-

We are at a get-together with friends. Let’s say a birthday party for … whoever. It doesn’t matter, really – it’s happened so many times that it could be any event. We’re having fun, but as the night trickles on, I’ll see him check his watch nervously, and then his phone. He might answer a few emails. Or possibly take a quick call.

And finally, with a half frown he’ll say, “I’m sorry, guys. I have to get going.”

I sigh, but since I know it’s coming, I’m not too upset. If I’m tired, I’ll turn in as well. Often, I stick around without him. If I stay, people will ask where Rand’s gone.

“He has to work,” I’ll explain.

If they don’t know him, don’t know what he does for a living, they’ll stare at me, blankly, not understanding. It’s 10:30 pm on a Friday night. What kind of madman voluntarily works on a Friday night?

My husband, obviously. The CEO. The entrepreneur.

All of those words sound funny. Like they should be used to describe someone much older. Someone who doesn’t pout when I accidentally wash brownie batter out of the bowl before he can eat it. But weirdly, they apply to Rand. And have for years.

“Do you miss him?” A few considerate folks will ask, when they learn of his schedule.

It’s a fair question, I suppose. But the thing is, I’m with Rand a lot of the time. We live together. We go on the road together. The answer really should be no. And yet, when they ask, all I can say is yes.

Holy crap, yes. I miss him constantly. I miss him when he’s in the other room. I miss him right now, even though I just spent the last two weeks with him and he’s only gone to California for a few days. He’s always working, always running off somewhere. Always tugging at those damn heartstrings of mine when he leaves a room. The ass.

There are times when he is hugging me close and I will say, “Come here.”

And he’ll reply, “I’m here. I literally could not be more here than I presently am.”

But I insist. If I press the point too much, he will get up and sit on my chest. I laugh and struggle to breathe and toss him off me. And then, within seconds, I start scooting over to him again.

I was in serious danger of being sat upon.

-

That I still can miss him so acutely, even after ten years, has been perhaps the biggest surprise. But it’s not the only one. Our relationship grew alongside his company. In a lot of ways, I knew exactly what I was getting into. But there were things I didn’t anticipate. Some of them wonderful. Some not quite as. I’m grateful for all of them, though. Because if any of these things were missing, our relationship would be different. And I like it just the way it is.

Here are the things I didn’t know when I started dating an entrepreneur.

1. I would miss him constantly.

There’s a song that reminds me of Rand. The chorus goes, “I love you like a madman. I miss you all the time.” It’s that simple, really. But I’ve reasoned that the minutes I spend with Rand are better than hours spent with anyone else. So how, really, can I mind?

2. Haters are gonna hate.
I have my own share of them on this site. They’ve told me everything from how I don’t deserve Rand (Well, duh, assholes.) to what a talentless moron I am (Meh. That’s not a requirement to be successful on the internet). I deal with them. I don’t mind them nearly as much as Rand’s haters. Mess with me, and that’s one thing. But mess with him? With his twinkly-eyed sincerity? It’s all I can do not to scream and heave my laptop down the stairs, before I remember: they’re wrong. I know him better than they do. This is undeniable. They aren’t the experts on the innerworkings of his soul and brain. They don’t know how he looks when he wakes up in the morning. They don’t know his face when he’s happy. I do. And I know he’s wonderful. So screw anyone who thinks otherwise.

I’m the expert on this topic.

-

3. We’d rarely go to bed at the same time.
I fall asleep to the glow of of his office light creeping in around our closed bedroom door. If I listen carefully, I can hear the click of his computer. It helps me sleep. On the rare night that he goes to bed before me, or at the same time, I have trouble nodding off. It’s too quiet.

4. I’d feel envious of him.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. It wasn’t that I wanted to be doing what he was, or that I wanted what he had. It’s just that he’s always known what he wanted. Always been so sure of it. He’s never sat on a stair with his head in his hands, wondering what the hell he was doing with his life.

