If you are a single entrepreneur who wants to date, you have some unique challenges that go along with your lifestyle. Your schedule is unpredictable, your financial situation may be feast-or-famine, you travel a lot and you are completely devoted to your project. All these traits are helpful when building the next Facebook or Snapchat but can be obstacles when trying to find a true love partner. To help you get a foothold in the world of romance here is some advice.
1. Use a dating site dedicated to your situation
Benji Kurtz, an entrepreneur himself, launched the dating site entrepreneurDate.com in 2005. He recognized there was a niche market for people who did not have the time to go through the traditional channels in order to find a romantic partner. The site is still going strong today, with over 160,000 active entrepreneur-members.
2. Network with other people who think like you do
Dating is a numbers game and the more people you cross paths with, the higher your chances of meeting a viable partner. You should focus on networking within your own “tribe”, that is to say with other entrepreneurs. Why? Because these are the people who will understand when your plans must be canceled at the last minute because you’ve got an important pitch to prepare for. Conversely, these are the people who will also totally understand your immense excitement when you land investors for your project. If you don’t want to go the dating site route, meetup.com has loads of groups set up for entrepreneurs to meet each other in a casual way. If it leads to love, all the better!
3. Identify what you want and need in a relationship
Everybody wants to date a supermodel. But get specific. Do you want a partner who is in your industry, someone with whom you can talk shop? Or do you prefer to date someone who is completely out of the sphere of the entrepreneur world who has a 9-to-5 job, because you need your partner to be stable so you can be wild. Would you be bored with someone who has no entrepreneurial background, or would you find that reassuring? Take some time to get some clarity about what really turns you on in a partner so you don’t waste your valuable time dating someone who isn’t “that.”
4. Think about your preferences and their impact on a shared life
If you know that you’d prefer to date 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?
5. Looks are important, but so is dating someone with purpose
If you look at the marriages of successful entrepreneurs, you will see that both spouses have work that is purposeful. This is what you want to look for in a future partner, too. Your chances of having an enduring relationship will be higher if you date someone who is as invested in their work, and making a meaningful contribution to the world, as you are. You might enjoy dating that supermodel for a couple of months, but if she has no deep interest in anything beyond standing around looking beautiful, the chances of your relationship lasting years and years are slim to none. You are smart, driven and a dreamer; you would do well looking for a partner who shares these attributes.
6. How would you support two hectic schedules?
You’ve found a partner who is also a high-stakes entrepreneur and fallen in love. You are considering moving in together, even talking marriage. 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 is there to ensure the plants get watered and the laundry done. Are you comfortable putting two names on your home deed? What if one of you needs to leverage the house in order to qualify for a loan to start his business?
These are all important conversations to have when your relationship becomes serious.
Whoever you end up dating, whether it is another entrepreneur or not, remember to take time to tend to them and to the relationship. Even the busiest entrepreneur can carve out special moments to remind their partner how important they are to them. Your work is important, but your love life is too. Finding the perfect balance will not be easy, but it will be one of the most important investments you can make.