It’s Not Complicated
Rules for New Husband Mark Zuckerberg to Live By
Write this down, Priscilla Chan. Lauren Ashburn’s relationship terms of service for Facebook’s founder.
Priscilla Chan is my kind of woman. Anyone who can lay down the law with a monomaniacal entrepreneur and aspiring billionaire boyfriend knows what she’s doing.
The girl’s got game. Not only has she just graduated medical school, she operated on her man with surgical precision.
Chan, who tied the knot with Mark Zuckerberg a day after he took his baby public, wrote down some rules years ago when she was dating the Facebook founder she had met at Harvard. This, gal pals across America might note, was a precondition before she agreed to pick up and move to Silicon Valley.
In PandoDaily.com’s e-book about Zuckerberg, Sarah Lacy reports that Zuckerberg and Chan held a “series of negotiations” to govern the terms of her move. Lacy writes that the final contract included how often the lovebirds would see each other: “One date per week, a minimum of 100 minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook.”
Right on! For powerful men used to getting their way, I’m all for injecting a little “love” structure into their personal life.
Isn’t that the advice marital therapists dole out when the honeymoon hits the skids? Plan a night out, schedule sex, take your spouse on a date. The sage counsel boils down to reserving time for each other in a way that makes both partners happy.
It wasn’t by accident that precisely one day after the IPO, Zuckerberg got hitched to his longtime girlfriend. (Zuck had better hope the marriage fares better than the stock.) It’s obvious Chan had carefully laid the groundwork.
Think of all of the women who didn’t have the chutzpah to pin down their boyfriends before moving to another city and wound up eating ice cream and watching romantic comedies alone at night while their partner burned the midnight oil. Or worse.
This got me thinking. If Chan wrote a set of rules when they were dating, perhaps she needs to update them, post-IPO, before being a chief executive goes to his head.
It’s time to bring in the big-gun demands. Something along these lines:
1. No laptops, BlackBerrys, iPads, or other electronic communication devices allowed in bed—or all chargers will be confiscated for a week.
2. For every $100 million Zuck earns, he must buy her a Kobe-size diamond of superior cut, clarity, and color.
3. If he misses a planned vacation due to work, their next vacation is back to China to see her relatives.
4: He cannot forget her birthday and their anniversary—or Priscilla changes her Facebook status to "It’s complicated."
5. For every missed dinner, Zuck has to unfriend 10 people.
6. Any time he doesn’t invite her to after-office parties, he must put a Priscilla button prominently on Facebook’s homepage.
7. There must be a 100-minute date outside the house at least once a week—or she confiscates his hoodies and sells them on eBay.
8. And if he pulls an all-nighter more than once a quarter, buh-bye marital bedroom and all that goes with it for, well, as long as she likes.
See Rule 2 for inspiration into changing her mind.
Long live the Zuckerberg marriage. As long as he lives by the rules, may they live in peace, harmony, and plenty of stock splits. If not, all bets are off.