Dating and relationships can be tricky and subjective, irrespective of your partner’s profession or career choices. However, when it comes to dating an entrepreneur, you may find yourself in a unique relationship. While this relationship is different from others that you have been in, it still has magic and spark to it.
Dating an entrepreneur can involve a lot of understanding and support from your end. Irrespective of how confident businessmen and businesswomen look, having a partner who supports their dreams and ambitions is very important to them.
Like any relationship, dating a businessman or dating a businesswoman may also require work, effort, and compromises.
You have to be sure that your partner is worth those things and make the most of all opportunities you get with them.
Watch this video by relationships expert Susan Winter to know some tips on how to successfully date an entrepreneur.
The challenges of dating an entrepreneur
All relationships come with their own set of challenges and opportunities. When it comes to dating an entrepreneur, the relationship may seem harder to maintain than one with a partner who has a different profession. There is no denying the fact that dating an entrepreneur is hard.
Relationships with entrepreneurs can be complex because of how we perceive the idea of relationships. Initially, both partners wish to spend all their time with each other, getting to know one another and learn each other’s quirks.
However, when it comes to a relationship with an entrepreneur, you may feel you never have much time with them. Their goals and ambitions and their work may always take the front seat in their life.
If you want insights on how to make a relationship with an entrepreneur work, check out this book by real-life entrepreneur couple Brad Fled and Amy Batchelor that gives insights on how to thrive a relationship with an entrepreneur.
Should two entrepreneurs get together in a relationship?
Whether or not two people should get together in a relationship or even date each other has much more to do with just what they do for a living. However, when it comes to entrepreneur relationships, it can be great or go downhill.
It will depend on how the people in the relationship perceive it. While one entrepreneur can easily understand what their partner is going through and be more understanding and supportive, both of them may also find that they are always occupied with their work and barely get to spend any time together.
Dating as an entrepreneur, especially when you see another one from your profession, can come with its own set of pros and cons. For some people, having someone from a different occupation who can keep them grounded and provide a different perspective to situations may be more critical.
If you are an entrepreneur dating another entrepreneur, think about how that person’s success might affect you.
Would you have an issue becoming involved with someone who makes more money than you do? Would you have an issue lending seed money to a partner who is just beginning to grow their business? Would you expect them to invest in your project or become angry if they don’t?
You will want to have a conversation about how best to support both of your lifestyles. Other couples, non-entrepreneurs, can write down household chore schedules and set up shared bank accounts. They have no problem putting both their names on the title of their home.
But you and your love may rarely be home long enough to do the cleaning, let alone take the recycling to the curb. You may want to budget for household help, someone who ensures the plants get watered and the laundry is done.
Are you comfortable putting two names on your home deed? What if one of you needs to leverage the house to qualify for a loan to start their business? These are a few essential questions to ask before you, as an entrepreneur, begin dating another one.
20 things you should know before dating an entrepreneur
By now, you may be aware that dating an entrepreneur is not your normal dating life. It is not going to be all about cuddling on the couch, watching TV, having a lot of spare time to spend with each other, or even switch off work as soon as the clock strikes 6 pm.
If you see someone who is an entrepreneur or plan to do so more quickly, you must know a few things before you decide to take your relationship to the next level. If you are looking for dating an entrepreneur tips, these factors may be essential to consider.
1. Do not expect to be number one on their priority list
An entrepreneur lives, breathes, drinks, and dreams about their business. It will always occupy prime real estate in their mind. That does not mean you are not vital to them. But they will always prioritize the phone calls, emails, texts, and real-life meetings before their love life.
If you cannot stand having a boyfriend or girlfriend who is glancing at their phone every 2 seconds, even during a romantic dinner or (the worst!) love-making, dating an entrepreneur may not be for you.
2. You need stability, they need excitement
Entrepreneurs thrive on the next big thing. Even while working on one project, they will be thinking about the next trend that they can capitalize upon. They may jump from one thing to another, quickly abandoning something that doesn’t immediately show a return on investment. This may seem sexy to you at first.
