8 Things You Need To Know Before You Date An Independent Girl

Independent girls care enough about their lives not to leave them in the hands of anybody else. People often misinterpret this for not wanting love or companionship, but it's about not needing love to fill a space in your life that you don't know how to fill yourself. Independent girls are never looking for someone to fill them up because they have that sh*t handled all by themselves. The downside? Would-be romantic partners have to be secure enough to handle being with someone without feeling needed, which eliminates a lot of people. The upside? If an independent woman chooses to be with you, you can know without a doubt that it's for no other reason than she loves you and wants you in her life. What's better than that?

This kind of emotional independence is beautiful and sacred and rare, and because of all those things, you should know what you're getting into before you dive in heart-first-head-second. Here, all the things you need to know before you date an independent woman:

"I need to spend time alone" does not mean "I need to spend time away from you"

The thing about being so awesome all the time is that it's exhausting. Sometimes you really just need time to turn yourself off and recover from the wonderful momentum of your amazing life. Needing isolation to recharge or really just sort through the emotions and experiences of the week does not have a single thing to do with you, so if you can first disassociate our love for solitude and your conviction that it means we just don't want to hang out, you'll save us all a lot of unnecessary stress (It's really not you. Relax.)

We don't keep what we don't want, and we don't chase what we don't need

If we've lost interest, you'll know, because we will have ended the relationship. If we aren't sure about you, you'll know, because we'll have said something. There's simply nothing more infuriating than the good old "slowly ignore you until you get the hint" method, simply because a lot of people never do get the hint. The point is: if we're into you, we'll make it overtly obvious. We're not here to play games, with your heart or ours. (We have shit to do.)

We aren't going to share absolutely everything with you. We're going to need to keep some things solely ours.

We have no desire to make everything we do into everything we do as a couple, simply because a lot of the glory of pursuing a side-passion or hustle-hobby is that it's ours. There's nothing more attached to it other than time and energy we put into creating something we desire in our lives. All of this to say: It's not that we don't want to invite you to crafting night at Julia's or ask you to read our screenplay... buuut we're not going to invite you to crafting night at Julia's or ask you to read our screenplay.

We do not need to agree with you on everything, so please don't expect us to

We do not need every one of our personal beliefs to align seamlessly to be compatible and committed. Simply, we don't need your approval (or, worse yet, feigned approval) to feel confident in who we are and how we think. We're a strong pull for camp love-is-about-appreciating-who-you-are-not-who-you're-pretending-to-be, so in the very early stages of our blossoming relationship, please know that there's absolutely no need to lie or otherwise extend the truth about what you like, how you feel, what you think, etc. We'll respect you and expect to be treated the same in return.

Our independence can coexist with our relationship. In fact, it has to.

It's the thing we value most about ourselves, and we need to know that we'll be able to maintain our lives, even when they integrate with yours.

We're not opposed to marriage and commitment, but we are opposed to marriage with the wrong person and codependency out of need

Marriage isn't off the table for all independent women. Not necessarily. And that's because, in the right relationship, you don't have to choose between your autonomy and being committed to another person. With the right person, you can have both. That's what we're usually aiming for. We can talk about how we're going to make it work and where you'd like to live within the next 5 years and how our lives could possibly merge even more. Our desire to be who we are has no bearing on whether or not we want to be that person alongside you.

We'll never center our lives around a relationship

There are many girls who take a new last name and with that, shift their identity to be in accord with their new lifestyle, aka, one that's centered on a relationship. You are one of the most important things in our lives... but you are not our life. We exist separately. We have things we want to try and pursue and do by ourselves.

You must give us space to become who we're going to be — and we'll do the same for you

Often the most tension in relationships has to do with the ways someone became something other than what you assumed they'd remain. The reality is that if you're attached to, or in love with the idea of someone, you leave them no space to evolve. Not that they won't do so anyway—they'll continue to change and grow and shift by the day and month and year—but you won't be able to come along for the ride, because you'll be too busy unable to reconcile how they changed.

But if you expect change (as we all should; there's no other way around it) you allow for people to naturally grow. It's healthy and beautiful and (surprisingly rare) and requires a great deal of inner-strength. But it's not impossible. Give us space to ebb and flow, explore the corners of who we could be. We'll do the same for you.

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