You prize your independence. You are the one who can handle your job challenges, problems with coworkers and family issues without running for help. When it comes to your boyfriend, you have some specific things in mind which will fit in with your lifestyle. Here is a list of things you are looking for. These are not set in stone, just a set of guidelines. If your boyfriend fails to meet one or two of these criteria, don’t kick him out. After all, one of your great qualities as an independent woman is your talent for flexibility, compromise and problem solving! You might have to do some work or if you think it is not worth it, you might move on.
1. He gives you your personal space
You love having a little time, space, and some oxygen for yourself. He knows that and loves his private space too. There are no problems if you are away for a weekend or out with the girls. He does not cling and he does not pester you with texts and phone calls while you are enjoying yourself. It is, of course reciprocal because you do not believe in 24/7 surveillance either. But you love those funny messages at unexpected times.
2. He’s there when you need him
You know the type of guy who wants to become your second dad and is overprotective. No thanks! You have learned from early on to be self-sufficient, capable and strong. You want him there though when you need support, encouragement, and advice and he always is.
You know that there is a certain ambiguity in your independence. You always want to show your strength and capabilities but at the same time you feel the need to be cared for emotionally and socially. You can list countless examples when he has taken care of you in moments of doubt, sadness, and even exhaustion.
3. He knows the ups and downs of living together
Are you going to lose some of your independence if you start living together? He probably has been through that himself. Maybe it was a small apartment and the pressure of being together for much of the time ruined the last relationship. He is prepared to examine with you all the pros and cons. He is aware, like you are, of the risks. Most research now indicates that cohabiting or marriage is not the problem. It is the age of the partners and their maturity which really makes the difference. You both know the dangers of mindlessly drifting into cohabitation.
4. He does not feel threatened
You know that some men actually feel a little intimidated or even threatened by an independent woman. They may even feel less masculine when confronted with the woman’s autonomy. But, you know that your boyfriend does not expect you be more clingy and less independent once you become a couple. Your relationship is not about giving up what you have fought for and there is no question of being conquered.
5. He knows your real agenda
Fortunately, your boyfriend is far more enlightened than those guys who think that a woman’s main ambition is to get a partner and settle down! You both have great ideas on how you will work together as equal partners in finding happiness together. Your boyfriend knows that romance is just the icing on the cake. Baking and eating the cake requires commitment and hard work.
6. He knows that no partner needs to dominate
We all know the stories about who is “wearing the pants” in certain households. Fortunately, couples have evolved and there is no need for domination or even power struggles or when making decisions. You both believe in a partnership so there is no need for one of you to hold all the cards.
He respects you and your decisions and you feel safe in his presence. This is a biggie as 95% of domestic violence victims all over the world are women. There are no signs of emotional or physical abuse and that is why you feel totally secure.
7. He understands your goals and ambitions
Problems can arise when your boyfriend may not be ambitious at all at work and does not have any great goals, apart from surviving till Friday! You don’t relate to being not motivated at all and working in a dead-end job. This is where the motivation gap may cause problems because your long hours and getting up early may not suit your boyfriend at all and may lead him to loneliness, frustration and insecurity.
This problem is solved when you both have goals and ambitions and they are not necessarily tied to the world of work. Your boyfriend may be highly motivated in sports or working out and is also driven by ambition. You both understand your goals because you have discussed them a lot.
8. He knows how to communicate
Guess what the number one problem is in most relationships? It is not sex or money but lack of communication. Most couples cannot deal with arguments which tend to start and never finish. You know the ones where you or he threatens to leave or take some other drastic action.
Your boyfriend is an effective communicator because he never brings up old issues or introduces third parties (“Your Mom agrees with me”). He also concentrates on the present issue and avoids exaggerating by refusing to use the words “you always” and “you never”. He knows that these tend to fudge the real issues as you yourself understand only too well. You both know that arguments resolve differences and are not to be used again and again!
Have you been able to tick off all the above points? How did your boyfriend do and did you pass the test yourself?
Featured photo credit: Couple in love/ Pedro Ribeiro Simoes via flickr.com