Nothing like a contentious topic framed by a loaded question to wake you up and bring out the strong opinions. So here’s one: what’s better, an independent woman... or a submissive one?
If you read “The 4 Kinds of Girls and Which Ones YOU Should Go For”, you’re familiar with both halves of the pie; for the purposes of this article, “soft” = submissive, and “strong” = independent. These are the same things, just described there in more neutral language, and here in more of the language du jour.
In today’s article, we’ll have a look at the merits of both kinds of women – the independent variety, and the submissive variety – and talk about what roles in what men’s lives each are best suited for.
Because while you no doubt have a very strong opinion yourself on which of these two women is “better” and which men should want... I dare say that’s going to vary tremendously from person to person and lifestyle and objectives to lifestyle and objectives.
Something that present day men lamenting the rise of the independent woman and the loss of the 1950s housewife and inexperienced women of yesteryear tend to forget is that there have always been plenty of independent women, and that, in fact, literature of past ages is positively littered with them. Plenty of writers have found the indomitable spirit of the independent women of their days captivating, and such women have factored into many a tale, story, book, or play as the heroine.
Likewise, even in our culture of glorifying the independent woman,
there is a large (and largely silent) segment of women who are much
having a man around to provide strength, safety, and support than they
are having to blaze their own trails. I’d argue that the distinction
between women prone toward submissive traits and those more inclined
toward independent ones is less a product of the culture (though
culture can affect how confident a woman feels about giving her nature
full rein) and more an effect of the particular mixture of
genes she received from Mother and Father, coupled with the upbringing
she received at home.
How Wide is the Submissive-Independent Divide?
Of course, the truth of the matter is that a woman isn’t either “submissive” or “independent” 100% one way or the other, just as a man isn’t; instead, she falls somewhere along the lines of a continuum:
At the extremes are the women who are either on total hardcase lockdown, or are complete rollover-and-do-as-you’re-told softies. Both of those extremes I think are safe to consider totally undateable as romantic partners (and only just tolerable as flings); the extreme on independence is just impossible to do anything with, because she refuses to do anything other than what she wants to do every waking moment and is closed to any views other than exactly hers, while the extreme of submissiveness never has an original thought of her own, and is prone to being the weak link in your chain that’ll be taken advantage of by anyone who’s even slightly pushy or persistent.
In the middle are the vast majority of women; they’ll tend to identify themselves with whatever label is currently en vogue – right now, that’s “independent woman”, so even the somewhat submissive women will tell you they’re “independent women” because every woman wants to be an independent woman, even if she isn’t an independent woman, and anyway the word “submissive” has all kinds of negative cultural undertones.
In more conservative times, conversely, you’d have the somewhat independent women telling you they’re not the sort who like to rock the boat... even if they are, really.
So, you can’t go and ask a woman whether she’s a strong woman or a soft woman; she’ll tell you she’s both strong and soft, and probably be telling the truth from a non-black-and-white point of view. Likewise, if you ask her whether she’s independent or submissive, unless she’s on the extreme end of the submission-independence scale, she’s going to tell you “independent”, whether she truly is the independent sort or not.
You can’t ask a girl what she is; you just kind of have to be able to tell.
What’s the Difference?
Each man has his own (often very strong) opinion:
- “Submissive women are clearly superior.”
- “No, you’ve got it all wrong – independent women are the best.”
Further muddying the waters are the varying definitions of what each of these means – one man’s “submissive” often is another man’s “independent.”
The women you dominate in a relationship may have dominated their previous boyfriends (or, if you’re just getting started with women and aren’t an especially dominant man yourself, the reverse could be the case).
Much of the difference comes down to two key values and personality differences:
- How relationship-centric your life is, and
- How naturally independent and dominant you are
The two go hand-in-hand to large degree, though not completely. Note
that I use naturally
independent and dominant here, because even if you train yourself to be
dominant early on into meeting women, over the course of a relationship
your true stripes will out and you’ll want to be in a relationship with
a woman that suits them.
To a relationship-centric man, most of the time, a woman who’s going to challenge him and assert her will and battle for independence is going to be a nightmare in a relationship. He and she will have different priorities from one another (her: freedom; him: security), and be continually at odds; worse, he’ll frequently find himself chasing her in the relationship, which has an end game of female relationship control and ultimately a very unhappy relationship for him.
