I’ve pretty much heard this all my life: “You’re scary. You intimidate men and that’s probably why you have a hard time with guys.” That literally never made sense to me. How am I scary? Then one day, one of my guy friends gave it to me straight. He said, “You’re TOO independent. You don’t need anyone, you are intelligent, and you make men feel inferior without even realizing it.”
What? How could being intelligent and independent be a bad thing? Especially in a relationship, do guys want to marry ignorant, dependent women? That still made no sense. But as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that men instinctively want to be superior in every aspect, and it terrifies them to think that a woman might be stronger, or smarter than them.
I am not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing. As a woman, I want a man who is strong and able and willing to take care of himself, and me if need be. But I also have been doing things on my own for a while now. And I feel like this is something that is become much more apparent in my generation.
In most places in the world, women are no longer kept at home under the guidance of their father until they are handed off to their husband to be taken care of by him. Women are no longer required to be homemakers, and the dynamics of modern relationships has dramatically changed over the past couple decades.
Relationships 50 or even 30 years ago were pretty much laid out like this: boy meets girl, boy and girl date for a substantial amount of time, boy asks girl’s parents for her hand, they get married, girl moves in with boy, takes care of the home, possibly works a modest job, submits to her husband; but the boy is the breadwinner, decision-maker, authoritarian, “man of the house.” They live like this happily ever after. At least that’s how I grew up to see relationships. That is how my parents, grandparents, and their parents all grew up and viewed relationships.
But things are so much different now. Women represent 47% of the US workforce, and 40% of working women occupy jobs in management or professional fields. This basically means that women are the boss. Women today are educated, and we have been given more opportunities to advance, take charge, lead, and take care of ourselves. Today, 82% of women move out of their parents’ homes by age 27. Women do not rely on the support of a man to get through life.
And I guess, to an extent, that is intimidating. Here’s why:
1. Independent women make their own money
As previously stated, 40% of women occupy jobs in management or professional fields. Despite whatever your personal belief may be about the wage gap, it is still undeniable that women make more now than they ever have before. The modern woman is more capable than ever of working a full-time job and supporting herself financially. This means that, though it may be nice to have a man who showers us with gifts or pays our bills, we are completely capable of doing those things for ourselves. And men love to be needed, so showing a man that you are financially stable on your own is intimidating. What can he give you that you can’t get for yourself?
2. Independent women are less emotionally dependent
Women who are independent financially are generally less emotionally dependent on others. A woman who can get herself through life doesn’t need the affirmation of a man to feel good about herself. While it is nice to hear those sweet things from men, we don’t NEED to hear that we are beautiful or strong from anyone, because we KNOW we are. We’ve shown ourselves time and time again that we can get through anything. And with the growing #girlpower trend, women are empowering each other, and multiple independent women empowering each other is definitely more intimidating than one. She doesn’t need you to make her feel good about herself, she has herself and her girlfriends to do that!
3. Independent women don’t take shit from anyone
An independent woman is a hardass, and she will tell you when you are being a dumbass. An independent woman will always let you know what she is and is NOT okay with, and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to relationships. She has too much to take care of without playing games. She knows what she wants, and isn’t going to settle for anything less. She will always lay it all out for you from the start; her expectations, her feelings, and her deal breakers. She may forgive you the first time you mess up, but strong independent women rarely give second or third chances. You should have listened the first time.
4. Independent women are most likely far more mature and smarter than you, and that is scary
Men love to be superior. They love to teach you things, and they love to be right. But so do women. One downfall of an independent woman is that most of us LOVE to be right, and will usually use any means necessary to prove it. This is very difficult in relationships because men hate to feel inferior, and they usually don’t like when a woman is smarter than them. This does NOT mean that any woman should dumb herself down for a man, but we do have to understand that sometimes when we go out of our way to prove them wrong, it makes them feel inferior and dumb; nobody likes to be made to feel stupid. Both men and women usually have a hard time accepting inferiority, and learning to be right without being condescending is a very important skill. So, for my smart women out there, find a man who accepts that you might just know more than him about some things, and that’s okay!
5. Independent women don’t have time for games
Modern women have a lot of responsibility! And independent women are usually goal-oriented women who are constantly working towards whatever their goal may be. This means that they do not have time for games. They do not have time to compete against one another for attention, they don’t have time for back-and-forth, and they certainly don’t have time for guys who don’t know what they want. Independent women are driven, and if you can’t get on board with her goals then she is not going to waste her time playing games with you. This can be intimidating because a lot of times, guys DON’T know what they want. And if they DO know what they want, it is most likely different from what she wants, and it can be hard to balance two goals in one relationship. It is very lucky to find someone whose goals align with yours or someone who will fully support you in your goals. So if you find that, keep it. And if you find a girl who is driven towards her goals, support her in that as much as you can while still reaching for yours. One thing independent women are good at is recognizing that sometimes goals come first. If she is putting her goals first, you can do the same. As long as she is still receiving your support, she will understand.
6. She doesn’t NEED you
She wants you, but she doesn’t NEED you. Independent women are hardworking, self-sufficient, and they can pretty much get whatever they may want/need for themselves. This is extremely intimidating to men. Men love to feel needed. They love when you need them to open the pickle jar or change the oil in your car. They love to feel like they have something to offer you that you couldn’t otherwise get by yourself. But independent women are different. They are resourceful. She probably already knows how to change her oil and she has a trick she uses to open the pickle jar by herself because she’s had to do these things herself her whole adult life. If she needs something fixed or replaced, she can pay for it herself, and she has no problem getting her hands dirty to figure stuff out. Often times, independent women either don’t like to ask for help or they just don’t think about it. And if you offer to help, most of the time she will just say, “I got it,” because she is perfectly capable of figuring it out. We know that it can be frustrating, but we promise we will ask for your help when we need it.
Independent women love differently, and we accept love vastly differently. We don’t need you to buy us nice things or help us fix the kitchen sink. We can do those things ourselves. The best way to find out what an independent woman needs from you is to ask. Independent women are extremely straightforward and will tell you exactly what they want out of a relationship.
Independent women can be extremely intimidating, but also can be the most rewarding if you are willing to get past that intimidation. We may not need a whole lot from you, but that just means that we have a lot to offer. But once she is done fixing the kitchen sink, feel free to make dinner.