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More than ever, it's a great time to be a woman. Since the first International Women's Day officially observed in the early 1900s, women have advanced in leaps and bounds for women's rights.
Women nowadays are expected to do it all. From education to career, women are breaking glass ceilings everywhere, and they are doing it well too.
These women are independent, self-reliant, and can look after themselves.
In short, they are strong women.
Unfortunately, there are some untrue negative stereotypes attached to being this century’s idea of a strong and independent woman. These stereotypes are not just untrue, they are also harmful to both women and men in general.
Here are 8 love myths about strong women that even strong women themselves sometimes mistakenly believe – and this is why you shouldn’t believe them.
What Women Believe about Strong Women
1 - “Strong women need to give up love and having a family to advance their careers.”
It is not uncommon for interviewers these days to hear statements like "I don't plan to marry or have a family so that I can concentrate on work" from young women.
It is unfortunate that young women buy into this belief that they need to give up something as important as love in order to advance their careers.
Think of women like the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, who was married for 11 years to her second husband Dave Goldberg before he unfortunately passed away in 2015. They had two children together.
Our very own Lunch Actually's Founder, Violet Lim, has also been happily married for more than a decade with co-Founder Jamie Lee, and is the mother of two children.
As these women prove, it is definitely possible to find a healthy balance between pursuing your career and creating a happy married life. Don't let one joy make you miss out on the other, especially if you want them both... and yes, you CAN have them both.
2 - “Strong and independent women should only date men who are on par with them financially.”
A particularly prevalent belief in Asia, there is a belief that women can only date men who earn more, or at least in the same figures.
This unfortunately makes the dating pool for strong women to be much smaller. It also makes strong women miss out on truly great guys that may happen to earn less, but could be the perfect fit in love.
Don't let this belief make you miss out on real love. Meet men from all walks of life, and judge them based on their personality and character, not on their earning power. Don't let money get in the way of true love.
3 - “A strong woman will have nothing in common with a man who is less educated.”
Another regretful belief is that strong women should be with men who have proven certificates of education, such as Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD degrees.
However, while these certificates may be proof of knowledge, it is not to say that men without these certificates are less smart. Many opt to self-teach, or learn about life in a less conventional manner.
The Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, for example, dropped out of high school at the age of 15. While his story may be the exception, it is certainly proof that university certificates cannot show whether you will have something in common with a man or not.
The only way to know is to give him a chance and find out, hopefully on a date.
4 - “Strong women who give up their careers for love and a family are actually weak.”
Bafflingly, there are people who view the idea of "love" as a weakness, when it is the actual opposite.
Finding a balance between "family" and "career" may get too hard sometimes. Some strong women choose to scale back their career plans to focus a bit more on their loved ones.
Sadly, this decision often gets the woman ridiculed for being "weak", and for not pursuing a higher-ranked position in the office.
Ultimately, the choice should be left up to each individual woman to decide which route she would like to pursue more. Choosing to focus more on love and family over career progression is NOT a weakness, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
What Men Believe about Strong Women
1 - “Strong women are too high-maintenance for me to date, I prefer someone simpler.”
Many men believe that women who are in senior management and earn a lot of money are high-maintenance, and require a lavish lifestyle.
Due to that, even if they find a strong woman attractive, they do not pursue her as they believe that they will not be a right fit.
It is a mistake to assume that all high-earning women are high-maintenance; many also like a minimalist lifestyle, and appreciate the simple things in life.
The only way to find out for sure is to get to know a strong woman properly, rather than judging her before you even know her.
2 - “Strong women will never look at a guy like me.”
Men with low self-esteem often tell themselves statements like the above, and they would be right. Strong women will almost often never look at guys like them, not because of their looks or earning power, but because of their lack of confidence.
This, in essence, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you believe you will never attract a strong and independent woman, chances are she will not be up to changing your mind for you.
While you should not be overly arrogant or a smarty pants, do tell yourself that you should at least try to ask that strong woman out for coffee or even dinner. You never know where things may lead to.
3 - “Strong women are unfeminine and therefore won’t make good wives or mothers.”
Feminine qualities do not determine how great a girlfriend, wife, or mother will be. Aside from that, it is also wrong to assume that women who break the glass ceiling are there because they are unfeminine.
It is definitely possible to be both feminine and independent at the same time; both are not mutually exclusive. Assuming that high-flying women are in their position because they are "masculine" is not just politically incorrect, it also looks down on femininity.
4 - “Strong women are always angry, I’m not looking for someone to fight with.”
Another assumption many people make about strong, independent women is that they are often "angry". Regrettably, many women in top positions at their company are often thought to be "mean", especially when they demand excellence from their staff.
Many independent women are merely interested in discussion and offering their strong opinions, but this does not mean that they are constantly angry.
If you enjoy lively discussions, do ask a strong woman out for dinner. You may soon learn that her company is enjoyable, and she is not interested in fighting with you - she's interested to learn from you.
This International Women's Day, celebrate the strong women you know by showering them with love.
Happy International Women's Day!
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