Being in love is great (of course, or we wouldn’t spend so much of our lives searching for The One). But being an independent woman is awesome, too. You pay your own bills, do what you want when you want to do it, and make your own decisions. Whether you’re coupled up or still happily single, there are tons of things that you don’t need anyone’s permission for – except your own.
Having the guts to follow a dream. It’s one thing to simply have a dream. We all have something that we wish we could do, whether it’s living in Paris for a year or finally writing that first novel. It’s totally another to actually follow through and pursue what you want. The best part of having a dream is that it’s completely yours and no one can tell you otherwise. And even if some family members make some less than supportive comments, you ignore them.
Knowing when to say no. We won’t be happy if we say yes to everything that comes our way or every question we are asked. Overloaded at work this week? You are fine with turning down a party invite for Saturday night in favor of some crucial alone time. Your BFF trying to set you up, but you told her you want to take a dating break? You don’t mind saying no because you believe this is what’s right for you.
Being super ambitious. Want to go all Martha Stewart and throw a dinner party where you make everything from scratch? Want to shoot for that promotion at work, even though you’ve only been there six months? You don’t let anyone tell you not to be ambitious about every aspect of your life.
Choosing honesty in the dating game. You don’t mind having the dreaded define-the-relationship talk even though it’s only been a month because you want to know where you stand before wasting your time. You decide whether to pursue a relationship or search for something casual, and you go after what you want.
Walking away when it’s time to move on. It’s pure freedom when you realize that you can change your mind about anything at any point in your life. No matter what society says, you are cool with doing what is right for you. You will pull a Julia Roberts on your wedding day or quit your job to finally become a freelance writer. And you do it all without a trace of guilt or worry about following convention.
Having a reality TV addiction. Want to spend the weekend curled up on the couch with The Real Housewives? You are totally unashamed of your love for reality TV. You enjoy it and you won’t let anyone tell you it’s silly.
Listening to 1989 on repeat. If Taylor Swift’s new jams are the only ones on your work and work-out playlists, you embrace it. It’s what you want to be listening to, so why pretend otherwise?
Having a travel bug (or not). Some of us are adventurous, some of us are homebodies. You don’t need to apologize for not wanting to travel around Europe for the summer. On the flip side, you will book a solo trip to Tuscany because that’s what you want to do.
Deciding when to have kids. Meddling parents and in-laws aside, it’s your decision when you want to raise a family (well, yours and your husbands, but still). No one can tell you you’re waiting too long or not waiting long enough because you are following your internal clock, not anyone else’s timeline.
Ordering take-out forever. Okay, maybe not forever. But you simply don’t have much interest in cooking dinner at this point in your life and you don’t want to pretend anymore.