Dating for Entrepreneurs – What’s the Best Way?

Business success is not just about the money. What’s the point in having an amazing thriving business if there’s no one to share the fruits of your labour? It’s been documented that in order to be happy, a person needs balance in four key areas: Health, Wealth, Relationships and Spiritual. It’s argued that without all of these, a human being cannot be truly happy. Entrepreneurs are well versed with advice about growing their business but what’s the best way for an entrepreneur to build their relationship? Here goes…

Be the best version of yourself.

Try to be the best version of yourself

While waiting for that special someone to walk into your life, don’t just work on your business. You should work on yourself too. Learn new skills (not just work or business skills), visit new places, and work on your personal image and how you present yourself. Learn how to communicate with new people, not just romantic interests. Widen your network and learn from those who are different from you. Doing this will give you more depth and more conversation when you do meet someone special.

Say no to drama.

Stay clear of relationship drama

Yes, of course, you need to find someone that you are attracted to but as an entrepreneur, you are going to require someone who is grounded and able to deal with your start-up rollercoaster. It’s important to find someone that’s not going to add unnecessary drama to your already busy life. If they look great but bring tons of drama they simply need to go. Don’t get sidetracked by style over substance. Yes, you can have both.

Don’t lead with your business.

Try not to brag about your business

Of course, you want to impress your new date. But try to hold back on presenting your entire business plan to your new acquaintance. You should really be trying to find out more about them. Trying to brag or boast about your start-up plans or business success is only going to attract the wrong type of partner into your life. If the other person is interested in you as an individual they will be sure to stick around to find out more.

Take red flags seriously.

Watch for early red flags

Red flags are early signs that a new relationship has the potential to be toxic. Red flags such as lateness, verbal abuse, last-minute cancellations, recent exes drama, not returning messages/calls, and lack of basic manners should all suggest that this new relationship is going nowhere, fast. You should not waste your time and move on immediately.

Moving too fast.

Try not to move too fast

Yes, you want to meet someone special but moving too fast will not help secure them in your life, in fact, it may have the opposite effect. If you are looking for something serious probably not a good idea to get physical on the first few dates. You are just sending the wrong messages. Instead, work on building trust by sharing and talking to your new partner. If you are looking for something serious always work slowly towards the physical part of the relationship.

Messaging too much.

Messaging too much can be a problem

In the early days don’t conduct your entire relationship over text or messaging apps. It’s tempting to keep in constant contact with your new potential via text and social media because it’s so easy. A brief phone call to make arrangements will be much better as you can express so much more via voice than text. Be sure to keep any direct phone communication brief, less than 15 mins. Don’t try to hog the person’s time by engaging in deep hour-long conversations to try to win them over the phone. Meeting in person is always best.

Keep dates short.

The purpose of dating is to give each person the opportunity to find out more about the other and build rapport. If the date is a blind date, you should meet midweek. If you have met in person already, a weekend date is OK but only if you feel you have built some rapport already. You should reserve the weekend only for dates that you have established a good rapport with (in person). That way you have the weekends free for yourself should no suitable dates be available.

The date should be no longer than 2 hours and you should leave no matter how well it’s going. If it’s going well, it’s OK to make tentative plans for the following week. But don’t be desperate and try to make plans for the next couple of days! If the first few dates are too long, you’re not giving yourself the necessary mental space to assess the date properly. Dates should get progressively longer as you get to know each other and feel more comfortable.

Learn from your mistakes.

Try to learn from dating mistakes

Own your mistakes. Be honest with yourself and try and learn from them. Much like your start-up, you will come across stumbling blocks and you will need to find solutions to relationship problems. Unlike running a business, personal relationships often require us to look at ourselves and assess what role we played in the failure rather than looking at external issues.

If you have any outstanding issues or red flags yourself you should look to get these issues resolved before engaging in a new relationship, otherwise, you run the risk of sidetracking your business and your mental wellbeing.

Running a business is hard and the last thing you want is an all-engrossing difficult relationship. If you find you are only attracting these kinds of relationships it may be time to look inwardly at yourself and seek professional help to prompt change.

After you’ve found someone – Relationship goals.

Remember to set relationship goals

OK, so you have someone in your life already or you’ve followed everything above and have finally found that special someone. What now?

You mustn’t sit back and relax! Just like your business, a new relationship needs constant attention. If you’ve been together for a year or more you can start by building relationship goals together. Talk about things that you’re both looking to achieve (not just business goals) in the coming months or years together and make plans to meet these goals together.

Keep things simple at first and build from there. You should be looking to build good memories and teamwork from these goals. An example of a relationship goal could be, a joint dinner party for your friends or a holiday to celebrate a year together. Don’t jump straight into moving in together, buying a house or having babies until you have a few smaller relationship goals under your belt!

You will lay down good memories and learn a great deal about each other by regularly doing this and hopefully, you will be closer as a result. Don’t forget along the way to celebrate your wins together and most importantly remember to thank your new partner for all their support.

Final thoughts.

Your success as an entrepreneur will not only rest on business acumen. The quality of personal relationships will have a huge impact on your mental well-being and aspiring entrepreneurs must learn early on to build meaningful relationships. The lessons learnt will be valuable not only personally but the increased emotional intelligence will be useful in other parts of your life and business interactions.

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