Post # 1
Hello! New Bee here, hoping to get some advice.
My SO and I are in our very early 30s. We have been dating about 6 months. He’s truly a remarkable boyfriend, and we communicate really well. We’ve discussed plans for the future, getting married, having kids, and we are on the same page with everything. We know we both want to get engaged sometime around our year anniversary of dating and want to start trying for kids in about 2 years. Everything in our relationship has been great so far, with the exception of SO’s career, or should I say lack of career currently. About a year before we began dating, he quit his high paying but very demanding job in order to pursue starting his own business in a field that he’s truly passionate about. He sunk a huge chunk of his savings into getting this business up and running, but it hasn’t really taken off as he expected. Since we’ve been together, I’ve been really supportive him and understanding that a lot of his money is tied up in this company, but the lack of progress in the business is really starting to worry me. He has a contract pending that will be worth several hundred thousand dollars in revenue, but the negotiations are taking a very long time, and I’m starting to lose hope that the deal will get signed.
Currently all of our finances are separate and we do not live together, but we are discussing plans to move in together in the next several months. I don’t want to be selfish or unsupportive of this business, but I’m nervous that this lack of progress will delay our ability to move forward in our relationship because he won’t have the money to get engaged, plan a wedding, or start saving for having children. I have a very stable job in an industry that pays pretty competitively, so its not like I’m after him for money. I just know that 2 incomes are better than 1, and I do not want to end up supporting him if we aren’t married, or worse, digging us out of a lot of debt one day.
We’ve recently had a few tough conversations about what will happen if this pending contract falls through. He’s said that he will have to find a job because he’s running out of savings, but that he really is dreading it because he wants to continue pursuing this entrepreneural dream for as long as it takes to make it. I understand he’s passionate about this and wants to see it through, and I know that he’s working extremely hard, but at what point it is irresponsible? How much longer can I support this dream of his? I think he needs to find a stable job so that we can move forward with our life plans. Is this unreasonable?
Post # 2
So, I totally get the concerns about someone being self emplyed. But, I think you should wait and see what happens. He admitted he might need to find a job, and you’re not currently supporting him.
Yes, practicality is important. But…you’re talking about marrying this guy. That usually involves a “for better or for worse” part. If he succeeds, you won’t even remember worrying about this. But until it falls through, until he asks you to financially support him, or you find your year timeline isn’t on track and you decide that’s a dealbreaker, I wouldn’t break up with him or being worrying at this point myself. Frankly, I really don’t particularly think at 6 months in and a pending contract that you should feel like this is your decsion about how irresponsible this dream might be. To me, if he’s using savings right now and not going into debt, obviously he’s pretty responsible. And he’s someone with passion that actually took a risk. I think that’s pretty great. So many people never even try. And if he wants to make sure your timeline isn’t affected, he’ll go out and get that job when he needs to. I really think you’re worrying too early…
Post # 3
You SAY you’re being supportive, but you’re already starting to consider him irresponsible simply because this deal may not go through. He’s clearly going about pursuing a passion as responsibly as that can be done, and he has a resume that can get him back into a “stable” job given a little effort, so I do think your worrying is unwarranted.
Not to say I don’t understand. It’s completely normal to want something stable that you can start to build a future on, but you have to know, going forward, that you are signing up for this element of unknown with him. This isn’t the only deal that you two will be worrying over. If things are so bad that everything hinges on this one deal, then this sort of back and forth will likely continue for at least a few years.
You have to be ready to be okay with that and to not make him feel bad for having chosen this path.
Post # 4
coloradogal26 : I hear your concerns adn i would be feeling the same way if I were your shoes. I have a low tollerance for financial instability.
However, here’s what I see as an objective ousider: he is only asking you to support him emotionally, not financially at this point. You should support him emotionally for as long as he chooses to keep chasing his dream. IMO you should NOT support him financially without being married.
The bigger question is do you want to marry and entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs need partners who are a source of unwavering support and strenght. They need to be surrounded by people who believe in them and will build them up when everyone else in the world is telling them they will fail. Can you be that person on FAITH that he has what it takes to make it happen? Can you be there with him durring the long hard years of slogging that come before the big success?
