1. She’s hard to get to know. She’s been hurt before, she isn’t just going to be an open book for anyone to pick up. She values her privacy and wants to make sure anyone she shares sensitive information with is worth the risk of opening up to.
2. She’s more interested in learning about you than talking about herself. Before she trusts you, she has to know you. She wants to know that you’re trustworthy and that you’re not going to put her on blast or make her regret opening up to you. She won’t tell her secrets to just anyone, she’s going to wait for you to prove you’re worth it.
3. She won’t sleep with you right away. It’s not because she doesn’t want to, or because she won’t (eventually) have a high libido. She needs to see you wait around to prove that’s not all you’re interested in.
4. She’s cautious when meeting someone new. Long after she trusts you, you notice her being shy around new people when she’s not a shy person in general. You can see that her nervousness isn’t unique to you, she’s hesitant to open up to everyone.
5. She wants to prove to you that she’s enough. She’s been made to feel like she’s nothing before so she has a drive to prove to the people she cares about that this notion is false. She’ll be extra dependable and refuse to make promises she can’t keep.
6. She wants you to protect her. Not because she’s weak. Not because she can’t take care of herself. But because she’s used to watching out for herself and knowing someone else has her back is a complete game-changer.
7. She wants you to have confidence in her. Her greatest fear is that she will fail you. Even if she cares about doing the best by you, even if she’s smart enough to give you what you need — she’ll still worry about it. She wants to make sure she’s capable (and you believe she’s capable) of being the absolute best partner you could have.
8. She’s stronger inside than most people. She’s cautious because she’s almost expecting something to go wrong. Don’t judge her by how many times she has fallen, judge her by how much strength it takes to get back up.
9. She needs you the most when you’re fighting. She has a difficult time with conflict because as distant as she can be, she cares deeply about your feelings. When you’re not aligned is when she most needs your reassurance that you two will figure it out together.
10. She lets you initiate. When you initiate, it reinforces your interest in her and eases her doubts that you’re not as into it as she is.
11. She loves you fiercely. The reason she bothers being guarded to begin with is because she fiercely believes in love. She wants it more than anything and she’s willing to do the difficult work of doing something that’s hurt her before. If you can make it through this beginning period, she’ll be dedicated to you forever.