My boyfriend and I went to his best friend’s birthday party this weekend and I left at some point to sit in the car to work. I run a delivery service, it is a start-up company and we promise our clients a 24 hour reliable service.

I just couldn’t ignore the notifications on my WhatsApp anymore and so I excused myself to go and handle the situation with the client. My boyfriend got very upset when he came out after about 30 minutes to find me busily working.

I won’t go into the details of the fight but he made me realize just how difficult it must be to date an entrepreneur especially, if they are still trying to get their business on its feet. Please don’t get frustrated with us, we love you, it’s true but I admit we could do better. Here are 8 reasons why it’s hard to date an entrepreneur.

1. We are working all the time.

There is always something to do when you run a business and sometimes we just don’t know how to stop working. Of course this can affect a relationship negatively. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook can certainly attest to the challenges of having a relationship while trying to build a billion dollar company.

It is a known fact that Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, when they were dating made him sign a contract that specified, “One date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook.”

2. The business comes first.

You may not understand this if you are not an entrepreneur yourself. The business is everything, without it we will get depressed and see no end to our recurrent shortage of money. We spend our time, resources and energy on the business, we give it all our attention.

It is our baby, our vision, we love the business and we want to get to a point where we are comfortable in life, a life that includes you of course. Please understand that if we don’t give our business the attention it need it might fail, we just can’t let the business fail.  It doesn’t mean you don’t matter.

3. We can’t afford that right now.

Entrepreneurs at the early stage of their careers are often always broke. Our pay-check is not assured, if we don’t put in the work, we get nothing. Sometimes we put in all the work and still get nothing. So don’t get upset if we buy you an ice cream and a nice card for your birthday.

We know you took us to a fancy restaurant on our birthday, we are sorry we can’t afford that now. We dream about taking you on a luxurious trip someday, just give us a little more time.

4. We are never satisfied.

When we are lucky enough to meet our goal, we set an even higher goal and then dedicate our entire lives to reaching it. It is as if we don’t even stop to celebrate our progress. Ten thousand cedis is suddenly not good enough, the business has to grow and we want to make sure it does.

We have a new idea all the time and we want you to listen and tell us that it is a great idea. We think we are geniuses and we want you to think so too.

5. Our mood is ruled by the wellbeing of the business.

If we have a good business day, we are happy and we want to tell you this funny joke we heard. If we have a bad business day, the world is against us and nothing can cheer us up. We might go on and on about how we could have gotten better results if only we had done this or that or just refuse to talk about our day or anything else.

6. We Promise and Fail.

More often than not, your entrepreneur partner will disappoint you. We will promise to come home earlier or spend more time with you over the weekends when the business gets to the next stage.

The business gets to the next stage only for our obligations to increase. Now we are calling to say we can’t come over like we promised to, we just received an urgent order from our biggest client. We had every intention of honouring our promise, we are not taking you for granted.

7. We Take Risks.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. We can get extremely passionate about an idea an put our all in it. Sometimes it doesn’t end well and we end up losing the money we were saving for the wedding on a bad investment. Now we have to postpone the wedding for another year.

8. There is nothing normal about our life. 

We don’t have a steady 9-5 life with mundane responsibilities. Every day in the life of an entrepreneur brings a new challenge. We might work late into the night, sleep little, wake up early, and forget to eat. What I am saying is, our life can be pretty unpredictable.

“Entrepreneurs choose to live life like others won’t for a few years so we can live life like others can’t for the rest of our lives.” We are not looking for a partner who makes life more stressful than it already is.

We need you to be supportive, without getting in the way. None of this is to excuse everything an entrepreneur does in a relationship, I believe if someone wants you, they will pay you some attention.

By Dormaa Yeboah