You don’t have a man because :: you’re too strong, too independent, too smart


“It is better to have an old bride
than to sleep in a bachelor’s hut.”

Being home this holiday has been strange because literally every woman that I see is pregnant or walking with a toddler in tow. How can one not feel broody and why is everyone having babies? One of my explanations for this is the terrible powercuts that my city suffers. Ever heard of the Blackout Baby Boom of 1965?

Google it now. Seriously, do it.

If you are reading this you then you are probably single and have no little yous in sight.

Cats don’t count as little yous. Ahem.

Did you Google the blackout baby boom? If the search engine of internet wisdom did it’s job then you discovered that the blackout baby boom of 1965 was a myth. A myth that people believed for years. It was only debunked five years later.

What’s you response to the idea that men don’t like women who are too strong, smart or independent?

Which one of these have you heard most often?

1) You are too strong.

This is you if:
>You find yourself entering arm wrestling competitions when you are out.
> At work, you are often the only woman in a room full of men.
> Your friends judge you because you voted for The A-Team, Die Hard II and First Blood for girls’ night in.

After some informal research, my friend Mbali and I noted with frustration that most of women that we saw getting into relationships seemed to be the fragile, wallflower variety of woman. The “strong” women were left in the cold (but fortunately were hardy enough to weather the harsh conditions). Of our friends in church – those women perceived as very spiritually strong were less likely to get hooked up. And men rarely expressed interest in women with powerful personalities.

Most women see this trend and opt for one of two things: either scale down on their strength and conform to what they perceive to be what a man is looking for; or resign themselves to a life of singleness.

2) You are too independent.

This is you if:
> You can change your own tyre/ do any and all repairs around the house.
> You own that house.
> You love the idea of moving away from your hometown, on your own, and living life in the big city.

Women who fit the above bill look like they have it all together and they did it all on their own. They do not need anything or anyone. I have heard it said that men need to be needed and are intimidated by or not interested in a being in a relationship where they feel like they have nothing to offer.

I know of women who have actively resisted buying a house for fear that this will be the death knell of their marriage prospects. I know of women who are reluctant to be promoted into leadership positions because they want to avoid the stigma associated with being a ‘boss lady’. Remember Miranda from Devil Wears Prada?

3) You are too smart.

This is you if:
> You start Twitter wars and call them intellectual debates.
> You call yourself a sapiosexual.
> You have a brain.

These women are often told that they are too opinionated or too clever for their own good. While in the kitchen cooking with the women, they fantastize about the arguments about politics that the men must be having. Smart women are the professors, medical doctors, journalists, activists, entrepreneurs or the woman who never graduated from high school but is well read in philosophy.

Smart women are either very vocal or very subdued women who dumb themselves down. Some are worried about being called a feminist so never express a bold opinion about anything. Still others place that label on themselves and find their identity in it.

A word of wisdom

For the strong woman : Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). Strength is not the same as hardness, tears are not a sign of weakness. Cultivate compassion, allow yourself to feel and to express your feelings. Be strong in love and generous with your affection for others.

For the independent woman: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should think (Romans 12:3). Don’t put things where people should be and don’t confuse what you have with who you are. You may have it all but only God can do all things by Himself. Learn to be dependent on God at all times and dependent on people sometimes.

For the smart woman: Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:16b). The Gospel makes us both bold and humble. We are humbled because we know that although an intelligent God gives the ability to think, intellectualism cannot save us from the corruption of our hearts. This gives us freedom and makes us bold because our egos or identity are not attached to how smart we are in our own eyes or the eyes of others.

Your turn:

“Do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

For a follower of Christ three questions emerge:

In general, is your view of singleness God’s view or the world’s view?

Have you allowed people’s/ men’s prevailing views of what being a woman means to trump God’s view?

Are you open to having your mind changed about these things?

You are strong.
You are independent.
You are smart.

What are your thoughts? Comment below.

Honey love,
Shula xoxo


11 thoughts on “You don’t have a man because :: you’re too strong, too independent, too smart

  1. Great post Z! I can totally relate because everytime I tell a member of the male species what degree I’m doing I sense that I’ve kinda said something repulsive which i always find strange because i don’t really go out of my way to sound cleverer than men and I always feel like I have to act dumb to fit in, which i really hate… Help a sister out!?


    1. Hi Tari!

      Thanks for checking the post out! (Sigh) Expect to encounter that more the older you get! Here’s a comment from a Facebook friend that I thought would answer your question:

      “If a dude is intimidated by your strength, independence or intelligence then he is not worthy of your affections. He is displaying cowardice, a lack of ability or unwillingness to lead.Do not
      shrink back; pursue your God given purpose with all your might, be bold, be strong.”

      I hope you find that encouraging! Shula xx


  2. Interesting post Zola… Just to continue the discussion around this, do you think that you can’t be strong | independent | wise & married?

    The kind of men who would be intimidated by a woman who is strong, independent, wise are really not worth you worrying about.

    (also and as an aside, I know some strong, independent and wise women who have got into relationships recently from church. I can introduce you to some great ladies if you want)


    1. Hi Hannah! Thanks for checking out the post! Do I think that you can’t not be strong, independent, wise and married? Rephrasing, are all married women weak, dependent and unwise? No. There are many women out there (and reading this) who are all three of those things and married. This post addresses a question that many single women ask themselves: Am I still single because I’m too strong, too independent or too smart? My answer is No. And yes. No, because there a women who are like you and are married. No, because those are admirable qualities. No, because a good man wants a woman who is all three of those things. No, because those a godly qualities. But, in some cases, yes. Those three things could be a reason why she’s single. Yes, because it’s a reason why some (deceived, timid, bad) men choose to marry women who are weak, dependent and unwise and will overlook her. Yes, if her strength makes her incapable of vulnerability, if her independence makes her unrelatable and if her intelligence makes her proud. Yes, in some cases. Can you introduce me to some SINGLE strong, independent and smart men?? ;) I’d LOVE that! Shula xoxo


  3. A (male) friend of mine found out that I could change a tyre by myself. He said it was great that I was independent. He also warned me not to be too independent. I said wouldn’t ever… obviously you know because, that’s what everything and everyone around us has taught us. Men need to be needed. My response surprised me because my words and my actions do not align. I can do most DIY things myself… and I enjoy them.

    But this doesn’t mean that I am completely independent. I think strength, independence and intelligence come in different forms and it would be worthwhile for any man to look into the other aspects of the woman, they would be intrigued to find out that there are places in that strength, independence and intelligence that they could lead.

    And for us women/womyn, whether or not our stories end with ‘and THEY lived happily ever after’, pursuing God’s purpose is a beautiful, gratifying and glorious thing. Even in the ‘little’ things like going on a church plant to a different country without the prospect of marriage

    Shula, thank you. This is a conversation that needs to keep going. love*


  4. What a brilliant post! Came home to so many friends having babies and/or getting married and suddenly felt a tad left out… Even worse when said married friends say “we will see you another time- we’re having dinner with our married friends.” Society has marginalised single people and that’s not fair- some people find that love earlier on and some wait a while but society ideals put this unreasonable pressure on women to be attached early on. It’s frightening!


    1. Hi Krissy!
      Thank you for the kind words!
      Well done for drawing out another issue- the pressure to get married as soon as possible. Married friends can be so insensitive, as if they were never single! :( But there are really great, inclusive couples! Friendships change when people get married but I appreciate how my friends in relationships have been so welcoming and careful to include me in things that they’re doing. Even with pressure from all sides, we need to find peace with where we are at in life. Fools rush in ;)


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