A few weeks ago, I had a Facebook chat with a very good friend, a globetrotter and one who has carved herself a shining career that any other ambitious working woman would kill for. She’s beautiful, smart, sexy, and flocked with suitors who would jump the bridge if she asks them to. When we talked, I didn’t think much about the fact that she is struggling to get her love life on the right track. I mean, she could have every man she wanted. Yet, she is struggling to find the one.
“But that’s the problem, Reiza. Women like us know too well what we want that sometimes we end up not getting what we want,” I remember another friend, a single mom, telling me the other day when we were talking about why we’re still single while all our high-school buddies are busy fending for their husbands and spewing out babies as if there’s no tomorrow. (No offense meant to my married girlfriends. You are great mothers.)
They call the likes of us independent women. To some, being independent lies along the lines of being unmarried, a spinster, a lesbian, a feminist, a single mom, a 30-something whose life revolves around career and money, etcetera, etcetera. But to a real independent woman, it is all about being in charge of her life—with or without a man.
Sadly, Ms. Independent is often misread, misunderstood, misjudged—even by the man who claims to love her, unconditionally at that. Little does he know, when romance is concerned she walks the Independent walk in kitten heels and an uber-feminine swagger. Probably because, like any other women, she wants to be “treated like a lady”—given gifts, showered with compliments, whisked away for romantic weekends. Though it would take moving mountains to let her admit that.
When she spots a new restaurant in town and wants to try it out, wearing her little black tube dress, she wouldn’t bat her eyelids and say, “Please take me there.” Instead, she would give you a wink and say, “Why don’t we hit that new resto ‘round the corner? My treat!” And footing the bill, she would do happily.
For the record, she’s not much of a party gal. On a typical Friday night, she’s dozing off in bed by ten with a half-read book. But once or twice a month, she would reward herself for getting that well-deserved promotion by hitting the town hard with her girl friends, capping the night with half a dozen margaritas and belting out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” in a karaoke bar. Then she calls a taxi and goes straight home.
She shudders at the thought of honey-dipped pick-up lines of smooth operators and shove them all in disgust. But when she goes home to you, all she craves for are sweet-nothings whispered to her ear. She would smile, but don’t expect a girlish giggle. That is just too—er—girlish for her taste.
During Premier League season, she’s one of the boys, cheering for her club until she croaks like a frog. And while she’s high-fiving her buddies, you look at her and wonder why she has a platoon of male friends—intimate friendships, all mercifully unconsummated. Beats your understanding. But all she wants really are sensible guys to talk to.
She loves it when you ask for her opinion and takes it into account and supports her choices, even “strange” ones like chopping off her waist-length locks to a pixie cut. She enjoys a friendly banter—about social issues, especially. But when there’s just the two of you in the room and the lights go out, all politics fly off the window.
She listens to your sexual fantasies with the wide-eyed wonder of an eight-year-old, but in her mind she wishes she and she alone will be your only aphrodisiac. Of course, she doesn’t act as if she’s dazzled by your physique, but when you catch her staring at you with a twinkle in her eyes, don’t ask, don’t say anything. Just kiss her.
When you broach the topic of marriage, she would talk about having a baby but not a husband, but on certain mornings, she waits to find a ring hidden under her pillow. And if she’s tired of waiting, she might as well pop the question at an unsuspecting you. No drama. No BS. No issues there.
She fights a guerilla war to be on an equal footing with men, but silently, in the deepest of her heart, she fishes for attention, for compliments about her character, her intelligence, her appearance. But before you start commenting about what nicely shaped bum a woman has, be prepared for a sermon about how men treat women as sex objects.
But she can be unusually open-minded, and she lets you talk to her about your previous love conquests. But when she’s talking to you and your eyes as so much hover over a passing damsel, it’s either you drown in a sea of sulky silence or all hell will break loose—depends on her hormone levels.
She has opinions, principles, beliefs. And she stands by them. If she believes you’re the one, she will fight for you, elope with you to a deserted island even if it means not having electricity to power her Macbook, Ipad, and charge her Blackberry. For as long as you take her once in a while to the nearest island resort for a day at the spa and some dancing later. You split the bill.
Her married peers say she’s aloof with no faith in love. But she does love, often madly, sometimes cautiously. At one point her heart messed up with her mind. She fell for Mr. Boombastic, and realized a little too late that Mr. Luva-luva was whisking away someone else on a weekend she had decided to join the community tree-planting campaign and that Sunday she went to teach the kids at the orphanage how to swim. She had her heart broken too, so many times. So please don’t call her aloof, insensitive, unfeeling, a man-hater.
She is human too. And just as her need to be in charge of her life is important to her, so is her want to find someone who can pamper her after a hard day’s work.