If you have more than your share of close girlfriends, it can often feel like life’s happenings come in waves. Almost as if there are seasons of love gained and love lost, there are times it seems like everyone is getting married and other times it seems that everyone’s breaking up. The last two months I’ve been a listening ear and avid shoulder for friends who’ve gone through or are still wounded by recent break-ups. The central theme of this seasons break-ups seems to be intimidation. In fact, during a friends bouts of sadness she proclaimed, “I shoulda stay inna retail! Things were so much easier when I was working at Victoria secret.”

More college graduates are female than male, more women are making competitive salaries and/or even more than their counterparts, yadda, yadda, yadda. It is what it is. If you speak to most women, ambition or the quest to secure independence has nothing to do with out doing a man. Most of us aren’t hardcore feminist on a mission for equivalence. Most of us aren’t of the impression that we don’t need a man. And that’s what this post is about, NEED. Over brunch last Sunday I shared with a close friend of mine that her exes, especially the most recent one, were intimidated by her. She shared that she didn’t think that was true, offering that her ex was actually relieved that she did as well as she did. He had been in his share of ‘she needs a ride, help with her light bill, can’t ever pay for a dinner’ relationships and was relieved to finally be with someone who could meet finally him half way. I told her that was probably 110% true….. in the beginning. You see the lifestyle a person cultivates for themselves for some reason speaks volumes to a man. And those volumes go something to the tune of, ” I expect you to do for me, what I’ve already been doing for myself.” You may have never asked him for a brand name item but if that’s all you wear, he believes that’s all you’ve come to expect. If you take lavish vacations, he feels a need to compete with and/or provide for that lifestyle. The job you uphold and the preferences you’ve cultivated will earn you the title of, “high maintenance.” It doesn’t matter that your maintaining yourself or that you don’t request these things of your partner.

Relationships can often go array, not because of what a person has done but what the other person anticipates they’ll do. It sounds silly, I know, but I’ve seen many partnerships fall victim to this. I was once with someone who would obsessively comment that he’s “not moving into no woman house so she can turn round and put him out later.” He’d recount these imaginary arguments we’d have in the future where I would undoubtedly one day tell him this is MY house.

I explained to my friend that men need to be needed.  Life proves daily, that feelings are fleeting and so men need tangible evidence that you need them around. A man who plays the role of a provider knows why he is needed. Among the emotional gain and mutual support he knows the part he plays in your life and he thrives on that. A man who puts “it” down in ways that make you quiver from the feet up, knows why you’re putting up with him on the bad days. You see, financially secure women make the question, “what does she keep me around for,” a bit harder to answer. A man’s role is not so easily delineated when all you need from him, is to love you. What does that mean? How does this love for you materialize? Not having a so-called role is always fine at first, when novelties are in play and it’s all about feelings. When things get real and you begin to argue and have your I can’t take this shit moments, these questions get louder. And when he’s finally pushed you away or decided to call it quits, you’ll probably hear the words that seem to be common break up jargon for these kinds of relationships, “you we’re never gonna stick around anyway. ”

The Formula

If your job is keeping you from getting that guy, he’s not the one worth getting.

Many independent women seem to be finding themselves in relationships  with men intimidated by them. It becomes discouraging, true but it’s important to acknowledge if you are playing a part in this perception. When I browsed the internet for display pics for this post, I googled “independent women.”  What resulted were tons of pics with the signage, “I don’t need no man,” or “I buy my own s**t,” etc. The truth is a man needs to feel like a man. He needs to feel needed, not reminded each day of the fifteen and one million reasons you don’t need him. The other consequential truth is a woman needs companionship, in one way or another, so don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you have all you’ll ever need.

Everyone has insecurities that seem to fester and grow the longer you’re with a person. However, a person who allows their insecurities to crowd your present bliss is a waste of time.  A lot of men are intimidated by women who can do fine all by themselves but quite a few aren’t. Know your worth as a woman. Be proud of how far you’ve become and what you’ve accomplished but  be humble enough to realize you can’t be independently in a relationship. It sucks, but the more successful you are the more challenges you’ll meet when dating below your financial level.

What are your thoughts on this post? Do independent women make it hard for men or are men too insecure to make it work?