After reading the article over and over, at least 6 times, I felt it was incomplete and I wanted to add my two-cents.
Avoiding assholes, or knowing how to identify them, albeit a great skill, doesn’t simply deem a woman strong. Being strong neither means that I enjoy being alone and choose being alone over dating. Because, for me, enjoying being along and accepting that I am alone are two different things. To tell you the truth, I don’t like being alone at all. Although today, I choose it. However, I do believe being strong means that after identifying that I have encountered an asshole, I am choosing to avoid them and be alone, even though I don’t like it.
I do agree that, “when dating becomes selective rather than commonplace, it becomes more valuable and meaningful”. But the strength of a woman is not simply determined by her ability to pick out an asshole. I believe a woman’s strength is partly in her ability to make rational decisions and exercise discernment in spite of her interactions with assholes. Hell, if I was simply made strong by my determination that I needed to walk away from a relationship (with an asshole) that was not healthy for me, then why did I go through so much pain and expense while getting out of and over the relationship during the last seven years?
I also believe that choosing to spend your time alone in valuable and meaningful ways rather than bash your ‘singleness’ lifestyle is a huge characteristic of a strong woman. This example alone reeks maturity.
In order to confidently share this article, I feel it should include my own personal attributes to being a strong woman. So here they are……
I feel strong when I meet a new suitor and I am not sizing him up as husband material but rather a friend for life.
I feel strong when I am spending time dating and not comparing the new suitor to the past behaviors of that asshole.
I feel strong when I can participate in self care routines, and pamper myself, even while I am in a relationship, because I choose not to allow myself to only feel happy at the expense of someone else.
I feel strong when I am able to firmly state my intentions and expectations in any relationship.
I also feel strong when I admit that sometimes I don’t like being alone….like during the holidays, or when you see others cherishing their significant others and spouses.
I feel strong when I can admit that sometimes I miss having that special person on the other end of the phone that truly wants to hear about my day or calls simply because they were thinking of me.
I feel strong even when I am not being asked on a date, but I will still go to the movies, dinner, museum or travel alone.
I really feel strong because I can truly admit that my biggest fear is that I may die before every feeling loved again.
So in reality, a strong woman can be afraid of being alone, but will certainly choose to be alone rather than spend time with an asshole.