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5 Mistakes strong, independent women make in relationships

It has been six years between saying “I love you”. Six years between love leaving my life after divorce and separation before it returned in a relationship and in a way that I felt ready and open to say it. Love during those six years was not even in my vocabulary unless you were one of my daughters. If a partner said “I love you” I responded with “thank you” and somehow managed to get away with it.

So I feel reasonably qualified in saying that I was a women who identified with being strong and independent. Outwardly I was looking for love, outwardly I had love in my life as I had a partner/partners for most of those six years, but truthfully I was not open for love. I wanted it but I didn’t really. I was cold, closed, distant.

I subconsciously blocked love from entering my life in every way I could. It’s something I’m not necessarily proud of. I stayed in long-term relationships with great men I didn’t love. I cheated on them, on purpose and told them about it so they would leave me. I was difficult and hard to pin down. I went out a lot and having fun socially was more of my priority- without them around.

I had a core wound of vulnerability - I don't want to be trapped or hurt again.

In an intimate relationship no matter how much my partner tried, I was hard to get to know, to crack open emotionally, stubbornly independent and my most favourite criticism thrown at me during that time “outside of bed you’re nothing but a fucking Ice Queen”.

Yes….I’ll take that one on the chin. I deserved it. If we were dating I’d happily have slept with you. But I’d not have thought to reach out to hold your hand afterward. I was not affectionate, I certainly wouldn’t have identified as being in my feminine- whatever that meant.

I say this to give perspective because I’m so far removed from that person now. I won’t go into the reasons why I became that woman other than to say, I wasn’t always that woman.

It goes without saying that like many of us I’ve had my own fair share of hurt, heartbreak, lies and emotional baggage.

Going through a stage of needing to feel a deep sense of independence, strength and capability on your own as a woman is important. And it was for me also.

But left out of emotional balance, our over-independence in a relationship can slowly kill it and the attraction once within it .

And it can block us from attracting an ideal guy into our lives.

The armour that served one purpose becomes the baggage that ultimately blocks the real desires from ever coming in.

In my experience there are five primary traits that independent and strong women have in their personal lives. Whether some or all of them apply to you, they are in combination blocking you from finding love and from receiving into your life the love and types of relationships you desire. I write this not from a point of fault. I write this instead simply with a strong desire to see women love and be loved. To show up in life and in their business leading from the heart.

We can undoubtedly be happy and thrive on our own. But life takes on more meaning and marvel when it’s shared with someone else and leaning into that truth is everything.


1. She Does Not Deliberately Create Polarity

We talked HERE about polarity and how opposite forces of a magnet, when faced with each other, naturally create a strong attractive pull. We also used the metaphor of a see-saw to explain this balance between the masculine and feminine attraction. In a relationship there must always be opposite forces and energy for that pull and attraction to exist. Many women tend to gravitate towards the middle of the masculine/feminine space as they develop their masculine sides in order to cope with today’s socio-economic environment or to deal with past relationship hurt and baggage. Men too, tend to move towards the middle, under social pressure to develop their feminine sides and not be so “macho” and dominating, to listen to their feelings. They too walk away wounded from past relationship hurt and baggage and feel uncertainty about “how do I show up now when I wasn’t appreciated for me before?”

The result of this is that many couples now, whether new or established, experience a lack of passion and connection in their relationship or, if passion is there in the beginning, it fades quickly.

A crucial relationship skill is to deliberately create polarity, emotionally and sexually, by connecting to your femininity – at appropriate times.

It is a dipping and diving in and out of our femininity and masculinity that is needed in our relationships.

There may be times in the day when you don’t need to be in your feminine – you’re at work, getting through your to do list, needing to get things done and done well. On the other hand, there may be other times when you really want to connect to your feminine essence, such as when you lie in bed with your partner, while on a date night or stroll together, or when you are connecting back together after a tough day of work.

In these moments, dip back into your feminine and look to him for comfort, need him for your pleasure, desire to be around for his presence. I promise you a man who is intune with your needs and desires to keep you happy will respond without realising he is.

A woman who can attract and keep an extraordinary relationship is aware of where she is on this polarity scale when she is around her intimate partner. She chooses to move towards her feminine as much as possible, especially at appropriate times.

2. She Takes On The Masculine Role When He Doesn’t

Often a woman will step into the masculine role because the man hasn’t taken charge. He hasn’t made strong decisions so the woman will step in and make the decisions in order to get things moving. He is wishy-washy about his direction in life and what he wants so the woman starts to make plans for both of them and becomes more controlling.