5. I’d learn to speak his language.
I’m not fluent in startup, mind you. Or SEO. But I pay attention. I read his blog, I get to know his friends from work, I sneak into a session or two at the conferences where he speaks. I know enough that, when we go out to dinner with his colleagues and they talk shop, I am not left out. This was as much for me as it was for Rand. I don’t like not being able to understand the locals.

6. There would be times that I wouldn’t be able to help.
I would feel powerless. There would be – and still are – things that I can’t fix. So instead, I listen. And offer stupid suggestions. Not because they’ll help, but so he knows I care. And then I make him brownies, and when I do, I’m careful not to wash the batter out of the bowl until he’s done with it.

7. I’d need to find an equivalent passion.
For a while, it was my job. But after getting laid-off, I realized I needed to be as excited about something as Rand was about his work. So I started blogging. I did my own thing. And, as I stayed up late, working on a post that I couldn’t ignore until it was done, I understood. This is what drives him. It’s a kind of wonderful madness.

I get it now.

-

8. Our problems didn’t amount to a hill of beans.
“What did you mean when you said that?” “I thought you were ignoring me.” And on, and on. God, it’s all so stupid. I suspect Rand starting his own company is why we fight so rarely. Because time is scarce, and you can’t spend it arguing. Not when he needs to figure out how to be profitable. Not when so many other people are involved, working days and nights to make sure things are okay. You forgot to mail the letter I gave you? So what. Screw it. Let me edit that blog post for you. I think I saw a typo.

9. I’d become very good at meeting new people.
When I started traveling with Rand, we’d walk into a room filled with his colleagues, and he’d disappear. Run to say hi to someone, or get dragged into a conversation with a group. And I’d stand there, unsure of what to do. My only choice was to walk up to a group of strangers, introduce myself, and start talking. Or I could have run away, I guess. But god, I hate running. So instead I’d talk. It was excruciating. And it was one of the best skills I’ve ever acquired. Now when I go somewhere and know no one? I feel invincible.

10. Not everyone wants to be my friend.
This was one of the harder things I’ve had to accept, and I’m still not there. I want to know all of Rand’s coworkers. I want to hang out, find out what makes them tic, to learn all about the people who created this amazing, wonderful company he’s so passionate about. But not everyone wants to hang out with me – and yet, how can they tell me that? It’s such an awkward thing to say. So I force myself to step back. I let other folks set the terms of what our relationship will be. Friends. Acquaintances. Unspoken nemeses.

11. Prenups are par for the course.
His board of directors said that we needed one. In the unlikely event of our divorce, they didn’t want me to have voting rights over his company. So Rand and I agreed to split everything down the middle: Shares. Money. Websites. Cakes. Hearts. I relinquished voting rights. We signed forms. I don’t particularly mind. Neither does he. The bomb shelter is secure, but I figure we’ll never have to use it.

12. I could complicate things for Rand.
I’m lucky: my husband finds the nonstop stream of vitriol emerging from my mouth to be adorable. Other people not so much. I once told the board member of a prestigious national newspaper that modern journalism was “a bunch of crap” (I didn’t realize he was in the field at the time). I once had another high-profile CEO (one who, coincidentally, I worked for back when I was an admin) stare at me blankly before saying, “You don’t have much of a filter, do you?” I’ve occasionally made things worse for my husband, professionally. I know this. I’ve tried editing my thoughts. Tried being just a little more palatable. It’s hard. And he doesn’t seem to care, either way. But I do.

13. In the startup world, there are no guarantees.
No guarantee that you’ll get out of debt. No guarantee that you’ll ever be profitable. No guarantee that you’ll have health insurance, or even another paycheck. The only thing I found that I could be sure of was the clicking of his keyboard from the other room, or, on nights when he was out of town, just the thought of it. And for me, that turned out to be enough.

14. It never ends.
I once asked Rand what he’d do when it was over. When his company finally sold, or went public, or came to a close through some other, less desirable means. Without missing a beat, he replied, “Do it all again.” And that’s when it hit me: there will never be free weekends. There will never be a party that he attends until the end. But that’s okay. Because he will always have a twinkle in his eye. And I will always fall asleep to the sound of his keyboard clicking.

