“We should love, not fall in love, because everything that falls, gets broken.” —Taylor Swift
I never realized how broken I was until I found myself back in the field trying to get over a breakup. It wasn't until I found someone I liked that I discovered how guarded I was. I realized that, as much as I wanted to keep them in my past, I just didn't seem to want to forget about every failed relationship.
The thing is, while I found myself unworthy and undeserving of my new interest's affection, they chose to overlook every (maybe not every, but most) fault about me. They were willing.
Upon reflecting on our time together, I realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing, wonderful and understanding partner. For anyone who chooses to love a broken man or woman, here are seven things you should keep in mind:
1. It's not you. It's us.
There will be moments in the relationship where they'll be reminded of something their exes did, or maybe you'll do something that'll remind them of someone from the past. This is not your fault, nor should you let this flashback reminder affect your present. In time, that memory or reminder will cease to affect them as much as it may now.
2. We're guarded.
We've had our hearts broken and our emotions toyed with. It's only natural that we now keep them guarded and protected, but that isn't to say they'll stay hidden forever. We will open ourselves up to you little by little. Just be patient. Remember, all good things are worth waiting for. If you stick with us, we will make it worth your time.
3. We would rather hear about your day than talk about ours.
There may be times when you'll feel like you are doing all the talking in the relationship, but it's simply because we would rather the focus on you than us. We don't like to be the center of attention. At the same time, we know the risks and vulnerability that comes with sharing personal and private aspects of our lives. Just like with our emotions, over time, we will start to share pieces of ourselves. Sooner or later, you will start to see the puzzle we are made of.
4. We're selective social butterflies.
A broken man or woman is typically an extrovert, or in my case, an introvert stuck in an extrovert's body. I may pose all the skills of a social outgoing individual, but I am very selective of who I will share things with. When you date a broken person, he or she may seem very confident and put together. But a broken person never just discloses anything to anyone.
5. It will be difficult to trust someone again.
Trust is one of the hardest things when it comes to dating a broken man or woman. We will have our walls and guards up, but this isn't our choice. You can blame our exes for breaking us and making us doubt the motives of every person after them. Patience is a virtue, and that is all we will ever ask you to understand. Don't break our walls. Just give us time and we will show you the way in.
6. We will be careful about showing and giving affection.
While we're out on a stroll, we may flinch or pull back when you reach for our hand. Don't take offense. Like trust, we are a little wary of showing or giving affection. It is our way of gauging the relationship and slowly becoming comfortable with this sudden display of PDA. It won't always be easy, but give it time. Once we are comfortable, you'll need a stick to ward us off.
7. If we let you in, we really like you.
Congratulations. You've put up with our fears, insecurities and trust issues, we will let you in with open arms and an open heart. We don't just let anyone in, especially if there's a chance of a possible broken heart. But despite it all, you've stuck it out with us. You took a chance and now we are taking a chance to see what the future holds for us.
For those who choose to date us broken folks, give us time. We promise to return your love twofold. We will treat you with the utmost respect, shower you in love and praise. We also promise to not break your heart. How could we hurt someone who is willing to take us in our broken state and patiently try to put us back together? If that's not a person worth being with, then who is?