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Independent Woman Syndrome: The Dark Side of Being Too Independent

by Danielle Wright & Lisa K. Stephenson, Relationship Coach & Author

As much as we hate to admit it, most women do and say things to attract the male gaze, but little do they know, that how you carry yourself will determine the type of men you attract.

The average woman will not and has not decentered men from her life which makes her more likely to adhere to whatever rules, terms, conditions, physical expectations, etc. a broke man suggests. With this control comes power, the power to tell a woman that if she changes her personality and lifestyle she will not die alone in her home surrounded by cats.

If you are not prudent you will fall for this trickery. Most men use this tactic because there is a period in their lives where they will honestly not have an abundance of money or means to provide. However, they still have needs. In the mind of a man, women are still responsible for meeting these needs even if he is not living up to his potential and purpose. In comes the Independent Woman. A woman so deep in her masculine energy that she does not realize she is a born and bred placeholder.

The Independent Woman trope has been drilled into our heads for so long that we believe that to find and keep a man we must be able to match him financially, never ask for anything (or else we’re broke or gold-diggers), never appear needy and be just as stoic as him. This is a nefarious plot against women to gain access to our assets and our bodies in exchange for literally nothing. Men will no doubt test the waters when they first begin dating a woman because he has to know which category they will fall into—Gamechanger or Placeholder.

Related articles: What Is Toxic Feminism?

Something very important to note is that men do not date women they are unattracted to. So, if a man is not offering to take you on a date and his idea of romance is sitting on your couch while snacking on chips and dip, he is not attracted to you in the slightest. Most men prey on Independent Women—especially during the phase of their lives when they have not yet found their purpose. However, it would seem that the Independent Woman is heavily sought after in particular demographics due to the average median salary for one group being higher than another.

  • The average median income for an African American man 25 – 54 years old is $50,804.

  • The average median income for a White man 25 – 54 years old is $65,884.

  • The average median income for an Asian man 25 – 54 years old is $90,116.

  • The average median income for a Hispanic man 25 – 54 years old is $49,608.

  • The number of married couples in the United States in 2022, by ethnic group and origin of spouses: Both White alone: 40,206 | Both Black alone: 4,102 | Both Hispanic alone: 7,795

This data shows us why minority men will opt for an Independent Woman over other races of men—financial stability. When you are too independent you rob a man of his masculinity which means he will not look to settle down with you, no matter how good you look. The unpleasant side of hyper-independence in women is watching a man you love take advantage of you, use you, and when he finds his purpose move on to a more feminine woman.

A feminine woman can out earn a masculine man, but she does not make him feel bad about it. Instead, she is supportive and allows him the space to take care of her. She makes him feel needed as she is charming, charismatic, and appealing.

Author and Relationship Coach, Lisa K. Stephenson shares, “We see it often where broke men will find the means to support a woman he is interested in. This is usually because she checks off a few of his boxes in the looks department, but most importantly, she does nothing but exist. She has decentered men in that she does not allow their opinion of her to take precedence over her life. She is naturally feminine. He knows that her softness, presence, and vibe cannot be found anywhere else. She makes it a point to let him know her standards and she does not compromise on them.

I traveled to Orlando recently and while standing in line waiting to board there was a couple in front of me. An older White gentleman and his younger, White girlfriend. This young lady appeared to be impressionable. As we boarded I could hear him speaking to her in a very condescending tone…arriving at our seats, low and behold they were my neighbors. I had the window seat to which he turns to his girlfriend and shouts, ‘You had one fucking job! I thought you booked me the window seat.’

She sat in the center trembling as she scrambled to locate her phone to see if she had possibly made a mistake, or if I had. Once she realized that the window seat was assigned to me and not him, she began apologizing profusely. But he paid her no never mind and proceeded to take his seat near the aisle. Once the flight attendant passed by, he waved her down asking, ‘How do I access the Wi-Fi?’ She politely responded, guiding him on where to go to access it, but then he soon realized that he needed to input his card information.

He turns to his girlfriend and says, ‘Where is your card? I need to pay for the Wi-Fi. Oh, and don’t put it away because I need to get my Jack Daniels so I can sleep.’ He then proceeds during the duration of the flight to put down her job, her appearance, and of course, get his liquor with her money.”

This is the perfect deadly combination of a woman who is hyper-independent and impressionable. This is the dark side of independence because you will get used. Men who lack purpose and money are unkind. They are unpleasant to be around when they do not get their way and you will be the person who feels their wrath. The only solution to this problem is to remain single until you can change your environment and your attitude. Men like this tend to have access to us due to proximity.

When I first decided to embark on the journey of freeing my mindset I changed my wardrobe, occupation, and hobbies. If you want to go from placeholder to game-changer you have to make some changes. How you carry yourself will determine which men approach you and how they consider treating you.

Related articles: Signs Of A Feminine Man


Clothes: Pretty Little Thing (linen tops, pants and cover-ups), Zara & Boohoo

Lingerie: Victoria’s Secret

Jewelry: Neiman Marcus & Kelly Rose Gold

Shoes: Public Desire, Macy’s, Bloomingdales

Fragrance: Macy’s (Burberry fragrances hit different...)

Kelly Rose Gold was recently added to my list when a friend of mine put me on. I am not one to gatekeep even though it’s great being able to wear something and not see hundreds of women wearing the same thing. This is a major step up from Forever21 jewelry. I am particularly fond of their stack rings—the Pure Gold Stacking Ring Set and the 10K Pure Gold Stacking Ring.

Also, the flex bangles. The more you invest in your appearance—and no, I am not talking lace fronts and wings for lashes—but a conservative but classy look, the more men will view you as less hyper-independent and masculine. You will attract a man who is all about taking care of you and if he isn’t walking in his purpose when he meets you, having you in his life will for sure light the fire under his ass.


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