15. I couldn’t, and shouldn’t compete.
Look, my husband loves me more than the sun, but the sun is objectively more important than I am. There’s no disputing this. It’s the same with his company. I suppose if I made him choose, I might win, but what, really, would be the point? He loves what he does. It gives him meaning, is part of who he is. I could no more ask him to give it up than I could ask him to cut off his own arm. If I did, I’d be left with an incomplete Rand. Why do that, when I can have a whole him?

—————

I didn’t know these things when I met him. They came up slowly, over the course of our relationship. And I’m grateful for them. These are the things that make us us.

There’s one last thing, too. I hope you’ll forgive me for how earnest it is. How stupidly sappy. But it’s this: Rand will often hug me and say, “I love all the parts of you.”

-

It’s a crazy statement, because I don’t even love all the parts of myself. Certainly not my thighs. Or my mustache. Or my temper. But he means it. He loves all the parts of me. The good and the bad.

And that’s when I realize his company is part of him. It’s inexorably tied to his soul, his identity, his life.

So when I smile at him and say, “I love all the parts of you, too,” I know he understands exactly what I mean.

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Comments (114)

  1. 09. Apr, 2012 / Candice:

    Great post. It’s surprising, the things that come to you in marriage that you didn’t anticipate. I also fall asleep to my husband clicking at the computer (it’s in our bedroom) and have a hard time falling asleep if he goes to bed first for some reason.

    [Reply]

  2. 09. Apr, 2012 / Brian Mcfarlane:

    I am not at Rand’s level as yet but I can relate completely to this article because it resonates with my wife who feels lost when i get into SEO speak and industry jargon. though she keeps me grounded.

    I sincerely hope that Rand finds a work life balance that puts his relationship ahead of SEOmoz.

    Great article my wife thanks you

    [Reply]

  3. 09. Apr, 2012 / Jeremy Wright:

    First time reader and commenter. Don’t think I know either you or Rand personally. But this post beyond hit home. Don’t actually have words to express thanks for this, as I love my girl this way but we are only in Year 2 so are still figuring out this “fit” between us and startup.

    I’ve always been a startup guy too, always will be. I just hope I can be half the partner Rand is to you to my partner. Yes it’s part of me, and that will never change. But she’s part of me too, and that will never change either.

    [Reply]

  4. 09. Apr, 2012 / Lizzie:

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this post. As a fellow dating-an-entrepreneur person, I can’t tell you how helpful and touching it was to read your thoughts. I’ll be re-reading to this post whenever I need encouragement :)

    [Reply]

  5. 09. Apr, 2012 / Rob:

    This. Is. Adorable.

    Thanks for such a lovely post!

    [Reply]

  6. 09. Apr, 2012 / Mackenzie Fogelson:

    This is a beautiful post. So much of what you wrote resonates with the challenges that my career brings (I am the entrepreneur and my husband is my biggest fan). Some days I wonder if other people think about their jobs as much as I do about my company (the constant work it requires to be great). Then you add two kids in there and it is extremely tough to find the balance (especially when you find so much satisfaction from your work).

    Thanks for the post as I think it will help my husband to hear some things that are in my heart. Well done.

    [Reply]

  7. 09. Apr, 2012 / Natala:

    I love this post geraldine! such good advice and delightful to read.

    [Reply]

  8. 09. Apr, 2012 / Carlos del Rio:

    Dear Geraldine,
    I mean this in the best possible way: You are adorable.

    <3,
    Carlos

    This post is amazing in both it's clarity and honest.

    [Reply]

  9. 09. Apr, 2012 / Camels & Chocolate:

    Firstly, I love this.

    Secondly, I hate your haters. How anyone could possibly HATE you (or Rand) is beyond my realm of comprehension. You are the most charming person on the Internet (no joke…there was a contest, I’m sure of it, in which you won Most Charming Person on the WWWs), and your lack of filter is what makes me love you more.

    Thirdly, I love this. Again. And you. And Rand. Continue doing what you do!

