What Does it Mean to Be a Strong and Independent Woman?

strong and independent woman

By Maci Chance, Real Estate Agent, Live. Laugh. Denver Real Estate Group

What does it mean to be a strong and independent woman? Here is my story, which includes what it means to me.

For a long time, I didn’t share or write much about my current marriage. After all, here I am serving women going through divorce, leaving their partner, breaking ties, and trying to show them, “you are a strong and independent woman.”  I’m reminding them of that, even when they are alone, and showing them the path to independence through real estate.

I didn’t share much about my relationship because I didn’t want the perception to be that I was saying one thing and doing another. I didn’t want people to see me gushing about my relationship and at the same time telling women they can be ok being alone. It felt incongruent to me. But through the years since my divorce I have thought a lot about what it means to be a strong and independent woman.

Very shortly after my divorce I had the “first” relationship, which lasted about 4 months. Neither of us had done any healing from our prior relationships. There was a lot of passion but mostly it was a disaster. When we (he) decided to stop seeing each other, I cried so much, more than I even did when my marriage was over. I realized that I hadn’t even given myself a chance to mourn my prior marriage, I was just so tired of feeling bad, and being with him felt good. So, ending things with the “first” made me realize I had work to do.


Maci Chance, Denver realtor

A year or so after that I dated someone else which was also very short lived. I was smitten and completely glossed over his comments about not being sure he was ok with me having my kids full time (my ex had moved out of state at this point). I still wasn’t in the place that I could prioritize my needs, I just wanted companionship. I still had healing to do.

After thosedating disasters, I decided it was time to dive into “doing the work”. My focus was on my daughters, my career, and healing.  I was, by my definition at the time, a strong independent woman. After all I was purchasing, rehabbing and selling my own homes, I was raising two kids on my own, I was single handedly taking care of things around my house, I was growing in my career, and I had finally found happiness in being alone.

I remember one evening sitting on my couch. Both of my girls were at my parent’s house so I had a rare quiet evening alone. For the first time, as I sat by myself, alone in my house, I did not feel the need to fill my time with things to do or find friends who wanted to hang out. I felt a wave come over me, a wave that I would describe as self love, and in that moment, I knew I was ok being alone. Really, I was more than ok, I was actually happy to be alone! I wanted to be alone! It was the best feeling.

My independence grew and I began to feel more comfortable running a household by myself, navigating my career, taking care of myself and making sure my girls had what they needed to thrive. I was going to therapy, finding personal development workshops and retreats. I was healing.



In late 2018 I went on a vacation to Europe with my best friends. I’m so very lucky to have a supportive family who encouraged me to go, and offered to stay with my girls while I was gone. On this trip, I was chatting with my girlfriends about personal growth and healing (a few had been through divorces) and I came to the realization that there is only so much healing you can do by yourself. The next level of healing comes from being in a relationship. I was ready for that next level.

When I returned home I told my friends, I am going to go on 12 dates in the first quarter of 2019, one date a week. I knew I needed to set a goal otherwise I would get discouraged (because online dating can be draining). The first two dates were total duds. The third one, was a completely different story.

Tad and I met at Pete’s coffee and before I knew it, 2 hours had passed. We talked about each other, our kids, what was important to us in life. We talked about our personalities, how we handle certain situations, and I learned that he was considered a “helper” (an enneagram 2 for those who know). When the date ended I texted a girlfriend and told her “it was the most refreshing first date I had ever had”. That is when I learned when it comes to dating, if it’s not a solid yes, it’s a no, but that’s another article for another time.

Things progressed with Tad and I. We were spending a lot of time together and a few months later, I introduced him to my girls. One day, my oldest daughter needed help with her headlights on her car, and Tad quickly jumped in and took care of it. He was so quick to offer help in other ways too. I remember feeling so uncomfortable accepting his help. I thought allowing him to help me would make me weak and dependent. I had spent all of this time learning to handle things on my own.

I was doing my work, healing myself. What would it mean if I allowed him in? How could I call myself a strong and independent woman? I really struggled with this. One evening I even had a conversation with Tad about it and shared my fears and concerns. He was so open and such a safe space for me to share these feelings. We talked about his personality type, that helping is how he shows his love. We also talked a lot about what it means to be a strong and independent woman, how I wasn’t sure how to maintain that sense of independence and I was in fear of losing it.

Here’s what I’ve figured out: Being strong doesn’t mean you don’t get to lean on someone. Being independent does not mean you have to do things on your own. The actual definition of strength and independence now in my book is how vulnerable you allow yourself to be. That’s where the real strength lies. Sharing your innermost fears with someone that allows you the space to have those fears, opening up and allowing help when you need it, that’s independence. None of that takes away from your strength.

In my opinion its actually one of the hardest, most challenging, strongest things you can do.  To me, those that close themselves off to vulnerability, those that don’t allow help, are showing a fake strength. That’s a wall that you’ve built, that I built, to protect myself from feeling scared, and from being hurt. And not much comes from that. The walls just get bigger and higher, the pain and hurt actually becomes greater.

When you do the work to take down your walls, you attract a partner who is worthy of sharing your deepest, darkest moments and fears. You attract someone who actually wants to help and support you in all ways.

I didn’t need Tad to save me. I had already saved myself.

What I got was someone to remind me, to mirror for me, how strong and independent I actually was, and to give me the safety to show up in my new version of strength and independence. I’m really proud of the person I have become, through all of my intentional relationships, but especially who I have become because of the support of this man. What we create in our relationship makes me better, and it makes him better too.  A little bit of luck and a lot of hard work healing and redefining myself conspired to bring us together and for that I’m grateful.

What is your definition of a strong and independent woman? How has your definition changed throughout your life?

Maci Chance
Realtor, Live.Laugh.Denver Real Estate Group


I am a Realtor with a passion for helping women with children going through divorce, and a drive to help all types of buyers and sellers minimize their stress and maximize their Real Estate investment. I am here to transform the Real Estate experience for my clients from one typically filled with fear, uncertainty, monumental challenges to one with courage, ease, abundant opportunity and a tool for wealth building. I am here to guide my clients through their Real Estate transaction in Highlands Ranch, Sterling Ranch, Littleton, Centennial, Lone Tree and Castle Rock.

I am aligned with Live.Laugh.Denver. Real Estate Group, a women-owned boutique firm focused on elevating the client experience by empowering their agents with marketing, technology and communication systems. The goal at Live.Laugh.Denver is to support my same mission of maximizing your investment, minimizing your stress, and helping clients build wealth, while offering a couple laughs along the way.

I was always told if you can’t say it best yourself, find someone else to say it for you…

“Maci was by far the best real estate agent I have ever worked with, and I have worked with a lot in my adult life. Her level of service was truly second to none. From the very beginning of our engagement when I told her “I think I spotted my dream house” all the way through to the day of our closing when issues were arising, she came alongside and helped us with an incredible holistic perspective on the process. She has a way about her that allows people to trust.”

Lisa Foster

Let this chapter of your life be the best one ever! Contact me. Let’s see if we’re a good fit.

Like this article? Check out, “How to Rebuild Your Life after Divorce at 50”

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