8 Reasons to Choose the Girl with the Complicated Past.

You won’t be her first love. But maybe, if you’re lucky, you can be her last.

She has already felt the highs and lows that love has to offer. She has experienced every shade of every emotion that life could throw at her.

She is a challenge—a work-in-progress of sorts. But if you are willing to step up to the plate and love her right, the girl with the complicated past could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Here’s why:

1. She knows what she wants.

There is a good chance that she has been burned in past relationships. Maybe she was the heartbroken—or the heartbreaker herself. Each relationship acquaints us a little better with our own heart, and with each relationship failure, we become increasingly aware of what we want in our future partner.

She isn’t going to be the woman that up and leaves you for someone else, because once she knows what she wants and finds it, she isn’t going to let it go.

2. She knows pain.

She has been there before; she knows how it can hurt like hell. And she will be hellbent to not cause anyone else the kind of pain that she has been through.

She will be gentle with your heart, because she knows what it feels like to have her heart’s well-being completely disregarded.

3. She isn’t going to waste your time.

Her past relationships may have left her resentful of her time and effort wasted. If she sees that a relationship isn’t right, she won’t let it drag on for the sake of saving your feelings.

She knows that hanging on too long can be even more painful than letting go.

4. She loves hard.

When she finds a man who appreciates her, she will love him with every ounce of her being. She knows what it feels like to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate her, so when she comes across a man who does she won’t let him go. She’ll appreciate him even more, because she has spent time with the wrong men.

She can recognize a good thing when she has it, because she’s been part of some not-so-good things.

5. She knows what she deserves.

No man needs a pushover—the “yes, dear” type we see in old sitcoms who simply does as she is told and doesn’t question, never challenges. The girl with the complicated past knows how she deserves to be treated, and she is damn sure to let you know when you are not treating her accordingly.

She refuses to be your doormat or your emotional dumping ground; she will challenge you. She will make you a better partner—and a stronger man.

6. She is strong.

When something has been broken, it rebuilds stronger. This is what has happened with the complicated girl. She has been forced to rebuild herself time and time again, each time becoming a little bit stronger.

She isn’t invincible, but she’s close. She is well aware of her strength, and she knows what she can do alone.

7. She only depends on herself.

She has put her faith in another man before, and she has been burned. She knows what it’s like to depend on another person besides herself—and the extreme disappointment when they let her down. She is self-sufficient, and knows the only person she can truly count on is herself. She holds her independence above everything else.

She will never need you—she is strong and self-sufficient—but, she will want you.

8. Her love is the life-long kind.

When she finds what she is looking for, it’s game over. She isn’t looking to play immature games with your heart, as she has unwillingly played them before. She is looking for something real, something that she can honor and cherish.

When she finds it, she holds on.

She will challenge you. She will frustrate you. She will make you earn her trust, and won’t give away any pieces of herself for free. She will be guarded, but once you break through her walls you will see all that she is. Like at the end of a difficult hike, once you arrive at the destination you will be able to stand back and admire the beauty around you.

Her past heartbreaks have built her into the beautifully strong woman now standing in front of you.

Originally Featured on Elephant Journal, Written by Emily Cutshaw

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