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#9 What he said: A conversation with my guy friend.

M.W. is a career advisor for college students
and motivational speaker.

Today's Guy:  MW, age 27 college administrator

How long I've known him: About six months

Today's Topic:  Dating a woman who has her own.
So this topic comes up a lot. One day M. W. vented to me about the pressure men sometimes feel from successful career women, who may have more money than the guy.  I didn't really get to cross examine him for this interview though. 

Me: You know these days a lot women are shall we say "independent". Basically like that Neyo song, "She's got her own". What is it like dating a woman like that?

M.W.: I actually like dating a woman that's independent. I believe an adult should be independent. For me it is a normal way of life. I've never been with a woman who depended on a man for everything. I honestly don’t think I would like it.

Me: Do you think women who are viewed as "successful" are more difficult to date than women who are not viewed that way?

M.W.: I wouldn't say difficult but I it does take a secure man to deal with a successful woman, particularly if she is more successful then the man.

Me: Is it intimidating to date a woman who may be more financially blessed/secure than you are?

I have dated a few women who have made more than me. I was never really intimidated but the one time it did bother me was when the woman made a substantial amount more than I did. When the woman made slightly more than I did it didn't bother me.

Me: Do you think women who are professionally successful forget how to be taken care of by a man?

M.W.: A lot of the times I believe so. I think it is because they have to work so hard and be so strong that it is hard to let go when she is with her man. That to go along with the fact that a lot of women have never seen how a real man takes care of a woman. I may not have more in the bank (although I will be carrying my weight) than you but I know how kill a spider, fix something around the house, cut grass, go and see what that noise was in the middle of the night. Ladies, you don't have to be superwoman when you are with your man.

Would you rather date someone who made more than you or someone who made less? Why?

I don't have a preference. As long as the woman is happy with her career and she makes time for me I'm cool.

Me: Do you think men focus too much on what a woman has and too little on who she is? So the intimidation may be self-inflicted?

M.W.: I can be a little on the cocky side so I stay away from the "intimidation" factor but there are some men who aren't secure within themselves which causes problems. Being a black male we are always hearing how we aren't measuring up to black woman and it gets annoying. I may not want to be an Investment Banker. Maybe I want to be a teacher. Am I not successful if I chose the later? Sorry but I had to vent a little on that one.

We've talked about the whole pursuing versus being pursued thing. Who do you feel should be the pursuer in relationships and why?

Call me backwards but I like for a woman to show interest in me first. That is what I am sort of use to "shrug". If I notice a lady and I want to get to know her I will initiate things. A man should not have to pursue a woman and a woman should not have to pursue a man. If I initiate things and you know you are feeling me, don't play high school games and have me running around like a lost puppy. If you say no at first because you genuinely aren't interested then maybe I need to step it up a little.

Me: Does a woman's financial status change that at all?

M.W.: It can have an effect. A woman who is successful may be so due to an aggressive nature. She sees what she wants and she goes after it. On the other hand a woman who is successful may feel that men should come to her because she has a lot to offer. It can go either way. I more than likely won't know your financial status until later on in process anyway so it's not a factor for me.

Me: Do you think professional women ask for too much and give too little?

M.W.: There are some who want the 6ft tall, 6 pack, 6figure, 6 degree guy while she doesn't know how to cut the stove or the microwave on but I think that is rare. I think the professional women want what most women want and that is a compatible partner. Not just in a financial sense but in other areas as well.

Me: Does a woman who is successful inspire you to do more in your own life?

Due to my competitive nature I will say yes because I don't like being out done. Aside from that, there is nothing like a woman who can inspire and encourage a man to be better in all aspects of his life.

Me: What do you think women who make more than men should do differently when dating?

Nothing really. If a man can't handle that she makes more than he does that's his problem, not hers. As long as she isn’t throwing things in his face it's ok. Now if she is truly feeling a guy who is not on her level financially maybe some of the dates can be at less expensive places. Simple things like that. She shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells though.

Me: What do you think men should do differently when dating a woman who makes more?

M.W.: The first thing a man should do is make sure he can handle being in that situation. Once he has done that he should pay attention to the little things. Plan inexpensive (not cheap) dates that involve activities she truly likes. Maybe she is into art and you can hit up a museum, stuff like that. The last thing a man should do is try to keep up with her. He will go broke.
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