Dating a girl without a father will be one of the most confusing and exciting things you may do. You will do things all new couples do, joke, share silly stories and learn as much about each other as possible. There will feel as though there is an intensity to it that you won’t understand. She will be wanting to find out as much as she can about you. In a way you will feel as though she has a checklist and your answers are being evaluated. It will be conflicted with a lightness, that makes everything fun and exciting.
You notice that she actively tries to make it fun. She needs it to be fun. Exciting. Fun and Light. She knows heaviness all too well.
She will be careful with her words. You notice she never says “parents” and averts her eyes when someone mentions their father. Was that pain you saw in her eyes? It will have passed so quickly you will wonder if you imagined it.
She does not flinch when someone asks about her family.
You find yourself wondering how many times she has practiced the response. Her voice never breaks. There is not even the smallest hesitation. You picture her standing in front of the mirror, practicing what she will say when someone asks about her dad.
It seems so flawless, was there a time when she couldn’t even spit out the words? Did she choke on her grief? You are left wondering who it is she is trying to convince?
You will feel her alternately leaning in for more and pushing you away. You will have no idea whether she is in or out for a while.
But, it will be clear when you have achieved her trust. You will see her asking for things like simply being held. She has never asked this before. This is her slowly lowering her shield, allowing you in. Learning to trust you, despite what she feels is safe. You will feel her hesitation.
She will shy away from discussing problems. You don’t understand how someone so feisty, so full of opinions and seeming confidence, can go mute when confrontation approaches.
You know by now, she is not a pushover, so you will not understand why she is so scared of doing anything that will upset you. If you ask her about this she will act as though you are making it up. You will get the clear message not to dig deeper.
Don’t rest too easy yet though. You get too close, things get too real and she runs.
She is so ready to run at the first sign of trouble, that you feel she has her running shoes at the ready.
A girl without a father does not want to rock the boat because she has been submersed longer than she cares to explain.
You noticed she self deprecates, calls herself messed up like it’s a known fact. It is in such conflict with who you think she is, you won’t understand. It will make you wonder if you really know her at all.
Here is the truth:
It should not be surprising that conflict makes her skin crawl. It should not be strange that she wants to avoid anything that puts a challenge between her and someone she loves, because people can leave.
This is the most terrifying thing she has ever learned. If the one man she ever truly needed left when she was not done needing him, it is fair game for anyone else to decide it’s not worth it to stay.
To decide she’s not worth it.
None of this will be obvious. She doesn’t want people’s pity. She wants everyone to know her for her strength, not her vulnerabilities. She wants to be seen as a survivor, not someone who needs to depend on anyone.
Depending is too risky for her. She has gone it alone this long, and she can continue because putting her trust in someone else’s hands is too risky.
If you have made it this far without her running, and determined she is worth fighting for. Then love her in all ways. Show her that you are not going anywhere, and that she is worth it!
And you will be met with a bond that will last the test of time.