i. kiss her forehead. kiss her eyes. kiss her nose and the birthmarks on her skin and all the places she does not love. kiss her knuckles and her fingers and remind her to breathe. she needs that. all of it.
ii. if she cries, your first question must be whether she wants you or not. some days she’ll need you to crush her boundaries completely and pull her so close that her heart can beat alongside yours. and some days she’ll need you to let her drown a little bit on her own. but you have to come back for her, after. always come back.

iii. do not yell at her. if you’re angry, write it down or leave for a while to cool off and then have a level-toned argument with her. do not yell. do not ever yell.

iv. tell her you will be at her funeral. and when she asks how you can be so sure you’ll outlive her, tell her you’re not sure of that at all. tell her that even if you die tomorrow, you will be at her funeral.

v. do not ask her why she is sad. she will tell you. if you truly love her and if she knows that, she will tell you.

vi. open her curtains. she’ll cringe and groan and make a scene, but she needs the light. she doesn’t know how to make her own sunshine, so you’ve got to give her some.

vii. let her tell you about things. let her ramble on about a poet she loves or why she hates a certain singer. let her bitch about her workday or describe how much she loves her sister. if you don’t let her talk to you, she will never let you know her.

viii. learn how to identify whether her eyes are stormy or calm. learn her tones of voice and how to tell if she’s really okay or if she just doesn’t want you to worry. learn her tells and her soft spots. and love every last one.

ix. take her places. coffee shops, antique stores, city streets and your grandma’s house. she wants to see the world, and she wants to see it with you.

x. kiss her toes. kiss her shoulders and place butterfly kisses on her cheeks. touch her hair and tell her all the things there are to love about her. remind her to scream if she needs to. she needs that. all of it.

—  how to love a sad girl,
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