Ask the Relationship Expert: 'Sometimes I'm More Passionate About My Business Than My Partner'
What happens when running a business gets in the way of your romantic relationship, or vice versa? In this weekly column, relationship expert Marla N. Mattenson responds to entrepreneurs with love dilemmas -- because the hidden power of successful businesses are the stable, loving relationships behind the scenes.
My partner and I are both entrepreneurs with very different interests. We both could work all the time, and secretly sometimes the business is the only thing on my brain. We intentionally make time for each other after the kids go to bed, but find it difficult to stop the intensity of focus on our business tasks. How can we do that and connect when we are both so passionate about what we do?
In Love With My Business
Dear In Love,
It's wonderful that you're both so passionate about your businesses. My advice might seem contrary to what you'd expect, but I'd like to encourage massive creativity here and suggest that you use the natural passion you both have for your businesses as a jumping off point, as a means to a deeper intimate connection with each other.
During your time together after the kids go to bed, I suggest that you have an evening debrief on the businesses, where you're talking about what's next, what you are excited about, even what you're nervous about. Whether it's separate businesses or the same business doesn't matter, because it's exciting to talk about what's next when you're feeling positive.
Once your connection is shining and strong, make an intentional shift and say, "Okay, now let's take off our business hats and put them aside, and put on our relationship hats." Then as a way of practicing gratitude and generosity, focus on your love and share three things you love about your partner. It's also fun to have an open-ended visioning session about your relationship. Ask each other, "What vision would you like to build together over the next five to 10 years?"
This advice applies when there's a natural passion for the business that can be channeled in other areas. If there's a lot of stress in the business around money or something else, do not bring that into the bedroom. You don't want stress around money to be the last thing you talk about before going to bed. You want to create the bedroom as a safe place for positive and powerful connection, which will not only feed the fire of your union, but turn up the heat of your businesses even more.