We live in the ultimate era of women's empowerment. Never before have women had as much choice or freedom, and it's easy to get caught up in the "independent woman" mindset. After all, it's taken us forever to get here–why not enjoy every last ounce of economic and social independence?
Maybe that's why it can be so...annoying when we see a woman whose life revolves around her relationship. But the relationship-shaming has to stop, and here's why.
1. Feminism means supporting women's choices–even the ones you wouldn't make for yourself.
Being in a committed relationship is a choice, and being a good feminist involves supporting other women's choices (so long as those choices don't harm anyone else).
2. You don't know the whole story.
Every couple has a private life that can't be seen or analyzed from the outside. Don't assume a lovey-dovey relationship is codependent or unhealthy.
3. She may be the mythical woman who "has it all."
In the debate about whether or not women can truly "have it all"–a career, a relationship, children, a rich inner life–the final assumption is usually not. But don't assume that a woman in a committed relationship can't be focusing on other parts of her life, as well. Maybe she truly does have it all–and that's something to celebrate.
4. The choice is hers.
Honestly, her life has nothing to do with your own. Does shaming her choices help you? Nope. So you might as well mind your own business.
5. Focusing on her means taking time away from yourself.
Instead of spending time shaming her, take time to figure out why her relationship bothers you so much. Chances are, your feelings point to discontent within your own life–perhaps you wish you had more time to focus on love, or maybe you're resentful that your own relationship is shifting your focus away from from your career goals. Work on you instead of shaming her.
Beyoncé is the ultimate feminist–and yet, she's also the ultimate relationship girl. She named one of her most successful tours "The Mrs. Carter Tour;" wrote an entire album about her husband; and leads a fairly quiet, family-focused life. If you respect Beyoncé's feminism, you've got to respect other women who make similar choices.
7. She's happy.
Everyone's definition of personal happiness is different. If hers involves spending 24 hours a day with her man, that's great! Empower your fellow women to chase their bliss.
SHARE this with the "relationship girls" in your life!