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Break Down Her Wall

Break Down Her Wall

Can a woman like a guy physically and emotionally and STILL not want to get into a relationship with him just because she's been hurt in the past? Or is she politely saying she's just not interested?

- Asked by A Career Man, Male, Chicago, 29-35, Consulting

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Women with wounds can shut out the people they love the most. She might not know how to let someone in because of a brick wall she's built up. Maybe she's afraid that as soon as she commits to a relationship with you, everything will fall apart.

This doesn't mean you should give up on her. Maybe she just needs you to help her break down the wall.

- Response by An Alternative Girl, Female, New York, 26-28, Teaching

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Yes, this is entirely possible. Women enjoy security, and if she put her trust in a man before and had her heart broken, it might be difficult for her to be secure in a new relationship. Depending on how badly she was hurt, she may actually choose to be with someone she's not even attracted to just to protect herself.

Case in point: when I first met my current boyfriend, I was dating another man whom I wasn't attracted to in any way. Why was I dating him? Because he gave me security; he liked me far more than I liked him. There was no way he'd have dumped me. Breaking up with him to be with a man I truly liked was very scary for me.

- Response by A Sweet Sarah, Female, Milwaukee, 22-25, Teacher

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Honey, girls are strange... it's about time you figured that out. A girl can most definitely like you physically and emotionally (and any other way you can like a person)and STILL not want to be in a relationship with you.

She's not saying she's not interested; she just can't handle a relationship right now after she’s been burned so badly. Don't give up on her -- she'll come around sooner or later. And if you're not willing to except that, you're out of luck and you just might miss out on a great girl!

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, Pittsburgh, 29-35, Lawyer

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Although most women have had bad experiences at some point, with time, most are willing to get back in the game and try again. If you really like her, make the effort to let her know how much you care; try to get her to tell you what she's scared about.

- Response by A Hip Hop Girl, Female, Chicago, 22-25, Student

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Sounds like she's genuinely attracted to you, but she's forcing herself not to give in. If she weren't interested in you, she wouldn't bother saying she was both physically and emotionally attracted to you.

I've been through this before -- where my male friends wanted to get romantic with me and I turned them down. It's because I valued the friendship more than a romance. I know it sounds corny and cliché, but it's true.

- Response by A Sportif, Female, New York, 18-21, Student

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She's afraid to trust you, and she's afraid of getting hurt again. I'm the exact same way, and I'm working hard to break my pattern.

- Response by A Hippie Chick, Female, Sacramento, 18-21, Student

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Either: 1) She doesn't want to be with you, but she's reluctant to hurt your pride, or 2) She's really afraid of letting you in and getting hurt again. If she continues to hang around you and she acts interested, it's number two and there's still a chance she'll change her mind in the future.

In either case, be respectful of her wish not to be in a relationship, and try to be her friend while leaving the door open for more.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, Milwaukee, 18-21, Student

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She's not interested. She could like you physically and emotionally and still not be interested. If she were really into you, she wouldn't be slowed down by the past.

- Response by A Life of the Party, Female, Miami, 18-21, Model

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She could be carrying baggage from a past bad experience, but if she's mentally and emotionally healthy, the past will fade and the present will take hold. Now, if "past bad experiences" are more than a year or so old, here's two things to consider:

1) Do you really want to be with someone who's going to bring all that baggage into your relationship and make YOU pay for what someone else did to her?

2) Would you want to be involved with someone who'd use "past bad experiences" as an excuse not to date you? If it's just another way of saying she's not interested, that's called "not being up front" - and usually that's a pattern of behavior that's tough to break.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, Philadelphia, 29-35, Doctor

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I've heard many of my friends say they've met the perfect guy, "but just don't want to get hurt again." If they can't open up and trust someone, my advice is to move on. It's too difficult to start a relationship with someone who can't forget about the past.

- Response by A Sweet Sarah, Female, Sacramento, 26-28, Administrative

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