I've known a young woman for about six months now and I am very much in love with her. The first time I met her, I was instantly very attracted to her. I thought she was gorgeous and charming but left things alone. I didn't think she even noticed me (we work together) until a couple months after we first met. We started talking casually (which she initiated) and got to know each other. She asked me to meet her for dinner a few days later because her Mom and childhood friends were in town. She was very happy when I showed and was really excited to introduce me to everyone. We continued to get closer, talking everyday, sharing our passions, childhood memories, laughing together. She also opened up to me about her insecurities.
She told me she loved me first, but I soon realized that I was very much in love with her. I even bought her a few "just because" gifts (things I knew she enjoyed or made her laugh) and she was really happy to receive them. She told me I'm her type, she's attracted to me, has brought up a long term relationship with me, and often says, "I love you." The only problem is that she was devestated by the end of a long term relationship. She told me that she was depressed for a bit but got over him. I told her, not too long ago, that I was in love with her. She smiled, hugged me several times, and told me that she loved me very much multiple times. She said it made her feel a lot better, but she had just ended her previous relationship. (I knew this but I didnt want to bottle my feelings in once I was completely sure how I felt.) She told me she still distrusted men, except for me. She told me not to be any different with her, and still tells me she says "I love you" often.
She is a great girl and I want to give her the space/time she needs. We are still very close. I don't want to smother her and I haven't brought up wanting to be with her since. She didnt "let me down easy" or mention ruining a friendship, and I really don't want to be the friend who thinks we're more than what we really are. But when she's told me what she wants in a relationship, asked me if I would ever lie to her, and has discussed marriage to me (which shockingly didnt scare me), I think she has real romantic feelings for me. I just feel that she's not quite ready to be in a relationship, and doesnt want to be hurt again.
Do I just need to let her decide things on her own? Should I give her more space? I dont want to give her so much space I become just a friend or she thinks I don't feel that way anymore.
I too have had relationships end badly and really it's human nature to learn from past mistakes and proceed with caution towards the next adventure. Even though when I first started dating my husband he too had to pay for the past mistakes of my ex. For example my ex was a cheater and a liar and my husband couldn't be further from that but my heart was broken so badly that I was mistrustful and wanted to protect myself from every having to feel like I did with my ex so my husband understood and knew this going in and he was very patient with me. Long story it took me a good long while to realize for myself that not all men were like my ex, but one really bad relationship is hard if not impossible to get over. She may just need time and by you being there and not pushing her, she may realize that you are different from her ex. I would honestly put my cards on the table and tell her how I felt then also let her know that you are willing to give her what she needs and if it's space then respect that and let her have it. Don't be hurt or mad by what she says if it's not what you want to hear, just trust that she has to do what is right for her.
Thank you for the great advice. I have been cautious about pressuring her. I've never had any interest in flings and have never cheated on a girlfriend. She's told me that I'm different and a great guy. I don't mind doing the extra things (checking in frequently, etc.) to earn her trust. From the conversations we've had, I feel she does trust me but she may not be ready to be vulnerable in a relationship yet. She usually seems very strong and confident, but sometimes she'll tell me that she doesn't feel as pretty as other girls or is surprised that I talk about her with friends and family. I was shocked she felt that way, but I reassure her that she is gorgeous and means the world to me. I compliment her often, but worry that I may not be giving her enough space.
She knows I love her and want to be with her. I want to give her the space she needs, but I don't want her to think I'm losing interest in her or don't want to wait for her.
Don’t be too cautious - put it all out there on where you would like to go and let things lie where they may - otherwise she’ll bore of you and move on when she is actually ready. Remember, women always want a man to be a man - not some wimp who’s is waiting for the green light. If you remain being a wimp and letting her steer the ship, once she’s mentally ready, she’ll get rid of you for someone who actually acts like he’s in control. All this touchy / feely attitude is drivel - look at it this way - what would yor grandfather / father do, sit back and “hope” she turns around - nope. Be a man and take control.
I believe I can relate to this girl. In the fact that I had a long term relationship & soon after met my now boyfriend for over a year. It was hard coming out of a relationship of 6years having lived with this previous guy. A lot of things were horribly wrong in my last relationship which did carry over into the new one. I would say mostly trust issues came of it. To give you a little idea I will say; the last guy I was with I fell head over heels with. I never doubted his love for me & he told me he loved me & we were together all the time. But he cheated on me. I remember that moment in time(it was slow & painful like the Matrix) when I found out he had cheated. It was such a stake to my heart. From then on I believed love didnt mean anything. This person I loved so much did me wrong. It was & still is a significant turning point in my life & changed my outlook forever on love. Love can be real but still be broken. So the question comes up...will everyone who loves me & I love hurt me? Is it a part of the male genetic code to search for variety & feed his sexual needs? It doesnt matter how beautiful you are you still may not be good enough. Do things over time eventually get old & worn down to where it is not stimulating or exciting enough to be forever love? She is probably feeling somewhere along these lines.
My current boyfriend turned my life around. He is the most respectful & attentive guy I could have ever asked for. I would say the most important thing is treat her like a prize. To make it known to her & everyone you know that you are taken by her. She will see this & her walls slowly come down. It took 2 years to get to where I am now & what a glorious place to be. In the end we give the people close to us the power to hurt us. We just have to hope it doesnt happen. It is worth it. She just has to take that chance. Right now I dont think she wants to. I would give her time but show her you won't run off because she needs the time. Show her she is so amazing you will wait, call, text, chase her & be her friend until she gives in. Thats what mine did. I love him! =)