One of the biggest complaints I get these days from women is about men who tend to slowly back away after they realize how strong and independent the woman they are dating is.
Now, I am well aware that many women out there confuse being strong with abrasive, and independent with apathetic. Meaning, they take the “I don’t need a man” mindset and make it seem like they have no interest whatsoever in the man they are dating, pushing him away and then wondering what happened.
What usually follows is a myriad of social media posts about how men “can’t handle her attitude” or something of the sort – when in reality, he just had no interest in feeling like an afterthought in her life.
That all being said, though, there are still genuine, caring, loving women out there who are still strong and live their own life. They have their own hopes, dreams, and ambitions – but they want a teammate beside them as they accomplish all they set out to. They understand that personal power is not about not needing someone, but about the ability to set standards and only welcome the people into their life who meet the bar.
They want to support you as you support her in return. But, it takes the right type of man to recognize, and be comfortable with this type of woman.
What are some of the traits of the Prince Charming who doesn’t actually need a damsel in distress?
He has his own goals and dreams
If a couple is going to have one teammate who has big plans for their own future, it’s going to need two teammates who have big plans. For both men and women, being with someone who is much less motivated in life than you are is going to cause tension in the relationship. One will not understand why the other works so hard. He or she will not understand why their partner is up at 5:00 in the morning to go to the gym. He or she will get aggravated when you have to put in extra hours on that Friday night.
A man who will be comfortable with a woman who is driven and ambitious will need to be on a similar path for himself in order to understand and appreciate her hustle.
He brings his own security to the table
A man who constantly needs reassurance or validation from the woman he is dating will likely not find what he needs if he pursues a woman who is strong and independent. She will be secure and confident in herself and want the man she is with to be the same. While she will likely show him love and affection because she cares for him and wants him to feel loved – she will not constantly be reminding him of how much she needs him in her life. Because she doesn’t.
A strong man will not expect to be needed by a woman of this caliber, but it is important to note that men still want to feel wanted, and we all still need to love and affection to feel valued in a relationship, so this cannot be overlooked.
He respects her privacy
Women who are focused on their own mission and path in life are not taking time out of their day to look for validation from others. They are living in the moment and are too busy to bother caring what other people are thinking.
A man who is going to date this type of woman has to work with her on what is kept between the two of them and what is exposed to the public. In the social media generation, privacy is hard to come by – but for a relationship with a mature, independent woman to work in the long run, it still has to be made a priority.
He won’t pacify her
No man should ever be abrasive or disrespectful to the woman in his life [or anyone], but honesty and integrity is still an important part of making a relationship work. A man who is a ball of mush will never be able to hold the attention of a strong woman, because she will walk all over him and he will never give her the stability that she needs.
The type of man who will fit well with a woman of this caliber will know when to be flexible with her and when to stand his ground. She will respect him more for it.
He will still be comfortable taking the reins
Just because a woman may be in charge from 9-5 on Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean she wants the same responsibilities in a relationship. At the end of the day, many women still appreciate a man who is the man, and will make plans for them on date night. A man who still romances her. A man who is chivalrous and respectful. A man who understands that a woman can be independent and should still be treated as a lady.
He is not possessive or jealous
Possessive overbearing men are kryptonite to strong women. Smothering or coming on too strong to this type of woman is the quickest way to ensure that you push her away immediately. She is busy and doesn’t need (nor want) her hand held constantly. She works best with a man who lives his own life alongside hers, not one that tries to intertwine the two.
He is a strong communicator
This doesn’t mean just knowing how to speak and express his feelings, but also knowing how to listen and interpret hers. Not all women are verbally open or affectionate, but they will show you how they feel in their own ways. It is important for a man to be able to hear what the woman in his life is doesn’t say, as well as what she does.
He is never condescending
When he compliments how great you are at something, the right kind of man for a strong woman will never end the sentence with “you know, for a girl.” A man who can effectively build a relationship with an independent woman will see her exactly as she should be seen – as an equal. This means respecting and valuing her opinions as well as openly telling her his own. It means being able to have deep, meaningful conversations and really listening to her viewpoints. It means never assuming she can’t teach you something new or show you new experiences – in fact, some of life’s most important lessons will come from her.
His support is unwavering
As Mark Twain once said – “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” This same concept applies to relationships as well. Men and women who are strong and secure in themselves will have no problem standing behind their partner when support is required. They will not betray your trust or discourage you from living the life you want to live.
The right type of man for a strong woman will know when to stand in front of her when she needs protection, behind her when she needs support, and beside her when she wants a teammate.
He has a great sense of humor
Despite the hard outer shell some strong women display, they are still human beings who experience every emotion. Nobody wants to be stern or serious all the time, particularly those with high pressure jobs or a stressful lifestyle. A man who can lighten the mood at just the right times will not only be a great lover, but a great best friend.
Finding a balance that allows a relationship to flourish when two strong independent people come together is tricky. Men need to understand that they can be with a woman who lives her own life and not sacrifice any of his own masculinity. And women need to understand that being strong and independent does not have to mean being overbearing or abrasive. Men and women are both equally worthy of respect without needing to prove their dominance over each other.
The best teams are made up of people who fill the puzzle pieces of the other. Who work well together and respect each others strengths while balancing out their weaknesses. Love is a team sport, and with the right person by your side, you will always win the game.
Picture Credit: Gossip Girl/Warner Bros. Television