The exception tends to be more dynamic/impassioned men who are relationship-centric but less experienced in relationships (not necessarily with women, but with relationships) and who crave for the stimulation a more independent woman provides. These men tend toward dating more submissive women after several experiences dating independent women and experiencing the relationship turmoil that ensues.
Additionally, the more naturally independent/dominant you are, the higher your threshold for independence is. One of the more interesting phenomenon you’ll see on the Internet is women shaming men for dating women they consider “submissive”, and men shaming women for being overly freedom-loving and destroying the family. These are, if you haven’t guessed it, women on the strong side of things, bashing men going for submissive women as undesirable to discourage other women from pursuing the relatively more competitive submissive strategy to land men (since they would only land undesirable men, if the strong women doing the bashing are to be believed), and men on the softer side of the spectrum, bashing women stronger than them (whom they are trying to shame into submission).
What ends up happening is that the farther to the right you go as a man (i.e., becoming stronger/more independent), the larger your dating pool becomes, since all women more submissive than you are seem like attractive mates (men generally aren’t attracted to women who are more dominant than they are).
Conversely, the farther to the right a woman goes (i.e., becoming stronger/more independent), the more her dating pool shrinks, and the more she must police other women to make sure they aren’t competing with her as much as possible.
So, you end up with the softer men, embittered at their small dating pool, and the stronger women, embittered at their small dating pool, whining at and about each other.
Meanwhile, the submissive women and the dominant men have their picks of the litter when it comes to mate selection – a submissive woman may choose a man a little more dominant/independent than her, or a lot more, while a dominant man may choose a woman a little less dominant/independent than him, or a lot less (though usually people prefer mates who are not terribly far from them on the submissiveness-independence scale).
And the difference, in fact, is largely a relative one; one that significantly colors how you perceive the different sorts of women you meet.
Since this is a one-way article (that is, I’m speaking to you, and you’re not speaking back to me, excluding in the comments section), I can’t pretend to know you and where you fall on the dominance/independence/relationship-orientation scale.
You may be an über-dominant male who is far more caught up in his purpose than in relationships, and these always play a secondary or tertiary role in your life.
You may be a dominant male for whom a relationship rapidly becomes the largest part of his existence once he’s in it; a bulldog when single, but someone who rapidly becomes a puppy dog when committed to a woman who’s less-than-submissive herself.
Or, you may be a not-so-dominant guy outside of a relationship, but rock-solid inside of one; or you might be a softie on the outside and a softy on the in, too.
Depending on which one of these you are, different sorts of women will appeal to you most.
Whom Submissive Women Work Best For
Submissive women work best for you if:
You’re very relationship-focused
You’re not as independent yourself (i.e., you’re likely to attach yourself to her / care more about her once in a relationship with her)
You don’t want to spend much time learning from / interacting with a lover / girlfriend / wife / partner outside of small talk and sex
Now, because these scales are relative, by “submissive” what we mean here is that you’re going to want women who are relatively more submissive to you than a man more interested in more independent women desires. When a woman is relatively more submissive to you, she will:
- Challenge you much less
- Accept your decisions more willingly
- More willingly hand you responsibility for her life
- Trust you more and place all of her faith in you
- Allow you to quickly assume the center point in her life
That means more tranquility when with her, less need for you to battle to get a point accepted, and more dependence on you from her.
On the downside, that also means fewer and less stimulating conversations, less cultivation of your ability to assert your will and refinement of your ability to make a point, and a far larger burden of responsibility upon your shoulders with far higher karmic penalties should you fail to meet that responsibility.
Another of the downsides of submissive women you might not think about is that the more submissive a woman becomes, the more easily she is steered into doing something she’d normally not do by a sufficiently persistent man. That means that women whom you’d normally peg as happy in a relationship and not remotely the cheating sort can occasionally stray from their men simply because the right man came along and pushed the right buttons with them. However... there are a lot fewer of these men out there than you might think, and if you’re in a settled relationship and you’ve moved out to the suburbs (as committed people are wont to do), your risk is probably close enough to zero it’s not worth worrying about.
If you’re looking for commitment (whether you realize that consciously or not), you will tend to be searching for submissive women.
