Why I Prefer To Stay Single As A Young Founder
As per the request from a buddy of mine, he thought it would be interesting to write about a personal life lesson about relationships from the perspective of a career-focused, young adult.
A few days ago, I went though an episode of “I want to visit a psychic”. I was curious to see what a medium had to say about my future and life decisions out of curiosity. My mother and brother always warned me to stay away from them. After some hard thinking, I realized that it would be a waste of time and money for me to go there seeking clairvoyance because that is something only God & I can dictate.
It led to the question of why I’m single after all this time. I’m a hopeless romantic but It’s been two years; Ive been on dates, there have been girls I liked that didn’t feel the same way and girls that liked me but I couldn’t return the feelings for. So why does it never work out? As corny and cliché as this is: my favorite song came on, Cypher popped on the screen & a vision of TED Talks came to my mind. I realized that it was God’s way (or the universe for others) telling me “You’re not quite ready and you have a lot of work to do”.
I realized a few other things as well…
- I’m 23, I’m still young as hell: Personally, I don’t plan on settling down until I’m at least 28 so why am I bugging out now? Speaking on the future, complaining about a relationship in my age is the equivalent to that of a 12 year old saying he/she is going to be alone forever. Five years can bring about a lot of changes. This time is supposed to be meant for growing into your own and focusing on your career, so things won’t be so murky in the future. Besides, I am still very young and have a lot of personal development before I can take a relationship seriously and “make it” to marriage.
- Start-ups make it difficult for relationships: In a Start-up, especially as a founder, you have to allocate at least 100 hours of work. The rest of the 68 is for eating, sleeping, using the bathroom and family. Many founders between those who have had successfully built businesses to those who are starting to reach some success have told me “If you’re not all in, you’re not doing it at all”. Which means that taking your foot off of the pedal, even a little bit, will greatly damage your chances of success. The truth is, Start-ups require a lot of sacrifice and relationships are one of them. Often, we founders at this age simply do not have enough time to allocate for a significant other, which demands a lot that could be used for your baby (your company).
- It wouldn’t be fair: Let’s say I were to get into a relationship right now. This is exactly how it would go. Calls once a day for an hour or two, late replies on text, a lot of late nights, no parties, no going out until the new build is finished, me traveling a lot and me saying “Sorry, I have to take this call”. If I’m not out and about, I’m glued to my computer either working on code or replying to emails (which is actually a ton of work). It would be super unfair for a girl I care for and it may come off as neglect even though I am simply busy. Going back to my second point, there isn’t enough commitment that I can give a girl because all of it is for my company and those who work with me. It just comes with the territory in Start-Ups.
- Founders take up a lot of risk: I say this to my friends time and time again, I am a very risky dude just because of my line of work. As a matter of fact, anyone involved in a start-up is risky by default. There is a very high possibility we will fail and would have to start over again. Playing the second scenario, I personally would never forgive myself if I were to put a girl I care for romantically in such risk. Especially if she doesn’t fully know or understand what I do or what she is getting into by being in a relationship with me. If I fall, she does too, and that wouldn’t be right. The only way around this is finding someone who truly understands what it’s like and exactly how risky it is to be in a relationship with a start up founder.
- My dream girl won’t be where most hang out: This is more personal but when i’m mature enough & I eventually get into a serious committed relationship, I want to be with someone who is also on her own grind and getting things done. If I’m correct at all, she will be a girl version of me in terms of work-ethic. That means, I won’t find her at a Bar, Club or Rave. Chances are, she is like me committing the same amount of time to her work, working at home in a library, office or coffee shop. I won’t meet her in an online platform like Tinder because relationships are the last thing on her mind. This means one thing, If the odd one in a million chances of me bumping into her are ever in my favor, it will be by pure accident at a library, office or even a coffee shop.
- Relationships can get distracting: If a significant other doesn’t understand what your work entails there is bound to be a lot of headaches stacked on top of what you already have going on. I’ve mentioned before that being in a start-up is stressful stuff. Simply put, It is hard to focus on work when something is bothering you. The last thing you need is turmoil when something needs to be done.
- Relationships are a lot of responsibility: When you get into one, you’re not only caring for yourself, you have to constantly think about the well-being of someone else on another level on all aspects from financial to emotional and physical. Realistically, as a 23 year old, I don’t have the capabilities to manage an arduous task like a company and relationship yet. That means the end of the relationship would definitely spell out disaster, and nobody wants that
Now, there are times where this wasn’t the case for some founders. Some found love at a young age and maintained it while building a successful company, some found it when already mature. After all, my mentor and cousin-in-law, Mandeep Arora of Cantaloupe Systems & my Co-founder’s cousin, Adrian Cunanan of Thrive Streams are excellent examples. To these people and those like them, I say you’ve beaten the odds and you are really one blessed dude or dudette.
It’s something I hope to find in the future when I am far more mature and capable. After all, I am still the classic hopeless romantic. I do want to get married, travel with the ladybug & raise a family. No games, no messing around just us two as a team. But with what I do, that will have to wait. Then again, it all falls on God’s (or the Universe’s) hands as to when I find the “one”, which could be at any given moment. Whether it be a new girl who will come into my life or a girl I already know that has yet to reveal herself. I am open to anything but for now I really am set on focusing on my career and playing this out. I have quite a bit of time left on my hands so waiting shouldn’t be an issue, but I’m sure when it happens it will be worth it.
Whether you are single in college or knee deep into a career as a young twenty-something year old, worrying about getting hitched should be tossed in the back burner. Your dream relationship will come quickly and when you least expect it if you’re really set on doing you. Instead, we should try focusing on growth and hitting the goals we set out for ourselves. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be where you want to be and you will be very ready for the Significant Other you are committed to settling down with.
“Great things take time, that includes relationships.”