Independence. Fire. Ambition. An alpha female sounds great. If you want to keep it great long-term, follow these tips.

For centuries, women have been told that “proper” females are demure.

Our concept of “traditional” roles are stuck on a binary that is largely a social construct. Rather than looking at individuals and preferences, we have this idea that men are providers and protectors, while women are nurturers and managers.

Today, though, with an increase in women as breadwinners and the growing social acceptability of the idea of those who identify as female becoming a little more aggressive, we’re seeing the rise of the alpha female.

Do you want to date an alpha female?

The alpha female is a woman who is confident and assertive. She usually has a career that she prioritizes (maybe even over you sometimes). She has ambition and drive. In many cases, an alpha female is at home being considered a woman, and doesn’t mind dressing up and being “girly” sometimes.

The alpha female looks like what we consider a “traditional” or stereotypical woman, but she doesn’t act that way. She’s ready to take charge and enjoy her life. Whether you’re a woman or a man, or identify as someone else altogether, the truth is that dating an alpha female can be challenging — especially if you’re mired in ideas of what a “lady” should be.

Before you start to date an alpha female, here five things you should probably know:

You need to have your own interests.

It’s fun to do things together. But sometimes work calls and things need doing. Sometimes an alpha female just wants to go do something alone or with a different group of friends.

For some, this feels like being ignored. This doesn’t mean she’s lost interest. It means she has other things to do right now. The emotional and mental stress fo trying to reassure you can become overwhelming and annoying.

When you have your own interests, it helps a lot. An alpha female is her own person, and much of the time, she likes a partner who is their own person. When you have your interests, you can entertain yourself and you are less likely to get jealous when your partner is engrossed in a big project or goes out to lunch with a friend.

That goes a long way with an alpha female who wants her own space sometimes, and who is driven to the point where she wants to accomplish her goals before turning her attention to you. But realize that once that attention is turned your way, it’s most likely going to be all for you.

Make decisions.

After making a ton of decisions throughout the day, an alpha female might not want to decide where to go for dinner. Making another decision, or trying to people for another minute (if your alpha is also an introvert), can feel exhausting.

Instead, be ready to make decisions. If your partner says she doesn’t care what you have for dinner, don’t press her for a decision. At the very least, narrow it down to two or three options.

You can also suggest activities for the both of you. She might want to do something with you, but not have to make the plans. Of course, I know there are days I’m tired, done with decisions and just want to chill at home. In those cases, I’ll more than happily tell a partner I just want to watch an action/adventure/comedy and lay in his arms on the couch.

Try not to feel threatened.

I’m cis and straight. I “look” like I should be “normal” (read: “stereotypical”). However, many men I date feel uncomfortable with me once they start talking to me. I’m opinionated and happy to share my opinion. I make a pretty decent living, and mostly get to do what I want, when I want.

For some men who go out with me, especially now that I live in a culturally conservative area, it’s off-putting. They get upset when I try to pay for my own meal (and especially theirs). And they really don’t know what to do when I start talking about politics and money.

If you decide to date an alpha female, try not to feel threatened. If I ask someone on a date, I expect to pay. And if a dude lets me do it without getting all weird, I take it as an indication that he’s “man enough” (whatever that means) to actually appreciate a strong, independent woman.

One thing I’ve noticed: Many “traditional” men think it’s great that I have energy, life, and ambition. At first. Later, they feel threatened when they aren’t the center of my universe. It gets worse if I actually make more money than them.

Don’t feel threatened by your partner. She loves what she does. And if you’re not always the first thing she does, you’ll be happier if you can avoid jealousy, do your own thing sometimes, and appreciate her for who she really is, rather than wishing she was just a little more “traditional.”

Help out.

Not gonna lie. Even though I try to do everything, I really can’t. One thing that helped me recently was that I had a friend help out. He was kind enough to take my car to get an oil change while I worked. He ran a couple errands for me. He was in between jobs and driving for Lyft, and thought he could make my life easier.

