Being with an entrepreneur is different from being with someone who works as an employee. They carry the risks, dreams, hopes, ambitions, success and failure of their business on their shoulders. The burden is heavy and they are juggling so many balls in the air at any one time. It can often feel as though it will be a personal failure if they stop, so they keep juggling in order to feel as though they are in control.
It may seem that dating an entrepreneur is difficult and requires more effort than romancing somebody who doesn’t run their own business. However, these are tips that would help most people dating an individual who has the characteristics of being super focused on their business, career, family, studies etc. Be encouraging because being in a relationship can be challenging and every tip given will definitely put you in a position where your relationship is most likely going to be a success. Iphie Mottoh, whose business Duchess Secrets, offers sex, intimacy and relationship coaching to over 50 long-term clients, delves into 5 top things to consider when dating an entrepreneur.
You need to understand that an entrepreneur may find it difficult to switch off from being in business/work mode. Entrepreneurs are filled with a need to complete all tasks because if they don’t, the business may fail. The struggle to switch off can be further exacerbated when working from home as there is no physical differentiation between work and home.
You will have to actively remind them to focus on, and make time for the relationship as well. Entrepreneurs can be so focused on being in charge of the business that they forget to look after themselves or others in their lives. They need someone who is supportive and understands that drive in them. While you don’t take a back seat and become invisible, you may need to take control of the relationship and help steer it in the right direction if you believe they are worth it.
Honesty is very important – You need to be able to express how you feel in the relationship, whether it is positive or negative. You also need to feel comfortable enough to be able to ask how they are feeling, give them the safe space to express if they are focussed on the business currently. If that makes you feel abandoned or unappreciated, ensure you clearly communicate that in a non-accusatory manner because it may not be deliberate but an oversight.
Scheduling dates and quality time together even if it feels unromantic to start off with. Most entrepreneurs I have spoken to regarding intimacy in their relationship have confessed that scheduling quality time has become the normal way for them to maintain closeness in a relationship. To most, this sounds like it would strip all romance and spontaneity out of a blossoming romance, but it is a very essential way to create that closeness that a new relationship requires in order to thrive.
Enquire and understand the reason why they are an entrepreneur. Having this insight puts you in an advantageous place of knowing how to reach them if they start to lose themselves in their business. For example, if the driving force is to have more freedom to enjoy themselves, then it is easier to have a conversation in a way that they would understand.