“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen,” wrote Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
Here are 20 things to know when you love someone like this:
1. They have no problem apologizing and admitting fault.
What they struggle with is admitting when someone has hurt them.
2. They are deeply perceptive.
It can be difficult to hide your emotions from people like this.
3. This person is both a lover and a fighter.
Don’t be fooled by their vulnerability. They are fiercely protective of the people they care for.
4. They are much more focused on giving than on receiving, often attempting to pour from an empty cup.
5. The way they choose to treat you is not conditional on the way that you treat them.
Your partner’s behavior is a reflection on their own heart – not on yours.
6. The worrying is constant.
Logic won’t do much to solve it – your partner knows their fears aren’t reasonable. All you can do is provide reassurance and love.
7. They will forgive too easily and too often.
Don’t take advantage of this.
8. Your anxious and kind partner is unlikely to play power games.
Power isn’t what they want from you.
9. Their clinginess comes from a fear of abandonment.
Indulge it, and it will fade as their trust in you grows. Fight it, and it will become stronger.
10. They will feel their emotions very deeply – even when they come from another person’s pain, and not their own.
This can cause agony, but it can also build empathy.
11. They may seem like they are over-apologizing sometimes.
However, be assured that it is sincere. They are even harder on themselves than they are on you. They struggle deeply with empathy and self-blame.
12. You may spend time talking to your partner through situations that are unlikely to ever happen.
They know it’s not rational, but they appreciate your patience.
13. Your partner will go far, far out of their way not to hurt you – or anyone else.
Sometimes this will come at the expense of their own self-care.
14. They make up their own rules and form their own boundaries.
The “three day rule” means nothing to them, and they will text you back right away.
15. They may over-prepare for unlikely tragedies.
Know that this is because there was once a time when they were caught unprepared when a nightmare came their way. They’ll do anything to avoid reliving that.
16. Your partner’s paranoia is their defense mechanism.
They use it to protect themselves. As their trust in you grows, this will slowly start to fade. However, it may never disappear entirely.
17. They will not put you through a guilt trip to gain the upper hand.
If they confront you about something, it means they are truly upset by it.
18. Everything will be analyzed down to the letter.
Indulging this impulse will create a sense of safety and security, while fighting it will only breed suspicion. It isn’t fair, but acts of love are rarely about equality.
19. They are terrified to be hurt again – but they won’t let this harden their heart.
20. They will love you completely, forever, and unconditionally.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares,” wrote Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Did you see your partner in this list? If so, hold on to them. You can doubt this person’s decisions, their wisdom, and even their sanity – but you can never doubt their ability to care. That’s a special thing in our society.