All posts by Tiffany F. Southerland

About Tiffany F. Southerland
Tiffany F. Southerland is a lawyer by training and change agent at heart. She hosts How Does She Do It?, a podcast dedicated to sharing practical insight and honest perspective on careers, personal development, relationships, and the intersection of issues that matter to 20 and 30-somethings. In addition, Tiffany writes, speaks, and coaches on topics including resilience, relationships, professional development, career transitions, and balancing personal values and career goals.

5 Questions Alpha Women Should Ask If They Are Ready For A Relationship

5 Questions Alpha Women Should Ask If They Are Ready For A Relationship

Alpha women,
characterized by some as brilliant, confident, and ambitious, and others as potentially problematic to biologically-based gender roles (I hope you see the irony in that statement), have been the subject of conversations about dating, relationships, and marriage on and off for many years.  While there are different schools of thought on the dating challenges Alpha women face, the pursuit and development of any relationship worth having doesn’t start with trends and statistically based generalizations about a “type” of woman, or man for that matter.  The pursuit of meaningful and lasting relationships start with an individual woman’s relationship and understanding of herself.  Here are 5 questions every (Alpha) woman should ask herself if she is serious about finding a valuable and meaningful relationship.

  1. Do you love yourself?

And do you actively practice self-love? The knee-jerk response to these questions might be “Yes,” wrapped in an “obviously” tone.  But when you sit and think about it, figure out if your self-love truly comes from within, or if it is dressed up in the impressions and expectations other people have for you. As someone who once lived my life (note – I am still a work in progress) based on the approval and satisfaction of others, I have learned that loving yourself is a very active and conscious process that is nuanced, personal, and necessary.

  1.  Are you self-aware?

Being self-aware means objectively observing of your own thoughts and emotions. It can help you confirm or adjust actions you take in response to situations.  Increased self-awareness gives you more control over how you move in this world. Instead of acting solely based on feelings, and having to backtrack or undo something you did as based on those feelings, self-awareness can help you put space and time between your feelings and reactions. Being self-aware keeps you present and helps you live from a place of strength and cognitive fortitude.

  1.  Are you comfortable being vulnerable?

As someone who spent most of my adult life on the emotional defensive, I equated being vulnerable with being weak, “telling all my business,” or expressing my true emotions (e.g., saying I’m angry when I’m actually hurt) at the cost of losing some control. Dr. Brene Brown notes that vulnerability exposes us to uncertainty, emotional risk, and emotional exposure in an effort to develop trust, intimacy, and connection with others. These things could be pretty scary for women, and people in general, who are used to being buttoned up and in the driver’s seat. If you are not willing to be vulnerable – to work for true connection – you would be selling yourself and your potential relationship, short.

  1.  What do you value?

Your values are those guiding principles that influence the decisions and choices you make across different areas of your life. Do the choices you make in dating and relationships reflect what you say you value? Do you know what values you want in your future boo? Do the men you spend time with embody those values?

  1.  Have you tried something different?

Society has a funny way of telling individuals what we should want, who we should or shouldn’t date, how we should look, when we should get married, and the beat goes on. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you actually want? Have you stepped outside of what the world says you “need” or should desire? Are you willing to be flexible on some things? Do you confuse preferences with non-negotiables?  Are your expectations unrealistic, unreasonable, or maybe unfair? For example, I am 5’8”. There was a time when I “needed” a tall man. Because tall men are known to treat women better. Said no one ever. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having preferences. The challenges start, though, when preferences contribute to you overlooking a good man who has lots of what you say you value because he isn’t 6’3” chocolate, bald with a beard, and built like an NFL wide-receiver.

Whether you consider yourself an Alpha woman or not (I’m still undecided on the label), asking yourself these five questions are a good place to start when you are thinking about pursuing a relationship.

For more strategies Alpha women can use when dating, go here.

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