She trusts herself most of all, enough to know that she would never choose to be with someone who didn’t deserve her. She does not love arrogantly, but she does love with the expectation that she will be treated well, respected, and supported as much as she will do the same for her partner. She has worked hard to finally love herself – to take her flaws with her strengths, to believe she is deserving of happiness, to be comfortable in her own skin. She has worked hard to gain the confidence that allows her to focus on her own story and abstain from comparing it to everyone else’s around her.
And when she looks for love, she looks for someone who can continue on this path with her, on the path to loving yourself. Because she has learned that once you can do that, your heart has so much more room to love others even more deeply.
She loves daringly and freely. She is still very much afraid of pain, but she’s had enough dark days to understand that they always end, that she always makes it out on the other side.
She knows who she is outside of her relationship, she knows that she is whole entirely, without her partner. Which is why it is so easy for her to fall into love and to allow it to consume her in the best way possible. She’s not afraid to be vulnerable, because even if things fall apart, she knows how to put herself back together. She knows how to be by herself, she knows how to enjoy her own company. She knows that her life still has meaning and purpose outside of the one she loves, even if she loves them above all else. That is why she continues to give her heart out to those she knows will take care of it.
She understands the difference between preferences and necessities in a partner. Maybe she’d greatly enjoy dating a tall man or a petite woman, but when it comes down to the heart of it, she knows that all of those things are just bonuses – that what she really needs in a partner is emotional connection, mutual encouragement, unwavering loyalty, or whatever else it is that is intensely important to her. She has felt passion and infatuation many times over, sometimes so much so that she could practically taste the feeling. But she understands the difference between infatuation and love. She understands the experiences that are fleetingly addictive, and the ones that are unbroken, substantial, and made to last long after the initial high.
She is not angry, suspicious, or insecure in her relationships. She’s been through enough and seen enough to trust her gut instinct. She knows that there is a right way to feel pain in love and a wrong way to feel pain in love.
She knows that the right way comes with the knowledge that this person has their hand wrapped around your heart, that you trust them enough to be gentle with it, and that you know that fully loving them means giving in to the fact that if anything ever happened to them, you’d be broken for a long time. She knows that the wrong way to feel pain comes when someone hurts you over and over again, even if it’s unintentional, because they value their own comfort and security above your happiness. She does not toy around with these kinds of relationships. When she feels the wrong kind of pain, she walks away, no matter how much she doesn’t want to.
She is drawn to challenge. Not in a sexual-tension-filled, prime-time drama kind of way. But in the way that promises that the person she chooses will continue to inspire her, stretch her, and dare her for the rest of her life. She wants someone who sees unlimited potential within her, and someone who treats her with tenderness without ever thinking of her as fragile.
But most of all, she loves fiercely. She loves with a spark. She believes that walls are cowardly and love is brave. She’d risk pain rather than sleep safely in the corner. She keeps her eyes wide and her heart wider. She loves in the way that she knows best. All you have to do is deserve her.