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Few words give men mixed emotions more than the phrase, “independent woman.” On one hand, we praise independent women and immortalize them in songs such as “Miss Independent” and “She Got Her Own” by R&B singer Ne-Yo, or “Independent” by southern rapper Lil Boosie. On the other hand, there are songs met with slight sarcasm and eye rolls, like Destiny Child’s “Independent Women.”

We dislike gold diggers who are looking to come up off of us, and doubly so for women who claim to be independent but are not. However, we also don’t like women who act as if they don’t completely need or want us, and doubly so for women who only use or mention their independence when it’s convenient.

We live in a world where some women wear their independence like a badge of honor they must flaunt, but excuse us if we’re not as enthused about it as you are and don’t give you extra points and cookies for adulting.

When men speak of women being overly independent, we’RE REFERRING TO THE EGOTISTICAL TYPE OF woman who has weaponized her independence.

We all know a woman who constantly reminds everyone of how much she doesn’t need a man, what a man can’t do for her and how much she has done on her own. Guys end up spending an entire date with that woman hearing about her independence. It’s equivalent to a woman going out with a man and him only talking about his money and his job. You eventually find yourself thinking, “Then what am I here for?” In order for any relationship to work, both people have to be wanted and needed. Ladies, your strength and independence are inadvertently killing what’s left of chivalry. It’s cool to be an independent woman, but allow men to be men.

Honestly, if a man is being a gentleman, shut the hell up about how independent you are and what you don’t need a man to do for you! Just say thank you or no thank you.

Ladies, pray that most men are not like me because if I hold a door open for you, walk you to your car, and you complain, that’s the last time you ever have to worry about it being done for you unless you specifically ask. Your complaining will make a man not want to be a gentleman, and if he’s a man who doesn’t want to do it anyway, that gives him an excuse not to. Being a gentleman is not required in today’s society or dating market because gentleman and non-gentleman get the same perks.

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What you’re basically telling him through action is that he’ll never be good enough for you, needed or appreciated by you. It will make a man resent you. It’s equivalent to sportsmanship because you can choose to either be a sore or gracious winner/loser.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, definitions for “independent” include: not subject to control by others, not requiring or relying on something else and not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct. All of those are cool when you’re single. But if you’re going to be in an equal relationship, you have to become interdependent; which Merriam-Webster defines as dependent upon one another. Instead of asking “What do you bring to my table,” we redefine it as a shared table so we put what we both bring to it on it– regardless of who brings more. We figure out how to use both of our talents, educations and connections to build a successful partnership. Independence is great, but it can be a hindrance if you don’t evolve with your situation.

Written By: Johnny Brownlee II  

Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath

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