Recently, I told a couple of strong women whom I have known since they were born that I would do a blog post on strong women in our society. There has been quite a bit of press coverage of strong women lately, whether in politics or business or life in general. Later, in a moment of self-doubt, I got to thinking to myself, “What the heck do I know about strong women.” My answer to was to think of it more about a strong person, gender identity aside, and to try to identify the characteristics that makes them “strong”.
The more I thought about it the more I settled on one characteristic above all others that makes a person – man or woman – a strong person. That characteristic is self-assurance. This is not to be confused with conceit or being self-centered. Strong women have a very clear understanding and acceptance of who they are and what they want in life. Strong women do not need a man to validate them. They are ready and looking for an equal partner, not just someone to assume the role of protector and provider. They have left the nest and their parents and aren’t looking for a man to come into their life and provide a substitute father figure.
In a prior life, when I was in the big, corporate world, I took a course that was aptly titled “I’m OK, You’re OK”. While the course focused upon how to identify and deal with different types of people, one of the basic premises was that you are OK being you; that you aren’t trying to be someone else. Strong people and strong women are OK being themselves. They like who they are and what they are doing in life. They might invite you to share that life with them, but they are not looking to replace it or change it, just to suit you. They may be willing to make some accommodations in order to share life with you; but you shouldn’t expect subservience or too much deference to your point of view.
There is a tendency to call strong people “headstrong”; and, indeed, they can seem that way at times, even to the point of becoming argumentative. Unanswered in the complaint that they are unwilling to budge from their position on something is the question of how willing you were to move your thinking in their direction. Sometimes you can find compromise and sometimes you just have to agree to disagree; and, that’s OK. Life does not have to be a “winner-loser” game. In fact it is best when lived as a win-win game.
I’ve posted here before about the importance of developing the bond of friendship with the one that you may be sharing your life with. The jewelry companies have picked up on that aspect of a successful partnership with their two stone rings – one stone for the one you love and one for your best friend. That is the relationship to strive for with a strong partner.
So, guys; when you meet a strong woman, you should not be frightened nor should you see it as a challenge to try to dominate her. Rather, see it as an opportunity, perhaps to form a relationship with someone who can hold their own as your best friend in life’s journey. It can be an amazing trip when you have a partner alongside you who can give as much as he/she takes in the relationship. If you just want arm candy, you can find that, too; just don’t expect too much from someone who sees you as her sugar daddy. You can drag that cute, little dependent being along with you, like a puppy on a lease; or, you can find a strong woman who will pull her load in life as an equal partner – you chose.
As for me; I’ve got to go now; my partner and I have plans for the day.