To the independent girl, love is never about necessity but about desire. A relationship is not something she must have to feel complete, but a connection she wants. She wants to be whole alongside someone, to grow with that person, to let them in and share her life fully with them.
She is used to being on her own, comfortable in her own skin, perfectly okay making her own rules and following her own little plan. But when love finds her, her way of life is challenged (in good ways). And sometimes it’s hard to love the girl who’s been surviving solo for so long, but this type of woman, the one who dances to her own melody, is not afraid to fall for you. And this is how you love her:
1. Let her bloom.
She has been growing her own garden around herself, filling it with flowers and dreams that inspire her, that encourage her, that give her the strength to push through every difficult day. When you came along, she wanted to share her little safe haven with, but as you love her, you must still let her keep her own little space. Don’t come in and trample through her garden. Don’t destroy her flowers to plant your own. Don’t think that you know what’s best, that you know how she should be, that she would bloom better in your soil — let her bloom. And grow alongside her.
2. Be present.
She’s not used to having someone who cares, someone who wants to know, someone who is interested in her daily life because she’s been on her own for so long. Show her that you’re there and that her thoughts are important to you. Show her that you want to be by her side. Show her that you’re not leaving.
3. Share your world.
She has built up her own life around her, filled with family and friends, work and passions, goals and (a little selfish) ways of living. When she falls for you, she wants to know you. She wants to know all the things you hide, all the memories from the past, all the random pieces that have made you, you. Show her. Show her who you are and who you’ve been, where you’ve gone and what has created your strength. Show her how beautiful it is to open your heart and life to another person.
Love her for all she is, even her fiercely independent parts, for those parts make the wonderfully strong woman she is.
4. Do not confuse distance with disinterest.
No matter how big her affection grows for you, she will still crave her aloneness. She will still have mornings when she leaves your room early to write on the patio or get a coffee and go for a walk. She will still have nights when she’ll want to sleep in her own bed, or spend the evening alone. Do not worry that she’s wandering off with someone else or any less passionate about you. Do not think that she’s pulling away, or not interested. She craves her alone time; she needs her own space. This doesn’t mean she’s not into you. Please don’t mistake her as noncommittal, and please don’t distance yourself in response.
5. Be both patient and passionate.
She won’t always fall easily. She’ll be stubborn. She’ll push you away at times because there’s a little pull in the back of her mind telling her she’s find on her own. Don’t run. Be passionate about your feelings for her — tell her, show her, fight for her. But also be patient. Know that she’s just getting used to sharing her love with someone else. Know that she is crazy for you, but does not want to give up her sense of self. Show her she doesn’t have to. Love her for all she is, even her fiercely independent parts, for those parts make the wonderfully strong woman she is.
Get your copy of Marisa Donnelly’s book, Somewhere on a Highway, here.