Why MacKenzie Bezos took the initiative during her divorce
A tweet on January 9 announced the divorce of Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos. On April 4, their divorce was finalized thus ending a 26-year marriage. MacKenzie still holds $35.6 billion worth of Amazon stock but gave up voting rights to Jeff.
Her calm and collectedness during the divorce proceedings were met with confusion. How was this possible when she was seceding so much control of Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce site? We argue it’s because she is a truly independent woman who takes control of her own happiness without being affected by outside factors.
Jeff and MacKenzie first met at Jeff’s previous company, a hedge fund called D.E. Shaw in New York City. Jeff was one of MacKenzie’s interviewers and he left a strong impression on her. So much so that it was MacKenzie who took the initiative to approach Jeff. After being hired, MacKenzie asked Jeff on out a lunch date which kickstarted their relationship. An engagement came three months later. Marriage after only six months. The rapid pace of their relationship was undeniably driven by MacKenzie’s initiative in pushing the relationship forward.
The question of whether women should take the initiative remains a highly debated topic in relationships. To a small group of women, being the first to tell someone they’re interested comes naturally. The majority, however, still feel that taking the initiative is a daunting task that requires a lot of courage and determination.
“Why should women learn to take the initiative?” – We interviewed some of our matchmakers for their opinions.
Taking control of your happiness
In the traditional way of thinking, a woman degrades her value by taking the initiative to express her feelings. Unfortunately, this idea is still pervasive in our current society. The media’s constant portrayal of “whoever takes the initiative, loses” does little to help.
According to Bessie, a matchmaker for 2RedBeans, a healthy relationship requires effort from both people. Being proactive allows you to control your own happiness. Being passive gives control of your happiness to someone else.
Many of our female clients gave very similar feedback to our matchmakers. In a relationship, they are always the passive ones. According to them, in the past, it was others who took the initiative in the relationship and they would give up if they had to be the one to move things forward.
According to Jessica, our senior matchmaker, it is indeed tough for someone to change from being passive to proactive. But it can happen. “When they meet someone they truly like, they will change their passive nature and to a more proactive one by reaching out to the people they are interested in.” Being proactive and taking the initiative does not degrade you. It gives you the ability to find the happiness that you are looking out for.
Even “outstanding” men need a woman to guide them
When a man meets someone he likes, what does he usually do? Dating expert Alex once mentioned that only 1% of the entire population of men will take the initiative to approach them. Roughly half of the people in this group would reach out to any woman that seems approachable. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a small group of men would never take the initiative. The majority of men will often wait for the right opportunity before making a move.
However, Alex also mentions that the majority of men often are unsure about what constitutes a “right opportunity”. Even if such opportunities were to appear, most men are unsure of what to do.
This doesn’t mean that women have to take the lead all the time. Instead, women can “take the initiative” by giving the people interested in them an opportunity to get to know them better.
According to matchmaker Danniya, this works very well among the more passive men. From all of the men she interviewed in the Bay Area, most of them are looking for a woman who is more outspoken and cheerful in nature since they are not great at conversation. If the other party is more proactive, it would help them communicate better.
When they meet someone they are interested in, many women would pause and hesitate: “Should I be the proactive one?” Some of them even think, “If they aren’t even brave enough to approach me, why should I like them back?” Instead of thinking this way, our matchmakers suggest that women should instead think about how they can “attract” them in the first place.
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