After all, who doesn’t like to live vicariously through someone willing to take risks? But you may find yourself wishing he would settle down, stick with something sure and reliable, and stop burning the candle at both ends.
If you are unwilling to support the type of person who will constantly search, evaluate, and undertake shiny new projects, don’t date an entrepreneur.
3. They will need to have their own space
When you date an entrepreneur, you will soon learn that they need significant alone time. The entrepreneur has a solid drive to be alone, thinking, creating, and consulting their inner voice and gut instinct as they evaluate their next move.
It isn’t that they don’t need you, but they need to be by themselves to verify their inner compass. If you are a needy person or simply someone who wants a partner by your side each evening and weekend, dating an entrepreneur is not for you.
But if you also thrive with some alone time, dating an entrepreneur can be an ideal situation for you.
4. Make sure you can be self-sufficient
Because entrepreneurs need a lot of alone time, you will want to make sure that you can take care of yourself when they are off on their own, sketching out plans, meeting with investors, or checking out a new project site—at all hours of the day, night and weekends.
So ask yourself if you have your dedicated hobbies that you can occupy yourself with when your entrepreneur boyfriend or girlfriend has just canceled your long-awaited romantic weekend in Napa Valley. Or, better yet, go yourself and enjoy the five-star hotel and spa.
If you wonder how to be happy dating an entrepreneur, the secret is to be self-sufficient and resilient.
5. Your days and nights will be unique
Throw out everything you know about sleep and wake cycles because your entrepreneur partner will need very little sleep or sleep at odd times. You’ll marvel at how they can make love to you, crash for three-four hours, and then get up and start drafting a memo or organizing a launch party.
All while you stay deep in slumber. They may need a brief power nap during the day, but their sleep needs will never be eight total hours a night. According to a study conducted in 2017 by the Center for Creative Leadership, it was found that a huge percentage of leaders actually get less sleep than an average person.
Dating entrepreneurs come with their own set of struggles and pros, and sometimes it is about how you can turn one into the other.
6. Get used to sharing
If you want one golden rule of how to date an entrepreneur, it is this. When you date an entrepreneur, you will soon learn that their egos are as big as their hearts. These are not people that cling to the shadows and avoid the limelight.
Their happiest moments are when they are up in front of a group, on stage, describing their latest project or launching a new product. They eat up the applause and nourish themselves on the handshakes.
They love you, of course, and they recognize that it is your love that helped them get to where they are. But they also soak in the glory they get from their audience. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your partner, don’t date an entrepreneur.
7. Don’t compare your relationship with other “classic” couples
Unless you hang out exclusively with other couples who are entrepreneurs, you are bound to look at different friends’ relationships with a certain envy. They can plan dinners, vacations, even grocery shopping together.
You can’t do that, as your entrepreneur partner will most likely find such activities boring, and of course, be apt to be called into an important meeting with an investor at the last minute, blowing up any plans you were counting on.
If you plan on becoming seriously involved with an entrepreneur, know that you should not compare your love relationship with those around you unless they are also engaged with entrepreneurs. Then you can form a club, where you are free to complain about how loving an entrepreneur has its own set of issues.
But be sure to remember all the beautiful things you get out of this relationship, too!
8. Think about your preferences
Almost everyone knows what they are looking for in a partner and is also aware of their
non-negotiables. Suppose you think your preferences are more time with your significant other, having them around to help.
In that case, if you need them to help you do the housework, or be present for you physically more often than not, then dating an entrepreneur may not be the right choice for you.
While you may ignore these factors initially because you both are so in love, these are your wants or needs will resurface in the relationship eventually and can end up causing trouble to the point where you both decide to call off the relationship.
9. It could be an emotional rollercoaster
For an entrepreneur, their work is most likely the most critical thing in their life. If work is going well, you will see them be the charmer they are, and you will find them enjoying their highs with you. However, on bad days, you may see everything, including them, crashing down.
Dating an entrepreneur can be a roller coaster of emotions, and you must be prepared to understand and handle it if you want to be in a relationship with one.
