True, a self-confident & secure woman should not NEED a man to validate her. Nor should she NEED a man to reassure her in order for her to feel secure. I can agree with that. However, when it comes to the realm of relationships, I believe that things are a little different.
On that note, there is nothing wrong with desiring reassurance from your partner. It doesn't make you less of a "strong & confident" woman. It doesn't mean that you are weak or that you are battling insecurities. Quite frankly, it just shows that you are human. Let's be real, everyone likes to know that they are appreciated.
I don't think men realize how easy it is to keep a smile on his lady's face. Hm, actually, I'll take that back. Let me just speak for myself here & not generalize. Every woman isn't so easy to please, this I am sure of. SO, speaking for myself, even the smallest gestures of kindness don't go unnoticed. A little reassurance can go a long way. Speaking from personal experience & from numerous conversations with female friends -- feeling left in the dark about how someone truly feels about you isn't the best feeling in the world.
Don't neglect to tell your lady how you feel. If the little things she does puts a smile on your face, tell her. If you feel lucky to have met her, tell her. If you like the way that things are progressing between the two of you, let her know. No one is going to know how you feel unless you tell them. I think that a big misconception in this situation is that people often assume that their significant other should know how they feel about them based solely off of actions, past discussion of emotions, and past conversations about feelings. When people get too comfortable and complacent they often lose that initial eagerness and zeal towards their partner -- that same eagerness that their partner probably fell in love with from the beginning. You may think "I've told her how I felt before." ....ok, lovely but like you said, that was before and this is now. The dynamics of relationships are ever evolving & growing (or deteriorating) so to think that telling her how you felt a month ago should still suffice today would be kind of silly, wouldn't it?
Honestly and truly, everyone loves to know that they are appreciated. We all love to hear how the person we are interested in feels about us. And although, deep down, we may "know" that they do indeed feel a certain way about us -- hearing it come from their lips provides a sense of comfort & security that everyone in a relationship should have. On the other end, like I stated previously, tell her! Tell her five, ten, twenty times -- I promise you that there is absolutely no harm or shame in sharing your feelings with someone that you care about. Most importantly, even the most basic reminder can have the most beneficial results in the long run. Taking out the time to send her that cute text message in the middle of the night -- taking the time to call her and tell her that you appreciate her -- are just little things that can prevent the dreaded "I don't know how you feel anymore" conversations in the future.
Sometimes all we need is that little reminder that you do indeed still...feel. True, true "actions speak louder than words" ....but don't forget that your words do indeed speak volumes.