What exactly makes an “independent” woman? This can mean anything, depending on whom you ask, but let’s start somewhere, shall we?
The independently-minded woman lives by her own rules, likes to make decisions for herself and tends to be very particular about what she wants.
She can be feminist in in attitude, while in keeping with its conventional definition, champions true equality of the sexes.
Emma Watson put it beautifully in her United Nations speech, when she said, “It is time we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals.”
In fact, bringing others into our lives presents an important opportunity to exercise our independence in a productive way.
While the independent mindset can fall under a wide range of definitions, there are a few things with which we tend to universally identify.
1. We don’t mind spending time by ourselves.
In fact, we require alone time occasionally in order to reset. It gives us time to reflect, as we tend to be very introspective about who we are and what we want. We like to assess where things are and perhaps where we’d like to see them go.
We find peace in understanding not only our own needs, but those of our partners, as well. We may, at times, focus a little bit too much on the future but only for fear of creating distractions from our often-ambitious personal goals.
We need to feel comfortable with our relationships because we recognize them as significant investments of both time and emotion.
2. We take commitment very seriously.
We see relationships as initiatives that require work and beg 110 percent from both people. We take commitment to an overall relationship very seriously, but we take commitment to the individual even more seriously.
We carefully consider the emotional cost of jumping into a relationship so we can make productive decisions. We value relationships as opportunities to grow with someone who pushes us to be better individuals, so we choose them wisely.
This obviously does not mean we think all relationships are life-sucking obligations; we just want to ensure they’re given the attention we think they deserve.
3. We value our social lives outside of the relationships.
Nothing stresses us out more than the thought of not having our own friends. We need unique social lives aside from those created within the relationship.
It presents an important opportunity to grow independently of our partners and gain insight from our non-romantic counterparts who know us just as well, if not better.
These social lives are inclusive of the personal hobbies we may enjoy to help maintain our mental and physical well-beings and to give us that essential alone time to reflect, as well.
4. We are career- and goal-oriented.
One of the most defining characteristics of an independent woman is her drive to make her own money and to make a living entirely from her own hard work. The feeling of accomplishment to us is a high we need to earn by ourselves.
This does not go to say we don’t appreciate being treated to nice things once in a while, but we welcome the challenge of repaying the favor.
5. We appreciate a true gentleman.
To those true gentlemen out there, we sincerely applaud you. You are the ones who prove to us that chivalry is, in fact, not dead. Our hearts flutter when men hold the door for us, keep us warm when it’s cold, kiss us gently just because or tell us how beautiful we are.
We tend to maintain more of a traditional view of how a man should treat a woman and we pick it out of a crowd as if a sixth sense.
We may be reluctant to accept gifts, tangible or not, but we are truly grateful when we do because we recognize the work that goes into affording such things. These are the men for whom we hold out.