Whether you’re in a relationship, dating around, or living up your single life, there’s something to be said for the girl who has sense enough to maintain some independence about her. In the “Roaring Twenties,” the term feminism was applied to women who weren’t afraid to show a little leg, throw about her opinions, and obtain an education and career. Today, all these things come naturally to us. But I believe that now more than ever, as a whole, we have lost sight of what every girl should always be, whether she is taken or not: self-sufficient.

In a world where eHarmony and Match.com commercials fill the airtime between Lifetime movie marathons, as we sit on the couch scrolling down Pinterest planning a magnificent dream wedding and await that one guy to text us back, because after all, it has been 10 minutes now, it’s easy to tell that our main focus seems to constantly be finding someone to “complete” us.

Ladies. We need a reality check.

When did self-reliance and determination go out of style? Why are we backtracking on the progress that women before us died for and suffered to obtain? Can we really think of no better goal in life than to go scouting for whatever unique idea of “love” we have implanted in our mind? While I’ll be the first to admit that Nicholas Sparks’ novels hold a special place in my personal library, we all need to take a step back from the whirlwind of the yearning to find someone, and remember what we stand for on our own.

Realize first that, if you’re in a relationship, I don’t urge you to end it immediately, move out of state, and shun the entire male population the rest of your life. Merely, regardless of your relationship status, our focus in life should not be waking up every morning with the intent of finding Mr. Right like it’s a race to the finish line. Our desires should be much more fulfilling. We live in a big world, capable of great love in varieties far deeper than that between two souls: the love of self, cultures, worldly beauty, language and how the human mind can unravel marvels once thought impossible.

Independence doesn’t mean you lead a lonely life — it means you’re strong minded enough to stand on your own two feet, even when some man comes along and threatens to sweep you off them. Independence doesn’t mean you can’t ever have some space in your heart to focus on someone you truly care about. It means you leave room to focus on yourself and matters that have a greater impact on your life. Independence doesn’t mean you can’t let yourself run away with romantic ideas every once in awhile — it means that you’re able to stay level headed and logical throughout it all.

We’re women. We’re strong. And we should never let anyone intimidate us out of our feelings of self-accomplishment.

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