Independent woman

I have always been an independent person. As a kid I was so stubborn to allow anyone to do anything for me, yet would get so frustrated if I was unable to do it for myself. I got asked to leave a waltz class in university and told to ‘Come back when I was willing to follow and let the man lead me’. And as a self employed singer, it’s up to me to find my own work and it has given me the outlook of if you need something doing the only person you can fully rely on to get it done is yourself.

Then I have the trait of anything I think pops out of my mouth before my mind has the time to process it, I don’t live in one place at one time, and most of my time is dedicated to my work. I’m not exactly an easy catch. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be caught. or don’t want to be.

Since being back on the dating scene and actively looking to date for the past 6 months, my independent lifestyle has been the elephant in the conversation that seems to be a problem for one reason or another for guys, yet most guys I talk to tell me that they find independence an attractive trait in a potential girlfriend.

So guys, if you’d like to bag yourself an independent woman, here are a few facts and pointers you should keep in mind.

We are not anti men

The Nineties revelation of Girl power and records such as “Single Ladies” and “Independent Woman” tell girls to stand on their own feet and that they don’t need a man to be happy. Yes, that’s true. However it doesn’t mean that being a woman who stands on their own comes hand in hand with hating on men. If we were, then surely we wouldn’t be interested in dating at all.

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So if a girl mentions that she is a career woman, or know what she is looking for, it doesn’t mean she thinks she is better than a man. Or that she is looking to compete. Don’t be intimidated. It’s not an attack to men, it’s a stand up for women.

Don’t try and change them

As we get older, a social stigma becomes attached to us that we should start settling down. We should find the love of our lives, buy a house, have children. But there can’t be a time frame attached to when anyone should be at that point. Everyone’s lives are different.

It’s like red button syndrome. No matter how much you tell someone not to do something, they will want to do it. And if you try and force someone into something, the likelihood is that they will ricochet into the other direction. It seems a lot of guys see an independent woman a challenge to try and anchor. Maybe it’s a security thing, if you can get them to stay with you they must really like you, or maybe a power thing. Whatever the reason, independence comes hand in hand with stubbornness and it’s probably going to be impossible to change that person. So don’t try to.

Be straight up

Travelling a lot but wanting to date had forced me into finding guys in a way I’d rather not; dating apps. I can’t deny it makes dating for a busy girl like me a lot easier. And I have met some great guys along the way. However as soon as I’ve told them that I move around for work it has ended in the immediate death in our conversations by most guys. This has made me so reluctant to tell them that I am a travelling performer, which I find so hard as I am so passionate about music and it’s such a big part of my life.

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I understand some guys are looking for someone they can see most days, or someone who is based near them. I get it is a lot easier to date someone if they are in the same place as you. I also hate a long distance relationship. However, it is never nice to be talking to someone a lot one day and then just never getting a reply ever again. An independent woman can take the truth. Tell her straight that not being able to see her is a big deal. It’s so much better than us just trying to guess the reason for being ghosted and becoming super paranoid that it’s something we said or how we look. Girls appreciate the truth.

We don’t necessarily want fleeting passion

We don’t need a man but that doesn’t stop us from wanting one. If you think of independent female characters depicted in films or on TV they are usually branded with being hard faced, selfish and guarded. And they are usually single.

Being an independent woman doesn’t mean we like being on our own in our romantic lives. And it also doesn’t mean we are just looking for a quick heat of the moment with a person. This conversation has happened to me on a number of occasions since being back on the dating scene.

Me: “Yeah I’m here for a month for work.”

The guy: “Aww that’s a shame, fancy just meeting for a shag then?”

This conversation has resulted in a very quick “no, thank you” followed by a delete. All these guys have seemed really nice until I mention I’m only passing through where they live and it quickly just becomes ‘I’m not willing to put in the graft but if you’re only around for a bit it must mean you’re just searching for a one night stand.’ Maybe some independent ladies are. Girls have needs. But don’t make that assumption. You can usually tell. If the chat is immediately flirty and nothing about your job or your interests, that’s probably someone who’s just interested in having sex with you.

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Don’t expect constant correspondence

Working freelance means a lot of my time is dedicated to my job. It also means that sometimes I don’t have much going on and sometimes I can be buried by deadlines and emails and rehearsals. I definitely live for work, I don’t work to live.

Which means that sometimes I don’t have time to text him back, or call or hang out. Women who are buried in their work need a guy who understands that it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested, it just means right now their focus is their work.

Don’t send 100 texts and a thousand emails. Just give your girl some space. Independent girls hate nothing more than guys who are far too dependent on people. Independent girls find independence seriously attractive.

Elle works as a freelance singer, travelling the world performing on cruise ships and in hotels. Find her on Facebook or check out more about her writing on her website.

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