It is well worth noting that you can’t love anyone in the same way. We’re all so different, complex, and driven by different things. It takes truly knowing someone to love them. That’s okay — intentional love is the best kind of love. It’s ruled by attraction, yes, but also a desire to do better. If you’re reading this article, that’s a great start. Here’s how to love a strong, independent woman if you feel a little out of your depth.
Don’t be scared. Don’t treat her like a doll that could break at any minute, but don’t treat her like one of the guys either. Not all the time, anyway. Communicate with her and read what she’s saying. Listen to what works and doesn’t when you’re together. Reflect on why you might feel scared or intimidated by her. Is that just on your end, or is she nervous and trying to keep you at bay as well? Don’t just blame yourself and internalize these issues, think about where they’re coming from and acknowledge the emotion. It’s okay to be scared of change and transition — most of us struggle with that.
Give her space. If your typical attachment style involves being quite intimate and touchy-feely, but that isn’t her vibe, acknowledge that. Women are all different, we don’t all need constant attention and affection. Particularly if we feel you’re just doing it because you think you should. Unpack how you can serve her by giving her space, or figure out how to leverage your love language to show her how much you mean to her.
Don’t be afraid of her successes. I think this is the big hitter. No matter who you are, how you identify, or how long you’ve been together, other people’s successes can be hard. Particularly if they’re in an area in which you feel insecure. However, it’s important to remember that while this kind of resentment is natural, you can also dedicate time to resolving it. You will never feel happy and content all the time, and definitely not if your sense of self only comes out of feeling superior to other people. You have to find a way of being happy with yourself in a vacuum, and not comparing yourself to other people to define that. It’s easier said than done, but it’s not your partner’s problem. Love her for all of her skills and virtues just as you love all of her flaws.
Let her make mistakes. Don’t hoard her mistakes or use that as a way of making yourself feel superior or better. Make mistakes together and be vulnerable together. Relationships aren’t competitions. You can’t win or lose them.
Don’t patronize her. Don’t be one of those guys, please. Seriously. All the people at the tables next to you in the restaurant will be judging you if you’re explaining how important you are to make yourself feel better about her success. If you want to know how to love a successful, independent woman, don’t make it all about you! If it’s not an issue for her, it shouldn’t be for you. Unpack your double standards too. Do you just feel insecure because you feel that, as the man, you should be the successful one? What does that say about you?
Ask her what she needs. Be brave and honest and just ask what she wants. It isn’t a cop-out or a ‘hack’, this is the way you learn about each other. Don’t guess each time you want to get her a gift, just ask what she needs when she’s upset. The fact that you asked will likely make her day. We aren’t a mysterious enigma, guys! You can just ask if something is wrong. We have our own pressures and issues with being independent and successful, talk to us about it.
Communicate your needs. Make sure that you feel comfortable in the relationship too. Establish an open dialogue and you will reap the benefits in the long term.
Is intimidation a barrier to intimacy? Again, ask yourself why you feel this way. Raise the issues with her, be vulnerable. You will be able to resolve these questions with each other, but only if you let her in.
Treat her with respect. Truthfully, this goes without saying, but at the end of the day, she’s just a real person asking you to love her. Let her.
Take as much of this advice as you can to strengthen your relationship — it’s good for any kind of relationship, and you’ll feel like you know yourself and each other more as a result.
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