First, decide if you really want a relationship with a strong independent woman. To do so, you need to know yourself well enough and be honest with yourself enough to answer the following questions truthfully. Are you a control freak, one who needs to dominate a relationship at all times? Are you a pushover, do you give in constantly so that one's partner always gets what they want? Are you afraid of adventure and change? Are you unwilling to change your habits; not your character but your habits? Are you willing to try and change basic core characteristics of your personality for another person?
If you answer yes to any of these, then walk away now. A healthy relationship with a strong independent woman is not going to happen. You can try all you like but desiring any of these extremes while being in a partnership with such an individual is just dooming you to failure.
If you answered no to any of these questions then you have a fighting chance. If you still desire a relationship with a strong independent woman then you must a strong independent man, but... you must be willing to be both the Oak and Willow when situations dictate it. You must be able to stand firm and strong when needs require it but not be hard and brittle. You must be flexible and bend in the wind when emotional weathers require it of you. This is the Philosophy of the Oak and the Willow.
A man must be willing to guide his own destiny but accept that another must do the same. In a relationship, there are two phrases, among many, that are inappropriate with the type of a woman I am discussing today. They are, "I have you" and "I want you". The truth is, what should be said is, "I have with you...." and, "I want to share with you..."
"I want you..." indicates a possessiveness. A strong independent woman will refuse to be "had" or to be possessed, eventually, even if they do accept such an attitude in the beginning, which one may because we all want to share our lives with a partner and will sometimes enter into things in an attempt to quell the loneliness. The key here though, is the word partner. When you "have" something, it is a possessive term. That is not a partnership. That is ownership. What one must really want is to share a relationship with the other or to possess something together. One might think this emphasis on terminology is just splitting hairs but indicating that one understands the differences can go a long way if this is shown to your partner.
One might say, "I am so happy you are my girl", but, once in awhile, at least, tell her, "I am so happy to be your guy." This will tell her that you possess each other. That is what this kind of relationship needs to be based on.
A man who wishes dominance over his partner at all times is an "I want you...." type of guy. He won't last with a strong independent woman. He might actually establish the beginnings of a relationship with a woman like this, because they do like a man who knows what he wants and who he is, and may succumb to that attraction in a moment of weakness. They will not stay however. They will realize eventually. that there is only take and no give from the man they want to be their partner; that there is only "do this" and not, "let me do this for you..."
The polar opposite tactic that men sometimes use with the archetype of the woman I am talking about is the "pushover" tactic. This type of man has recognized the "goddess" in the woman but is merely a worshipper rather than allowing himself to be a "god" himself. He has put his would be partner on a pedestal and will do anything for her so that they can remain together. This tactic is as doomed to failure as the dominance strategy. A woman wants to know that a man will go to extremes for her but she also wants to know that he will stand firm and draw a line in the sand when a situation requires it; that there is a moment when he will step forward and become the castle walls when an opposing force lays siege to her own strength.
This is the Philosophy of the Oak and the Willow and it can be followed only by creating balance and learning to recognize when the Oak is necessary and when the Willow is. The "control freak" and the "pushover" can only take one of these forms and not the other and thus the balance needed to sustain a relationship with a strong independent woman does not exist.
In essence, you cannot "keep" a strong independent women. They are not a possession. To be with one on a long term basis, one must fly free with a woman like this. Trying to cage or tether them to you will only result in resistance and eventually a split in a different direction. The same can be said for falling into a rut with a woman like this and not reaching out and doing new things with her. A strong independent woman needs new experiences to stimulate her and let her grow.
She should never be taken for granted. Never let her forget the things about her that you have fallen in love with. Never forget to show her, by action rather than word, how much she means to you. Take her on new adventures and most importantly, let her take you on new adventures.
Falling back on the subject of a previous blog, you will find that it is a "Whole" man rather than a "Real" man who has a greater chance of having a partnership with a strong independent woman succeed. The Whole man/ Real man situation is dealt with in more detail on my first blog on this web-page.
Now, let us talk of compromise and sacrifice. These two things are not the same. Compromise is necessary when having a relationship with the strong independent woman. Sacrifice is a choice that will only doom that partnership to failure. Remember, it is a true "partnership" that is going to make the relationship work for both of you.
Compromise is coming upon a situation where you might not see eye to eye with your partner and finding a common ground. It is looking at the barrier that has sprung up, evaluating whether it is a core personality difference between the two of you and deciding if there is a middle ground you can meet at. Is the compromise something that can restore the balance between you or not. Compromise is not a "dirty" word...if you gain more than you lose as partners.
Sacrifice, not the altruistic kind where you give your life to save your partner but the kind where you give up part of the core of who you are to keep them happy, is not a good thing. In the long run, giving up a part of yourself for the others' happiness is just another way to ensure your relationship is really not going to work anyways. You both need to be happy for it to work. Giving up a piece of who you are causes resentment and bitterness.
There will come a time in a relationship with a strong independent woman when you have to decide if some of the issues between you are subject to compromise or sacrifice. That is when you must decide whether these traits that are causing friction are the results of habits or behaviour intrinsic to the core of who you really are. This is where it is so important to be a strong independent man to match your strong independent woman. You must know who you really are and you must decide whether the issue is a habit you can and are willing to change or if they are a deep seated rooted part of who you are.
Before I go to much further in this, let us discuss what a strong independent woman actually is....briefly anyways...because "She" is comprised of diverse, complex and intricate personae that we, as men, can only strive to truly understand. Embracing the feminine factors in our make up can make this easier and that too is touched upon in another previous blog, " The Masculine and the Feminine Within".
A woman like the one I am talking about today, as diverse and myriad as are the forms she can take, has certain truths and values surrounding her that are almost certain:
1/ They might not always know what they want but they almost always know what they don't want.
2/ They often know who they are and you cannot change that but they too may have formed habits that do not aid in maintaining the partnership.
In both these situations, you must decide, both together and individually, if there are negative traits about either of you that can be modified, but remember, compromise not sacrifice. If there is something about you she does not want, is it a habit or a character trait? If there is something about her that needs to change, she must ask the same questions. Both partners must be happy and still be themselves within the relationship for long term satisfaction.
In summation, the Philosophy of the Oak and the Willow agrees with the idea that, in a relationship, one must be dominant and one must be submissive...at times. It that does not mean, one individual needs to be dominant or submissive at all times. In situations of decision making, one will be more knowledgeable or capable in any given area than the other. That is often when that one should take the lead but there will be other circumstances where the other should take point, and even others where a joint consensus is required. When it is time for one to lead, they must be the Oak. When one must follow, be the Willow.
The Time of the Oak is also when you need to stand strong and firm, to be a pillar of support for your partner. It is time to buffer and protect them when they travel stormy weathers or face uncertainty and indecision.
The Time of the Willow is when you need to bend in the winds of chaos and be flexible to the needs and wishes of their partner. It is a time to bend but not break in the wind and stand beside the flow of troubled waters instead of being directly in their path. It is a time to adapt to the other...to compromise but not sacrifice the roots of their essence.
I am sure I could continue on this subject indefinitely but hopefully I have given anyone reading this food for thought. For all you strong independent men out there seeking their feminine counterpart, I am sure you and your partner can figure out the rest yourselves. There will be times when you have to remind yourself of the Philosophy of the Oak and the Willow but if you try and live by it, your partnership can succeed.