Published March 26, 2010
Living in the 21st century means you will encounter more than a few "independent ladies" while you’re out on the prowl.
We're not talking about the stereotypical feminists here. The modern feminist can simply be a working woman who pays her own bills and doesn’t need a man in her life to be happy.
Enter you, the lucky guy who is thrilled at the prospect of a non-clingy girlfriend. Not so fast. While the notion of the sexy feminist isn’t completely false, you need to be aware of those pesky feminist demands that even the most independent of women is expecting you to ignore. Why don't women just tell you what they want, you ask? Silly rabbit, then they wouldn't be women!
Here's what you need to know.
1. "I can carry my own bag."
It stands to reason that most modern women are willing and able to take care of all the needs in their world — money, shelter, even general household maintenance. (Plumber is under P in the yellow pages, right?) Your girl survived before you came into her life and she will likely continue to do so if you should leave it. Don’t assume that your girlfriend can't do something on her own — do assume that she would very much like you to offer to do some of these things forher. It won't kill you to open a few doors, carry some heavy bags or walk your woman home once in a while — in fact, the right girl will probably inspire this in you from the get-go. It might seem old-fashioned, but it’s also, you know, polite.
2. "Don't objectify me!"
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when much of a woman’s importance was based simply on how she looked. You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who’d admit to that attitude now. Independent women today want to be valued for their intelligence, their work ethic, their kindness — oh yeah, and their looks. Things have changed, but they haven’t changed that much. Females who claim they aren’t impressed by compliments about their appearance are liars. The beauty and fashion industries would implode if this were true. Appreciate her other amazing qualities of course, but if your girl is looking good, tell her so — simple as that.
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3. "I'll pay my share."
Your girlfriend’s salary: $55,000 a year. Price of a fancy restaurant dinner: $150. Splitting that check two ways: $75 each. Your offering to pay the whole thing: Priceless. You shouldn’t be expected to pay for every little thing your girlfriend desires, but treating her once in a while is a pleasant change she will definitely notice and appreciate. Make sure she’s a girl who would do the same for you though — if not, keep those Benjamins to yourself, playa.
4. "I can think for myself!"
Chances are your woman isn’t a meek Stepford-wife type, leaving every important quandary at your feet to solve. Modern women think for themselves — but you already knew that. While your girlfriend wants you to value her opinions, there are times when she just wants you to take the reins. Even the highest-powered executive wants to come home to a man who already thought ahead for their dinner plans without any needed input from her. Indecisiveness, like a comb-over, is never attractive.
5. "I won't be shackled into a marriage."
There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, women want to get married. This doesn’t mean you need to be shopping for engagement rings three months in, but what it does mean is that as long as you’re not vehemently against marriage, most women aren’t, either. They may be fine with years of dating, but most women eventually crave the ultimate commitment — which in most cultures still equals a ring, a dress and the Electric Slide. You may now kiss the bride.
Decode Her Demands
Gender roles continue to evolve every day. It used to be almost heretic to suggest that a man be a stay-at-home father while his wife worked, but now it’s something people don’t even blink at. However, no matter how independent women get, there will always be that part of them that wants to be treated like an old-fashioned lady, whether that means letting her take the backseat in some decision-making or complimenting her on the hot new dress she bought. Sound contradictory to you? Well, that's because it is. Women are a complete contradiction in terms and that’s one thing they’re likely never to evolve out of — like men and leaving the toilet seat up. We all have our crosses to bear.