That’s a big question. I don’t know if I could do it, but I have a lot of respect for the people who do.
If you decide to get married and join finances before his business takes off you’ll be in the role of primary breadwinner. That doesn’t mean that you have to put life on hold, but it may be an adjustment in mindset to how you’d thought life would play out. It’s good to think that through in advance so and start to dig into how this may or may not fit with your life goals.
Post # 5
coloradogal26 : I hate to play the devil’s advocate… but I’ve been through way too many situations with dating to not play the skeptic. I don’t think moving forward with your plans is a good idea. 6 months and you questioning us what to do? You’re not 100% about this guy. If you were, you wouldn’t have to ask. And I have dated way too many guys that said “oh, i’m between jobs” or “i have this going, just waiting for it to work out” and it never does, and the jobs never come. There were even a couple that I talked to for a couple of years, and the jobs didn’t come after YEARS.
And things never go according to plan. Forget the married at this time and kids by this time. If you want to wait it out and support him, forget the plan until a deal does go through for him (if you ARE genuinely worried about it)
Post # 6
I would give it more time, all around. Businesses take time – my guy is a partner in a business that’s been around for almost 40 years, and they shifted their new business strategy in 2014 and are JUST NOW really seeing the benefits (they had to get the right people in the right positions, and then let them do their thing). Meaning, businesses, whether new or old, take time to make shifts and changes. Most of the time their preparing a launch or making a change or a move for months or years before they see if it’s panning out.
Your BF’s contract could come through, and that could float you for a while, but there’s always going to be good years and bad years when you own your own business. If you’re not okay with that, then you’ll really need to think about whether this is the right relationship for you.
Post # 7
I understand your concerns, but I think you need to give him more time.
You’ve only been dating 6 months. And you can only plan the future so much. Keep that in mind. Sometimes you have to give a situation or a person a little time, and see what happens.
He’s in the middle of the deal right now. It hasn’t closed yet, but it also hasn’t fallen through yet. Give him time to see the deal through.
He already said that if the deal doesn’t work out, he’s going to find a job, right? So don’t worry too much about it until you know what is going to happen with the deal. If it works out, great. If not, he is going to have to figure out his shit.
The thing is, you aren’t married yet, or even engaged. So you really don’t get a say in what he does. You get to decide if you want to stick around, but if you stay you have to support him in what he does.
By support, I mean emotionally. Do NOT give him ANY money. You aren’t married, so you do not give him any money.
So anyway, stop worrying so much about the future until you have more of an idea of what is going to happen. If the deal works out, great. If the deal doesn’t work out and he gets a job, that’s also fine. If the deal doesn’t work out and he doesn’t get a job – THEN you start worrying, and you decide where you’re going to go from there (as long as you don’t support him financially!).
Post # 8
coloradogal26 : I do think you’re being unreasonable if you’re thinking that he needs to quit 6 months in with a contract in the works. The majority of start ups are not going to be successful immediately, it can take years. There is a very fine line for when something becomes irresponsible and I often think this depends on the person themselves. If he is hardworking and making smart choices with how he is spending funds, then I don’t think he’s being irresponsible at this point. If it had been 5 years and he’s making unreasonable business-financial choices while not making much or any money then he might have crossed the line into irrepsonsible. This doesn’t sound irresponsible to me at this point. So you need to take a step back from that. BUT I think you’re at a great point to have a lot of discussion about the business and your future together.
Do you believe in him and do you either believe in the business itself or believe in him enough to believe (truly) that he can make this work? If so, you need to ACTUALLY support him (not telling him you think he needs to quit and find a stable job). What does he want to do with this company? Just work for himself as the only employee (like freelancing or contracting) or does he actually want to scale something up into a major company? These can be similar yet also very different as far as workload and risk/instability goes.
I would suggest you think about what you want. I know you said engaged, wedding, kids. What does that mean to you? Do you require a $10k ring and $30k wedding? 1 kid? 4? Daycare or stay at home parent? Or would you be fine with a small wedding and cheaper ring? Would you be willing (and able) to financially support him or your kids if it takes him longer to become profitable? Assuming you are engaged or married (I agree with not financially supporting before then) and that he is making responsible business choices and working hard (even doing those things, it can take awhile to for a business to really take off). I would think that would give you a lot of answers. If you are okay with potentially financially supporting him in the short term (some number of years that it takes to grow a successful business) as long as you’re married then you need to relax and let him try get this thing off of the ground. Would he be okay getting married while his business is in-flux and letting you support him or would it push his timeline back? Does he have a fallback plan? At what point would he consider giving up the business, if at all? Those would all be very good questions to ask and discussions to have.