Sometimes this is because commitment is what you want; other times, it can be not what you want, but you are afraid (often from previous negative experiences, like a more independent girlfriend cheating on you) of not having it.
On the whole, submissive women will tend to have lower partner counts, be more faithful in relationships, and be far more drama-free than their alternatives, though that also means they’ll stimulate you less and give you less impetus to grow.
If what you’re looking for is tranquility and commitment, rather than growth and excitement, a woman who’s comparatively more submissive than you will usually be ideal.
Whom Independent Women Work Best For
Independent women work best for you if:
You’re not very relationship-focused
You’re very independent yourself (i.e., you’re likely to be more interested in your own freedom once in a relationship than in tying her or yourself down)
You value time spent talking with / interacting with a lover / girlfriend / wife / partner and view it as a core driver of interpersonal growth
Again, this is relative, so what we mean by “independent women” is not women who do not need you at all, but, rather, women who are usually just a little bit beneath you on the submissiveness scale. When a woman is relatively not that submissive compared to you, she will:
- Challenge you much more
- Accept your decisions skeptically
- Resist handing you responsibility for her life
- Trust you less and not want to place all of her faith in you
- Insist on keeping a center point of her life separate from you
That means more stimulation when with her, more testing of and solidifying of your abilities to control and direct, and more freedom for you with less dependence from her and less responsibility owed to her.
On the downside, it also means more drama, more power battles – since the power difference between you and her isn’t as wide, and, thus, she’s going to test more to try and establish dominance in the relationship rather than largely submit with little testing, as a woman with a larger dominance gap with you will – and less tranquility in your relationship.
One mixed bag with independent women is the potential for straying in relationships; an independent woman is much more resistant to pushy, persistent men, and a lot less likely to do something she didn’t intend to do than a more submissive woman is. Conversely, she’s also more likely to be more comfortable with sex, to be more sexually experienced and thus sexually awakened, to see sex as less of a big deal, and to be less committed to the relationship (since she’s less dependent on it) than a more submissive woman is. On the whole, if you’re keeping her happy, she’s still not much of a risk; but if she becomes unhappy, well... independent women are never seduced into cheating – they do it when they choose to.
Essentially, if you’re less concerned with commitment and more concerned with freedom, stimulation, a good time, or stronger / less submissive children, when that time comes, you will tend to be searching for independent women.
On the whole, independent women will tend to stimulate you more and push you more to grow, though your relationships with them will be less stable than the ones you’ll have with submissive women, more dramatic, and at higher risk of infidelity than their softer peers.
If what you’re looking for is growth and excitement, rather than tranquility and commitment, an independent woman is usually going to be ideal.
And the Winner is...?
There’s no clear “best” when it comes to independent women and submissive women. Both have their perks, and both have their drawbacks.
Independent women get catty about submissive women in conversation because submissive women have available to them all the men attractive and available to independent women as well as a whole range of other men that independent women find unattractive, too. In other words, submissive women have a wider range of available dating options than independent women do.
And as Colt notes in his article on girl fights, women really,
really don’t like competition. Myself, I’ve frequently noted women
coaching each other to behave more independently, while they themselves
behave more submissively, with male partners. It’s quite a head spin. I
almost never hear women advise their friends to behave more
submissively, which is, ultimately, the more competitive position.
Consciously or subconsciously, women coach their friends against
Likewise, softer men get catty about independent women in conversation because they’ve been burned repeatedly by them – they aren’t attractive to them, or they’ve been outmatched dominance-wise in their relationships with them. There’s bitterness there.
Thus, don’t buy into the stereotypes you hear from either side of the aisle: submissive women aren’t weak-willed throwback ninnies, and independent women aren’t boot-clomping post-gender taskmasters. Those stereotypes are only true at the very extremes of the spectrum, and you probably don’t want to be dating there (nor will you meet many women from there, either).
In fact, if your dominance levels are high enough, most independent women are going to look just as silly and cute to you as submissive women look to a softer man.
All you need to do is be mindful of where on the spectrum YOU fall, and what appeals most to you in a relationship: peace, calm, commitment, and tranquility, or growth, excitement, stimulation, and liveliness.
You can’t have both – but you can make sure you get the one that’s most important to you.