Fair warning: this is going to be a bit of a hot take, but I think it’s absolutely fucking important to say, because let me tell you: I’ve heard way too much shaming and scorning going around when it comes to this topic.
I have a lot of women in my audience who play into this role of the strong, independent woman. And there’s nothing wrong with this role at all, but there’s some shadowy shit buried somewhere in there that we really need to break down and talk about.
Here’s the thing: you can love being single and still want a relationship.
Crazy, right? You don’t actually have to choose. I know we live in a world where women are taught to be hyper-independent now, and listen, that’s super helpful! Love the feminist movement. Love being able to vote. Love being able to make my own choices. Love not having to be a homemaker and not having to have children. Thank you, pioneers of the feminist movement!
But here’s where the shadows tiptoe in: now that this has been achieved, the pendulum has swung so damn far that it’s really pedestaled in our society to not need anyone else. You’re seen as weak for wanting a relationship, because you should have your shit together. You should be a boss bitch hustling your way through life without looking left or right, wondering what else there could be outside your own singular path.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I want you to love being single. It’s great to love your life and how you’re living it. But you can love being single and still actually want a relationship. Honestly? That’s the best place to be if you’re hoping to call in a partner! If you were coming from a place of absolutely hating single life and feeling desperate to escape it, that wouldn’t be the best place to come from if you want a relationship that is truly healthy.
You don’t want to call in a partner from a space of lack and codependence. That ain’t the vibe. So while it’s great to have that confidence and contentment, it doesn’t mean you have to swear off your desire for romance and love.
The idea of having to choose between loving being single and wanting a relationship is ridiculous. Truly.
People are so quick to only see one side of things. To most people, if you want a relationship, that means you must be so unhappy being single. And if you’re happy being single, that means you don’t ever want a relationship. But that’s so not how people work! If you believe that, that’s a direct giveaway that you are in your ego. If you cannot see the duality in things, you know that you’re in your ego life.
Hear me out: life is about duality. You’ve got to be able to hold the existence of opposing things in your mind.
If you’re not great at this, you’re not alone. Humans in general are not so good at holding opposing ideas. This is where that term cognitive dissonance is birthed from. Still, it’s really something you want to work on; being able to hold the idea that you can be totally happy where you are and still desire something else is important. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re content but desiring. That’s just another form of aspiration, right? It’s just another kind of ambition. Nobody would say a word if you said you liked your job, but you were hoping to be promoted to another position or to receive some extra benefits on top of what you currently have. It’s the same thing with wanting a relationship.
Part of this feeling of shame might stem from the idea that if you desire something, if you’re single but still want a relationship, then that means you’re not grateful for what you have.
This is so not true. You can be grateful for what you have and still desire more. Think about it in the context of money: you can desire more money and still be grateful for the money that you do have. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Just because you want something doesn’t mean that you’re an ungrateful little shit.
Now, if you are being an ungrateful little shit, you may want to look at that. But just hoping for a bit more while still resting in the feeling of gratitude doesn’t discredit that gratitude.
Back to the context of relationships: a lot of “strong independent women” believe that wanting a relationship makes them weak or makes them pathetic. Or maybe they think women who do want a relationship are off with the fairies, stupidly believing in fairytales. Because of that belief, they actually cut themselves off from wanting a relationship entirely.
But here’s the thing: when you cut yourself off from your desire, you actually cut yourself off from your feminine. Because of this, I see a lot of strong, independent women living very masculine lives.
Now, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know that masculine has nothing to do with being a man. Every single person has masculine and feminine energy. But a lot of us, myself included, can get very absorbed in the masculine, and we cut ourselves off from our feminine.
A lot of people think that they cannot love themselves fully and completely while still wanting to be loved by another person. But it’s not one or the other, okay? It’s not. I’m going to keep saying it until you get it. You are allowed to be content, and also to want.
When telling yourself you don’t want a relationship, sometimes you reinforce that belief by telling yourself that no one is fucking worthy of you. It’s a toxic kind of self-love.
Self-love is great, but self-love is not about becoming untouchable. That’s not what we’re going for. There’s an air of superiority there that we don’t really want to invest in.
Usually this doesn’t come about because you’re an asshole. It’s because having that kind of superiority and cutting yourself off from your desires saves you from disappointment. It saves you from hurt, saves you from pain, saves you from suffering.
I get that. It’s so much easier to be in this space of denying all your hopes so you never get disappointed. And if you genuinely love being single and genuinely don’t want a relationship, beautiful! I love this for you. Keep going. Keep doing you. And if and when the time comes where you actually have that heart yearning for a relationship, own that. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about when you genuinely love being single and genuinely don’t want a relationship. That’s a whole other thing, and that’s still beautiful. You aren’t required to want a relationship.
What I’m talking about is when you love being single and you do want a relationship, but you’re too afraid to admit that because of what you’ve made that mean. Being independent and strong is beautiful…if it’s matched with the ability and the capacity to be soft and surrendered.
What do I mean by that? Let me explain: even when I was dating and wanted to find a partner, I wanted someone who was very rooted in his masculine and wasn’t a fucking shell of a human. I wanted someone who could offer me the opportunity to be soft and secure in my feminine.
Now, when I say surrendered, I don’t mean subservient, okay? If you got your little feminist panties in a knot there, untie ‘em. That’s not what I mean. What I mean by being soft and surrendered is the ability to let go and be held and be taken care of, even emotionally taken care of. You should have the ability to soften and open your heart and be vulnerable. Your strong, independent boss bitch who loves being single and takes care of herself and is sovereign…she’s nothing if you don’t also have the ability to allow yourself to be held.
The reason so many women resist this idea is that they’re afraid that if they drop their defenses, they’ll lose themselves in a relationship. If they drop their defenses, how are they going to run their business? If they own their desire for a relationship, are people going to judge them?
I’m here to tell you no. You’re not going to lose yourself. You want someone, I would hope, who’s going to add value to your life. A partner who fucking loves that you have ambition and drive and can also look after you and support you when you need it. One of the things that my partner loves about me the most is my success in business! He loves my ambition, my drive, my ability to stay focused on what I desire. He loves those masculine qualities about me, but he also loves my soft, gooey, squishy heart. You can hold space for both, and so can your partner.
To sum up this episode, it’s coming back to the idea of duality: you can have both. You don’t have to root down into one and never allow yourself to want anything different.
We’re actually going to dive into this pretty deeply within Swipe Right, which is a program that’s going to start at the end of November. Why the wait? Your girl needs a little bit of time to recover from titty surgery. I don’t know if I mentioned this here yet, but I have to go in and get a breast implant removed, which suuucks. But it’s going to be fine, and once it’s all over, I get to start Swipe Right! This program is all about getting clear on what it is that you actually want and giving yourself permission to dream fucking big. It started out as a two-day intensive, but it’s now a six-week program because I’ve added so much to it. I even have a cheeky little surprise that is going to be very fucking exciting. If you want to learn how to date like a queen, there is no better program out there. I am the fucking queen of this shit. It will change your life. I will leave all of the information below if you want to check it out…and believe me, you do!
Be sure to connect with me over on Instagram. I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were. Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
Are you ready to get off the hamster wheel of going on date after date that goes absolutely nowhere and learn how to date with confidence and clarity? Sign up for Swipe Right, a six-week program for women who want to date like motherfucking queens: https://michellepanning.com/swipe-right
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”