Why The Strongest Women Don't Allow A Man To Consume Them

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You've seen her. You've probably been friends with her.

She hangs out with you and she goes drinking with you. She's always up for a "Designing Women" marathon and ice cream. When your boyfriend breaks up with you, she's there with Chunky Monkey. When you're down with the flu, she brings the chicken soup.

This independent woman is fun and funny and always around. Until suddenly, she isn't.

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Word is she met a guy. Maybe she brings him around to meet you once, but that's it. No longer does she go drinking with you. TV binges are a thing of the past. Her only acknowledgment of your flu is a Facebook "feel better!"

Instead, her feed is full of pictures of her and the New Guy. They're having brunch. They're at the farmer's market. They're out drinking, or walking on the pier, or having a picnic in the park. All her statuses are "So-and-So is sooooooo sweet! He just got me roses again!"

Good thing she updates her Facebook because otherwise you'd think she was dead. She's consumed in a guy, and girlfriends don't matter anymore.

That's weak. Not weak in the sense of lame, but weak in the sense of strength.

Strong women don't allow a man to consume them. They don't ditch their girlfriends for the flavor of the week. They don't communicate with old friends exclusively via Facebook because they're too busy to see them in real life.

Strong women don't drown in a guy. That's because they have a sense of themselves.

They know who they are, and that person isn't determined by the guy they're dating. They have likes and dislikes that don't change based on who they hang out with.

Bottom line? They don't let a relationship ruin their friendships.

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Girls who allow men to consume them change themselves to match the guys they're with. He likes Mexican? Suddenly she likes Mexican. He likes that dive bar down half in the ghetto? She likes that dive bar half in the ghetto.

The strong woman doesn't change her identity to meet a guy's wants and needs.

Strong women also spend time by themselves. They don't cling to a guy and spend all their time with him. Literally all their time.

Some girls don't spend a moment apart from their Romeo, ignoring everyone else.

But a strong woman sends her dude home once in awhile so both of them can get a needed breath of fresh air. She isn't joined to his hip, and she doesn't spend every single night at his house until they move in together.

And strong women go out by themselves sometimes. They don't need to drag their guy to every social obligation. She has a sense of herself, and that sense demands time alone with her friends, on her time. She doesn't need to spend all her time with her guy, nor does she need him for social lubrication.

Going out without her guy recharges her, and recharges their relationship. All this time they spend apart helps their relationship, not hurts it. It gives them something to talk about; it helps them appreciate each other more.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all, especially in conjunction with the freedom to do your own thing.

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Moreover, and most importantly, a strong woman dates a strong man. He doesn't mind that she goes places without him. He doesn't get jealous that she's with someone else. He trusts her. He doesn't expect her to like things she doesn't just for his sake, or pretend to, both of which are surprisingly common in relationships.

He supports her in all she does. And if he doesn't — if he whines that she's going out without him, or gets jealous of her girlfriends, or can't get over the fact that she hates Canadian football — she drops him. She won't stay with a guy who can't appreciate a strong woman.

All this boils down to one thing: a strong woman keeps her own life. She goes out with friends, keeps up her interests, and maintains her opinions while she's in a relationship.

She doesn't let her guy keep her from her girls or change the things she likes.

And if he tries, she drops the guy, because she's worth more than an oppressive relationship — and she knows it.

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Alissa Scully is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom of three kids and two German Shepherds.