hope that's clear. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  14. Steffi says:

    My first inkling of the existence of your article was when my partner told me he just had an ahah! moment and realised that we’re “two wholes coming together to make a better whole”. Then I saw a link to here today and realised where he’d got the idea from. I’m smiling as I read this; I’m glad to know that I am not the only human who’s as such. Thank you for spreading the word in letting other folks know that there are people like us.

  15. You've summed up in a few paragraphs what I've been pondering for the last year. Great article.

  16. Terrie Ramirez says:

    Thank you so much for this! It touched my heart in the greatest most perfect way.. I am this girl and I have never been able to put it all into words that made such perfect sense. I cried while reading it. but, tears of joy.. someone else understands and totally gets it "we" are not alone….

  17. Guest says:

    Good, but not unique to women. She and he are interchangeable here… men are not blobs of un-emotion. Most of the time it goes both ways… except the Miss Independent part.

    • Thanks for reading. Yes, I'm aware that men are not blobs of "un-emotion." I just wrote this based on my own experiences as a woman who feels this way. Thanks for your feedback!

  18. Niña S. says:

    Definitely sharing this. This is so me!

  19. Kelly W says:

    I have never in all my 36 years read a piece of work that describes me exactly. Thank you. How did you come to this perspective?

    • Thanks for reading Kelly. Honestly, this year as a whole has been one of deep reflection for me. I've spent much time and energy going as far inside as I possibly can go, to the point of realizing that my entire life was out of line with my deepest desires and intentions. As you can imagine, I've learned quite a bit about myself as a result, and once I thought I was with someone who loved me for that—this person I've become—I was proven wrong in a somewhat painful way. So, I asked myself questions, the why's and why-not's, and these were the answers.

  20. Charmaine says:

    The starting moment when i read this, I was like, 'Who wrote this? Can I like say how much I love you right now?' LOL. Okay, maybe that's just too much. But this, this really hits on everything I feel about my whole self & thoughts. It feels great to know that someone out there actually truly understands me inside out. (And also the discovery of not being alone while feeling like this.) Thank you for this wonderful post. :)

  21. Erica Leibrandt Erica says:

    damn girl! crushing it with this!! I love it!

  22. Genevieve says:

    Thank you so much. Been trying to figure out why am I such a person. Why am I just so weird as compared to others. Why do I always back out in fear when the pace gets too fast.

    Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone.

    :’)

  23. alice says:

    A previous suitor shared this on facebook, i was curious and clicked the link. And from then on i occasionally come back to read this because this article just describes me so well. I never really knew what I was really like until i read this and found out that this is just sooo me. Thank you so much. for helping me understand all these. thank you..

    from singapore.

  24. Nica says:

    My best friend just shared this with me literally 12 minutes ago, and I took ten minutes reading through your article! Had to stop after every sentence to say “omg this is meee!” So grateful to have stumbled upon your writing. Thanks for articulating so beautifully in writing what I’ve been trying to reflect on for about a year now :) When you come to the Philippines, i’ll treat you to some cake or whatever… You just saved me another year of being confused :)

  25. Cassy says:

    This is such a well written post. I must admit though that I loved reading the descriptive of the girl more than tips on how to win her over. Perhaps it felt reassuring that someone could finally put into words and validate what I feel. On the other hand though, reading about how to ‘get’ her made me feel somewhat uncomfortable and like a deer being hunted (bad metaphor, sorry). Maybe I am an extreme case and will totally shun being loved romantically. Overall great article and I have saved it for future reference- just in case :)

    • Cassy, I get what you're saying. I guess my intention was mostly to lay out what I would want/need from someone with whom I might be romantically involved, and so inevitably some would relate to how I'm feeling (or not) and some would understand what someone like this needs (or completely disagree). I hope that makes sense–I didn't mean to make us sound like hunting material. ;) Thanks so much for reading!

  26. @brokenawake says:

    Wise words that are welcome to me as I find myself drawn towards those beautiful and amazing girls that for whatever reason don't know how to be loved. Sometimes that is tough for one like myself which is why I love the picture of two wholes making a bigger whole. Part of my own problem throughout my life has been that I myself was lacking in the whole. Learning to find my own has made it much easier to deal with another whole, actually be happy together. Thanks for the great read!

  27. Andrea says:

    Wow. Almost 50 years old, and I never knew what was wrong with me until having read this article,

  28. Andrea says:

    Wow. You responded to EVERY person's post. You must be an awesome person!
    And, the article is amazing. As I mentioned before, I will be 50 in a couple years, and never understood why I have never been in a relationship. I have researched this issue a lot, but your article is the first one to describe me perfectly. As I read it, I kept saying, "WOW!" and " Oh. My. Gosh!"

