As women there is certainly pride and strength in stating you’re “independent.” However, if we press pause on the Beyoncé track for a minute, we can see that we often miss an important point while being obsessed with this idea.
As humans we are biologically programmed for connection, relationships & a partner. It’s why babies need an attentive, loving caregiver to help their brains develop appropriately. It’s why after we move on from being with our parents, we have the innate desire to be with a partner.
As a secure “independent” woman, the older I get, the more I can admit that I do “need” someone (and I put need in quotations because I mean it in the healthiest way possible). 99% of us women do.
Being independent and having a partner are not exclusive things.
Life is best when we’re interdependent (defined as: two people dependent on each other). We can’t grow in a bubble. And, as women, aside from what we can bring to the table in boardrooms and offices, it is in our nature to nurture (more on all the ways men “need” women another time).
Here’s a list of 41 things we all need, even the most independent among us.
1. Someone to PUSH us — force us to evolve and grow.
2. Someone to give us a different perspective on our past, present or future.
3. Someone to teach us new things.
4. Someone who thinks “[insert your name] would love this.”
5. Someone to help you in those indecisive moments that drive you nuts.
6. Someone to help heal the wounds.
7. Someone to make us feel safe and warm in the midst of terrorism & gun violence (you know, so you don’t have to sleep with the light on).
8. Someone to remind us of the good and love in the world when we lose faith.
9. Someone to tell us that they love us and we’re beautiful even though we just sent them the most goofiest, ugliest snapchat ever.
10. Someone to give us the love, belonging and feeling of being part of a second (their) family in addition to our own.
11. Someone to help us bring kids into the world and help raise them as a team.
12. Someone who will validate your feelings but will also let you know when your emotions got the best of you and you took it too far.
13. Someone to walk you home.
14. Someone who not only looks out for you and treats you well but all women well.
15. Someone to travel with (get an extra view on that beautiful view).
16. Someone to come home to.
17. Someone to zip you up and unzip you.
18. Someone to tell you “why not?”
19. Someone to say you’re okay and everything will be okay.
20. Someone to tell you to just get the freaking bagel or froyo (and who won’t judge you when you eat it in 4 seconds and not neatly).
21. Someone who will tell you you have something in your teeth.
22. Someone who will love you even when you’re being unloveable. And know why you are too.
23. Someone to make an extra plate for, to cook for and care for.
24. Someone to slow dance with.
25. Someone to sit down with when you need that glass of wine after a long day.
26. Someone to tell you seriously if someone is really being a jerk or not.
27. Someone who likes your posts when no one else does or cares.
28. Someone who will be both a mirror and reality check.
29. Someone who will encourage us to ask for that raise or go stand up for ourselves.
30. Someone who won’t think we’re crazy or shouting just because we have lots of feels or, God forbid, an opinion.
31. Someone who will put up with 5 paragraphs of texts within 3 mins because you have a “brilliant” idea or a bad day.
32. Someone who complements you (has knowledge or traits that you lack) and also helps you to develop those areas in yourself.
33. Someone to call you out when you know it but don’t want to admit it.
34. Someone to laugh AT you and with you.
35. Someone who makes you feel like you can be weak and vulnerable without judgment.
36. Someone you can feel completely safe to get really silly with (alcohol or not).
37. Someone to ask for help.
38. Someone to fall asleep with.
39. Someone to help you fix stuff.
40. Someone who gives you 100 variations and reasons and examples of “just because.”
41. Someone who can anticipate what you want or need when you just want to collapse in a ball of exhaustion.
Had enough yet?
As women, we need to give ourselves permission to be vulnerable, ask for help, and be taken care of! I certainly know it’s not easy but we can start by trying to be more open to it.
Our identities or self worth shouldn’t rely on being single (or “independent”etc.) OR on being with someone else. Because they’re not!
Can we do all of the above on our own? Perhaps.
But, I for one know I don’t want to.
And I know I’ll be a better, more evolved person because of it.
Please note: I realize that, if you choose to be single and unattached, you can very well can have meaningful relationships in your life that do all of the above and help you grow