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8 Qualities Every Independent Woman Should Look For In A Boyfriend

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8 Qualities Every Independent Woman Should Look For In A Boyfriend

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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