I have worked very hard to achieve my independence. As a woman, I am proud to say I am comfortable with being left in my own company. I am all right staying home on a Friday night, watching bad TV, by myself. I have never been more comfortably spontaneous in my life.
A couple years after my last serious, long-term relationship, I am happily single and proud of it. My life is full and complete, and I’m happier now than I have ever been – even what I was with someone else. If I want to date, I can. And I can come home to my own place afterward. I have no restrictions or social obligations. I come and go as I please, make plans, break plans, and choose what I want to do and with whom I want to do it.
With this independence comes a shift in traditional gender roles. I don’t need anyone around me – I am perfectly content by myself. I don’t need to be taken care of – I can take care of myself. I don’t need someone to pay for things – I make enough money to live comfortably. I don’t need anything.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t want companionship and friendship and someone to get close with. However, if that person comes into my life, I will not compromise my independence.
I have always believed there are three parts to a relationship.
You, me and us.
There has to be a separate you and a separate me in order for there to be a healthy us. In other words, you don’t let another person or a relationship define who you are. We’ve all heard the names “Brangelina” and “Speidi.” Those celebrity couples are prime examples of what happens when you let yourself become defined by the relationship you’re in; you lose your own identity. Your independence.
It is important to maintain your individuality and your own life in order to participate in a healthy relationship.
It all begins when you start to lean on your significant other. When you begin to depend on them for certain things then you slowly lose a part of yourself.
And that’s just something I’m not willing to do.
But what happens when it comes time to integrate someone else into your autonomous lifestyle? What happens when someone is asking you where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing? What happens when you’re trying to let someone in?
I like my freedom. I don’t like needing to tell someone where I am or what I’m doing. I don’t like to feel obligated to report in to someone. I want nothing more than the natural progression to be easy.
Navigating this new territory can be challenging – especially when you’re used to doing it yourself for so long.
The idea of letting your guard down and allowing someone into your heart is terrifying. No one wants to be the one to give in first to a display of vulnerability.
Generally speaking (and stereotypically), the avoidance of intimacy is traditionally a male’s domain. However, women are catching up in the fear of commitment
Modern society imposes so many requirements and expectations on what makes a “good catch,” it’s that much harder to determine whether someone is good for you. Mix this in with the new societal acceptance of female independence from a man and you have a recipe for disaster.
How are you supposed to maintain this independence while allowing yourself to be vulnerable? How can you hold true to everything you’ve worked for while simultaneously letting someone in just enough to be able to tear everything down?