Our single of the month knows how to woo the ladies.
By Ursula Lauriston
As we sat down for lunch, Michael Hardaway—the 29 year-old CEO of his own PR company– kept his sunglasses on. I call him the ‘Lady Killer.’ But when asked if he considered himself a lady’s man he quickly responds, “I reject that term. I don’t like the connotation behind that.”
Hardaway grew up in a strict Chicago home. His mother, a strong woman, served as a social worker while his father served as a college professor. Growing up his father taught him and his older brother to be the captain of their own ship and to always control their destiny.
Name: Michael Hardaway
Occupation: CEO of CIA Athlete Public Relations
Twenty Something: Why are you single?
Michael Hardaway: Because I want to be. I enjoy being single.
TS: How do women respond to you?
MH: Very well. I’m outgoing, genuine, and very like-able. All these things draw people in.
TS: Would you call yourself a lady’s man?
MH: I reject that term. I don’t like the connotation behind that. It’s a guy who objectifies women and doesn’t appreciate them and neither of those things matches up with who I am.
TS: What are your ideas on family and marriage?
MH: I do want a family and to get married. I want a large family actually– a basketball team. And I want us to be very close and tight knit. But right now I’m focused on living. At this point in my life I’m just not interested in settling down.
I think most men, particularly single men, are afraid of losing their identity and their friendships. They’re afraid of losing themselves. They want a relationship but want to have their own life.
TS: Is having a family and being married not living?
MH: Right now I have two responsibilities– myself and my dog. I don’t have to think about anyone else. I love the ability to move and do what I want.
TS: Compare DC and Chicago women.
MH: They’re very different (laughs). I think DC women care much more about where you are academically and professionally than Chicago women. Chicago women are less likely to tie their emotions or feelings to your profession and where you are in life.
TS: Are you a romantic?
MH: Romance is effort. If I care about someone I’m going to put in the effort to make it work. Just like everything else in life the only way you can make a relationship successful is by putting in the effort.
TS: What’s sexy about a woman?
MH: Being feminine is sexy. I love women who love being women and are confident in that. A girl’s girl is sexy.
TS: Would you date a woman who was unemployed?
MH: I would depending on the circumstances. She needs to be a hard-worker and have a plan.
TS: When it comes to settling down, is the timing or woman important?
MH: It is absolutely the woman. I think for a lot of women if they find the guy who they think they want to marry but the guy isn’t ready they wait around. Its different for men.
TS: Are you looking for a girlfriend?
MH: I’m never looking for a girlfriend. When you put a lobster in the pot, you put it on low heat and you slowly heat it up. Then you look up and you’re in a relationship. So I’m never looking. I’m living and things that happen happen.
TS: Are young, professional Black men in DC interested in monogamy?
MH: Yes. I know a lot of guys who are. This is not even specific to black men and black women. There are a ton of nice guys out there interested in a relationship but they never get the chance.
I think women have this list, they have blinders on, and they’re looking at two or three certain guys. The issue at hand is that they may not all fit into that 10 percent that women are looking for. That guy becomes your buddy or the guy whose shoulder you cry on when the other guy hurts your feelings. I think it’s time for women to step out of the box and give the nice guys a chance.
Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. Follow me on Twitter.