Little Miss Independence

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“Until women are as ambitious as men, they’re not gong to achieve as much as men.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer and author of “Lean In

They’re savvy, successful, and sexy. They’re bankers, doctors and lawyers. They can run a marathon or run a corporation, and just as well as, if not better, than any of their male counterparts. They are women and hear them roar. Welcome to the brave new woman’s world. You’ve come a long way, baby! Or have you?  And we aren’t talking about Virginia Slims.

Back in the late 60’s, the Women’s Rights Movement exploded on the scene.  At the same time, Phillip Morris launched a memorable marketing campaign to sell Virginia Slims, with a brand new cigarette and a brand new target: women.

And with it’s brand-new slogan: “You’ve come a long way, baby,” the advertising campaign aimed to link smoking to a new era of women’s equality, emancipation, and empowerment. But irony can be a bitch. Because as it happens, the only equality that this campaign produced was the fact women die of lung cancer at the same rate as men.

Regardless, women have come a long way. And thanks to the Women’s Rights Movement, today women have more rights, more equality and more opportunity, allowing them to make it on their own, domestically, financially and professionally – all without the support of a man. And while women have come a long way, celebrating their autonomy and independence, there are those few who are wondering why they even began the journey in the first place.

Nonetheless, along with the birth control pill and sexual liberation, women suddenly gained new freedoms. And they owe it all to pioneers such as author Betty Friedan, whose book The Feminine Mystique, ignited a national conversation regarding gender roles.  “Libbers” as they became known, fought for equal status in jobs, careers, salaries, politics, all the way to household duties and chores.

Movement Icons

Today movement icons such as bold and beautiful journalist Gloria Steinem continue to inspire and pave the way for a whole new generation of women. From the queen of talk Oprah Winfrey, to the queen of craft Martha Stewart, women have taken the world by storm, rising to any and every challenge and opportunity that has come their way, proving that sisters are indeed, doing it for themselves.

Thus Freedom became the new age F-word, and the key reason why millions of women gained their independence. And while it’s true that feminism has broken down barriers of inequality and allowed women to have it all: an education, fulfilling careers, and dependency-free relationships, shockingly enough, there are some women who still rely on their male counterparts for nearly everything.

In fact, there’s a new girl in town.  And the only journey in which she’s interested is one that is first class all the way. She’s the same girl who shops at designer stores, eats lavish meals at the finest restaurants, usually five star or Michelin establishments, and buys more designer goods than she could wear in a lifetime. There’s just one thing: she’s not the one covering the tab. He is.

Meet little Miss “In Dependence.” A fashionable gal she is. Because for Her, looking fabulous, traveling exotically, and shopping extensively should never come at Her own cost. Because that’s what He’s for. After all, He can afford it. It’s She who cannot. At least not on Her own.

Sure she works.  For now that is, at least until she seals the deal, meaning marriage. But Her true desire is to be a lady of leisure and luxury; a spendutatne of sorts.  After all, according to Her;  “Whoever said that money doesn’t buy happiness, didn’t know where to shop.” And shop she does. Chanel, Gucci, Prada, –  you name it. If it’s in-style, it’s in Her closet.

For her, profession is everything – His. Because how else could she afford the luxe life to which she’s become accustomed. And although girls just wanna have funds, some of them just don’t want funds of their own. Instead their idea of Feminism means the more men can do for you, the better.

Burn Her bra? Never! She’d rather die first.  After all, it’s La Perla. Nonetheless, she is woman, hear Her score – a new Chanel bag that is. Because for Her, self-esteem and self-worth come in a package of red-soled five-inch heels and a quilted bag handbag. And in Her world not only do the clothes make the woman but the woman makes the clothes purchases.

She’s also the same girl who will reject a man with a low paying job. And while it’s not unusual for people who are looking for a relationship to keep a checklist of the qualities they require in a a partner, there’s a big difference between making a good living and the insistence of living well. The only problem is that all Her spending is always “In Dependence” on Him.

Also known as the relationship probability theory, the sate of “In Dependence” occurs when two conditions are in-dependent of one another. Meaning that the occurrence of one condition affects the probability of the other. And the effect of financially depending on a man is more than probable to leave you in a powerless state.

And a powerless state it is. So here’s the case scenario. After years of dating, several of which you’ve spent co-habiting, you’re still waiting for Him to pop the question. So here you are stuck wanting the good life while hoping to become the good wife. And although He keeps promising to ask for your hand, you keep trying to force His.

However, the problem is that you’ve become accustomed to a certain standard of living. And without Him, you would not be able to enjoy the finer things in life. Sure He spoils you to no end; He wines you, dines you and indulges you with leisure and luxury. And although He gives you anything your heart desires, you still cannot get the only thing which truly matters; an engagement ring.

Her: ” We’ve been living together for a few years now and I want to get married. He keeps saying that He’s going to propose but nothing ever happens. I don’t know what to do. I wish I could just move out and then He’d see that He could seriously lose me. But I cannot afford to buy my own Chanel bag or Louboutins. Never mind afford a place of my own.”

You; “So what you’re saying is that you’re one man away from welfare?” *

The reality is that what you have is compensated mating. Because when you continue to remain in a situation which is not meeting your emotional needs, only the monetary ones, you’re obviously being compensated. And although He may not be ready for marriage, He buys Himself some time by buying you off. Or even if He’s simply the type of man who truly enjoys spoiling His beloved, regardless of His intentions, the real issue is that you choose to remain in an unhappy situation because you’re addicted to the leisure, luxury and lifestyle.

And even if you do land Him, being financially dependent on a man is a dangerous position in which to put yourself. Because should the relationship ever come to a sudden end, you will have to change your lifestyle drastically. And that will indeed leave you one man away from welfare.

Trading in your self-worth for His net-worth is never a smart idea. Because a lack ambition and motivation will leave you with no purpose and certainly no control.  And the effects of  the Miss In Dependence Syndrome will not only cause anxiety and dysfunction, it wreak havoc with your self-esteem and self-confidence.

The reality is that financial dependence on a man is nothing more than a money disorder. Economically dependent relationships are they worst sort of dating disorder to develop. Because money is power. Especially in a romantic relationship. Financial independence means being able to support yourself, having your own income, being able to sustain a good standard of living, and and yes, buying your own designer duds without needing any financial support from anyone.

Being in a state of “In Dependence” gives Him complete control over your life. A woman who is too financially dependent on a man will find it much harder to leave an unhappy relationship out of fear that she cannot make it on her own.  Being financially independent allows a woman the freedom to make her own choices as well as to buy whatever she wants, whenever she wants, without having to ask or explain to anyone, especially Him.

Feminism is about equality and choices. Women who want financial security must choose whether they will depend on a man to give it to them or independently get it for themselves. Healthy relationships are two-way streets.  When one person contributes everything to the relationship, especially money, a habit will quickly turn into a hindrance. Don’t Lean On any man as far as your financial welfare is concerned. Put you best red-soled foot forward and Lean In to gain your own financial freedom. Because quickest route to ending up out the street is being “In Dependence” of the easy street. And that is no welfare state of mind.

If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try Singles Warehouse today!

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One of the best pieces of advice was given to me by a friend during our expatriate days in Asia; it was "JUST STOP." Simple idea right? However, for some reason it sounds a lot easier than it ever really is. Or do we just make it hard? I run Stupid Girls 101 - come check it out.

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