Take care of her.
Not because she can’t take care of herself. She can. She has. And she’s thrived living alone. But she deserves to be taken care of.
Mentally. Listen when she speaks and remember what she says. Because so many people that came before you didn’t take the time to want to understand her.
Emotionally. Break down her walls because everyone before you taught her she had to build them up so high she was afraid to let someone in. Show her she can be vulnerable. So her sensitivity is not a sign of weakness but rather a strength those before you didn’t appreciate.
Physically. Touch her in a way that heals her. Show what sex really means and it isn’t something to just make you feel good. Show her you respect her body for everyone who never did before you. For everyone who ever saw her as a woman to fulfill their needs show her they were wrong.
Make her a priority.
Because so many people that came before you treated her like an option. Show her you’re choosing her every single day. That the loyalty she so carelessly gives is going to someone who deserves her. Talk to her. Make time to her. Care about how her day was and make her feel good. Because so many people before you didn’t. Change your schedule if it means seeing her. Choose her first. And in return she will give you her absolute best.
At her worst. At her best. Stick it out through both. Tell her she’s beautiful even if she doesn’t believe it. She’s overcome with insecurities from people who made her feel not good enough. And there are going to be moments where she wonders if she’s good enough for you. If she deserves you. Meanwhile you are looking at her and wondering how YOU got so lucky. She’s not pompous or arrogant or cocky. She’s just trying her best to be the best but it never seemed like enough before you.
Tell her she’s beautiful every single day.
Because she always will be. And that honesty has screwed her over so many times in the past when it came to people who told her what she wanted to hear but didn’t mean it. She learned to only trust herself. Because of that she became guarded and jaded and afraid. Be honest with her because she deserves it.
Understand she’s not perfect but she tries. Acknowledge her insecurities but build up her strength. Understand she’s been critisized her entire life so when she asks your opinion what she’s really asking is approval. Is she good enough? Is she pretty enough? Should she change. So many people in her life wanted to change her and turn her into something she wasn’t. It took everything in her to remain true to herself. Fighting the hardest battle there is when everyone tells you you’re wrong and that you should change. But she never allowed people’s unkindness to change her even when it hurt.
Love her harder than you have ever loved anyone because the girls who deserve love the most and love the best have a history of the complete opposite and that’s what they learned from.
Understand you can probably get away with treating her badly but don’t be another person who turns into another sad story she just wants to forget. Be the exception.
Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words
This post first appeared at Thought Catalog
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