A strong woman works hard to create the life they want to live. Living authentically is the key characteristic that makes them who they are and they aren’t willing to jeopardize what they have worked for. She works hard, she’s independent, and she doesn’t need a relationship to define her.

While she might not need a relationship to make her happy, don’t confuse that with not wanting one. A strong woman still craves a connection. She wants someone to love and spend time with.

If you’re dating a strong woman, here are 20 things to remember:

1. A strong woman has some fight in her, so don’t expect her to give up when things get a little tough. She’ll search for several solutions before throwing in the towel.

2. A strong woman will realize when things aren’t working. If something isn’t quite right, expect her to approach you about it and have a much-needed conversation about how to make things right.

3. A strong woman may have walls built up that take time to break down. She knows how to protect herself, so know that trust might be a longer process than you’d like.

4. A strong woman has morals. She may not feel comfortable pursuing a relationship if your values conflict with hers.

5. A strong woman knows what’s important to her, and she makes time for it. Expect her to do things with meaning and purpose.

6. A strong woman might be conflicted about wanting to need you at first. Give her time to work through it.

7. A strong woman is grateful for what she has. Her gratitude will show in your relationship.

8. A strong woman likes to focus on the positive. If you’re speaking negatively about something, expect her to question it.

9. A strong woman accepts responsibility, and she will expect you to do the same. Excuses aren’t an option.

10. A strong woman might come off as intimidating at first, but just like everyone else, she has insecurities and vulnerabilities. Don’t think that her strength means that she doesn’t have feelings.

11. A strong woman is still afraid of being hurt. If she’s keeping you at a distance, that’s why. Once she feels that she can fully trust you, you might see a whole other, softer side of her.

12. A strong woman is usually self-sufficient. Expect her to want to take control every once in a while and handle a situation on her own.

13. A strong woman is often creative. Have an open mind to new ideas or conversations. Dinner at the same restaurant for every date probably won’t interest her for long.

14. A strong woman does not want to waste her time on gossip or drama, so don’t waste your time bringing it up.

15. A strong woman is comfortable asking for what she needs or wants, so expect an open and often direct line of communication, with a little sugar-coating thrown in every once in a while.

16. A strong woman knows how to take care of herself. She’ll love having you around, but don’t get offended if she doesn’t need your help.

17. A strong woman knows what she wants, and she is most likely on a mission to get it. Her goals are important to her.

18. A strong woman will love being with you, but not all of the time. She’ll need alone time to relax and recharge, so try to understand when she wants a night alone.

19. A strong woman will want to know where the relationship stands, so don’t be surprised when she asks where things are headed.

20. A strong woman has clear goals and dreams, and she’ll probably expect you to have them also. She’ll want to know what your ambitions are, and how you’re going to work to achieve them.

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