It’s very very important for you to consider whether or not you can live with someone who wants to start up or run their own business. You need to believe in them 100%, if you don’t, I’m not sure how you can make it work. And usually there is some degree of financial instability or risk involved. There is a lot of trust involved. Having a good job yourself could be a great benefit to the marriage, if you’re willing, since it provides stability. It can also mean you’re taking on more of the other work (cleaning, kids, etc) since he is either working long hours or he is so “on” all the time that it wears him out to where he just doesn’t have it in him to help you with housework.
Post # 9
You have every right and reason to be concerned. Why can’t he persue this while working? I would sit back and observe and just see how it shakes out. He was willing to risk it all for this, but that doesn’t mean it will shake out. See if he puts his money where his mouth is when he said if this fails I’ll go back to traditional work. I would not move in and intertwine finances with him unless you’re 100% okay wwith being the primary/sole breadwinner. And don’t feel bad if you’re not okay with that and you need to date longer to see if he is true to his word.
Post # 10
You’ve only been dating for 6 months. Time will tell how the business will do. It takes time to build a business. It sounds like he’s thought about different scenarios with the business, which is promising. I would be worried about the unstable finances, but maybe it’s just a good test for the relationship.
Post # 11
Are you okay with the relationship ending right now?
Because if I had worked successfully in a demanding field until I saved enough money to pursue my dreams, and my partner of six months told me it was time to give up my dreams and get back to the grind, I’d personally be getting rid of the partner instead.
Post # 12
you need to slow way down. six months is nothing, and if this startup is causing you second thoughts you are absolutely not sure enough about this guy to even think about marriage. it seems like you both have a timeline in your heads but you don’t have the basic trust and loyalty there.
Post # 13
I am married to a tech entrepreneurial type. He has a full-time management job at a large company now, but only because we agreed as a team to put both of our career ambitions on hold for a couple of years and play it safe for the baby and paying down the house.
I’ve been living with Darling Husband for 13 years, so I know what kind of a lifestyle you’re signing yourself up for. He will work crazy, erratic hours. His pay and benefits will be unstable, sometimes bringing in ten-thousand a month and sometimes bringing in nothing at all. His company can fold at a moment’s notice, or it could get bought or even go public, resulting in a payoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars… or more!
The thing is, it’s a gamble. You don’t know how life will be from month to month, year to year… And you need to be comfortable with not knowing. Be flexible, reserve judgment, realize that entreprenureship is not your area of expertise, and wholeheartedly embrace the chaos.
If you have the personality for it, someone like you with a traditional career path would be a valuable asset to a marriage, as you can provide the stable base income and the healthcare coverage to allow him to take the necessary risks to make it big. I was the source of stability in the marriage pre-pregnancy, and I fully intend to go back to being that person in 5 years or so when baby is back in school, assuming Darling Husband is also on board with going back to his previous lifestyle – parenthood may change that.
So think hard about whether or not you’d be down with a life like that, or if you’re looking for a different sort of lifestyle. But don’t clip his wings. It wouldn’t be fair to him, and you might end up with someone miserable who resents you, which you don’t deserve either.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
cbgg : Absolutely correct on your latter half. My mom married a person who is self-employed (my dad), and it completely altered our lifestyle growing up. Everything was always uncertain – even during the good months we would have to scrimp because we didn’t know how the next month would be. It’s a lifestyle you really need to prepare yourself for. Are you ready for that in the future? On the plus side, dual incomes help a lot. Also, being self employed has perks like job flexibility and time flexibility, which comes in useful for my family. My dad was/is almost always available to pick me up from the airport when I come home, can take long trips, leave for work at 11 am…but that also meant he worked a lot in the evenings and on weekends and often had to entertain clients at home or events. You just gotta ask yourself if that’s a lifestyle you’re okay with and if so, accept it.