If almost every Destiny's Child song is your life anthem, throw your hands up at me. Independent women are often perceived as man-hating feminists who are intimidating and cold. It's easy to misunderstand us, but the truth of the matter's that we're a no-bullsh*t breed. We're strong willed, comfortable with ourselves, and above all, self-reliant. So when something or someone challenges us in anyway, we're not the most soft spoken. But that's not to say we're not as compassionate and loving as the next person. We just have a more direct route of getting from point A to point B, whether in conversation or life. So to avoid any "intimidating and cold" responses the next time you speak to us, try to refrain from using any of the following phrases.
1. "You're going by yourself?"
Telling someone you went out to dinner alone or on a solo movie date evokes almost the same reaction as would saying you played catch with yourself. Some give you that sad look and others just don't get it. No, it's not lonely or depressing for us. We're comfortable enough to have a great time on our own. In fact, it's the best way to achieve mental clarity and self-awareness, and personal outings are something more should embrace.
2. "He completes me."
I'm sorry — were you only half a being before? This phrase may seem "romantic" but if you think about it, it's kind of sad. Saying that another person is responsible for making you feel whole suggests that you can't stand on your own. Independent women love themselves first before loving anyone else, which is why we're not as hung up when insignificant flings don't work out.
3. "Why are you single?"
Simple — because we want to be. Sure, we may have options, but we don't want to waste our time on meaningless relationships. We like to surround ourselves with those smarter and better than us. If we don't believe the potential candidate can contribute equal or better qualities, there's no appeal.
4. "He should pay because he's the guy."
Who doesn't enjoy being treated once in a while? But once it becomes an expectation, that's when it gets problematic. Ladies, we work and pay bills, too. There is no excuse (especially gender) for us to peg the bill on our date when we're fully capable of it ourselves.
5. "Your loss."
No, dude — your loss. It's not about being overly confident or cocky. We know our self-value and don't feel the need to have to educate someone else if they can't see it on their own.
6. "You shouldn't . . ." or "You can't . . ."
Wait, who are you? Unless we actively sought your opinion (which we have no problem doing), your permission is not required for anything. Independent women know what we want and don't like being told what to do. However, we know the difference between stubbornness and assertiveness. We value multiple views and openly welcome thoughts outside of ours, but if it just feels like you're trying to exert power over us for the sake of control, we won't have any of it.
7. "Can I bring my boyfriend/husband/date/partner?"
Heads up — this one really irks us. There are appropriate times to bring your significant other and then there are occasions (like girls' night, dinner plans, etc.) that don't require bringing a plus one. It's not that we have any issues with him or her (unless we do) — it's slightly irritating when one can't bear to stray away for a period of time.
8. [Insert overly glorifying compliment here.]
Independent women like to be respected but not placed on a pedestal. Sometimes, it can even get a little uncomfortable. We like for our talents and qualities to be recognized but we don't need constant reassurance. We're secure enough to take care of that department on our own.
9. "Let me do that for you."
Thanks, but no thanks. Last time we checked we had arms and legs, too. We don't have any issues asking when help is needed but we take offense when you assume we can't do it ourselves. It's not about feeding our ego — we don't like feeding gender roles that continue to trap us into this perception that women need help. Feel free to offer your assistance but please don't insist on it.
10. "I need him/her."
Independent women want but don't need a partner. We view relationships as a plus, not the means to an end. We welcome connections that can add value to our lives but aren't on the hunt for the sake of filling a void.