1. She’s not being awkward, she’s just unsure.
She’s unsure of how to act around you, she’s unsure of how to act around your friends, she’s unsure of how to be a good girlfriend — she’s just unsure. For so long it was just her. She didn’t have to be anything other than herself, and now she’s taking on new challenges, new labels, a new part of her identity. She wants to be a part of your life, of her partner’s life, but navigating that life while still maintaining the one she’s built for herself is going to be challenging for some time.
2. She’s probably going to be terrible at communicating for a while.
She’s not used to having to look at her phone while she’s working, or respond to G-Chats that weren’t work related right away. She’s unaccustomed to having to explain herself or make plans that involve someone else. She’s just not great at communicating, and will likely have to relearn that skill.
3. She doesn’t want to fight.
Fighting and getting into arguments is incredibly vulnerable for anyone, and especially vulnerable for someone who hasn’t been intimately involved with someone for a while. Fighting is messy and heated and brings out people’s animalistic side. Go easy on her. Make things discussions rather than all out brawls until she’s comfortable exposing herself and her raw emotions to you. She’ll appreciate the patience.
4. Her personal space is incredibly important to her.
Her space is hers. It’s a world and a safe spot that she built entirely for herself. So even if she’s making room for you, finding space for you within her own, she still needs moments where that space is still dedicated to just her. Where’s she’s on her own. It’s not that she’s a loner, it’s just what she knows. And it’s how she recharges. She’ll be a better girlfriend because of it.
5. Her friends will probably be really domineering and protective.
She’s probably had her heartbroken and her trust shattered many times before and they were the ones with the metaphorical glue and the bandaids to help piece her back together. They are her family, they are her confidants, they are her army. And they will protect her like no other. So be ready.
6. She is stubborn to a fault.
She’s lived her life exactly as she saw fit for so long, so getting another consistent opinion is going to be a shakeup. She’s not trying to be difficult or a bitch or problematic, she’s simply adjusting. She’s getting accustomed to the idea of her life not being 100% about her anymore. But she will adjust, she will get more comfortable. And then that stubbornness will start to dissipate and feel less confrontational, and morph into a quirk that you actually grow to love.
7. She’s kind of a handful, in more ways than one.
She’s opinionated, independent, slightly closed off, and will constantly say things like, “Don’t worry about it,” and, “I’ve got this.” She will probably be the most difficult girl you’ve ever dated to get to know, to get to open up, and to settle in with. However like all challenges, she’s worth it. She’s just only worth it to people who aren’t afraid of handfuls, and aren’t intimidated by women who can tend towards being difficult to love.
8. She may have to relearn how to be in a relationship/be truly with another person.
Including someone into your life and making them a priority is hard for ANYONE, but it’s especially hard for a girl who is used to a life where her only priority was taking care of and looking out for herself. She has to learn how to incorporate someone else into her life, into her world. So lead by example. Show her how much you want her around, want her in your life. Show her how you want to love her and in turn, you’ll be showing how you want to be loved back.
9. She is not sure that she can trust you.
The thing about being alone is that really, it’s the safest place you can be. You don’t have to put faith in anyone, you don’t have to rely on anyone. You don’t have to trust anyone and then, in turn, you don’t have to worry about what happens when/if they break that trust. Trust to girls who are used to being on their own is more sacred than anything, and the hardest thing for them to give away.
10. She probably does not thinks she needs you.
“I don’t need any help.”
“I’ve got this don’t worry about it.”
“This is not a big deal.”
They are all basically her mantras. What she’s saying is, “I don’t need you.” but what she means is, “I’m scared of what will happen if I ever really do.” SO. Even though realistically she doesn’t need you, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be around. Prove that you WANT to be around, and she’ll allow herself to need you. And then eventually, she’ll want you there as much as she realizes she needs you there, too.
11. Being vulnerable is one of her biggest insecurities and fears.
Being vulnerable and letting people see the “real” you is scary for most people, but it’s especially scary to someone who has kept her life and details of said life private for so long. Vulnerability takes trust, it takes time. And vulnerability likely makes her incredibly uncomfortable. It won’t always be a touchy spot for her or something that she refuses to do/be. But, for some time at least, know that those moments aren’t easy for her.
12. Joking about her single status or her previously alone years is a sensitive spot.
It feels like a reminder that she was somehow “not normal” or “wrong” for being on her own for that time. It’s making a joke out of something that she grew to love about herself, that at for a long time was probably really difficult for her to love, and so pick at it is belittling. Just don’t go there.
13. At least once (probably more) she’s going to tell you she doesn’t believe in dating, relationships, or love.
Because that’s what she told herself over and over while continuously being burned from dating, relationships, or love. Maybe she’s repeating it to seem chill, or seem like she doesn’t care. But really, she’s just saying it to convince herself. Like it will theoretically make the sting of potentially losing you duller, and less painful. She wants to believe in those things, she just doesn’t want to give them too much power.
14. Being alone is, and likely always will be, her safe space.
Even through all of the difficulty, the uncertainty, the awkwardness, and the scared of being loved moments, she’s still going to want her alone time. She can love you wholeheartedly, completely, and unapologetically and still treasure the times when she’s by herself. And because the fact that she loves herself as much as she does is likely one of the things you find most attractive about her, you’ll respect that.
And she’ll love you even more for it.