Strong women don’t fall in love.
They tread in love. Strong women entertain love, they flirt with it, they embody it with caution and they escape from it unscathed. Everyone knows that. Only weak women allow love to affect them. Strong women couldn’t care less.
Strong women live their lives alone.
They may have flings or fuck-buddies or even domestic partnerships but never, ever lovers. Love makes you crippled and small. Love stops you from achieving what you want out of life. Strong women don’t fall in love because love is an emotion. And real women do not feel anything pervasively. Real women switch their sentiments on and off like a light switch. Real women are strong because they have mastered detachment. And detachment is the ultimate end goal.
Anyone else tired of hearing these tirades?
Because I am. I am tired – and I don’t think I’m alone – of the infinite set of contradictions we set up for each other. The criticism we face when we love, the criticism we face when we don’t. I am tired of being told what is strong and what is weak. What is right and what is wrong. What we ought to feel and what we ought to talk about. We are scathed for being loveless and burned for being honest about what we want. We can’t win this game. And I’d like to encourage us all to stop playing.
Strong has nothing to do with detachment. Strong has nothing to do with your track record. Strong has nothing to do with how fast or how often or how successfully you fall in and out of love. Strong is a measure of the integrity that you bring to your life. And that means that you’re the one calling the shots.
Strong means knowing what you want. Strong means fighting like hell for the life that you want to be living, whether the end goal is getting elected as president or staying home to raise a family. Strong means living by your own definition. Strong means ignoring anyone who belittles your struggles as you fight to live a life that you’re proud of. Strong means you’re walking in line with whatever it is that you believe in.
I believe in love. And I believe in my own strength. For me, those things walk hand in hand – and they have to. The people who scoff at attachment, who praise disengagement, who pride themselves on being independent to the point of unattainability, will never understand the immense amount of strength it takes to love. To expose your vulnerabilities. To put your heart and your desires on the line without any guarantee of reciprocation. My definition of strength is risking everything I have because I know that I can put myself back together once it’s over.
I know that you can be sad and also strong.
You can be scared and also strong.
I know that you can be putting your life back together – piece by painstaking piece and still be an absolute mountain. You get to set your definition of strength. And you get to live by it every single day of your life.
‘Strong women don’t fall in love’ is utter bullshit. And it’s a story that we’ve got to stop telling ourselves. Strong women accept themselves. Strong women understand themselves. Strong women show up to every last moment of their lives, whether it’s painful or triumphant or impossible. Strong women are blazing with glory and strong women are getting trampled on down in the arena. They are not a single, hard shell that never gets broken. Strong women are beaten down and built back up a thousand times more often than each weak person who sits on the bleachers and judges their choices.
It takes no strength to avoid your life. It takes no gusto to criticize others. It takes no effort to hide away and deny yourself the things that you want out of life because you’re scared that somebody is going to call you weak. What takes strength is showing up. What takes strength is being present. What takes strength is admitting what you want from your life and moving towards it without a regard for anyone else’s opinion.
Strong women fall in love. Strong women don’t. Strong women work high-powered jobs. Strong women stay at home. Strong women live by no single, meek definition of the word and they have only one thing in common – they decided the life that they wanted. And they went for it.
Strong women set their own rules. And that’s the only definition that matters.