He was in between jobs and driving for Lyft, and thought he could make my life easier. And he did.

If you have spare time, help out. In any partnership, both partners need to do their share, depending on what that is. Don’t worry; many alpha females feel like they need to pitch in. They’ll pull their own weight — although it might be in different ways than you’re used to seeing.

When you date an alpha female, one of the best things you can do to show you care is make life easier by helping out.

Know when to back off.

When I get stressed and feel like I need to get stuff done, there’s nothing that helps, other than getting the shit done. Hugs and kisses are all very well, but they won’t get the job done. So I like a nice hug, and then leave me alone.

It’s not rejection. It’s just that I need to focus. For many alpha females, the fact that you’re there takes focus away from what needs doing. You don’t need to feel threatened. If your partner is stressed, ask if she wants to be held, or if she just needs you to go away for a while so she can focus intensely and get whatever is causing the stress out of the way.

This works out really well if you aren’t threatened by her independence and if you have your own interests. You can disappear for a couple hours with your friends or your hobby and when you get back, she’ll be less stressed, and ready to focus on you.

What do you think? How do you handle your relationships with people who might be considered “difficult” by traditional standards? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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Looking for more quality time with your S.O.? Start a business together. Just make sure you’re really cut out for a shared business.

Many moons ago, actually 495 moons ago, my husband and I decided that we were done with our W-2s.

We were tired of working for someone else, seeking other people’s seemingly impossible approval, and letting someone else dictate our income and quality of life. So, we started our own business and haven’t looked back.

If you’re thinking of working with your life partner or spouse, you may want to know that it’s pretty awesome. It’s not just me who thinks that, as you’ll see. Others think it, as well. Here are some of the myriad of reasons to work with your partner.

You can spend more time together.

I’ll start with the most nauseous reason first. The first and primary reason we started a business together is because we want to spend more time together. We happen to like each other, so, why not spend more time together?

With traveling to and from work, preparing for work, working and sleeping, we were only seeing each other a few hours a day. We were living for the weekends, but the weekends were too infrequent and too short. So, we made an employment change.

Plus, rather than text each other all day from separate locations, we can now just look up across the table.

Masterminding.

There’s something special about growing something special with your best friend. This is usually why couples make babies. Growing a business isn’t too unlike raising children. They both take patience, perseverance, creativity, money, and love.

Holly Porter Johnson of the ClubThrifty.com says, “Working with your partner is awesome because you get to dream together! I love coming up with new ideas and bringing them to fruition with my husband by my side. There is no greater joy than growing something together and becoming successful as a team.”

We couldn’t agree more. Working with your life partner is a great way to boost all your ideas and make the most of life and business.

Dividing and conquering.

Even though it’s your own business, you still often must meet the expectations of others. Sometimes those expectations come with deadlines and sometimes they come with demands. In these circumstances, we divide and conquer.

Mrs. Frugalwoods of Frugalwoods.com says, “By dividing and conquering—and focusing on our individual strengths—as partners (in love and money), we excel at creating genuine, relatable content that not only expands our brands, but also deepens our relationship.”

We both understand our business and both have a vested interest in its success. Either of us can take the helm when necessary and we work well together the rest of the time. This makes for happier clients, better service, and a stronger bond.

Motivate each other.

Building a business is hard, but it’s easier when you build one with someone else. Getting out of bed is hard, but it’s easier to get out of bed when the person next to you is getting out of bed, too.

There are times when you just don’t wanna. Usually, we don’t have that feeling at the same time. So, when one needs a pick-me-up, the other’s there and vice versa. When it’s hard to see the bright side, the other is there to shine the light.

Working with your life partner is great when you have built-in support.

Complement each other.

There are some things he’s good at doing and there are other things I’m good at doing. This, like dividing and conquering, let’s us take advantage of each of our strengths.

Personally, my husband is great with coming up with a million good ideas. He fails on the execution of those ideas. I struggle with ideas and am good with execution.

