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5 Things Independent Women Should Keep In Mind Before Starting A Relationship

5 Things Independent Women Should Keep In Mind Before Starting A Relationship

Independent women are used to making fulfilling their individual potential as their first priority, but they need to know that certain sacrifices and compromises need to be made in a relationship.

1. You don’t lose individuality, when your partner and you become “we”

Every independent woman is disgusted when couples become “we”, and there is no “I” anymore. “We like the film. We hate that new restaurant. We, we, we…” And all the independent women ask themselves, why has individuality disappeared and what happened to having your own opinion?However, there is nothing wrong with becoming “we”, and it is often an indicator of having a relationship with an actual future. Also, after a few years of a relationship, it’s normal that you are “we”, as you will have experienced a lot of things together.

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When you are an independent woman, becoming “we” is an improvement of a healthy relationship, because you’ll be aware of your needs and opinions, and at the same time share some thoughts with your loved one. Women who cannot imagine being alone or single tend to adopt all the habits and opinions of their partner, which results only in having an unfulfilled relationship, as you lose yourself in it. When you realize that your relationship has improved, don’t freak out, just go with the flow and enjoy sharing experiences, as your independence won’t let you forget your habits. Moreover, it will help you understand your partner’s habits and needs better.

2. You will not put your partner in first place, but he will become one of your priorities

When in a relationship, most women start neglecting their friends, family and, most importantly, themselves, as they put their partner first. An independent woman won’t let her relationship become an obstacle to having a life, but will have to learn that it is a huge part of their life. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to stop hitting the clubs with your friends, so, stop looking at it like an obligation, or even worse, a waste of time. When you get in a relationship, you need to invest in it, especially emotionally.

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As time goes by and you get attached to your partner, he will become one of your priorities, and you’ll learn when it is appropriate that he comes first, and when he needs to be second on the priority list. Keep in mind that he surely puts you on the top of his list too, and if you really love him, he deserves to be a consideration when certain decisions are made.

3. You don’t like compromise, but you’ll actually enjoy doing things your partner likes

As an independent woman, you certainly don’t like making compromises in a relationship, as you may think that your boyfriend is playing a minor role in the story of your life. Imagine that someone said this about you – you would feel unimportant, like you were insignificant to your partner. This might come as a shock to you, but when you are in an excellent relationship, it becomes the main story and your partner and you are the main characters. It won’t happen immediately, but as your relationship develops, you’ll find out that the relationship keeps you going in life and that your partner is the biggest support you have.

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Independent women have a huge advantage, because when making compromises they’ll actually understand their partner and his habits. This way you’ll avoid fights about what someone has done for the other in a relationship. Moreover, you won’t get bored by the things he likes, as you’ll make compromises reasonably and enjoy exploring your partner’s individuality. Getting to fully know one person is a beautiful experience, which you will understand and know to appreciate. Also, your partner will feel respected, as all independent women like to embrace their partner’s hobbies, habits and opinions, while also preserving their own.

4. You have high expectations and you won’t settle for less

Having high expectations is a good thing, and you know that there is a man who will meet these expectations. When you have certain expectations, such as wanting your man to be a gentleman and respectful of you, it means that you respect yourself and know what you deserve. Women who have expectations, know what they want from a man and respect themselves, will also know how to respect their partner and reach his expectations.

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Try not to set the bar too high for your partner, because there is no need to invest deeply in small details or petty matters. The only expectations you should have are regarding the way he behaves around you, and how he treats you. I am sure, that you as an independent woman know how you would like to be treated. Therefore, don’t settle for less.

5. You know how to spend a quality time with your partner

You don’t need anyone to keep you company and amuse you in order to have fun. When single, you explore many things and work on improving some of your skills. Moreover, you know how to have fun, and you don’t just wander aimlessly around your apartment and waste your time. So, when you start a relationship, you’ll know how to spend some quality time with your partner. Moreover, you’ll actually want to spend that time with him, and you’ll both know how to enjoy each other’s company. You know that the best time you can have with someone is a fun conversation over some nice wine, just enjoying the moment.

Being independent is a good thing, just be careful not to push your partner away by being cold and unavailable. Your characteristics will work for you – they’ll make your relationship healthy, fulfilling and fun. However, you’ll need to learn that, sometimes you just need to go with the flow and, most importantly, learn to let somebody else play a major role in your life.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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