7 Ways Your Romantic Relationships Can Help You Understand Business

by Justin Ponce
Columbia Pictures

You're absolutely on fire. After more than a few amazing dates (let's not talk about how many horrific ones), you've reached a point where you understand the game. You're the king or queen of Tinder, and can break hearts at will.

What you may not realize yet, is that you've indirectly mastered business at the same time.

We've all heard some version of the same cliché about meeting new people or snagging a new SO to obsess over: be yourself, don't lie and find common interests, to name a few. But looking at the same advice under a different light opens new doors you never knew existed.

The truth is that all successful relationships are built on the same core elements, and this is why dating a lot makes you better at work and as an entrepreneur.

Here are seven ways that mastering the dating scene spills over to business:

1. You Know What You're Looking For

Your experience dating helps you recognize personality traits and what matters to people faster. Your gut has been trained to see red flags from a mile away, and you've learned to trust it.

How does that apply to business?

Let's say you want to start up a fun new project, like a YouTube channel or Vine, or maybe even a T-shirt design hustle. Before you even begin planning, you already know which friends you want involved. Why is that? Simple: Your experience in reading people. You can see each of their strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to what you want to do.

2. Attracting What You Want Is Easy

You've taken the time to understand "your type" so well that pressing the right buttons is effortless.

After the first 20 minutes of your date have gone by, they're already into you because they feel understood. To translate that to a business perspective, you've done your customer research and know the target audience well enough to hit your value propositions on the head.

What does that even mean?

Whether you're speaking in a conference room full of coworkers, or running Facebook ads for your new business idea, you know what needs to be said and how to get it across. Whether you like it or not, you've basically become a hot sales rep.

Paul Jansen, founder of Resumeshoppe, a startup that helps people stand out with their resume said,

Both in business and dating, it's very important to understand who to target. If you don't know who you're looking for, you're wasting time and resources.

3. You've Learned That Being Real Builds The Best Relationships

Let's be honest: Showing parts of your true self can be terrifying. Sometimes it's hard to say why this is; maybe because you're not 100 percent secure with your quirkiness, perhaps because that old, irrational fear of rejection just won't die or maybe both.

On the other hand, you've found it totally worthwhile to be upfront about who you are and what you're looking for when dating because it's helped avoid differing expectations and trust issues.

You've ended up wasting less time by being yourself, because you found out if a new connection was your long lost BFF or a swipe to the left just by having an open conversation.

It's the same with coworkers and potential business partners. The more open you are, the more trust is built. Trust opens doors and is the key to successful partnerships.

Here's how Oliver Braithwaite, founder of Edtech startup Stars & Catz, put it:

When I met the guy who would become my business partner, I felt instinctively that we'd work well together and that he had the skills I was looking for. Then came several nerve-racking meetings where I laid out the strengths and weaknesses of the business with total honesty. I knew, in a way, that I was giving him reasons not to join us, and that was hard to do. Thankfully, the result was that the honesty built a huge trust.

4. Everything's Better With Passion

Remember all of those crappy dates? No? Well, you're lucky.

If you answered yes, you're likely reflecting right now on the fact that one or both of you just was not feeling it. That natural, flowing chemistry (or lack of) in each other made a huge difference in how the night felt. The presence of this passion resulted in a more connected experience to your date, and the same holds true in business.

Taking that natural, genuine interest and applying it to your work has the potential to give you a stronger sense of purpose and connection to your coworkers.

5. You Recognize The Value And Pitfalls Of Commitment

You played the field and knew the thrill of something new as well as the loneliness of constant change. Then, you gave someone your all but it didn't work out; you ignored the signs and stayed in it too long. A mistake you won't make again. Now, you understand the balance.

Let's switch that up and apply it to our jobs, careers or businesses. Though you definitely love the thrill of starting something new, you know better than to waste time with a half-assed situation. You care about giving something the best chance it can have at success, whether it be your main squeeze or a business relationship.

You're not going to allow the reason for failure to be “I didn't even give it 100 percent," and at the same time, you're not going down with the ship. That's a powerful balance to have mastered.

6. Saying “Next” Is Easier, Even If You're A Little Attached

You've experienced what it's like to want what you can't have.

As frustrating or heartbreaking as it may be, you love and respect yourself enough not to let that poison control your life. Whether it's a relationship or a business idea, you're more at peace with the idea of "next-ing" when you know you're not about that life.

7. You're Able To Compromise Without Giving Yourself Away

Successful long-term relationships are usually built on some form of rules and boundaries. Not only are you willing to follow the reasonable requests of others, you've also developed a few of your own to be followed.

You've been down this road and you know that sometimes the other party just doesn't "get it" on their own. Because of this, you've learned to stick up for yourself and call the other person out on their shenanigans when necessary.

This flexibility and diplomacy will stand you in good stead in a business partnership or with coworkers, because it's vital to have this in communication when working to resolve things. An inflexible person, or a "yes" person, is very hard to work with because communication is almost impossible.

At the end of the day, the common thread in all the points above is you. Through mastering dating, you've learned about yourself and grown to be a better version of yourself. You know when to let go and you've become less rigid.

Seen in a bigger context than just dating, all of mom's corny, overprotective relationship advice becomes relevant again. Thanks for looking out, mom! You're the real MVP.