Likewise, he’s good with technology and I’m good with words. So, with the foundation of our business being an online blog, he keeps the lights on and I keep them coming back for more.

Save cost-of-working costs.

The reason many families have multiple cars is because each family member has a different job. That’s more cars, more gas and more car insurance. When you’re a home-based business of two that shares a bed, you really only need one car.

Working with your life partner cuts down on other costs, too.

Aside from our public speaking, most of our business is behind a laptop. Therefore, we don’t need as many “work clothes,” packed lunches, and Tupperware or contracted services such as a cleaning person or personal chef. We had a personal chef for a year while we were building out business and both working a W-2.

Now we have the time to take care of these things.

Lunch dates.

Even though fewer people do work lunches anymore, some business partners have the occasional lunch date. When you work with your partner, every lunch (and breakfast and dinner) is a true-blue lunch date.

Usually, we eat lunch while we watch an inspirational talk or video on YouTube, but it’s more special watching these with your someone special than watching them alone. Likewise, when we’re inspired we have someone with whom to be inspired.

Not only are these lunch dates good quality time, but they’re also a relaxing time to brainstorm solutions to struggles we’re having. As Mrs. 1500 of 1500Days.com says, “The Mister and I have a pretty solid relationship. He’s my best friend, and I know that he has my back with anything. That part’s really important.”

If you’re considering working with your life partner, know that it’s a work relationship that can work.

It may not be for everyone, but the from the other co-working couples we know and our own personal experience, it’s pretty lit.

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Don’t assume that working with your life partner is all sunshine and rainbows. It’s not for everyone, so make sure it’s right for you before you get too far in.

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Do you want to work with your significant other? From working in a “regular” job, to potentially starting a business with your life partner, does it make sense?

It sounds like the perfect recipe for bliss. You get to work with your partner, seeing them every day? Business and pleasure FTW.

Except it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes things get a little dicey when you mix business and pleasure with your life partner.

Concepts

  • The good side of working with your life partner.
  • Tips for spending more quality time with each other when you work together.
  • Challenges of working with someone you have a relationship with.
  • Is it possible to see each other too much?
  • The realities of the power dynamics once you start mixing business and pleasure.
  • What happens if you break up?
  • The importance of honesty and open communication in this situation.
  • How to talk about money, risks, and other issues that come with working together.
  • Why you need to get away from each other sometimes.

This week’s DO NOWS are all about trying to decide if you should work with your life partner. Look at whether it makes sense to run a business together, or work in the same department at your 9-to-5. If you already have a business together, review your roles and responsibilities. It might be time to change things up.

Finally, mixing business and pleasure sounds fun, but sometimes you just need pleasure for your relationship to work. Go have a date.

Our listener question deals with trying to figure out how to convince your S.O. to start a business with you. We look at whether or not it really makes sense, and how you can decide if it’s the right step for you to take.

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Oops. There goes another failed relationship. It doesn’t have to be this way. Get out of your rut and take your next relationship to the next level.

Are you thirty-something and single, wondering when you’ll be married with children?

Is your life a broken record, repeating the same cracked relationship over and over and over and over?

Some people get stuck in a vortex of relationship sabotage. If this is you, how can you identify the problem and correct it? Here’s what may be keeping you from that happily ever after.

Here’s what may be keeping you from that happily ever after — and what you can do to fix it.

You make it all about you.

As a gay man, the idea of being treated like a queen sounds fantastic in theory. Our

Our kings need attention, too, though. We love it when he brings home flowers and when he opens the door to lets us in first. But, without reciprocation, after a while, he’ll feel like a chauffeur and not a partner.

On the flipside, gentlemen, your lady friend may relish taking care of you, but if you act like you’re the only one at home, soon you’ll be home alone.

If you make it all about you being treated like royalty, you’re sabotaging your relationship.

A healthy relationship is a relationship of equals. At any one time, it’s never 50/50, but we should seek an average of making it as much about them as it is about us. Once you focus on your partner as much as you focus on you, things will improve.

