An entrepreneur has become my favorite type of person to date. I'm only able to compare that to two other relationships, but it has definitely been different in many different ways. When I read relationship advice columns, I find myself trying to justify things they say to watch out for, but it's because entrepreneurs have so much more going on in their lives than other people.
They are responsible not only for their futures, but also the futures of their co-founders, employees, investors and mentors. There's much more on the table, so you can't always expect them to be "normal" boyfriends. Here are seven things you will come across when dating entrepreneurs:
1. You come second.
This is the first thing you'll have to realize, and you'll realize it quickly. When they have to work through something with their co-founder or are freaking out over a lawsuit, you need to take a step back and understand your plans are going to be cancelled. Sometimes, there isn't a good reason. They might just be working on something and have to finish it. This is their baby, their pride and their future.
2. You have to support them.
My boyfriend has come over my place after hearing bad news just because he needs to be comforted. Sometimes, he just needs to complain or freak out. Entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibility; they're running a company that hasn't made it yet. That is a lot of pressure.
Be there for them. Listen to their pitches until you can recite them yourself. Deliver beer and pizza when you know they're going for an all-nighter.
3. You are their retreat.
Even though they spend a lot of their time on their startup, once they've calmed down, they're all yours. They will want to talk about anything but their startup once they're with you. They will most likely even ignore their phone for a few hours. That is your time together. Love them, feed them and catch them up on what's going on in the world before they have to return to their lair.
4. You're basically on the team.
You know everything that everyone has to do every single day. Joining them for dinner at their apartment? Be ready to be a third party to their team meeting. When you meet up with your beau, expect to listen to 10 minutes (or longer) about their projects and where their goals are. Ask questions and be thoughtful with answers; they just need to digest everything that is going on.
5. Network is power.
Their connections are your connections. They know how valuable certain relationships can be, and if you are looking to get in touch with someone, they will most likely know someone or know someone that knows someone. Even if you don't think that you need to meet someone, they will introduce you to someone, and you won't know what your life was like before them. Trust me.
6. They're only temporarily poor.
Whether they're in between accelerators or don't have investing yet, they are probably poor. They won't be able to do social events all the time, and the ones they do attend need to have free food and alcohol. So, you'll get to watch all those Netflix movies that you never got around to and will spend more time walking around your city. It's not so bad when you remember they have a high earning potential.
7. You're part of an innovative environment.
The best part of dating an entrepreneur is being around so many bright and creative people. It is truly inspiring, and you can't help but to think of possible ventures for you to try yourself. The best part is that you have access to a community that can help you test the viability of your ideas. The entrepreneurial community is tight, but welcoming, and it will most definitely become your favorite friends.
It can be frustrating sometimes, but every relationship can be frustrating. Entrepreneurs are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet in life, and they will always make time for you.