The past few years have brought a great deal of societal change, and the #GirlBoss movement has been no exception. Gone are the days of modern women fearing the declaration of their independence and strength.
Toronto is home to scores of impressive, fiercely independent females who are continuously leaving their mark on our city while adding notable accomplishments and professional praise to their resumes. Antiquated stereotypes have (slowly but surely) broken down to make way for a professional and cultural landscape that embraces and encourages strong women… and it’s awesome.
Of course, female independence is something that can often misunderstood or misconstrued, especially within the dating realm. What does a Girl Boss need in a relationship, if her identity is so firmly tied to her independence and individual growth? Does a Girl Boss not have an interest in dating? Is she anti-romance?
1. Independence Isn’t Necessarily About Being Alone
The need or desire for independence doesn’t rely on a subsequent desire to be isolated or alone. Independence is simply a mindset and a state of being, a desire to build something of our own before we attach it (or share it) with anyone else. It’s a desire to understand, and develop, who we are as an individual and continuously honour that growth.
This doesn’t need to be a lonely venture.
Healthy relationships require independence to thrive. Time spent dedicated to the understanding of our individual desires, needs, ventures, goals and emotional well-being allows us to be better partners, when the time comes.
Personal trainer and model Catrina Judge shares that, “You’re going to have to be fine with the fact that she doesn’t need you, but she wants you. Dating someone that has a busy schedule or is always on the go, you have to be empathetic and understand that they are making the time for you admit meetings, castings, filming etc., so insecurity about attention is something that needs to be left at the door. Finding fun activities or planning things for when your Girl Boss is free is a great way to make lasting memories.”
Basically, a Girl Boss is with you because she wants to be, not because she needs to be. She is a strong, multifaceted women with the capacity to thrive on her own, or with a partner. Her desire for independence won’t cease to exist when she chooses to be with someone, and this isn’t a bad thing. She will honour her need for independence, and yours, while also appreciating that which you build together and the moments you share together.
2. Balance is Everything
When it comes to relationships, we all have different needs and tendencies. Some of us may qualify as ‘romance junkies’, while others may be lacking in terms of overly romantic tendencies. Some of us will be extremely doting and affectionate, and others may express their love and affection in other ways. It’s not about being one way or another, it’s about knowing what you need (and what you can offer in return) and dating individuals that align with those elements of your person. This is where you determine who you are compatible with, and who you aren’t.
While every Girl Boss will be different, finding the balance is usually the key to success. She may not always love the idea of romantic vulnerability, or be driven by a constant need for physical connection or affection, but that doesn’t mean she is any less of a partner or is incapable of meeting you in the middle.
It’s not about extremes, it’s about finding a working balance between the respective needs, quirks and desires of your partner and exploring that, together.
There’s an important difference that exists between the concept of chivalry, and antiquated ideas of women needing to be ‘taken care of’. Chivalry certainly should not be dead, but a Girl Boss most certainly isn’t looking for a caretaker. She is interested in true, equal partnership.
You don’t need to carry her along with you, because she’s set her own pace. She has her own stuff going on. Instead, you can grow and move alongside each other, while continuously learning the balance between who you both are, and how that allows you to move through life — and a relationship — together.
4. Time is a Valuable Currency
Ambitious, independent millennials who are almost always on the go, deeply value their time (because they know there often isn’t enough of it in each day). With this in mind, know that a Girl Boss’s decision to share her time with you, comes from a place of genuine interest and appreciation. She is choosing to prioritize you admit the chaos. However, if you continuously flake on plans, or seemingly abuse or disrespect her time, she will likely move on (and quickly).
Time is everything, you guys.
Julie Harrish, owner of 6ix Cycle, shares that “Finding ways to help me save time is actually the sexiest thing you can do. I have a million things to do and next to no time to do them so any way to help me shave an hour or two off of a task or helping me attack an item on the to-do list is life changing. One of the best gifts I ever received was coming home from a business trip to a detailed car because… let’s be real, when was I ever going to have time to clean it?”
5. She Will Be Your Biggest Fan
Listen, today’s Girl Boss gets the professional grind because, guess what? She’s in it too. She understands the frequent ups and downs, hectic days and late nights that support a passionate career and lifestyle. And just as she expects you to support her endeavours, trust that she will support yours with voracity. She will always be pushing you towards that which you hope to achieve, just as she will maintain her pace to achieve her goals, too.
Personal Trainer, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of All Day Fit, Cassie Day, says it best: “A Girl Boss will inspire you to complete yourself. She will support your direction, motivate and encourage you to do the things you love. She will empower you and help you see value in your leadership. She will challenge you as a person and you will grow, and she will always be your biggest fan. With all of this being said – my boyfriend is a huge part of my success, because he’s my number one supporter. And as a Girl Boss, that’s what you need: a strong, healthy relationship where your significant other is on your side and never intimidated by your strength but, instead, inspired by it. As a Girl Boss, find someone who’s as equally driven and motivated as you are and reach the top together.”