So today’s lifestyle topic is about maintaining a romantic relationship while running a start-up.
You may wonder why I’m writing about such a topic on a blog about business (February was the month of love – I was inspired ^_^), well, I like to address all topics that affect young entrepreneurs. To be honest, there are things that we entrepreneurs may not talk about because we’re not expected to, but I’m sure more than once, a romantic relationship has suffered due to the strain of one of the partners (or both) being in a situation where they concentrate so much on his/her business to the detriment of the relationship. This is one of the challenges that an entrepreneur faces, but often will not talk about. Today I want to address the topic.
To be honest, when I started the bakery, I decided to remain single since I was aware that a business would require all the time I had and since a relationship also requires time and commitment, I felt that I did not want to comprise any side (it also helped that I was not dating anyone at the time – so, easy choice ^_^) However, one might find that they are romantically attached to someone and they want to continue the relationship, as well as start a business. It’s not to say that any side should suffer, you just have to work hard on both activities to keep them going as well as plan accordingly. Based on observation (and a bit of experience), I have found a few tips that will help entrepreneur couples to keep their relationships strong as they continue to do business.
If you are in a relationship or would like to be in one and you’re not sure if it will work, I hope these tips will help you in building your relationship or strengthen your current one.
Share at least one meal a day
As easy as it sounds, it can be hard for entrepreneur couples to find the time to even share a meal together. I would suggest doing so; whether it’s an early breakfast, brunch, lunch or making sure that you eat dinner together. Try and make sure you do so; it’s a great time to catch up on the day, share any ups or downs of the day. This helps you maintain the bond required to build a lasting relationship. If daily is not possible; at least aim for 3 to 5 days weekly.
Communication is important
I can honestly say that I have been in a relationship that has ended due to poor communication between both of us. For most, it’s lack of it; where you find that you don’t talk for at least 3 days or even text each other. Make sure that you communicate at least once daily and if you can, try 2 or 3 times, no matter how busy you are. It’s good to keep in touch and let each other know how you’re doing, even though it’s one or two texts during the day.
Couples that don’t communicate find that they are out of sync and fight more often due to misunderstandings that can be easily avoided.
Another kind of communication is the verbal kind, it’s good to be honest about opinions and situations so the other partner can understand your point of view on a certain topic or challenge. Some couples just ignore any negative feelings or opinions they have and decide not to share with their partner. Unfortunately all those feelings build up in a negative way and the relationship suffers. So make sure you communicate your feelings in a mature, reasonable way to your partner to avoid misunderstanding.
Personal Time Together
This is another thing that seems simple enough, but can be tough on entrepreneur couples. As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to keep a balance on personal and work time. Most of the time, as an entrepreneur, work time is all the time ^_^. Make sure you make time for personal dates, whether out or within the home, make sure you try and do it weekly or if not possible bi-weekly. This helps maintain your strong bond, but also lets your partner know that they are still important to you, enough to make time for them. Even once a month, if you’re extremely busy, is enough to make the point ^_^.
Do Something Special for your partner
When you do something special for a loved one, they feel loved and appreciated. This is something that couples forget (especially when they get past the ‘honey-moon’ stage). When you do something special, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything, it reinforces to your partner how special they are and that you think of them, and they feel appreciated. An example of a few things to do would be; sending a special e-card with a message to them, getting them a coupon for one of their favorite products (like a bakery coupon or a gym gift certificate), getting your lady a single rose to make their day or evening, if you live with your partner; leaving out their towel for them before getting prepared in the morning.
I once had a guy who used to call my phone and leave a voice mail of a lovely song with a message so when I woke up and listened, it just made me smile ^_^. You can even make a music playlist for your special someone of songs you know they love and can listen to during their daily commute or while working out. I’m sure there are lots of small gestures you can think of to do daily, or weekly for that special someone to give their day an extra lift.
Keep the faith during hard times
I’ve added this last topic since I have been in such a situation where the relationship goes through hard times and it feels that the best course of action is just to break up. I believe that if you are committed to a relationship and you really want it to work; you should try as hard as possible to get through the tough times, they are what makes or breaks a relationship (and when you get through them, they make the relationship stronger).
Of course, all relationships have different dynamics, however, if you’re both committed, then it should be a question of getting through these times together. When times are hard, try and understand what your partner is going through, and remember why you chose to be in the relationship originally. Talk to someone you trust who is close to you for advice and then work out your problems with your partner positively.
Relationships with entrepreneurs are difficult but not impossible, if you truly want yours to work, it will. Just like a business, you have to constantly work on it, be positive, keep learning from your mistakes, adapt to your partner and situations and never give up.
If you have any other tips to offer, please feel free to comment below, thanks ^_^.