Loving someone who has walls up is not a careless decision. It takes a conscious commitment to assign yourself as the one to take the first strike at the concrete surrounding their heart. These are people who have painted over their fragile skin with instant-ready cement, blocking out the feel of fingerprints and the echo of empty promises. They tell themselves that all the little nuances that make them secret romantics have to stay hidden away.
But despite it all — despite the walls and the “do not enter” sign they hang around their neck — you might just fall for them. And in some miracle of ways, they might fall for you, too.
For them, loving you will be like walking into a construction zone: messy and just a little bit dangerous. But it all will come with the promise of tearing down old walls to make room for something open and stable.
They won’t promise that they’ll be able to hit some magic switch and all of a sudden, they’ll act differently than they always have. To say so would be a lie, and both of you know it. It’s going to take some time. Walls are a stubborn sort of architecture, and they won’t come down without a fight. Just know that the first few nights you spend together, they really will want to cuddle up close to you and burrow themselves in your arms. They’ll want to, more than anything. But they also won’t want to seem needy. They’ll sleep with their backs to you, and they’ll pray that you’ll be more courageous than they are. They’ll sleep with crossed fingers and an anxious heartbeat, hoping that eventually you’ll pull them back to you and you’ll show them that it’s okay to be endearing.
They are going to shut down. All people do, at some point or another. But for the ones who have gotten used to a life of distance, the first sharp bite of unpleasant reality is going to sting the most. During your first fight, they probably won’t say a word. They probably won’t even look at you. But they’ll come around, eventually. And they will apologize for being so distant and stubborn.
They will try not to punish you for their past, and at first, they likely will fail. As hard as this unplaced punishment may seem, try not to lose your temper. If they’ve let you know that they’re making the attempts to work with you, instead of against you like they have most others, you’re on your way. All love requires work. You may be paying for someone else’s mistakes at the moment. And it may be inherently hard. But if you’re fighting together, you’ll soon reap the rewards of someone who has ventured farther into their heart than anyone else dared. A little patience goes so far.
At the heart of it all, if a person with walls has decided they love you, they mean it. To have walls means to block yourself out, and when love nestles itself in the basement of your heart, it becomes a permanent resident banging on walls and demanding to be tended to. So although at times it may seem this fight is a one sided battle, do not forget that just because you cannot see the war raging on does not mean it doesn’t exist.
If you’re smart, you know a good thing when you see one. And this person with the walls seemingly unbreakable just might be the best thing you’ll have seen in a long, long time. So when the break down and the fight seem too much, remember what you’re fighting for. Remember than underneath the layers of doubt and distance is a person with a heart that could have been molded just for you. Loving someone with walls is never easy. But sometimes, if you’re lucky, the fight is more than worth it.