by Guest Contributor, Liz Higgins
If you’re an entrepreneur, you are truly a double edged sword.
But a beautiful sword, at that!
There are so many incredible things about you: Your drive, motivation, creativity, and passion for what you do. It takes a unique person to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship, and you’re one of them.
But how do these characteristics translate in your relationship?
The truth is, the strengths in certain aspects of your life can often manifest as challenges in your personal relationships. Has your partner ever dubbed you selfish, flakey, disconnected, uncaring, cold, harsh, boring, or crazy? I want to normalize that right now as these are common generalizations made toward entrepreneurs by their partners. The truth is, it is challenging to balance the life of owning your own business/being your own boss and being in a healthy, interdependent relationship.
Here are some tips to consider that may help with your relationship success in accordance with maintaining your life as a successful entrepreneur:
Time is an investment. Invest wisely.
There’s a reason why you entered into a relationship in the first place. Many entrepreneurs choose not to be in committed relationships due to their decision to prioritize their business; there is no right or wrong either way. But if you choose to be in a relationship with a committed partner, then you must understand what that sort of investment looks like for each of you! Talk about your expectations around how much time you hope to spend together in a week (I once met with a couple where one partner quoted 2 hours, while the other partner quoted 20!). Check your expectations early on to avoid interpersonal disappointment later.
Be intentional about your time.
Couples don’t necessarily need a ton of time together throughout the week to have a successful relationship. What they do need is for the time they do have together to be intentional and high quality. Scheduling time together is prioritizing yourself and your partner. Scheduling intentional time together is even better. Simply blocking idle time out on your calendar is not the same as planning meaningful activities to do during that time. Talk together and come up with some ideas for date nights, nights to veg out and relax together nights for intimacy, and even time apart.
Stay connected to your partner daily.
With the technology we have today, there is no excuse not to touch base with your partner throughout the day. Yes, every day. Simply sending a text or email will let them know they are on your mind. At the end of the day, that is what partners crave: knowing that they are valued by their partner. Research by John Gottman, relationship guru, shows that doing small, intentional things often is what leads to long-lasting relationship success. Not isolated, mind-blowing events (although let’s be real, your partner would probably appreciate those, too). So, send the text!
Learn how to set boundaries.
Learn to say no, and understand that saying no to an extra business venture is saying YES to time and energy that can go towards your relationship. At the end of the day, which is more valuable to you? Being in a committed relationship requires a level of intentional boundary-setting at an individual level.
What I have found helpful for couples is a 100% mindset. What this means is that each partner has a mindset of giving 100% effort (not 50/50) toward the relationship and does their best at an individual level to maintain open communication, intentionality, and effort to protect the vitality of the relationship. It won’t look the same coming from each partner every day, but you will find that this will make it easier to work together toward a common goal of prioritizing your relationship in whatever way you can at that point in time.
Having a healthy relationship as an entrepreneur is no easy feat. It takes work, dedication, and a desire at the end of the day for it to all work out. Interestingly enough, you know that your business also takes those ingredients in order to succeed. Imagine how different your relationship might feel if you put the same energy into it as you do your work?
Want more relationship tools and tips?
Download a free copy of my e-book: The Five Relationship Mistakes You Are Making, And What To Do About Them!
About the Author:
Liz Higgins is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Dallas, Texas. She specializes in helping millennial couples and individuals in the young adult stage of life create the healthiest relationships possible. Liz is a Huffington Post relationship expert and her work has been featured on local and national platforms. You can find Liz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @millennialcouples and can read more relationship blog posts on her website at : www.lizhigginsmft.com .