Let’s get one thing clear.

This article is not about the “strong Black woman” stereotype. It is hella negative, inaccurate and does not take into account why Black women are the way they are. I wrote about just how damaging I think this stereotype is to Black love, and you can check it out here.

The strong Black woman that I’m talking about doesn’t fit into any stereotype. She isn’t angry, cold or unforgiving. She isn’t terribly independent to the point where she makes life difficult for herself and those around her. She doesn’t have a desire to fill the role of a man. She desires and is eager to meet and build with a life partner.

And honestly, she is critical to the existence of all mankind. Here’s how to love her.

1) Realize that she will need to do things on her own.

Strong Black women aren’t damsels in distress. We do not desire for our mate to rush to fulfill our every command. The essence of a strong Black woman is to be independent. So in order to love her, you must be comfortable with allowing her to do certain things on her own. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need you. It just means that like you, she wants to tap into and use her divinely appointed strength. Allow her to, and she’ll be more vulnerable with you than you can ever imagine.

2) Understand that you need to support her passion, purpose and current position in life.

What makes a strong Black woman a “strong Black woman” is her confidence and ability to go after what she wants in life. She does not find excuses and she makes tackling obstacles look easy. Keyword: LOOK. But she’s not superhuman. She has the same anxieties, fears, concerns and worries that others have. And that’s where you come in. Serve as a source of inspiration for her as she journeys to become her higher self. Allow her to show—and reveal in her own time—all aspects of her being. A loving, genuine, supportive partner is everything to this type of woman.

3) Sensuality is key.

If you’re going to be with a strong Black woman, recognize that she is a sensual, delicate creature. That tough exterior used to face the world is easily shed given the right mate, energy and intentions. Understand that while she is in fact a bad ass, she’s just as gentle and delicate as they come.  Love her from head to toe in a worship-like fashion. Every woman, no matter how aggressive she may be, desires to be free to relinquish power to some degree.

4) Remember, the truth will set you free.

Strong Black women are intelligent and resourceful beings, so it’s pretty hard to pull the wool over their heads. Do yourself a favor and be as upfront about your intentions as possible. Strong Black women value those who grant them the freedom to choose, and truth is the way. You might not always like the decisions they make, but one thing you will gain is their respect.

5) Do not be a doormat.

Your strength has to match hers. Present yourself as a doormat and you will be walked on. In order to have a successful, fulfilling relationship with a strong Black woman, you must be secure in who you are. She wants an equal, not an authoritarian or someone who agrees with everything she presents. Respectfully challenge her, express your disagreements and take control when you feel the need to.

Shantell E. Jamison is a senior editor for EBONY.com. Her book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction” is available on Amazon. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.