If You Want To Be Independent, Then You Don’t Want To Be In A Relationship

The more I search for dating and relationship advice, the more I notice a recurring theme in advice articles for women.  Whether it’s relationship experts or random opinion-givers, everyone is encouraging women to reclaim their independence.  I am convinced that this is one of the main reasons so many women are single and are having a hard time getting into serious relationships.

This kind of modern day thinking has planted the seed of fear in women.  The fear of being dependent on a man.  This sparked the following notions:

“You are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself.”
“You don’t need a man to be happy.”
“You should never feel like you depend on a man for anything.”
“You need to have your own hobbies and interests.”
“You should embrace your independence.”

I just have one thing to say about all that: IF YOU WANT TO BE INDEPENDENT, THEN YOU DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP.  The above statements should never be mistaken for relationship advice.  They are motivational statements and may give you a sense of accomplishment in some areas of your life, but certainly not in your love life.

Is convincing yourself, and maybe your man, of your independence supposed to give you more say in the relationship?  I am here to tell you that you don’t need to establish your independence to have weight in a relationship.  What you do need is:

  • to have confidence in yourself and your relationship,
  • to be open to compromise and change, and
  • not to tolerate any disrespect.

If you act too independent or show a man that you do not need him to be happy then you are showing him that:

  • you do not need his love,
  • you don’t value his time or anything that he does for you, and
  • you are not the woman he should plan on spending the rest of his life with.

Men and women both need to play their own roles in relationships.   These roles are, for the most part, gender-specific.  There are going to be some things that you are good at and other things that your partner is better at than you.  It is important to let your partner know that he or she is better at certain parts.

As an adult, you are, of course, capable of doing most things on your own.  But if you want to be in a relationship, then you have to acknowledge some of your own weaknesses.  You have to be able to show your partner that you do need him or her to play a role in your life.  And that your life would be more complete, or easier, or happier, or in some ways better, with him in it.

Once you get over your independence you will be ready to move on to a new stage of life.  The stage of relating, dating… and mating!


Contributed By:  Ani Ram went from serial-dater to home-maker in less time than it took her to grow out her roots!  She is now sharing her past experiences, and what she is learning every day about understanding her man, with her readers.  Her columns also reveal the experiences of the many women around her and their struggle to understand the men in their lives.  She shares secrets about dating, relationships, marriage, understanding men, and embracing all things female!  She is here to help women learn how to appreciate the men who love them and how to make the men they love appreciate them back.  Visit Ani Ram’s Relationship Secrets

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4 Responses to “If You Want To Be Independent, Then You Don’t Want To Be In A Relationship”
  1. Solo @ 30 says:

    I don’t buy the argument that wanting to be independent means you don’t want to be in a relationship. I partly define being independent as being *capable* of standing on your own two feet, being able to make and follow through on your own decisions, knowing what you want and going after it, and knowing how to care for yourself. Letting other people in doesn’t negate independence. Asking for help when you need it doesn’t negate independence. Loving someone doesn’t necessarily negate independence either. It may change the shape of your independence; it may force you to give a little more to your relationship, to acknowledge and consider your partner’s feelings and opinions about things, and to sometimes concede to certain things to keep the peace. Yet a solid and strong relationship shouldn’t ask of you to completely give *up* your self. IMHO, of course.

    My good friend is extremely independent and is happily married with a child. She sometimes butts heads with her hubby, but he stands his ground, and neither of them would have it any other way. She’s learned how to let him in, she’s learned to consider his feelings. Yet if she wants to go on a trip to see her best friends or her parents, there’s no stopping her, nor would her husband want to keep her from that joy if it’s within his power to make it happen.

    • pillowchats says:

      You are right, the definition of independence needs to be clarified.

      I think an independent woman is one who can provide for herself and make decisions that’s in her best interest and not the best interest of the couple. His needs don’t factor into her making a decision that will affect the both of them.

      I know of a girl who insists on pursuing her studies in LA instead of NYC (where she and her bf currently resides) despite the fact that 1) schools in NYC are just as good and 2) she only cared about her career advancement and not her relationship advancement. If she really loved him, I think a compromise of some sort needs to be made but she refused to make any compromises.

      Personally, my bf also wanted to move to London once upon a time. But instead of discussing it with me, he told me. To me, that indicated to me that I was just temporary and not a part of his life. That made me distant myself. We ultimately resolved the issue 🙂

      When you are in a relationship, you need to be flexible and bend to cater to each others’ needs. A relationship is about “we” and not “me” or “you”.

  2. I know what you’re talking about and you’re dead on about having the definition down right. Independence is nice, but if you aren’t thinking of yourself in terms of “us,” then you really aren’t ready for the big time. I had this problem with an ex, although I would argue that she was too dependent. I’ve seen these “independent” women in online dating. It’s a bit of a turn off, especially after reading it a few times in one sitting. I see it exactly as how you described. They are not ready to be in a relationship yet. Independence in itself will not be a turn off, but one has to be careful so as to not come off as uncaring and distant. Unfortunately, I think this speaks to a larger problem in our society today. Fewer people are able to compromise anymore. Eh, but that’s just me spitballing.

    The woman I’m currently seeing calls herself independent and it’s why I read your post. I wanted to get some additional insight into what might be going on. After reading your post, I think we are on the right track. So far, I think I’m doing fairly well at highlighting her strengths and recognizing my weak areas, but we’re hitting it off so well that I don’t think either of us even cares right now. Her “independence” is what found me. She picked me out of probably hundreds of search results and approached me. I will be forever thankful for her forward nature in that regard. However, her independence is throwing me off step a little bit. I’m usually the gentlemanly type who holds doors and all of that. She beats me to the doors, among other things, but I’m picking up other opportunities here and there. Even though it screws up my normal way of doing things, it has not negatively affected me. To be honest, I’m going to need her to maintain a certain amount of independence while we work through the long distance phase of this relationship.

    This is a good post everyone needs to read, not necessarily to understand responsibility, but to become self aware. Some people like to butt heads. I don’t. I’ve done it for far too long. A relationship where I have to keep the peace is not a relationship I would want for very long. Nothing should require force. Neither should take the attitude that they can “do whatever they want.” Like I said before, it speaks to a larger problem in our me, myself, and I society. I keep telling people that we seem to be on our own little trip of self importance these days. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, something I never thought I’d say about myself.

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