h2>Dating : I think for many men, loving an independent women IS hard.
I think for many men, loving an independent women IS hard. Because then they will have to examine their own beliefs and values; they will have to get outside of the habits and conventional gender roles, and they will be required to approach the relationship with a lot more intention and effort from both their head and their heart. (I think we are worth it, though!)
For me personally, my independence comes from a lifetime of not having my needs consistently met by someone else (first, parents in my family of origin, then abusive spouse). So yes, I am independent, and I have also learned to be quite competent in securing the things I need. So the first thing I need from a partner is ‘just get the heck outta my way because I can probably already do this better/faster than you can, so please don’t impede me’. The second thing I need is ‘don’t let my attitude emasculate you; if you weren’t manly enough for me already, we wouldn’t be together’. And the third thing is ‘don’t compete with me’, and the fourth is ‘don’t promise to do things — please just do them, because your words mean nothing, only your actions tell the true story’.
Lastly, if a partner can figure out how to actually partner with me, side-by-side, no competition, no gender-role baggage; where we are truly a team… and he truly respects me and my accomplishments and my capabilities, then he is a partner for life. And finally… finally! After a zillion missteps, I did find such a partner, and we are happily married. Sure, from time to time, he grouses a bit about how “independent” I am; old gender-roles and habits die hard, and sometimes all of us slip back into our old and formerly-useful ruts. But we talk about this stuff! So we get back on track pretty easily.
My love language: attention and time. Spend time with me, give me your attention.
Thanks for a fun article! I think this is a topic that deserves a lot more consideration and contemplation.