    • Yes. I'm trying to anyway! That's because I truly do value others' opinions. I love having a dialogue, opening up for discussion about whatever I've put out here, and so I do my best to answer everyone's comments as I see them.

      Thanks Andrea. I hope you find the love you deserve—whether that comes from yourself or another (but definitely yourself, no matter what). xo

  29. Erick says:

    Currently in a situation with a Miss Independent. I could never truly understand her until I came across this article. It definitely put a lot into perspective and definitely explains a lot of why she is the way she is. Great article.

  30. Adi says:

    This articulates how I have felt my entire life. And when I have opened up sadly I have been emotionally mistreated. In my last relationship in the end I was begging for my partner to talk to me or listen to what I had to say. Now I am too shattered to let anyone in and spend most of my time with family because they make me feel safe and love me unconditionally. I congratulate the author in pointing out that this is the type of people we are and if you cant be kind and understanding, leave us alone.

    • Adi, I am so sorry to hear what happened. I'm so glad you have a supportive family, but I hope you can find it in you to let others in as well—slowly but surely. Let time heal you. xoxo

  31. Meryl says:

    I wish I could’ve written this myself! Been single all my 23 years because I haven’t met anyone who took the time and patience to understand how much I value my independence. My favorite sentiment is the one about two wholes making a greater whole – something that I want for myself in the future. So glad to have found this article; I’ll be bookmarking it so I can share it someday with my future someone. ;)

  32. melanie says:

    somehow it feels like you know me…thank you

  33. Carrie says:

    Hi Sara, I have read this blog post a total of 6 times and have bookmarked it on my computer. I literally felt like you somehow walked in to my head and articulated how I’ve felt all of my nearly 22 years of life. I’ve still never been in a relationship because whenever it gets close to that, I feel like I’ll be giving up my goal-oriented nature and independence. I know it’s often irrational to feel this way, but your post put everything in perspective. I’m currently in an “almost relationship” situation and this post is truly helping me find a way to understand my feelings and explain myself better.

  34. Ana says:

    BEAUTIFUL!

  35. apple pie says:

    i feel so understood. thank you so much!!!

  36. Mindi B says:

    Sorry but this is a total load of garbage. I spent 5 years with a woman who matches the description in this article, and no amount of patience, expression, talking, affection, protection, space, silence, trust or openness helped at all. Too insecure, too distant, too damaged, too dysfunctional, too expectant, too impatient, with her mind nowhere in the current moment and enveloped in anxiety and depression, not to mention in complete denial of therapy despite me suggesting to go with her as well as fulfilling my own responsibilities to evolve and work on my own issues too.

    When you're fucked up, you're fucked up and you need to HELP YOURSELF or you'll never accept love, period. No amount of patience or support will help until YOU take the first steps.

  37. enelia says:

    I love this. I couldn't agree more. My fiance calls me "Ms Independent" and it's very hard to open up about whatever it is on my mind, or whatever it is he thinks I'm supposed to be telling him about. I've been independent for so long that "sharing" my problems or "sharing" my concerns and woes for the day has always been MY problem. Not anyone else's and (in my mind) shouldn't be my fiance's burden. He has been such a gift, that I can't fathom anyone wanting to shoulder any of "MY" problems with me. Yet, this is supposed to be what a marriage is supposed to be all about, and something I have to learn en route to our wedding day. Thank you for expressing what is unexplainable to me, and just seems like a normal way of life for me. I am sharing this article with him…

    • Well first of all congratulations on your approaching marriage. :) Enelia, you should like you know yourself well and that knowledge is imperative. You are with this man for a reason, no doubt. I'm so happy for you. All the best! xo

  38. Reeta says:

    Wow… this is ever-so-insightful. I think the most beautiful thing about reading this wasn’t even the acknowledgement and validation of the woman that I am (and my worth!), but rather that identifying with this description gives me a sense of pride and self-esteem about how I’ve really, truly restructured my thinking after abuse. Thank you for sharing, Sara!

  39. melissa says:

    This is me as well. I’m an only child and I’ve learned how to be content by myself. I value my *me* time. I’ve certainly had the conversation, more than once, of trying to not be all consuming in my life right away. It has certainly been misconstrued as my not being interested, and I’ve let them go because they were being too clingy for my likes. Maybe if more men read this article it would help! Thanks for your insight. I will definitely share this info.

