It will not seem different at first. In fact there will be more love than you have ever seen. Excitement and jumping beans in the pit of your stomach. They will do whatever they can to make sure it is fun. They need it to be fun. Exciting. Light. Someone who broke up with a toxic parent will give you all the love that they can - they want more than anything for that flame to last. They know darkness already too well.
At the same time, love scares them. When they finally start to feel safe with you, they question it. How can they not? Someone who broke up with a toxic parent completed the hardest break-up known to the human heart. They’ve seen firsthand how someone who was suppose to love them unconditionally, make them feel safe, be there always, how the one person in the world who was suppose to never break their heart can do just that. If the one relationship they needed to work more than anything fell apart, it’s fair game for any other relationship to break. For anyone else to break their heart. That's fucking terrifying.
But none of that will spill out very easily. You’re dating someone who can be as strong as a rock because they had to be. You will see how they relish in their independence; they will go after what they want - fearlessly, without caring about the approval of others. They will create a unique life that they desire. Part of that is them compensating for a lack of control in their personal life. Part of that is them knowing that, the only person you can control is yourself. That’s their silver lining - they’ve seen directly who they don’t want to be and work so hard at becoming the best version of themselves.
Opening up can be tough. You get too close, things get too real, and they run. They have running shoes on stand by. They’ve been in their most vulnerable states as a result of the pain they’ve had and promised themselves to never be in that state again. They guard their heart and body as a way to protect them from any potential pain they might face. Be patient.
You fell for someone who is complicated - love can heal a lot of our scars, but this cut goes a little deeper. When they get guarded, that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. They chose you because you're special to them, they don't open up a lot - they will never be with a person just to be with someone.
Love isn’t perfect. Love isn’t filtered. It’s raw, and imperfect, it’s unplanned and exactly what you need. Because that’s what love gives you - that imperfect person who is flawlessly flawed, who is wrong for you in just the right way.
They’re hard to love. Trust is a difficult thing for them. They think about everything - maybe a little too much. But, no one will love you better. No one will make you live your life more.