It’s a natural thing to do otherwise there is no forward movement, but try to resist doing this. Ultimately he will resent you for this and nobody will be happy if you are taking on this masculine role.

Instead rather than you being the masculine one in the relationship, inspire him to be in his masculine. Let him know how much you trust him and his decisions. This is as nurturing and supportive to a man as it is to tell a woman she is beautiful, that whatever emotions she has are okay, that she is heard. When a man knows you trust him he is more likely to create a strong container that allows you to relax into your feminine. It’s good to remember that we all tend to grow into the expectations people have of us – negative and positive. Let him solve things himself. This works much better than instructing him or resenting him for not picking up on what you want and need. Men love to solve problems. One way to do this is to express your needs and desires as a problem rather than a statement of complaint. This would sound like “I wish we could spend some one on one time together this weekend and do something that we haven’t done in ages, what could we do?” over “you’re such an arse, you never want to spend time with me, you don’t prioritise us.”


3. She Does Not Realise a Man Want’s A Woman Who Inspires Him Out Of His Head

In our masculine we think. In our feminine we feel. So it goes without saying that a masculine man is naturally more of a thinker then he is a feeler.

Most men live in their heads much of the day, and that’s part of why the feminine is so captivating and relaxing to them. They have a deep inner need to let go of their mental activity and to find peace. The way we talk, move and relate as women can either invite a man “out of his head” or keep him stuck there.

Masculine men are fed and attracted more by feminine offerings in an intimate relationship than by masculine offerings. Don’t hide your brilliant mind from any man, or play dumb, don’t be a damsel in distress when you’re not. But continue to stay emotionally open and sensually expressive with your feelings and behaviour.

4. She Is Not Unapolgetically A Woman Comfortable In Her Own Skin

Here I ask if you consider yourself more of a girl or a woman on the inside? A girl is unsure, her feelings up and down with the breeze, she looks to others for certainty, for self-love. A feminine woman however knows herself, is more at ease with herself including around men, is comfortable in what she has to offer- imperfections and all.

If you want to attract a man be a woman. If you want to attract a boy be a girl. That’s how you’ll know.

Many things can block a girl from growing emotionally into a woman. Past hurt, past experiences, a feeling of wanting to stay small and not take up space or be seen with full light are the usual blocks that inhibit this. This is because there is a true vulnerability in being and showing up as allof who we are with ourselves and an intimate partner.

A woman unapologetic in her own skin will make most men who are not her intimate partner feel a degree of nervousness and self-conscious in a one on one situation. They become all of a sudden more aware of how they’re acting, of what they’re saying. Not to impress. They are simply aware of her emotional energy (not just her sexual energy). As she is of his. In that moment they’re mindful of each other. It’s a beautiful energetic dance and I love those moments.


5. She Thinks “I Don’t Need A Man”

If a man does not perceive that he can be of service to you, he won’t be attracted to you. This doesn’t mean you must play the nag or needy card at all. This doesn’t mean you need a man to be whole and complete. Men want to be free and autonomous and they want to fill a need. It’s instinctive.

Be open to “needing” a man. Stop playing the role of Super Woman who does everything herself- even if you can do everything yourself. I don’t need chocolate but gosh life is better with it. I don’t need gin but on those nights when I’m drinking it boy do I really love it. I don’t need someone to carry my bags for me but it feels a relief when someone does in those moments. I don’t need someone to come home to but it feels so good when I do.

What if the greatest sign of strength was to let go of control and allow someone else to help you and be there for you unconditionally? To allow yourself to need someone? What would that open up for you?

These five behaviours will alter the way men respond to you. You will notice the attentive, honest, loyal, conscious masculine male being attracted and drawn to you – as a friend and as a potential mate, if you are available for that. Look around for this breed. They are there and more than you realise. In this changing world, where women are more than ever spending more time in their masculine and men more time in their feminine, know that there is your opposite looking for someone who accepts and loves them in their true essence too.

But as always, this undoing first starts with us.

This is an excerpt taken from my first book 'Seconds Please - Lessons on life, love & self after divorce' which was published in 2021. You can find for purchase HERE.


Need help to change and embody more of a feminine energy that is still confident, empowered and self-providing?

Carla Da Costa is an author, Divorce Coach and Law Of Attraction Coach based on the Gold Coast. She supports women through times of uncertainty and is specialised in helping them flick the switch from “needing and wanting” to powerfully attracting what they need and desire into their lives alongside specialising in divorce and the mechanics of a marriage ending.

Carla’s approach is tailored and holistic rather than a one size fits all approach.


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