  40. arabel says:

    This article totally hits the spot in my fully guarded heart! I thought there was something wrong with me for not being able to show "appreciation" of the efforts done by a suitor. And I feel guilty for not being able to do so. Now, I realise that this is me… Now I understand it more… And guys need to understand that about ladies like us. Thank you SO much! :) <3

  41. Joey says:

    I've been doing this for quite a while for the woman in my life. How long does this process actually take? When does it stop being one sided? Everything described here is for her. It's all about her, which is fine. But at what point does it become equal? At what point do I get what I want? A meaningful balanced NORMAL relationship. How much of myself do I have to give and how long do I have to wait and forgo the things I need in a relationship in order for her to come around?

    • Joey, I will not pretend that I'm an expert on relationships to any extent, nor will I pretend that I can answer your questions. It's so different for everyone, you know? I certainly hope you don't feel the need to forgo your needs and desires in a relationship, that's not at all what I intended to say. Honestly, I would just talk to her and tell her what you're feeling (in a firm but non-accusatory manner, of course). If it were me, I would want to know that you're upset about something. There is a difference between being independent/shaky with love and being self-centered and unwilling to meet halfway. I hope everything works out.

      • Joey says:

        Thank you. She's not self-centered just very guarded, which makes things very difficult and frustrating at times…I will do my best.

  42. Marlon says:

    This was sooooo very helpful. I think this is going to strengthen me and my wife’s relationship!!!

  43. Myles says:

    Great article. I wish I had see this 3 years ago. It would had helped me better understand my wife. :(

  44. Brad says:

    Wish I read this before the person I love, broke my heart. Maybe I would have handled the breakup better. I was doing for the most part what the article talked about and I was still blindsided with a breakup. In fact it was stronger then any death of a loved one I had experienced. Usually I'm filled with regret, wishing I had done things differently. With her, emptiness, hurt/pain (physical and emotional), confusion, anger, and love with no direction to express it. How do you tell someone that you broke up and nothing was wrong. When she started to open herself up it was the best relationship I ever had. It was slow at first until she decide on me, then it was full speed ahead (I was moving slow). Then she started to become unsure. Unsure if she could have both her dream and me. She started to feel bombarded, confused, difficulty making choices, always torn. I went from being part of her future, the man she always wanted to just being in the way. It was a short relationship, I don't think I truly loved someone until meeting my “Miss Independent.”

    She is happy again and back focusing on only her dream, enjoying her alone time.

  45. tim says:

    I am going through this with a woman right now. I was one it’d the ones that swore that I would never fall in love again but I did. To a woman that said she loves me and asked me to move in with her. The weekend I was going to she called it off. Not sure if it was fear of being loved our what. I moved out of my home to live with her now im homeless and broken. But something inside me keeps saying fight for her and give her time. Today will be the first day I haven’t spoken to her because she wants a weekend with just her kids who I love more than anything. I would wake up every morning and send her a text saying good morning beautiful. Just so she would know that I am still here for her and believe that we will pull through anything. I realized after reading this what she needs me to do. But remember loving some one as much as I love her and knowing that i have to give her this space and time is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been over seas and fought in the war and lost many of the people that I care about and now my home. But I love her so much that all I can think about is how to make her happy because in the end her being happy is what brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart. Im sure she may never see this but if you do I am here and always will be .

  46. Vanessa says:

    Wow! It’s me exactly! Thank you for writing this great essay! I’ve had so much trouble relaxing in surrender to love and trust. Independent since birth! Love to you, Sara!

  47. andy says:

    just an amazing article. thanks!

  48. UtterLeigh Terrified says:

    I was/am this girl. The difference is that I have opened myself up a few times & each time I have been hurt worse than the time before. In the past I have gotten involved in purely physical…..lets call them "relationships", for lack of a better term, in an effort to 1) satisfy a physical need & 2) get a little bit of that human contact that I SO desperately want and need. None of them lasted very long, about 2 months at the most, and once they ended, which, of course, they always did, I felt just as empty and lonely as before if not more so. Then, I met an amazing guy. The situation may not be ideal, but he certainly is. The problem now is that I'm driving myself crazy, and probably him too, with my neuroses & insecurities. I'm trying to stay out of my own head, but after a crazy day with housework & kids & work-work, that's my escape. Sad, I know. Most days I wish I had a magic want to tap my head & say "Bippity Boppity Boo" & make myself "normal" so I won't screw it up…..again.

  49. Deborah says:

    OMG. After I read this i thought, "Wow! This describes me to a tee." How could this person who's never met me write about me with such clever insight? So I thought I'd post a comment to let you know how much this resonated with me. I noticed that this article already had 200 comments and by most measures that's a lot! So before I even read through the comments I knew, this article had touched many besides myself which means I am actually not as strange/unique as I thought. Reading through the comments confirmed that suspicion. Thanks for writing this. You allowed a lot of people to just breathe.

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