How to approach a strong and independent woman when you are a man with an open heart

Strong and independent women have developed their own shield out of necessity, like an instinct for survival. 

However, men keep disconnecting from their hearts and now rely on their partner’s strength to keep the relationship going for the long haul.

While blatantly unhealthy, many women see this as their only option if they want romance in a world dominated by unawakened and disconnected men.

Some look to other women to satisfy their heart’s needs, while others let go of romance altogether.

I was one of those disconnected men, trying to show myself to women, trying to love them with all my heart. But, I have always failed because my heart was fractured, fragmented, and fearful.

Trial and error was getting me nowhere, so I gave up the relationship game and spent five years studying true love. I allowed my own heart to heal, and once it healed, I strengthened my atrophied muscle. And, when I was strong enough, I started having partners again.

My heart was completely healed, open and vulnerable, emotionally intelligent.

The women I dated weren’t used to this at all. It was a breath of fresh air for them, it often seemed “too good to be true.” Little by little they took off their armor, piece by piece.

Yet there inevitably came a time when these women found themselves without that armor that had kept them alive and secure for all these years, and it terrified them. They fled immediately, or, little by little, put on this armor.

It devastated me as I had done all the necessary work.

In the process, I felt devalued; as if all the work I do to nurture my heart and all the nutrients I absorb into my soul are never enough

We were parting ways and a few months later they would contact me to say how much they had grown and learned to stay open with another man, and thank me for my role in that regard.

This became a pattern that repeated itself over three years. Each time, I found myself in a torrent of tears and pain, crying out to the universe, “Why? Am I just here to show women what deep rooted love looks like, only so they can go on and live with someone else? Is it my fate in life to be nothing more than a rehabilitation center for broken hearts? ” 

I didn’t realize that the armor these women relied on was used to keep a lot of the old aches and traumas inside them.

The heart-opening that I made space for tended to unearth a lot of buried wounds that demanded their full attention. I didn’t know how to take that as anything other than rejection.

I had learned to show my love, but I had no idea how to do it with a partner who wasn’t ready to show off the same way. I was so attached to the initial open heart that I saw, that I did not want to accept the slam of the heart door. My reaction was to use my love like a ram on that closed door, which only served to push them further into hiding.

How can I stay and support her properly as she navigates the troubled waters of her own heart?

I will listen as she does her internal healing without assaulting her with unsolicited advice.

I’ll keep this space safe for her, standing firm, holding the door open for her no matter how many times she comes in and out of the room.

I will keep a safe haven for her if her demons start to overwhelm her.

I will hold her hand as she walks in her own shadows, and when she slides her hand into mine to go it alone, I will gracefully let her go, knowing that she will come back to me if and when she is ready.

I will wait patiently, without waiting, loving her as she is now, and not as I hope she becomes.

When she bends down to pick up the broken fragments of her heart, trying to put them back together, I will offer a house of light to guide her to the shore safely.

And when her distance takes over me, I’ll use that space to work in my own garden, because she deserves it.