Your ego is more important than peace to you.

If you’re more concerned about having your way than having peace, you’ll eventually have neither.

Our egos seek to be right. The desire to be right is at the heart of most wars, big and small. Our higher selves want peace. A priority of peace is the core of everlasting love. Thus, the age-old adage of never going to bed angry with your lover.

Practice leaving your ego at the door. Seek peace in your relationship and focus on the good in your partner.

You’re guarded.

Relationships require intimacy. Otherwise, they’re friendships. If you’re don’t let your partner connect with the deeper you, the relationship will stay superficial and then become unofficial.

If you want someone to be with you through the thick and thin, you must be brave enough to let them see the good and bad. If opening up your deeper self seems too scary, let sharing that be your first step in opening up.

You don’t value yourself.

It’s impossible for us to let others love us when we don’t love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, we’ll never trust the love we receive from others. We’ll either be cynical or skeptical of the love we’re receiving.

It seems strange to think that lack of self-love is sabotaging your relationship, but it could be.

If you don’t love yourself, any relationship you pursue will be an exercise in futility. Take time to work on you rather than becoming part of two. When you find the love inside that you seek from the outside, you’ll find better love than you ever imagined.

You become your partner.

Assuming your current S.O.’s likes and dislikes, interests and disinterests, is a byproduct of not valuing yourself.

As outsiders, we’ve all seen the person who changes as often as they change relationships. It can be hard to see this in ourselves because we so desperately want our current relationship to work. But, if we can’t be ourselves or don’t know who we are, we’ll eventually hit a point of unhappiness.

Plus, in healthy relationships, you don’t want a clone. It gets boring. You’re sabotaging your relationship if you try to be just like your partner. You love each other for the spice and the differences. Figure out you, and don’t be afraid to do things without each other sometimes.

Your actions don’t match your words.

Sometimes we think we want a relationship because that’s what we believe we should want. Our culture is obsessed with love and marriage. This obsession is why nearly every song is about one love, and every television show eventually has a wedding.

If you’re a single woman in your thirties, people wonder what’s wrong with you. If you’re a single man in your forties, people assume you’re gay. There’s nothing wrong with being single and thirty or forty or fifty and many people live lives of happiness as a solo.

If you’re in a relationship because you feel compelled to be, your words may say something, and your actions will say another. Eventually, your partner will catch on, and one or both of you will let go.

Figure out what it is you want and then live your life accordingly. Both you and your current partner will be happier.

You keep your partner guessing.

Being coy or playing cat and mouse may add to the excitement at the beginning of a relationship, but eventually, even cats get tired. If your partner isn’t sure where they stand from day to day or sleep from night to night, they’ll eventually seek more certainty even if it means being certainly alone.

Either know when to move your relationship from the romance phase towards the stability phase or figure out what it is you truly want and then live your life accordingly (see above).

You have unrealistic expectations.

If your expectations of your partner set them up for failure, your partner will fail. All successful relationships must enter the “get real” phase, and we should want this.

Getting to get real is the phase when we can each be our authentic selves. When we’re our authentic selves, we can gain the validation we all seek. Because, whether we admit it or not, we all want someone to say, “You’re perfect just the way you are.”

Whether you’ve sabotaged one or multiple relationships, the cycle will likely continue until to you do some introspection and change your thinking and behaviors. Until you change internally, nothing will change externally.

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Whether you plan a long relationship or a short partnership, you want your family to approve of bae. Get your family on board.

The disapproving in-laws have been a cliché for a very, very long time.

If you searched through ancient Greek scrolls or Mesopotamian clay tablets, you’d probably find a joke or two about someone’s hypercritical mother-in-law. It’s natural for parents to be protective of their offspring, and not surprising when those urges carry over well into a child’s adulthood.

Even though it’s understandable, that over-protective nature can be a relationship killer, both for the parents’ relationship with their child and the child’s relationship with their significant other. There comes a time to let go and allow children the agency to make their own decisions. Some parents never really learn that.

