Particularly – single men who find me intimidating.
Yes, I know I can be intimidating. I’ve been called that by both men AND women. Poster girl for the modern, 21st century independent woman. Super Girl, Iron Lady, Wonder Woman. I took them all as compliments. But I also know these labels close some doors. It scares you. I get it. Really, I do.
A male friend once told me, men aren’t really averse to strong or intelligent women. They’re just averse to women who are stronger or more intelligent than they are. I would like to modify that to state – men are averse to women who they THINK are stronger or smarter than they are.
It may sound inconceivable, it may sound unreal, but men who have been with strong women know – we long for moments when we don’t have to be the strong person in the room.
There are days when I want to be able to just cry my heart out, and be weak and be comforted by someone who can be strong for me. There are days when I would rather not have to get out of bed because of a headache or a cold or an impending flu. Days when the work still gets done because, you know, I pretend I’m unbreakable. There are days when I wish someone would make me dinner and – just once – ask how my day was, and mean it. Days when it shouldn’t be me who’s asking how everyone else is doing, carrying the burdens of so many people – because I am doing all I can to hold it together and not burst into tears in front of someone else.
There are nights when I would cry in my bedroom, with no one but God listening to me. And most days, it’s ok. Jesus gives me the love and comfort I need. But some days I just want to be hugged by someone who genuinely cares. Someone who allows me to be weak, because they understand that I’m also painfully human. Someone who won’t flippantly say – hey, you’re stronger than that. Because really – I’m not.
So – despite what you think, inside this strong, independent woman is a little girl who longs to be cared for. To be protected from the many hurts that the world has been sending her way. To have a place where she doesn’t have to be Super Girl or Iron Lady. And just be woman, to be loved by one who sees her as she is – a fragile being made tough by the beatings she’s gotten through the years.
And perhaps, if you take a chance on that strong, independent woman, you can experience just how extraordinary her love can be. A love so real and so raw, because her heart has been stretched beyond capacity and filled with Jesus, long before she gave it to you.