In preparation for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to bring a little encouragement to the good guys out there. Dating an ambitious woman can be intimidating–we know! We scare ourselves sometimes! So I asked some of Music Row’s most ambitious ladies to help demystify it. I spoke with friends who are record label executives, hit-songwriters, talent agents and promoters, a former Miss Tennessee, bloggers, radio personalities, and artists. Here’s what we came up with…and it’s actually 12 THINGS, not 10 because we have a lot to say. 😉
- Just because she wants to be a boss at her job, doesn’t mean she wants to be the boss at home— Nicolle Galyon. In fact, if she’s calling the shots in most areas of her work, it might be a real gift for you to be assertive in your dating life or be ‘the man with the plan.’ Joanna Carter says, “all women still want to be courted and pursued regardless of their success or what their title is.” Just because she’s all business at work, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to let loose, and have fun in her down time.
- She’s looking for a partner. Jacoby Knott says, “Be able to stand beside her, not in front of her.” She doesn’t want you be in her shadow, and she doesn’t want to be in yours.“ Support her ambition. Don’t make her goals your enemy,” says Brenna Mader.
- Ask questions! Show an interest in what she’s passionate about. Autumn House Tallant says, “Ask Questions! I can’t tell you how many dates I went on where my date wouldn’t ask about my work.” This seems obvious to anyone dating anyone, but if she’s that into what she does, you better believe she finds it pretty interesting. Give her the chance to tell you about it. Show an interest. By showing her that you care about her goals and aspirations, you can be a breath of fresh air.
- Respect the Almighty Calendar. Mary Catherine Kinney says, “Her calendar is filled to the brim (just how she likes it,) but don’t be scared. If she says she’ll “block time” for the two of you to have together, don’t be offended. In fact, take it as the highest compliment.” Be understanding of long hours, and flexible if plans change. It’s gonna be hard for her to let go of her work in her down time. As Nada Taha explains, “She’s gonna be checking off her to-do list in her head while you’re…….at dinner.” 🙂
- She doesn’t care who earns more, and neither should you. Whitney Haldeman says, “Women have enough drama to deal with when it comes to equal pay. The last thing she wants is for the person who should be her biggest supporter to be uncomfortable with or threatened by her success. Celebrate with her.” And she’s far more interested in hearing about what inspires you, than how much money you make anyway.
- Don’t make her choose between you and her dream. Sarah Buxton says, “If she loses her passions, you’ll lose everything you love about her.” Her passion is probably a big part of what attracted you to her in the first place. If you try to force her to give it up, she’ll be forced to give you up. If the work/life balance has gotten off kilter—which it most certainly will—don’t throw big ultimatums at her. Tell her what you want more of (i.e her) instead of complaining about what you don’t have. If she’s quick to apologize, be quick to forgive her.
- Passionate women are passionate women. This is good news for you. All that creativity and energy can be focused on other areas besides her work 😉 (I’m giving you permission to read as much into this as you see fit.)
- Be creative about communication. Lindsay Ell says, “whether it’s phone calls, texting, Facetime, emailing….it’s important to stay connected even if you don’t get to see each other that often. You can still feel a part of each other’s daily lives.” She may have to travel a lot; her schedule may be demanding, but just because she doesn’t have a ton of time, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to connect. Have fun thinking up creative ways to check in with each other.
- She puts 100% of herself into what she does. She will likely put 100% into a relationship that matters. Kelly Archer says, “Don’t mistake an ambitious girl for being unapproachable or intimidating. Be bold! There’s a woman behind all that ambition and she would most likely put just as much effort into the right person as she would that career.”
- She’s not interested in playing games. This means she may be more upfront about her feelings for you. It also means she’s less interested in the “wait a few hours to text back” typical dating codes of conduct. As Sarah Buxton put it, “answer the phone!” If she’s calling, then she wants to talk to you, and may only have a small window before she’s hopping on the next flight or back into a day of meetings. She won’t waste your time, and she’ll respect a man that doesn’t waste hers.
- Know the difference between bossy and bold. Ali Harnell says, “I’m not bossy baby, I’m the boss.” Yes, she’s assertive, or she wouldn’t be where she is. Yes, she’s been called the b-words (bossy, bitch) but those are not the same thing as being bold or motivated. Please know the difference. She’ll appreciate the fact that you do.
- Support is a two way street: she wants to cheer for you too. Becky Gardenhire says, “She wants to support your ambitions and dreams as well, so talk about it and share ideas.” You don’t need to be mister big-shot CEO, but she’s gonna be attracted to someone who has ambitions of their own, and goals they’re working towards. She wants to know that when you care about something you’ll be willing to work for it…that’s a turn on.
Many thanks to ALL of the women who I talked to for this piece. Even if I didn’t included your specific quote it was so helpful hearing your perspective! And GENTS, I hope you find this insightful and encouraging! We don’t bite…usually. Much love.
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