You meet her and are instantly attracted to her wit and lightning quick bantering skills. There’s a joyousness to your interactions. She keeps you on your toes, never failing to have something funny or interesting to say.
Your conversations always feel so natural. She is as much your buddy as she is a romantic partner.
And that’s the kind of combination you’ve been looking for – a brilliant woman you want to kiss and touch, but can still make you laugh until you bust a gut. With her, everything is better, more comedic.
But then you notice something. There’s a wall up that you didn’t see at first. You make an off-handed comment about vulnerability, that it seems like she’s keeping you at a distance. And she jokes. Because this is what she always does, right?
Nobody ever thinks of the funny girl as also the strong one. The jokester is somehow just a clown, performing and doing whatever they can to get a good reaction. No one considers how this came to be, why the jester decided to put on a show in the first place.
So, you’ll let it go. For now.
The jokes will continue. You’ll see glimmers of something deeper – a pain she’s been covering up. Maybe she lets you in a little bit, but quickly puts the breaks on. She doesn’t let anything get too serious, or too dark.
Here’s the thing: her humor is her survival. The jokes are armor. Her ability to find a way to laugh at herself is how she managed to get through the hardest times. The biggest heartaches.
Don’t you see?
The funny girl had to become funny. There was no other way to make it out alive.
And with enough time, with enough comfort, she’ll share those parts of herself with you. She’ll allow you to see the things that aren’t funny at all. She’ll invite you in, little by little.
Don’t underestimate how huge this is. She has dropped the performance. She doesn’t have a shield up. This is her, vulnerable. This is her, aware that you could hurt her.
Because even the funniest person has something about them, about what they’ve been through, that is far from funny. Give her time. And when she decides to stop laughing, be there to remind her it’s okay.
Remind her you love her, through the laughter AND the tears.