How To Be An Independent Woman AND In A Relationship

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I LOVE the fact that being single and independent is finally seen as a legit way of life – especially for women. Super interesting article in the Economist earlier this year about how single women are reshaping America from marriage to politics to the economy.

My independent streak was in evidence early. Ever since I was 6 or 7 years old, I have been freakily independent and eager to chart my own course. My mom always bemoaned the fact but my dad was incredibly supportive of my self-determination from as far back as I can remember.

That independence carried thru to my workaday world when I ventured out on my own and started my consulting business.

And it also carried over to my personal relationships. After 2 short marriages to perfectly nice men (who, unfortunately, craved more togetherness than I could muster), I have been in a relationship with my partner, Brad, for over 20 years.

And big shout out to my fabulous astrologer, Madalyn Aslyn, for writing this about Leo/Aquarius relationships – because it suits us to a tee – especially as it relates to individuality and defying conventions.

Independent female adulthood, while perhaps not for everyone, is a trait that can be nurtured. I would go so far as to say, the more self-sufficient a woman is, the more fulfilled, and the happier, she will be.

Read below for 3 tips that have made me become more happily independent.

1. Develop your personal brand:

  • When you identify as a brand/a business of one, you are never really alone. I’m a trend person and that gives me permission to check out lots of things by myself – movies, restaurants, travel – it never feels awkward to be alone, because that is what my ”brand” does. Additionally, the more comfortable you are on your own, the more fascinating others find you.
  • Another important tip, never leave the house without having something “fascinating” (or at least marginally interesting) to share when you run into friends/acquaintances who invariably will ask: what’s new?
  • Have a robust online/social media presence: google yourself, see what people are likely to find about you online.

If this concept of personal branding is of interest, highly recommend you read Jeff Beals’ article on how to market yourself. Link here.

 

2. Pursue all of your interests – by yourself, first and foremost

  • Once you develop – and nurture – things you are enthusiastic about, your network and circle of friends will automatically expand and that makes life so much richer and more interesting.
  • Doing this on your own is CRUCIAL. For example, if I waited to share interests with Brad (or he with me), we’d never get nearly as much done. I know there are lots of couples who do share multiple interests but from my experience, this is actually less common than you might think. Same thing with friends – don’t let their lack of enthusiasm stop you from doing what interests you.  If it turns out to be amazing, they will definitely join you the next time around.

 

3. Financial Independence

This is essential. I believe every person (married or single), needs to be financially independent (or at least have an independent bank account besides a family account).

In this day and age when women are educated and working, there is no excuse for any woman not to be financially freestanding. I did it by being super frugal and saving like mad. My parents were a big influence in this regard since they did not believe in credit or getting into any kind of debt. I started early on that track and have never regretted paying off my mortgage early and basically not buying things unless I can afford to pay for them then and there. The earlier you start on this, the better. I also have to do a shoutout to my friend, Susan Winkeler, who got me on an accelerated financial track after conversations where I realized I was not taking my finances seriously enough!!  Thank you Sue W.

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