You want your parents to like your S.O., so it makes sense to do your best to bring them together. Or at least tolerate each other. Here’s how to help your parents find the potential in bae:

Talk to them.

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Your parents might have unfounded reasons for disliking your significant other, but you won’t know unless you ask.

Sit down with them and say, “It seems like you don’t really care for my partner. Is there something you want to discuss?” Maybe they’re concerned your boyfriend can’t hold a job for more than a few months, or that your girlfriend never tries to initiate a conversation with them. Before you can fix their relationship, you have to learn why it’s strained.

Examine their reasons.

Sometimes parents have a unique way of sensing a bad relationship before it sours. Maybe they see something you can’t, or have a gut feeling stemming from years of life experience.

Before you write off their attitude towards your significant other, consider things from their point of view. Is there truth to what they’re saying? Are you glossing over unsavory aspects of your partner’s character? Talk to some close friends and get their opinion, as they can lend some perspective to the situation.

Nip it in the bud.

Parents often come around after a while, but sometimes those attitudes take root and are hard to change. “My spouse and I have been married for over 30 years, and my parents-in-law (now in their 80s) are still not sure this relationship is going to work out,” said blogger Doug Nordman of The Military Guide. Try to talk to your parents as soon as possible, before their ideas can solidify. Talking to them early on might not eradicate the problem, but at least you can make it clear that their disapproval hurts you.

Try to talk to your parents as soon as possible, before their ideas can solidify. Talking to them early on might not eradicate the problem, but at least you can make it clear that their disapproval hurts you.

Plus, getting to them early allows you to point out the potential in bae. You can help them see the good aspects of your partner.

Step in.

Whoever has the problematic parents should take responsibility to curb inappropriate behavior when it happens. If your mother starts questioning your wife about how much she’s working or how she cooks, it’s up to you to step in. It’s easier for parents to listen to their child than their child’s spouse, and it will reassure your spouse that you have their back.

You have to be a team. As long as your partnership lasts, it’s vital that you present a united front.

Limit contact.

Until your parents change their behavior, you might have to limit how often you see, speak with, or visit them. Limiting contact is one of the few ways you can prove how hurt you are, and how seriously you take your relationship. This can be done for an indefinite amount of time, or until the parents in question agree to make amends with your partner — or at least attempt to see the potential in bae.

Be respectful, but firm.

Anytime you disagree with your parents, whether it’s about the person you’re dating or where you’re going for dinner that night, you should be polite but firm.

Snide comments or rude behavior will only make you look like a child throwing a fit. Try to stay calm, don’t raise your voice and keep your argument succinct. The more mature you act, the more seriously your parents will take you. Take the high road even if they start making personal attacks.

Remember how it feels.

Nordman said he and his wife are still hurt by her parents’ disapproval of their relationship, but they’ve used that lesson to be supportive of their daughter and her spouse.

Parents, he said, should never get a vote on if your significant other is good enough. “If that significant other is important to the happiness of their adult children, then parents should be glad that their child has found happiness and maybe even love,” he said.

Live life on your own terms.

If you’ve done everything you can to resolve the rift, then it’s time to stop worrying about what your parents think.

You can only change someone’s mind if they’re willing to let their opinion change – not a common trait in older generations.

Nordman said three decades of fighting with his in-laws has been painful, but it’s taught him to not worry about what they think. “Humans want the love and support of our parents, and estrangement is painful,” he said. “We deal with it by reminding ourselves that it’s their problem, not ours.”

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Looking for love, sex, or intimacy? It all starts with a first date. Don’t screw this up.

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There are few things in life as nerve-wracking as a first date.

Could this person be The One? What if you mess up and say something stupid? What if it’s a complete disaster and you just don’t connect with the other person?

Any first date can be fun when you approach it with an open mind and try not to put too much into it. Even if you don’t find true love, you might be able to make a new friend. And that’s worth trying to make a good impression.

