While strong, independent women are not a rare breed, society’s perception of them can still be wildly dated, promoting the spread of destructive and restrictive relationship advice that in no way encourages women to own their independence—and enjoy fruitful relationships because of, and not despite, it. The following is updated relationship advice for all modern (single or not) ladies.
Independence is Not Intimidating to the Right Person
How many times have you been called “intimidating” for knowing what you want? Have you been told that independence is a negative attribute in the world of dating?
You’re not alone, and the naysayers couldn’t be more incorrect. Your independence and drive are powerful traits that the right person will admire, not condemn. No matter what stage of the relationship you are in, if your significant other suggests your strengths are in fact weaknesses, you’re probably not with the right person.
Don’t stop doing what you are doing, and don’t muzzle your ambition to make way for a partner. Move forward, no holds barred, and the right person will be thrilled to meet someone as stunningly autonomous as you.
Being Alone and Being in a Relationship Can be Equally Fulfilling
That ever-elusive “me time” becomes all the more important as a single woman, as it’s your opportunity to truly understand yourself and your needs. While you should make a point of granting yourself that time, that’s not to say that spending time with a significant other can’t be equally fulfilling.
One of the most common tropes regarding the modern woman is that she doesn’t need anyone and is better off alone. It’s not about whether you’re in a relationship or alone, but rather how fulfilled you are in whichever path you choose. And the best part is: it’s entirely up to you what’s worth your time. Fulfillment comes from within, not from someone else.
It can’t be articulated enough: when it comes to relationships, you need to trust yourself.
This doesn’t only mean to trust your gut (which tends to be annoyingly right), but also to trust that you know what you want. It’s easy in relationships to allow your opinions or goals to be swayed to fit into someone else’s life. While growth is always commended, changing your mind to fit someone else’s idea of an ideal relationship isn’t growing, it’s settling.
Set Aside Societal Expectations
It’s no secret that society, in large part, expects traditional, binary gender roles to be followed, especially by women. The whole white picket fence, happy homemaker, loving wife thing: that whole shebang. If that’s your goal, there is absolutely nothing wrong with striving to achieve it! If your goals look nothing like that, they are still equally valid.
Careers and motherhood is not mutually exclusive, relationships are not mandatory and there is nothing wrong with choosing to be single. Stay true to you, your plans and your goals, and continue making moves towards them, with or without society’s approval.
You Are Not Running Out of Time
For many of us, there’s a ticking, biological clock to worry about. Or rather, that’s what we’re told we should be worried about.
When it comes down to it, in the simplest terms possible: you are not running out of time. This idea that you’re already behind will do nothing but create anxiety and put stress on promising relationships, until you realize you’ve already allowed the best moments or relationships to pass you by in your haste.
A relationship isn’t necessary to being whole, parenthood isn’t 100% dependent upon finding the love of your life, and forcing that next step for fear of missing it entirely is one of the biggest pitfalls single women experience in the dating world. So slow down, enjoy the journey, and don’t compare yours to anyone else’s. Honestly, why would you want to detract from how special your journey is by comparing yours to someone else’s?
Being a modern woman is a strength, and relationship advice should be tailored to highlight that strength rather than to diminish it. Understand that you are valuable, worthy of love, and on a timetable entirely unique to you.