This post is part of the "Modern Male Brains & the Young, Powerful Women Who Love Them" series compiled by Dr. Louann Brizendine, neuroscientist and author of the recent book, The Male Brain. The series explores how the next generation of women relates to love while balancing complex, stressful lives.
"Marissa, will you marry me?"
These words were spoken to me just a few hours ago, by a man I'm not in love with, or even in a relationship with. I have been proposed to a few times in my life but have always declined. Including this time.
As a 26-year-old technology CEO who has weathered storms of epic proportions both personally and professionally, it is still jarring to hear. Let's pull back the curtains of the love jungle and step in to explore the psychology behind the hunting of a hunter -- a male hunting a female CEO for love.
I am a predator in the technology world: Risk-loving, opportunistic, focused on my next kill, pushing the bounds of business evolution. But in the love jungle, I am the prey. Always running in fear of jeopardizing my carefully constructed career and limiting my personal freedom.
I've been love-hunted by everyone from artists, actors, writers, musicians, politicians and financiers, to some of the wealthiest men in the world. All degrees of brilliant and all sorts of fancy. And they call me things like Helen of Troy, Cleopatra and Princess. It matters very little to me when coming from the wrong person. It has proven impossible to capture me for very long. The queen of the jungle does not like to be held in captivity.
Perhaps that is why they keep trying. It is historically acknowledged that men have a natural drive to hunt their prey, including women. And if the woman is a hunter just like the man is, it makes the chase much more difficult and thrilling. Men like to establish their dominance. The most dominant men want the most desirable women.
If I have such great deal flow, why is it so hard for me to find a great lover? To win me over is a matter of connecting with and challenging my heart and soul, while distracting me from all other opportunities in the love jungle. Beneath my complex layers, I am a simple girl who is susceptible to falling in love with a kindred spirit who lives a similarly mad existence. Someone who facilitates my dreams of making a positive impact on the world. Someone I want to spend time with and take care of. Someone who doesn't cramp my lifestyle. Someone I can rule the jungle with. A true partner. The John Lennon to my Yoko Ono, the Romeo to my Juliet, the Juan Peron to my Evita, the Lion to my Lioness.
I will settle for nothing less than an epic love story.
Also in today's series: Kristin Soltis and Desiree Peterkin Bell.