Take a deep breath. Step back. It’s time to explore the world of dating.

Concepts

  • Why do we to on dates?
  • The difference between being genuine and being a pickup artist.
  • Understanding boundaries.
  • Tips on things you can do to make a good impression on a first date.
  • Things to avoid on a first date.
  • The importance of following up if you are interested.No game-playing.
  • How to decide when it’s time to friend each other on Facebook.
  • What to do if things don’t work out like you hope.

“Do Nows” this week are all about taking action to get started. We talk about setting up an online dating profile and scouting good first date locations in your town. Also, make sure you do a little self-reflection to ensure that you are comfortable with yourself.

This week’s listener has cold feet about a potential first date. What happens when you think you might want to back out?

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Sometimes those LTRs sneak up on you. Here’s how to tell it’s time to stop wasting everyone’s time and just commit to your S.O.

The event horizon between every STR and LTR is as awkward as a prepubescent’s first kiss.

The duel inside each person pondering “do I like them” and “do they like me” makes Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance seem sane.

The time comes in all relationships when each must decide if theirs is a temporary or long-term ride.

How does one know when it’s time to commit to being two? Here are eight ways to tell when you and your S.O. should gel.

When your laundry detergent and fabric softener have moved in together.

More often than not, do your clothes take a spin together? When it’s no longer necessary to go home to do laundry and to own four gallons of concentrated detergent, there’s a good chance it’s time to commit to sticking together. If you’re washing each other’s unmentionables, there must be a reason you’re clinging together.

When the only vegetable in your fridge is mold.

When your home fridge is as bare as a frat house fridge, and the only thing inside that’s not questionably nuclear is your Arm & Hammer, it may be time to unplug your ice box. That Sriracha sauce must be able to survive time eternal, so grab it, cancel your electric, and take your security deposit to your new life of “we,” “ours” and “us.”

You’re cooking most meals together anyway.

When the water in your toilet has evaporated and left a ring.

Has it been so long since you did a Number One or a Number Two in your own bathroom that there’s a ring around the bowl? It’s time to sublet, sell, or cancel. Your exit plan is becoming a waste and it’s time to shit or get off the pot (all puns intended).

When your pet has moved to your S.O.’s.

If your pet has packed their bags and moved in with your S.O., it’s time for you to do so. Your dog can’t stand a minute without you, and your cat pretends they don’t care if you’re there, but both want you around. If your partner sees you more frequently than your best friend, bring everyone together and become a happy family.

When your apartment looks like a wheat farm.

If your once green and luscious plants look like they’re one mill from a cereal bowl, it’s time to transplant yourself with your someone else. Even the hardiest of plants get sad without some TLC once or twice a week. Don’t let your plants die. Consolidate them with your S.O. and make your single home homier.

Everyone wins. Especially the plants.

When your mailbox looks like your inbox.

When your postal box has as much mail as your email inbox, and the post office wants to charge you rent, it’s time to pick an address. Let’s face it, keeping that Plan B is costing you time and money. Save time and money and live with your honey.

You start saying “let’s go home” instead of “let’s go to your place.”

When you act like you have one place but still have two, it’s time to make a move. We have so many decisions to make each day that we often self-select which decisions to make and not make. When decisions about here or there, together or separate disappear, you may have unintentionally picked an L/T S.O.

Your mom knows where to send the Christmas card.

When even your mom knows you won’t receive your Christmas card before President’s Day if she uses the same address as the IRS does, it’s time to commit to your S.O. and update the P.O.

Others can often see something about us better than we can. If your friends and family see you as more permanent than temporary, it may be time to commit.

Committing to an LTR is sometimes scary, but if any of these or other quirks suggest your LTR is your reality, update your relationships status on Facebook and in your head and put in 100%.

Life is too short for 50% and maybes. When you give your relationships your all, you’ll see how much your relationship has to give. Only then will you learn if your long-term thing will be a forever thing.

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