At 21 years old, I decided to focus on my career and put love on the back burner. The decision to stay out of a relationship paid off in droves as I became the youngest female executive at my record label at the prime age of 23, purchased a home at 24 and basically achieved Boss Bitch status by 25.
I was the epitome of a strong and independent woman. I made a ton of money, hooked up with interesting men, traveled, partied and was living the life of which I always dreamed.
To be successful in my career, I couldn’t be vulnerable (read: weak), and when I took that mentality into my dating life, it just didn’t work. I had to learn to find balance between my type A personality and my femininity in order to attract the love I wanted.
I believe that in our effort to move the feminist movement forward, women forgot that allowing a man to be strong doesn’t take away from who you are, and being vulnerable with a man doesn’t make you weak.
If we are to have healthy relationships, we should be able to allow both partners to be strong, vulnerable, giving and supportive.
But, first, my strong, independent women, we must learn these lessons:
Being Vulnerable Does Not Make You Weak
Know that being vulnerable doesn’t mean you’re weak. It’s a common misconception among strong women that feelings or emotions make you weak. To the contrary, allowing yourself to feel emotions is the greatest risk of all. A weak person would never take that risk.
I know you don’t need him, but you can want him -- and what’s wrong with telling him so? You are allowed to express your emotions freely and authentically, without making yourself feel weak or crazy for it.
Being vulnerable means you’re open and honest with your heart. Without vulnerability there is no love.
Allowing Yourself To Receive Does Not Make You Dependent
Know you are confident enough in who you are to allow him the space to be who he is as a provider and protector.
The “I can do it all myself” mentality is not allowing him to give to you as he would naturally do. Men show love by giving, and if you don’t allow yourself to receive, he will stop giving and look for someone else.
Knowing that he wants to take responsibility for you does not mean you are not responsible for yourself, and accepting love into your life doesn’t take away from who you are.
Ditching Your List Does Not Mean Lowering Your Standards
Strong women always think they need to dumb themselves down to attract a man. That is completely false. The right man will not be scared away by your brain and your strength; instead, he will embrace the challenge.
Know that the most important characteristics in a man can’t be found in a minimum height or salary, and ditching your list doesn’t mean lowering your standards. It just means you value character over facial structure.
Being An Equal Does Not Mean Tearing Him Down
Where you may fail is that you believe being an equal means tearing him down, and that because you may make more money, you don't have to respect him.
Make sure you admire the man you’re with; admire his effort, his achievements and the way he shows up for you. Admiring his character will build a foundation that will last.
You don't have to abandon your feminist ideals to find love; you just have to stop busting his balls.