Men Say They Want Strong Women, But That’s Not Been My Experience

A lot of men go on and on about how they think that strong, independent women are attractive, but when actually confronted with the reality of one, many of them back away. It’s as though they’re in love with the idea of a strong woman, but not the reality. Is it really so much to ask for just one guy who really likes me for my strength?

  1. They seem put off by my strength. I’m not bitchy or aggressive, but I am opinionated and intelligent. I’ll stand up for my beliefs, and I’m not afraid of a good debate. I’m also not afraid to stand up for myself or those around me. A lot of men are intimidated by me — they’ve told me so. I’m not going to be more submissive so they can feel better about themselves; that’s their issue, not mine.
  2. They tell me to soften my approach. This is my favorite … or not. Even though I’m not loud or abrasive, apparently my strong demeanor is just too much for a lot of men. I’ve been told that if I want a guy to like me, I need to be softer and less… me, I suppose. That’s just not going to happen. I’m waiting for that special man to come along who loves and appreciates me exactly as I am.
  3. They’re uncomfortable because I don’t need them. Men always say they want a woman who takes care of herself, and maybe they do in theory. There are definitely guys out there who feel that way — even some who would love to have a sugar mama! Most of the time, though, the guys I meet feel insecure that I don’t need them to take care of me. It’s as if I somehow take away their manhood by paying my own bills.
  4. They think it’s weird when I want to pay. Most guys are cool with going halfsies sometimes, but a lot of them balk at the idea of me paying for both of us. I try to compromise and trade off doing so because it makes them feel so awkward. I don’t know if they feel emasculated by it or what. I just don’t like feeling like I owe a guy anything. Can’t I do something nice for my boyfriend now and then?
  5. They get defensive when I demand better. I hold the men I date to a high level of expectation. I fully intend to grow and develop in a relationship, and I want a guy who does the same. I can and will call my partner out on his crap, just as I hope he’d do to me. Most of them they say they can handle it, but then when it actually happens, they get pissed.
  6. They admire my strength, but only within certain parameters. Oops, sorry — you can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s like they think it’s cool when I’m a badass at work or in the athletic realm, but if I stand up to them about something they don’t want to face, suddenly my strength is a liability. I don’t care if speaking my mind means that a guy has to admit some unpleasant truths to himself. That’s called adulthood.
  7. They aren’t prepared for the reality of dating a strong woman. I’m going to go ahead and say it: a lot of men fantasize about being with independent women because they imagine that we’ll be amazing in bed. Yes, we are, but that’s not where the relationship ends. It’s not all fun and games and sexual sparks — it requires a good deal of confidence and emotional maturity to be with a woman like me. I find it insulting to have even my power objectified.
  8. They aren’t all that good at letting a woman lead. Some of them are quite good at lying back, being passive, and letting their lady do all the work. That’s not the idea. It’s about actively relinquishing the reins to me because I’m a trusted and respected equal partner. I know there are special men out there who are comfortable letting a woman take control sometimes, and I’m still hoping to find mine.
  9. They think my strength gives them a free pass to be passive. I get so frustrated when men assume that because I have a strong personality, I’m going to be the aggressor in every situation — I’m going to hit on them, get their number, arrange the date, do all the daily chores in the relationship, and on and on and on. Nope. That’s not how I work. Sure, I believe gender roles should be fluid. Still, despite my  independence, I want a man to at least try. A mature man will show me that he thinks I’m worth an effort.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at