It is of little importance whether this is a blossoming friendship or something more, because the woman who doesn’t trust easily will treat every new person she meets in a similar way. If she thinks this could be the beginning of something beautiful, she will cautiously divulge herself, but in fragments — the ridiculous cat meme that makes her laugh so loud she loses her voice, random idiosyncrasies (ie. will only eat ice cream on brisk autumnal days and enjoys frivolously skipping down escalators), and eventually, dear moments she holds close, like a beloved memory from her childhood. She will notice everything about you, from the minutiae you casually mention in passing to the way you treat strangers on the street, and continually analyze the relationship long after it’s been established.
She is the woman with layers upon layers that she rethreaded herself after the crumbling, in which she narrowly escaped from the cracks and grew an impermeable shell, casting away the gingerly woven cocoon she once used to be.
The woman who doesn’t trust easily sincerely wants to be fathomed, despite comprehending the deep immensity to which she can be guarded, which she also knows is reason enough for anyone to walk away. She is the one who, at first, seems like the fiercely independent woman, reassured and confident from the way she speaks to how she carries herself in a crowded room, and she is because she is fully aware of herself and what she is capable of. But she is also the one whom you might misconstrue as being commitment-phobic, since she doesn’t produce attachments easily.
She might conjure a familiarity within you, perhaps one of disappointment, for she is the woman who wants nothing from you, yet longs to give freely — a desire she will most likely keep to herself.
She will hold you intimately close and at arm’s length, because the woman who doesn’t trust easily is prone to fear of getting too close too soon. She longs more than anything to become soft, and it’s the slightest sliver of a chance of getting hurt again that makes her pull back. She doesn’t do this suddenly — she reflects upon these chances tentatively, weighing the cost of unraveling herself. Some days this will consume her immediately, like an imminent flooding in a small room, and it’s the inexplicable moments of this somber realization of not being able to drain out the water, of having faded stains on the wall as the only remnant from this disaster, that will make her retract.
The woman who doesn’t trust easily will know how incredibly flawed she is, and she will wish more than anything she didn’t let the world break her so swiftly, back when she was young and filled with hope.
But maybe you will be the one who reminds her of what hope feels like.
Maybe you will be the one who makes her believe honest and genuine people still exist in this world. Whether she was broken once or a hundred ways before, know the woman who doesn’t trust easily didn’t use to be this hard. She was once like you, capable of loving unconditionally, albeit to the wrong people who made her realize she was only living in a fantasy. The woman who doesn’t trust easily is slowly learning to trust herself, and accepts that pain can transform even the ugliest of things into ones of pure beauty.
And while she understands that just because someone broke her trust before, she knows it doesn’t mean you will too.
But getting to know someone takes time, and friendship alone is something that needs to be watered, not a seed that magically sprouts overnight.
At one point, all women have been the girl with trust issues, and whether it was a parent or an ex-boyfriend who initially broke our trust, sometimes we remain that girl because we have withered from the inconsolable agony of letting someone in only to have them break us. The girl with trust issues will either be stuck in that destructive mindset from reopening the wounds that dismantled her, but the woman who doesn’t trust easily will be consciously working her way out of it, and look back on the months or maybe years she bled for as a season for learning.
To love a woman who doesn’t trust easily means you will need to be gentle with her. You will need to assure her, and reassure her often. Be mindful of your words and reinforce them with actions. Never make her feel taken for granted, especially when there is conflict. Encourage open communication and be honest with her. Invest in your uninterrupted time together, do not hold the past against her, and be present even when you’re not physically together. Continue putting in effort to make her feel appreciated, because she will continue evaluating the relationship until she wholly trusts. At the same time, expect that she reciprocate the effort and communication back; strong relationships need to have a tantamount amount of affection.
Lastly, you will need to be patient, because the woman who doesn’t trust easily is still capable of loving deeply and faithfully, if not more, because she is a woman who will give you all or nothing, and anything worth having takes time.