Small acts of chivalry might not cut it for women who are highly independent. So what does it take to sweep a girl like her off her feet?
Does your girlfriend make a fuss every time you do something for her? Is she the type who doesn’t like it when you play the dominant male in a relationship? She’s not being bitchy – she’s just independent.
Who is an independent woman?
An independent woman is someone who knows what she wants, and never relies on anyone to finish the job for her. She is a formidable person who doesn’t allow the men in her life to take over her decisions. She’s tough, but that’s only because she knows it’s the only way she can make a mark in this world.
She won’t settle for being carried on someone’s back, if she can crawl or use her teeth to get to the finish line. She sounds scary, but she’s just a regular girl who wants to actively participate in her journey to become an independent woman in a man’s world.
Still, that doesn’t mean that she’s not open to being in a committed relationship. She just wants someone who will give her space, while she does her thing and still be there for her whenever she feels vulnerable. This woman will love you fiercely with all her heart, but she will never let you walk all over it.
What to do when you’re dating a fiercely independent woman
Once you manage to win an independent woman’s affection, you should never let your guard down. She will watch you like a hawk and scrutinize your ability to handle the relationship. She wants to succeed in being a good girlfriend, but it’s your job to be the best boyfriend for her as well. Here’s how you do that:
#1 Take her seriously. This type of woman always wants to be taken seriously. She has invested her whole life into making people acknowledge her ability to perform excellently whether it’s at home, at work or even in school. Once you undermine her or doubt her abilities, she will take it as an insult. [Read: 21 things that will make her adore you]
#2 Take note of her beliefs and principles. As an independent person, it’s understandable that she has developed certain ideas and beliefs that she has adhered to. You don’t have to bow down to her whims, but you should always acknowledge that she sees things differently or that she is used to a certain way of doing things. If you want her to understand your own beliefs and principles, explain it to her. Don’t just assume that she will go along with how you approach things in life. [Read: The issues that plague the mind of women in a relationship]
#3 Ask her about what she wants. Before you can establish a relationship with someone as independent as this woman, you have to ask her about her needs and wants. By acknowledging these things, you will know how to handle your relationship based on what she has planned for herself.
#4 Ask her about what you both want. Don’t forget that you are a part of this relationship too. Just because she wants certain things, does not mean that you want the same things. The best thing you can do is talk about your plans and goals so that you can arrive at a compromise. This way, you can also find out whether you are both willing to give each other some leeway in the relationship.
#5 Let her in on the decision making. Whether it’s picking a restaurant or a home you want to live in, do not base your decision on whether you think she will like it. Even if she does, she will not appreciate you making the decision for her. As endearing as it sounds to hear that you know her so well, there is a slight chance that she might not agree. If that happens, you can expect her to be very unhappy about it. [Read: 20 ways to make your girlfriend incredibly happy]
#6 Do not make life-altering decisions without her. She will not appreciate the fact that you made a decision without considering her in the matter. Even the trivial things could get blown out of proportion, if you managed to disregard her input in any matter. It’s not because she will be difficult about the situation. Being independent means a lot to her, and letting other people control her actions destabilizes her control over her situation.
#7 Do not let her take the reins. Just because the woman you love is fiercely independent, it does not mean that you should always go by her rules. She is independent, because she wants to prioritize her needs without making anyone else accountable for her actions. By choosing to be in a relationship, she is obligated to adjust to the situation. She must not prioritize her needs above yours – you should prioritize your needs together.
#8 Never play the boyfriend card. When worse comes to worst, you might be tempted to use the boyfriend card. You might hear yourself saying, “You’re my girlfriend. You’re supposed to…” I agree that when a person agrees to be in a relationship, there are some expectations that need to be met. However, you don’t have to state the obvious.
Not only is it condescending, but it also sends the wrong message by implying that being in a relationship requires a person to “play” a role. Tell your partner about what you need. It is up to her to decide whether she can provide it or not. Her role as your girlfriend wouldn’t be up for debate in that situation.
#9 Be just as independent. If you are in love with a fiercely independent woman, you should not complement her by being overly dependent. Her independence requires you to give her space sometimes. When that happens, you are not obligated to wait for her until she has had enough time for herself. You should do your own thing and not worry about whether or not she’s going to call you later. She will probably admire you for not needing to be coddled all the time. [Read: I’m a clingy boyfriend dating an independent girl!]
#10 Let her pay for what she wants to pay for. When she invites you out for dinner or when she suggests that you go on a trip together, do not try to pay the whole bill. Offering to do so would be the polite way to go, but you can’t insist on it when she declines.
If you do it over her head, it will just piss her off because the point of her inviting you is that she wanted to do something for you. By taking that away from her, you are not just undermining her independence – you are also throwing a thoughtful gesture back in her face.
#11 Do not bargain for her time. If you want to spend time with your partner, don’t pay for it with gifts or a promise of a favor. Your partner will think that you’re bribing her, and she’ll take it as a slight against her intelligence. If you want to spend time with her, ask her for it. If you think that she is being unfair to you, tell her how you feel. If she doesn’t care, then maybe your time is better spent with someone else who does. [Read: 25 biggest deal breakers for women]
#12 Do not invite yourself over. Never, ever invite yourself over to her place, when you two are not serious yet. An independent woman wants some semblance of control over her life. If she thinks that her personal space is being violated, she will not hesitate to call you out on it. When things progress between you two, discuss the specifics of what you can do now that you are in a serious relationship.
#13 Give her gifts that she cannot appraise. They say independent women are iffy about getting random and expensive gifts, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give her any, if you want to show your affections that way. They just don’t feel comfortable about being showered with opulence.
If they can appraise what you gave them, they won’t hesitate to return the sentiment with the same amount of effort, just so that they can feel comfortable about you giving them something so expensive. If she can’t appraise the gift – i.e. an heirloom, an experience, something that cannot be replaced – she won’t make a fuss about it.
The list is not relegated to independent women only. As a man, you should make an effort to make any woman feel like she can carry herself in every situation. While in a relationship, you and your partner can be separately independent. However, don’t forget that you can also depend on each other whenever you need to.
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Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...