Dating a Strong, Independent Woman

Despite often being represented as shrewish and bossy in popular culture, strong independent women are highly coveted in relationships. They not only help you to grow as a person and a professional but also bring all their wealth of confidence, maturity and resourcefulness to a relationship. So whether you are seeing a strong independent woman or wish to find such a partner, here are a few dating guidelines.

Know where to find them

The best places to find strong and independent women are those which give them ample opportunity to use their skills and talents. Professional conferences and business convention will have their share of women in power suits. However apart from making their acquaintance here, it may be a mistake to suggest a date or even a coffee since these are primarily business venues. Then again country clubs, travel clubs and hobby societies are places where you are likely to come upon women who have fulfilling lives and interests. Also such women may have a fascination for art, music, theater, not to speak of the resources to indulge in them. Thus if you frequent concerts, art galleries and auction houses, you are likely to come across independent women and if lucky even find a single among them.

Be specific about a date

Independent women usually have busy professional and social lives. So if you happen to meet someone you would want to go out with, send her an email with a date and time asking her what her schedule looks like. Ask if you can call her to set up a dinner date or a meeting over drinks at so-and-so time and place. Independent women like definite plans, so don't suggest that you both "hang out" together or imagine that you can play it by the ear. Pin down solid plans for her with concrete ideas and things to do. They don't have time to waste on guys who cannot even come up a coherent, workable plan for a date or a meeting.

Think before you speak

Women who have carved an identity for themselves by dint of their skill and hard work resent being called by gender-specific or patronizing terms like "hottie," "babe," or "chick" on a date. Also, if you are having a conversation with such a woman, do not over-explain things. By over-explaining you are assuming she is less intelligent than you. Treat her as you would like being treated yourself.

Be well-mannered but also respectful

One of the biggest worries that assail men when dating strong independent women is how to pay on a date. Conventional dating etiquette in the US usually encourages the man to pay if it is a first date or if he is the one who has initiated the date, even though in certain European countries like Norway and Sweden, a woman may ask for the bill. One of the best ways to deal with this delicate matter is to hand over your credit card to the maitre de chef right at the beginning of the dinner and thus skirt the issue of who is to pay for what. However if your date demurs and insists of paying for the drinks or dessert, give in graciously. Also you need not give up opening doors or pulling out chairs for your date for fear of giving her offence. These are all instances of good manners and imply no judgment on the capabilities of a woman. However stay away from patronizing behaviors like assuming that you will be driving her back home or talking down to her in technical matters like cellphones and laptops. Keep in mind that she lives on her own and does not need a man to tell her how to drive or how to change settings on her smartphone.

Have reasonable expectations

If you are interested in dating a strong and independent woman, you need to accept from the outset that she will have her own life. In all probability she already has a successful career, active interests and a busy social circle. You should not expect her to give up these and devote herself exclusively to you. Many men make the mistake of first falling for a strong independent woman and then later pressurizing her to make adjustments like toning down her professional ambitions or starting a family. Needless to say the woman packs their bags and leaves. If you really want this woman to take you seriously, then support and encourage her by becoming part of her life and adding to it rather than expecting her to change for you.

Don’t pursue her

If the first date went well, you may be tempted to call her again for another meeting. However if she ignores you or pleads a busy schedule, let it be. Apart from the fact that she may actually have her hands full with work, an independent woman is not likely to be attracted to a needy man. She will show you affection when she wants to. There is no point in pressuring her into giving you attention. In fact, she's likely to lose interest if you do because she may perceive you as being needy and insecure. Also don’t make the mistake of thinking that her ‘no’ actually means ‘yes’ and she is only playing hard to get. A strong independent woman is aware of her feelings and knows her mind. If she wanted to be with you, she would have sent out definite signals and not played a demure damsel. Once she has expressed her inability to meet you for a second date, don’t bother her by sending repeated mails and texts - respect her time and space. Once you lay off, she will tend to perceive you as more of a challenge and call when she wants to show you affection again.

Take charge of your own life

Strong and Independent women usually are attracted to men who are just as successful as they are. This implies that you should already have a satisfying job, enough friends and a full life before seeking to date her. Don’t look upon a relationship with a strong woman as a way of acquiring the stability and vivacity that you could not earn on your own. Moreover by taking charge of your life, you will come off as responsible and thus an eligible enough mate for her. So if you still live with your mom, who also does your budget and laundry, an independent woman is less likely to date you than if you were living your own life.