“I just want a woman who can take care of herself. I don’t want someone who needs rescued. If she can take care of her own shit, we’re going to get along fine.”
Doesn’t that just sound great? First of all, to clarify, I do not want a woman, independent or otherwise. It’s cool if you’re a girl and that’s what you want, but I don’t. That “I want an independent woman” thing, that’s just something I hear…a lot….from people who really don’t know what the hell they want, but they know THAT sounds good.
I may have lost a friend over this a few weeks ago. I mean, they’ll probably get over their hurt feelings and be just fine, but who knows. Sometimes hearing the truth is just a little painful. Still, I was at brunch with a friend a few weeks ago. We were commiserating over how stupid dating is lately, and how it’s a giant pain, because really, once you focus on actually dating, instead of just meeting cool people and letting things happen if they’re going to happen without stressing over defining the “relationship”, dating is a giant joke anymore. Anyway, this friend told me “I don’t know why it’s so hard to find a girl who isn’t just looking for a paycheck. I feel like everyone I’ve met is just looking for someone to rescue them. Like they don’t know how to function on their own, so they need someone else there to fix everything for them.”
Dumbfounded, I looked at him and asked him to elaborate further. He said “The last girl I dated just always needed something. She never tried to pay for anything. She was always on the verge of having her phone shut off, needed help with daycare, was having car problems, you name it. I just felt like I was there to pay for EVERYTHING.”
Ok, fair enough. I would feel like that too. But then I asked him why we don’t hang out more often, and he said “We get along great, but you are ALWAYS at work, or out of town, or volunteering somewhere. It’s hard to make our schedules work out. I can’t just call you one day and say ‘Hey, let’s grab dinner’ and have you be able to do it.”
“Do you realize how absolutely stupid that sounds,” I asked him. “Seriously though, can you just sit and reflect on that? First of all, there are PLENTY of times when I can just drop everything and grab dinner, or lunch, or whatever, but you’ve got to be worth the time it takes to do that, because when I do, I’ve got to rearrange my schedule to fit this stuff in somewhere else, and usually, unless you’re already a good friend, one of the best bitches, my kid, or you’re incredibly hot and way out of my league, you’ve not really done anything to be worth the effort it takes to shuffle things around with no notice.”
He looked at me and responded “It’s just so hard, you know. When I’m on days off, I just want to be able to do things spontaneously. You’re a good friend, so I don’t care if it takes a while to hang out with you, but if I’m dating someone I want to be able to just take off and do something. I don’t want to have to jump through hoops to find a day or time that works.”
Cool. Here’s your problem though: you can either have a girl (I mean, this is the same for guys too) who can drop everything and do whatever you want whenever you want her to be able to do it, and you’re probably going to have to pay for a disproportionate amount of things, or deal with her drama, or any of the plethora of “problems” that one runs in to with people who can’t handle their own life OR you can have a girl who can handle her own shit, but you have to put forth a little effort when you want to do something with her, because she’s busy…handling her own shit. You don’t get to have it both ways, because not everyone can find their trust fund honey who has the ability to take care of themselves AND never have to work. There’s just not enough of those to go around, so before you say “I just want a woman who can take care of herself,” realize that this means you’re not going to be her number 1 priority; she’s already given that position to herself.