A male friend told me that I appeared too “self sufficient” to “need” a man. Which (in his opinion) is why I am still single. He obviously thought he was being helpful but that comment really rubbed me the wrong way.
(Full disclosure: I wrote an “angry feminist” version of this post-which has since been deleted-before I calmed down and was able to write a rational one.)
My first thought was that: What does a woman who “needs” a man look like? These days pretty much everyone has to be “self sufficient” or they end up living with their parents. Does he expect me to live with my parents forever? (Would that even be fair to my parents?)
For some reason I was under the impression that the most attractive people were actually confident and autonomous. They are content with themselves and their situations. That makes it easier to invite someone else to share their lives, right? Could I have had that wrong?
As it happens the show Married at First Sight actually had an episode which was quite applicable this week. (Yes, I have been keeping up with the season.) One of the couples (Monet and Vaughn) is sort of in a constant power struggle. Monet is an extremely well-adjusted and independent woman who said she wanted a strong man. Vaughn wants someone who relies on him and seems to be put off by Monet’s independence.
What Vaughn (and my friend) haven’t been able to communicate is that “needed” is a synonym for “relevant” in their minds. They don’t quite know how they “fit” or are “relevant” to the lives of successful, stable women who have built their lives around careers, friends and hobbies instead of waiting around for a husband. I guess I can see why: We’re always doing something. It just isn’t logical to sit moping on the couch every night waiting for prince charming in his white Dodge Charger to show up. We single gals often have a lot of free time to do what we like and it would be a shame to waste something so valuable.
However, even great friendships and fulfilling careers and hobbies are no substitute for a romantic relationship. (And especially not an actual marriage.) There’s just something special about having someone of one’s own to come home to. All the book clubs in the world can’t replace that.
So, gentlemen, don’t let yourself be put off by an independent woman. Like you, we spend time outside of work doing what we like because we have the free time to do so. Instead of whether you’re “needed” or not, the question you should be asking is whether the two of you are capable of making some compromises to build a new life together. People who love each other are more than capable of making each other feel relevant.
Besides, gents, you could find life with an independent woman to be exciting beyond your expectations because we’ve done so much living, already.