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How to Date an Entrepreneur like Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Priscilla Chan

Photo Courtesy of: valleywagprime on Flickr

No one ever said dating was easy, but dating a young aspiring entrepreneur can be a challenge to say the very least. Not only do you need to be completely supportive, but being patient and understanding are key if the relationship is ever going to last for the long term.

A well known young entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook can certainly attest to the challenges of having a relationship while trying to build a billion dollar company.  In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s long time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan made him sign a contract before she moved out to California.  The contract stated, “one date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook.”

As a Matchmaker & Dating Coach, I thought it was quite interesting that Priscilla Chan felt it was necessary to put it into a written contract with Mark. So, I interviewed a young Entrepreneur in New York City, Matt Wilson, founder of and asked him to give us his best dating tips for women who want to date an aspiring entrepreneur.

How to Date an Entrepreneur – Interview with Matt Wilson

The Matchmaker: What are your thoughts on having the entrepreneur someone is dating to sign a contract?

Matt Wilson: First of all, if Mark violates the contract, what is Priscilla going to do; take him to court?  Any relationship that needs a contractual obligation outside of marriage is ridiculous.  Someone needs to have a Silicon Valley reality check.  Mark—honor your word if you want to keep this girl around and pay her some attention.  Priscilla—it’s demeaning that you have to get your boyfriend to sign papers in order to convince him to hang out with you.

The Matchmaker: What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur and dating?

MW: Setting your priorities.  Entrepreneurs have so many obligations in their life and it becomes increasingly difficult to manage them all as your business grows.  You have to spend time on your family, your friends, your fitness and your interests outside of business and it can be hard to explain how difficult this to a non-entrepreneur.

What is really important is that the person you are dating understands what you are working towards.  Personally, I want to create a business that has major impact on the world, creates wealth for myself and others, allows me to build the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed about and leave a legacy that people will remember me for.   It takes a lot of sacrifice in the early days.  Entrepreneurs choose to live life like others won’t for a few years so we can live life like others can’t for the rest of our lives.

The Matchmaker: What are the most important qualities you would look for in a woman for a long term relationship?

MW: A couple months ago I was speaking at NYU and I told the students I needed to find a girlfriend who was like my business partner and let me do whatever I wanted.  Jared gives me the autonomy to go after my personal initiatives (even when he thinks they are a bad idea) but is there to keep my grounded as well.  If I’m going to be in a long term relationship or business partnership, the person is going to have to be laid back and willing to put up with my antics.  I like to have fun in everything that I do so she better be prepared and be able to keep up.  Of course, like a business partner she’ll need to add value to my life and make me better at whatever I do.

The Matchmaker: What is the best dating advice you can give to women who want to date an up and coming entrepreneur?

MW: My best dating advice for women is, you better have a fulfilling life of your own.  An entrepreneurs’ schedule can change at any minute, they can be pulled into client meetings, be confronted with crisis and have to pull all-nighters.  Many entrepreneurs are “married to their business” so be clear on your expectations from the beginning; or you could end up being the mistress.  The entrepreneur you are dating really may have intentions to spend time with you but may often has to break these commitments.  So just know this from the beginning and if you really like the person make the most out of their time when you have it.  Don’t add stress to their life by complaining about it every time you finally do get time to be together.  Stick it out and realize the person you are dating is doing something exciting and if they actually care for you they’ll make sacrifices in their business to keep you around.

The Matchmaker: What are the biggest turn on’s & off’s to an entrepreneur when he/she is dating someone?

MW: It’s nice to be able to talk to someone about your business who is removed from the situation and truly understands/cares about what’s going on in your life.  Someone who can contribute to the conversation and finds business as exciting as you do is a huge turn on.

On the other side of the coin, someone who takes your mind off business is a great change of pace and another very big turn on.  If you are going to make a commitment to someone you want it to be fun and put you in a place where you forget about everything else going on in real life.

The worst turn off to an entrepreneur is someone who makes your life more stressful than it already is.  Entrepreneurs need someone who is going to be supportive, but not get in the way.

The Matchmaker: What would you say is the single most important thing for someone to know when he/she is dating an entrepreneur?

MW: The best dating advice for women when dating an entrepreneur is: Prepare for uncertainty! Entrepreneurs are risk takers; they don’t lead the normal, boring 9-5 life with the set plan laid out in front of them.  So if you are going to date an entrepreneur embrace the uncertainty and look forward to the excitement of the ups and downs.  Be in it for the whole journey and don’t just wait for them to strike it rich.  It’s all  part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and thats what the true entrepreneur lives for.  It’s the core of what so many people of the opposite sex find attractive in entrepreneurs.  Lay it all on the line and hang on for the ride.

If you liked this article on what men look for, we also suggest you check out Single in Stilettos Video Series, where real men & professional dating experts will tell you what men really think and want from women!

by Suzanne Oshima

Suzanne K. Oshima is a Matchmaker, Dating Coach & Founder at Dream Bachelor & Bachelorette. She is also the Founder of Single in Stilettos, which gives women the best dating advice & tips to help them meet, attract & keep the one. Suzanne has been seen on Bravo TV, The Today Show, Good Afternoon America, Inside Edition, BBC Radio, Glamour Magazine, Men’s Health and much more!

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As seen on:
Bravo TVToday ShowGood Afternoon AmericaInside EditionABC 7Glamour MagazineMen's HealthBBC Radio