A male friend of mine and I had a discussion the other day about a woman wanting a man versus needing him. Its an issue I truly believe confuses us all–especially the men. There is no doubt a difference and a man needs to understand an independent woman in order to tell the two a apart.
My mother once told me I was independent coming out of the womb. Considering how adventurous I am, I would say its a true statement. Alone time and solitude have always been a priority for me. However, I didn’t always know I was so independent until I moved to Switzerland at the age of 19 and lived and worked in another culture. It was there I truly gained my sense of independence and knew I could depend on myself.
After college, I purposely moved across the country to Connecticut so I could not only see the east coast, but get completely away from college life. Although I still spoke english this time, moving from California to the NYC area was a complete culture shock. However, I once again learned to depend on myself and get through the loneliness of meeting new friends.
After moving back to California and into San Francisco, I was a completely different person. Gone was the small town, naive little girl and into her place was an older, more mature and independent woman who continues to thrive today. My independence is an asset for me and has shaped my personality. Yet, while I have lived in many places and gone on many adventures, there is still a small part of me that wants and needs that stability of family life and having roots in the ground.
The discussion my friend and I had was how independent women like myself seem to not ever need a man. Its a blanket statement that is both true and false. Some women are independent by choice and don’t want the shackles of a relationship or marriage or kids. Some of us, like me, never really fell in love enough to want to spend our lives with someone. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to, it just means we haven’t done it YET. Since we haven’t put those roots in the ground, we continue to live adventures and depend on our own sense of self. We don’t wait around and put things off because we haven’t married yet. We still have careers, travel, buy homes, move around, invest our money, have wills, and nest, just to name a few things.
My friend, who is in his 50s and married, said its a huge turn off how we act like we don’t need men. I was surprised by this statement because I never thought I projected so much independence that I didn’t need a guy in my life. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there is a huge difference between needing someone and wanting him in my life. I most certainly WANT someone in my life. I do enjoy companionship, intimacy and being close to a man. I even need that in a way. However, I am not by any means NEEDY. Big difference.
I think men mistake the two–want and need–a lot. Men really want to be needed, but their version of need is the independent woman’s version ofwant. Just like there is a difference between want and need, there is a difference between need and needy. A needy woman is insecure, needs constant attention, validation and can’t be alone. An independent woman with needs wants a man, likes attention, but can easily live without it and do her own thing. She is patient and will wait for the right man rather than settle. She has learned to entertain herself and enjoy her own company. She will wait for the right man because she wants him not because she needs him.
I’ve had my share of boyfriends over the years and the ones I truly liked and respected treated me well and made me feel secure in my independence. They didn’t try to change me or smother me but understood I needed my own time to recharge my batteries. Eventually my wants will turn into need but in positive way that enhances the relationship and not in an insecure way that will harm it.
If an independent woman chooses to want you, you are the luckiest guy in the world. You will be getting someone who understands that life happens now and not when you get married or settle down. She will want to have fun, go on adventures, share her already awesome life with you because its her choice. Not because she has to.