If you’ve ever tried to start your own business from scratch, you’ll know it takes a lot of time and energy, in many ways, it’s like starting a relationship.
This could be problematic for someone looking to juggle those two aspects of their life, often choosing their business over a relationship or even a social life – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
The key to dating an entrepreneur, or founder is setting expectations appropriately. You will also need a healthy ability to deal with not always being someone's center of attention, it also really helps if you are like-minded and the idea of starting a business also excites you. Not making someone choose between fulfilling their life ambition and devoting all their time and energy into creating a relationship is the best you can give an entrepreneur. So let’s take a look at both sides of the coin...
Firstly, if you are a business founder, work at a start-up, or are self-employed what do you look to find the perfect date?
So, if you're wondering how to meet and date an entrepreneur it’s essential to connect with someone with confidence, ambition, and importantly, sympathy towards you having a huge amount of demands and exterior focuses. It would be advised to avoid people with dependency issues, people with low self-confidence, and needy people. And the following attachment type is a good place to start:
Secure - People with secure attachment style tend to approach dating and relationships in a healthy and constructive way. They're often confident, empathetic, and open to giving and receiving love. Here's what their dating style might look like:
Clear communication: People with secure attachment tend to be straightforward with their feelings and expectations. They can articulate their needs effectively and are good listeners. They're not afraid to talk about the relationship status and its future- a quality that suits a professional person perfectly.
Balanced dependence: They're comfortable with interdependence. That means they understand the balance between depending on their partner and being independent. They aren't afraid of intimacy, but at the same time, they understand the need for personal space and boundaries (a big win for startup owners)
Stable self-esteem: They often have a positive view of themselves and others. They tend to be confident and comfortable in their own skin, which allows them to be supportive partners who can give and take in a relationship.
Ability to manage conflict: Securely attached individuals are able to handle disagreements in a constructive manner. They see conflicts as a chance to improve the relationship, not as a threat.
Resilient to setbacks: They are less likely to perceive occasional relationship problems as a catastrophe. They're resilient, understanding that ups and downs are a part of any relationship.
Open to deep emotional connections: They are comfortable with closeness and emotional intimacy, and they have an easier time trusting others. They tend to be warm and loving, and they're not afraid to express their love.
Consistent: Their actions match their words, which helps to build trust. They are reliable and their partner does not have to guess or worry about their feelings or commitment.
On the flip side, how do you date someone with entrepreneurial traits?
Be patient, and understand that this person may be working 24/7 and this isn’t gonna stop in the near future. So allow them space, be forgiving of late responses, and don’t expect them to drop what they are doing and shift their attention to you at your request. It’s important to remember it’s not all doom and gloom, entrepreneurial people are usually highly intelligent and very driven, and very ambitious, and these are great qualities to having a partner.
"Don’t expect them to drop what they are doing and shift their attention to you at your request."
The main thing to try to do is just respect their hustle: these people are in love with their work. It's not just a job for them, it's a calling. So, try to understand their world. You don't need to be a part of it, but just showing that you respect their passion can mean everything to them. Going with the flow is another important thing for dating an entrepreneur. Their schedule might be a roller coaster ride- late nights, early mornings, last-minute cancellations - that's part of the package. Can it be frustrating? Yes. But if you can be a little flexible, it's gonna make things a lot smoother. Don't forget to be their cheerleader... and their sounding board: celebrate their wins, encourage them when times are tough, and be ready to listen when they need to vent. They're going to have ups and downs, and knowing they have you by their side can be a huge comfort.
Finally Carving out 'us' time may be a tough one but it's essential- neglect this at your peril! Their work is important, but so is your relationship. So make sure to set out some quality time together. It doesn't have to be grand gestures or elaborate dates, even small things like having a cup of coffee together in the morning can be precious- eating in a group taps into our ancestral instincts and helps form bonds
What should both parties expect from a relationship when one or both parties are entrepreneurial?
Expect a relationship to grow slower at the beginning, but potentially develop into a much stronger bond. Being around entrepreneurial people rubs off on you, if you are the other party you may find yourself picking up some of these traits, you may find yourself even wanting to start your own business or collaborate with your partner. Expect long hours, expect travel, and expect the majority of conversations to not be about your relationship, but rather about their professional endeavors. Expect tempers to be short, and be sympathetic- running a business is not easy sometimes that person might just want to switch off- give them space to do that.
Okay, I want to date an entrepreneur, how do I find one?
Aside from the obvious networking, there are not a lot of places to bump into entrepreneurs looking to date- usually because they probably haven’t had time to make it known. They probably won't be on the typical dating apps BUT the few dating apps that deviate from the usual hook-up culture can be a great way to find entrepreneurial or highly professional people to date. REDDI is really unique in that not only does it combine vetted users, but it also allows you to match based on attachment styles that fit your life, this will allow someone of entrepreneurial nature to match with the perfect partner with the necessary personality traits to have a fighting chance and start something beautiful.
Remember- starting ANY relationship is hard work so add on top of that some strong external factors such as running a business and you'll find a challenge BUT potentially you'll meet an intelligent, successful, and ambitious partner that might inspire you to be better- who doesn't want that??
This article was written by Lee Webster- with over 10 years of experience working with startups and the Founder of Growth Consultancy- a company that works with startups and entrepreneurs.