As a woman who’s experienced her fair share of personal tragedy and failed relationships, I feel very strongly that a woman should be completely independent of her man.
I don’t mean that you should never let a man do anything for you. Independence to me means being able to take care of my own needs in a healthy manner, with or without a man.
Independence promotes self-worth and self-esteem. It also gives you the confidence to walk away from an unfulfilling or abusive relationship.
Healthy, secure men are attracted to independent, confident women. Only insecure men like women who are clingy and dependent. And that’s definitely not the sort of man you want to attract.
If you like being the “damsel in distress”, waiting for a man to “rescue” you from your loneliness, you’d better get used to being the doormat or “discard”, when he trades you in for another model.
There are five forms of independence I believe every woman should cultivate:
1. Physical Independence:
Many codependent women fake illness (or choose to believe that they’re ill) to get attention and get taken care of by their family. Really, how empowering can it be to have someone else take care of all your physical needs?
Unless you suffer from a serious illness or disability, buying groceries, managing your bank accounts, and paying bills are things you should be able to do for yourself, even if you live with someone else.
Take responsibility for your own health and well-being. As a burden to others, you become vulnerable to abuse or abandonment.
2. Sexual Independence:
Learning to pleasure oneself can be very empowering for a woman. Men do it all the time, so there’s no reason why women can’t.
If you can meet your own sexual needs in a healthy manner, you’ll never have to settle for one-night stands or relationships that are demeaning.
Because of conditioning by family and society, many women are not even comfortable with exploring their own bodies. False beliefs about sex and our own bodies can lead to sexual incompatibility and unhappiness in marriage.
For the sake of your marriage and relationships, learn to get comfortable with your own body. If you know how to pleasure yourself, you can help your partner pleasure you better.
3. Financial Independence:
Many women still expect a man to be the provider and a source of security. A man who has a home and car is seen as a better match than one who doesn’t. But like us women, men want to be loved for themselves, not for what they can give us.
If you depend on a man financially, you’ll always be at his mercy, willing to tolerate abuse or disrespectful behaviour. Relationships built on a foundation of need are doomed to fail, or be unhappy for one or both people.
Unless she is taking care of kids and the home – a job in itself – no woman should be financially dependent on a man. At the very least, she should be educated or capable of using her skills and talents to stand on her own two feet, should the man walk out of the relationship.
Being financially independent enhances your own self-worth, and gives you the freedom to make better choices in relationships. You’re less likely to tolerate disrespect or abuse if you know you can fend for yourself.
4. Emotional Independence:
This is the ability to deal with emotional issues and problems on your own. If you act emotionally needy and clingy, you’ll attract insecure men.
Neediness will not only attract potential abusers, but will also drive away a good man looking for a strong, independent woman.
If you’re having trouble meeting your own emotional needs, I recommend you read Inner Bonding: Becoming a Loving Adult to Your Inner Child by Margaret Paul.
5. Spiritual Independence:
A good man wants to be with an independent-thinking woman, not one who follows him around agreeing to everything he says.
Being an independent thinker means having the courage to stand by your beliefs, speak your mind, and follow the path that feels right for you. It makes you less likely to attract a man who is controlling and tries to dictate what you should think, read or believe in.
Independence is attractive because it gives a woman the freedom to make better choices and enter a healthy, authentic, inter-dependent relationship on her own terms.
Copyright © Priya Florence Shah Priya Florence Shah manages Naaree.com, India’s first portal for empowered women and blogs about self-improvement and spirituality. Click here for relationship tips and advice.