I’m a fierce competitor; growing up with three brothers I had to be. I was the fastest female running back on my block (never-mind I was the only female running back on my block). And when it came to basketball, I excelled at that too. Between you and me, they coined the phrase “power forward” because of my hoop skills — I had handles like Whaaaaa! Okay! That’s a bit of a stretch. What’s not a stretch though is how the skills I developed playing sports made me a successful career-woman but were ruining my love life.
Being competitive and aggressive may have made me a star on the basketball court and in the boardroom, but they did little to enhance my dating life. In fact, they had quite the opposite affect; they were turn-offs rather than turn-ons.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the perks of success: a BMW, St. John’s suits, Jimmy Choo shoes, good credit, and a luxury condominium. Hmpf! You couldn’t tell me ‘nothing when I stepped out of my shiny new BMW (dressed to the nines). But eventually that walk from the parking garage to my luxury condo started feeling like the Green Mile. Remember what Billy Dee told Diana Ross in Mahogany, “Success is nothing without someone to share it with.” Billy had it right.
I know members of the Strong Sister Club are sounding off: “Girl, if he was scared away, he wasn’t for you!” “Only a weak man is afraid of a strong woman!” “It wasn’t you; it was the men you were choosing.”
Yeah! Yeah! All (or none) of those may be true. But let’s face facts ladies, garlic noodles at Crustaceans tastes much better when you’re enjoying them while gazing into the eyes of Mr. Tall-Dark-And-Handsome than when you’re eating them a la’ solo. Sure, I’m a card-carrying member of the Strong Sister Club, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in the Strong “Married” Sister’s Club one day. Feel me?
So putting my analytical skills to use, I set out to determine what I might be doing wrong. Here’s what I learned:
1. Its a relationship not a business deal.
2. You’re not his boss; stop trying to make him your employee.
3. Think companion not competitor.
4. Be present, creative, but most of all committed.
5. The “Power of Persuasion” and nagging is NOT the same thing.
Many of the skills I acquired over the course of my career would take years to unlearn, so instead of letting them work against me, I’ll make them work for me. In the end, it’s really about learning to manage them more effectively. Right?
BMWK, do you agree with the saying “success is nothing without someone to share it with”?
Maureen Simmons, a Sr. Human Resources Manager by trade, uses her coaching skills to build people in their life, career and personal relationships. She writes a career-related blog under the moniker ”The HR Maven“ and is completing her first book tentatively titled: Jumping for Joy: Principles I Learned in the Valley, due to be published in the Spring of 2013.