Many women dream about their wedding days as little girls. I’m not one of those women.
I’m not against romance or settling down, but just as love is an entirely biased experience, so is our approach to it and the way in which we interpret it. Some of us may revel in the idea of a relationship and in the possibility of experiencing “forever” with someone.
However, there are also some of us who revel in the idea of being independent more. For us, the latter group, it’s not necessarily about the comfort we take in being with someone else, but in the comfort we feel in being confident, content and capable — alone or not.
There is not, by any means, anything wrong with being invested in a partnership or enthralled by the idea of intimacy, romance and the future. Deep down, we all long for those things. Rather, I seek to discuss the decidedly independent breed of women, who may have a different approach to dating.
Being independent isn't always about being alone.
In current society, many women embrace their individualism, and gender roles aren’t such black-and-white matters. Although certain imbalances and deep-rooted sexist undertones still exist, the playing field is definitely more evenly balance than before. Strong, independent women are everywhere. Yet, I have noticed that some men are confused — and occasionally insulted or intimidated — by the whole idea.
Independence shouldn't make a man feel nervous or any less masculine; a woman’s strength is not a threat to a man’s masculinity. Furthermore, the need for independence doesn't rely on solidarity because it is not a matter of isolation; it is a state of being.
It is important to understand that a desire for independence doesn't cease to exist when we choose to be with someone; in fact, it shouldn't really change at all. Independent individuals are not a feat to be “conquered.” We give and we will take, but we still need to be our own.
Time is valuable.
It seems that a sense of independence and level of ambition go hand in hand. With ambition comes an acquired appreciation for time. We carefully allocate the time we have each day to the things that are most important to us — whether it’s a career, hobbies or otherwise.
The benefit in this is a certain authenticity. In the pursuit to find someone who dedicates his or her time to many things before romance, the time he or she does spend with you is then inspired by a genuine interest. There are likely a number of other things the person could be doing, but ultimately, he or she chose you. Although this is the case in any relationship, it proves to be especially important to those who value independence as an essential part of the identity.
We are not all purely romantic creatures.
We may go about our daily lives with many thoughts on our minds before any ideas of romance reach us. Yet, there seems to be a common misconception that women are entirely relationship-centered and most of what we do revolves around finding a mate.
Despite the often-complicated nature of dating and relationships today, we are not all consumed by it. In fact, for some of us, relationships may take the back burner to a number of ambitions.
Remember that we all have different definitions of what love is, what it means and how it should be nurtured. Refraining from grouping us all into a single category will help to better grasp the individual romantic needs of the person you are hoping to court — especially those of us who may not have even been looking for love in the first place.
The key is to find the balance.
Not every woman wants to be “taken care of” in the traditional sense. Although chivalry certainly should not be dead, I've found that some men can become stuck in this idea of being “the man” and “the gentleman” in a way that is, to be entirely honest, antiquated.
A relationship does not call for one caretaker; it requires two. Independent partners want and need exactly that: a true, equal partner.
We may fear vulnerability. We may be difficult at times, stubborn or unwilling to budge in specific ways. We may not express a need for you, but simply a desire and a choice to share our lives with you. We will pursue success in many fields outside of our romantic endeavors, and we will likely encourage you to do the same.
Understand that we are not pushing you away; we are pushing you to grow and move alongside us. The process we take in this is all part of the learning curve to understand the balance between who we are and how that allows us to love.
Independence doesn't need to be a play for power.
More often than not, a display of independence has nothing to do with an attempted “power play.” Too often, relationships become a struggle for the upper hand more so than an actual partnership. We all tend to buy into this idea that someone needs to come out on top or hold all the cards.
Often, a strong woman can be mistaken for someone who is cold, bitter, plays hard-to-get or just plays games. Although this can sometimes be the case, most of the time, the theory is wrong because it assumes that women dedicate more calculated thought to the courtship than many actually do. An independent women will usually have no qualms about telling you exactly who she is, what she wants and why she wants it -- so, if you aren't sure, just ask.
Of course, it is important to remember that no relationship will be the same and no partner will be, either.
First and foremost, the most important part of any relationship is to develop an understanding of what you ultimately need in someone else. This can take time, a few failed attempts and some brutal honesty. In some cases, a certain “type” of person might not be the right fit for you; perhaps, you won't be the right fit for someone else.
You can’t always idealize the idea of love; sometimes, you simply have to be realistic about it. Still, independence does not make a person unattainable. If anything, it can lead a person to love even deeper.
If you achieve your own success, you’ll likely only want to share it with the right person.
Photo credit: WENN