If you wonder how to date a businessman or a businesswoman, you may need to be emotionally strong, as it can get overwhelming sometimes. Emotional intelligence as a partner of an entrepreneur is extremely crucial.
For many people who have certain professions, work begins at 9 in the morning and ends at 6 in the evening. However, for an entrepreneur, there is no concept of specific work hours.
You may find them working at 2 am, or at noon, or even for whole days and nights at a stretch. If you are not okay with being too busy, you may want to rethink your relationship with them.
11. Constant travel
One of the most crucial relationship advice for entrepreneurs and their partners is to consider the amount of travel the job demands. Most entrepreneurs usually travel around to meet new clients, discover new ideas, or find the next big thing.
This can impact your relationship negatively if you are not okay with them not being around you all the time.
12. Money matters can be complicated
The thing with entrepreneurs is that they may be rich one moment and broke the next. Make sure you both discuss the money matters before you get into anything serious.
Will you be okay with lending them some money if need be?
Will they be okay with accepting it?
Are you ready to compromise with great date nights and spas if it comes down to that?
Make sure you answer these questions before deciding to take your relationship with an entrepreneur to the next level.
13. You may not always be able to explain things to relatives
When a relationship starts to get serious, families get involved. However, while other people may be able to explain to their family what their partner does for a living, you may not always be able to do so with a lot of ease.
Startups are a reasonably new concept, something that some people may not be familiar with. Moreover, it is not a given that your partner will always make it to these family get-togethers, making the situation a little tricky for you.
Make sure you and the family understand their position and reasons not to be available all the time.
14. You may have to be their +1 at various events
Dating for entrepreneurs can be tricky when you have to be at multiple places at the same time. If your partner has to attend many networking events, they may want you to accompany them as their +1.
Please make sure you are okay with that before you sign up for a relationship with them. Even when you are at such an event and dating a busy business owner, they don’t need to hold your hand and walk with you throughout.
They may end up talking to a completely different group of people while you enjoy the food, drinks, or some other group’s company.
15. They may not have an “off” switch
Many people like to maintain a work-life balance by switching off on the weekend and after their work hours are over. However, entrepreneurs do not have an off switch at all.
This may come across to you as one of the problems of dating an entrepreneur, but you will have to find an understanding of it. Their mind is always working, and their thoughts are constantly engaged in what they can do next with their business.
Make sure you are okay with that before you decide to date an entrepreneur.
16. You may need to take a little extra care of them
Caring for your boyfriend or girlfriend is an instinct. However, an entrepreneur partner may require you to take extra care of them. Whether it is meals or the stuff they need to pack – they may not always have the time for it.
If you can take that load off them and help them with it, it would mean a lot to them.
17. Understanding their love language
Just because they are so occupied with their work does not mean that they will not go out of their way to make you feel loved and valued.
They care about you and love you, but you will have to find a way to understand their love language. Cherish the time you get with them and make the most of it.
When an entrepreneur gets into a relationship with you, they already have a very set life they need to adhere to, and most likely, so do you.
If you think you cannot put up with their lifestyle, it would be best to talk to them about it and make a mutual decision. Do not believe or think you can or should try to change them.
Not only is it not correct at your end, but it will also hamper their professional and personal life.
19. They will talk to a lot of strangers
When we start to date someone new, we want to be the only person who has their attention all the time. However, when it comes to dating an entrepreneur, you will not only find their attention wandering, but you will also find them speaking to a lot of strangers, especially for work.
Because of the broad spectrum of knowledge that entrepreneurs gain while reading and researching, they are likely to have a strong opinion about many things. Make sure you respect their opinions.
However, it is best to engage in healthy debates and discussions with your partner if you are very opinionated. It is intellectually stimulating for both of you and can keep the spark alive in your relationship.
These are all critical conversations to have when your relationship becomes serious. Whoever you end up dating, whether it is an entrepreneur or not, remember to take time to tend to them and the relationship.
Even the busiest entrepreneur can carve out special moments to remind their partner how important they are to them. Work is essential, but your love life is too. Finding the perfect balance will not be easy, but it will be one of the most critical investments you both make.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.