For as far back as anyone can remember we as women have had to fight, climb and conquer many basic rights – the right to vote, to work, to buy a home, even to so much as have our own bank account. Yet it would seem that along the way our fight for independence has created a new kind of stereotyping – the independent woman.

According to the stereotype she is: cold, fearless, ruthless, unapologetic.

After years of being classified as ‘unwomanly’ for not allowing a man to be the ‘provider’ the same independent woman begins to let her guard down, she lets him pick up the cheque, send her flowers, take her on trips all while still very much maintaining her own life, and just when she thinks the perfect balance is reached she is stamped with a new title – gold digger.

In the game of dating can we as women actually win when it comes to perception, or has the fight just reached new heights.

While reading through the pages of our favourite magazines I couldn’t help but notice a common pattern – ‘the singer and her billionaire boyfriend, the model and her billionaire boyfriend, the actress and her billionaire husband’ – how is it that in the year 2017 no matter what a woman has accomplished on her own, she is still seen as arm candy to a man if his earnings exceed her, and more importantly seen as a woman simply out for his money.

And while it would be very easy to say that examples like these simply apply to those in Hollywood, it would seem the mentality of these headlines have transpired to the very everyday Joe’s we a women meet along our dating game.

The everyday working girl who has spend years climbing up the ladder, buying her own coffee every morning, picking up her own cheques when heading out dinner, paying her own taxi fees on the weekends and even buying her own croissants when the mood strikes, thinks she has it all figured out – in one single move falls in love.

Thinking she has met a man who truly gets her, she allows the walls to fall down, and just like the magazine titles is hit by scrutiny, eventually having him end the relationship and leave her to wonder – can we really have it all?

The truth behind having it all in essence is figuring out individually what ‘it all’ is – once that is reached there is no room for suspicion, for accusations or fear because one is sure of their own truth.

For women the truth is knowing they are just as they have always perceived themselves – whether that’s sitting in the CEO’s chair, staying at home, or working up get ladder – knowing they are not defined by they titles but by their heart and strength, knowing they can be independent but also allow the right man in.

For men it’s trusting in the woman they fell in love with  – whatever she chooses to be and knowing that just as it was when you met her – she can always buy her own croissant.