She’ll take things really slow.
She doesn’t just jump from relationship to relationship. When she tells you how long it’s been since she even used the word boyfriend to describe someone, she’ll pause for a moment. She values relationships but more than that she values the right ones. And that’s what she’s looking for something for keeps not just for a moment and that’s been a bit difficult for her.
She’s not going to flaunt everything across social media or tell a hundred people. She’s going to keep it to herself until she’s a little more confident in you and if this is something or not.
She’ll give you space and freedom because she needs her own.
When someone is scared to love they don’t put a lot of effort into finding it. They invest their time and emotions in other things that keep them busy or distract them. So when she finds the right relationship, she’ll make you a priority because she won’t become engulfed by it. The truth is she has other things on her plate and a life that has nothing to do with her relationship status. It’s a life she’s proud of. A life that she’s built all on her own. A life a lot of people will admire but few people think they can keep up with.
She doesn’t know how to be someone’s girlfriend.
The word girlfriend is hard for her. Most need a title to feel secure. But she just wants someone she’s confident in regardless of what you might call her. She doesn’t need a label to be loyal. While she’s used to her freedom and flirting and being able to talk to anyone she wants and have any sort of relationship, what she enjoys most is looking at someone across the room and knowing they are the best one there. When someone who isn’t used to a relationship they value when they finally get it.
She’ll put in the effort.
She puts in the effort. In the past, she never knew what it was like to have feelings and gestures reciprocated. But she’s always given people her best whether they deserved it or not. Relationships are 50/50 thing and she’s always brought what she needed to, to the table that’s easy for her. What isn’t is knowing she doesn’t have to give more than that and simply accepting what someone else is willing to give.
She appreciates everything.
She says thank you a little too often. If a series of relationships and fear of history repeating itself taught her anything it’s about gratitude. At first, she’s going to be doubtful and think it’s too good to be true or there are motives but as she gets used to someone and learns to trust them, she’s going to be the type that never stops showing you she cares. She knows what it feels like to have someone who doesn’t care, so she doesn’t do that.
She’ll be brutally honest.
She knows what it’s like to be lied to and led on and hurt. She’ll never do that to someone else. She’ll never toy with someone’s emotions if she’s unsure of her own. She’ll tell you exactly what she’s thinking and feeling and it might throw you off at first. Maybe you’ll doubt her too. But the girl who is scared to get hurt will never be the one that hurts others.
She’ll be more guarded than most.
You’ll realize quickly how guarded she is. That there are a lot of layers and baggage to her. Baggage that isn’t even her fault or her responsibility. But as you get to know her you’ll learn her more. And when she trusts you enough to tell you about her past you’ll suddenly understand why she is the way she is and that she blames herself for a lot of it. It’s your understanding and confidence in her that will make her heal a bit.
She’ll love harder than anyone you’ve ever met.
When you get to the point where she trusts you with her heart, all of her walls are going to come crumbling down. And this person that seemed a bit jaded and difficult at first really just needed the right type of love. If you end up being that person, she’s going to love you and change the way you love yourself. Because girls who are scared of love just haven’t found the right one yet. But they have the biggest hearts that are worthy of it.
Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.
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