1. They spend so many years learning to fall in love with themselves, they forget that the goal is to love yourself first, not love yourself only.
They spend so much time learning to happily function on their own that they forget life requires relationships. There is no way around this. You can be romantically unattached for the rest of your existence and your life will still require you to function with other people in it. It’s about learning to hold your own no matter who is around you, not just when you’re alone.
2. Love becomes a power struggle.
There is love, and then there is cohabitation and coexistence and compatibility. They are all different, but equally necessary. Love is wonderful when you’re unattached, but when it comes to having someone exist as an equal partner in your life, it gets sticky. Independent women need partners who they respect and whom respect them in exchange. Otherwise, the potential for a power struggle to erupt is high, particularly with people who don’t care to feel controlled nor want to take responsibility for other people.
3. Traditional relationship structures don’t work for them, and modern role models can be hard to find.
Becoming an archetypical wife is probably not in the cards for them, and finding couples who have learned to thrive in modern relationships aren’t always easy to come by. The reality is that every relationship is different, and it’s about finding someone with whom you can build the kind of partnership you desire, not someone with whom you can fit into a pre-prescribed mold that you’ve seen other people use.
4. They become brainwashed by people who advise that they will “lose themselves” in some capacity if they have a partner, or start building a family.
This is only true if you let it be true. The love of your life should inspire you to accomplish more, not less. You might have to sacrifice more of your time, but you should not have to give up your individuality for the sake of someone (anyone) else. Being in love ≠ losing your future. Being in love = building your future alongside someone else.
5. They hold other people to their own unrealistically high expectations.
Independent women have such high ideals for their own lives, it’s uncommon that they don’t bleed over into their expectations for a partner. They lose sight of the fact that everyone is human, and even their most perfect match is going to have a whole host of habits and traits they find less than desirable at times.
6. Sufficing for themselves becomes so normal that they forget more people than not become married or partnered at some point in their lives, and it’s actually fending solely for yourself that’s odd, not sharing your entire mental/emotional/physical/financial life with other people.
When you take care of yourself and only yourself for long enough, you start to build this concept of normalcy, and then the idea of sharing a life with someone becomes terrifying. How could you stand to potentially disrupt everything you’ve worked so hard to build? But the reality is that doing it all alone is what’s more uncommon than not. It’s sharing your money/home/life with a family that’s “normal,” not the opposite.
7. They lose sight of what healthy interdependence looks like.
They become so focused on not needing to rely on anyone else that they forget it’s okay to choose to rely on someone else. Healthy relationships are a mix of trust, dependence and shared responsibility. Find someone with whom you can let your guard down, and start imagining what a healthy relationship with them would look like, because refusing to need them in any capacity isn’t going to get you very far.
8. They think that being alone is safer.
Independent women are independent for a reason. Something happened somewhere along the line that made them realize that they need to be able to take care of themselves first and foremost. Though that fact is unequivocally true, the reality is that nothing is really safe in life. It’s not always “safe” to try to do things alone, it’s not always “safe” to try to be in a relationship. Life shouldn’t be built around what’s safe, it should be built around what’s worth the risk.
9. They expect to find their soulmate relationship rather than build their soulmate relationship.
They believe so much in working on yourself that they imagine they must show up to their potential partners all but perfect. This informs the (false) idea that their perfect match will likewise just show up and everything will go smoothly because they have taken so much time to work on their own issues. Don’t misunderstand me, that does help. In fact, it’s necessary. But eliminating some baggage ≠ building the relationship of your dreams.
10. They aren’t going to sacrifice their precious time for anyone who isn’t 100% worth it.
They know their time is precious, because they have so many ambitions about what they want to spend it doing. Trust that they are not going to spend a moment on anyone who they don’t think is worth it.
11. They overthink it.
Independent women are inherently analytical beings. That’s fine, but it can often result in some good old fashioned overthinking, especially when it comes to other people. Here’s the white hot truth: the relationship you’re looking for should be easy. Not painless, but easy. There’s a difference. You should click. You should want to be together. You should not have to fight every day to be understood. So many people get partnered up because they don’t think about it so much, they just do it.