    [Reply]

  10. 09. Apr, 2012 / Will:

    What a great, great post. I come from the workaholic side, and it was nice to see how someone on the other side experiances it, and actually really eye opening. Thank you for writing this.
    Ps. I also don’t get it when people wash out the batter before I can get to it.

    [Reply]

  11. 09. Apr, 2012 / Kristin:

    Preach on. I can related to almost everything here, and my husband just founded his company five months ago. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing about the experience, but it just seems so tricky (he’s not VC funded yet and I DO NOT want to be influencing any of that stuff). It’s awesome to look at it from your perspective with so many years under your respective belts. Keep doing what you do!

    [Reply]

  12. 09. Apr, 2012 / Jen Nausin:

    What a beautiful post, lady! Relatable on so many levels.

    [Reply]

  13. 09. Apr, 2012 / Janet T:

    Great post.

    How dare anyone say anything about you not deserving Rand, or any other such nonsense????? You two seem to make each other the better person. I take umbrage on your behalf. Stupid haters- they should strive to have a relationship like yours.

    My husband and I own a business, which is good because he is happy working 7 days a week, early til late. And when we are not working, we talk about the business a lot. (except when we get the very rare vacation, then it NEVER comes up). We’ve been together almost 29 years, and I still miss him where we are not together, and we are together constantly. (he’s the person I want to be most like when I grow up)

    I’m trying to lose my filter, so keep being an inspiration to me.

    [Reply]

  14. 09. Apr, 2012 / Lisa Myers:

    Awww that is such a lovely post Gerry. You guys are so damn adorable…big lump in my throat. You guys are by far the most loveliest couple ever (look, I’m foreign I can totally say “most loveliest” and get away with it.) Can’t wait to see you guys in Sept! X

    [Reply]

  15. 09. Apr, 2012 / Jon:

    As someone with a loving spouse who also falls asleep to the sound of my keyboard clicks, I love hearing stories about other couples who have also learned that no matter how tough it gets, if you work at it, a marriage can not only survive, but thrive, in the hectic world of tech & start-ups.

    [Reply]

    Startup wife Reply:

    What if I want the free weekends? The time with friends and family? What if I want a house, and God forbid not take care of it myself? What if I want kids? What if I want kids who have s good relationship with their involved dad? What if i don’t want to be married and still somehow a single mom too?What if I want family dinners at the dinner table every night? What if i just want to cuddle up and watch a movie on w weeknight? What if I just want some quality time? What if I want to know where the next paycheck is coming from and when it arrived? What if I want to have a comfy emergency savings , health insurance, a retirement account, a college fund. I don’t want to be the person who tells my husband he can’t live his dream. but what if i also want him to be healthy, sleep every night, eat well, shower regularly? What if i don’t want to lose my entire identity, my house, MY DREAMS, simple as they may be, for a buisness? WHAT DO I DO?!?!

    [Reply]

    Startup wife Reply:

    What if I want the free weekends? The time with friends and family? What if I want a house, and God forbid not take care of it myself? What if I want kids? What if I want kids who have s good relationship with their involved dad? What if i don’t want to be married and still somehow a single mom too?What if I want family dinners at the dinner table every night? What if i just want to cuddle up and watch a movie on a weeknight? What if I want more sex, without having to schedule it like a meeting?What if I just want some quality time? What if I don’t want to be lonely all the time? What if I want to know where the next paycheck is coming from and when it arrived? What if I want to have a comfy emergency savings , health insurance, a retirement account, a college fund. I don’t want to be the person who tells my husband he can’t live his dream. but what if i also want him to be healthy, sleep every night, eat well, shower regularly? What if i don’t want to lose my entire identity, my house, MY DREAMS, simple as they may be, for a buisness? He wasn’t an entrepreneur when we got married, and I thought we wanted the same things. I didn’t sign up for this… But I always knew he was driven, a workaholic. What if I love him and don’t want to throw away 12+ years of our lives… But I also don’t want to have wasted all those years? I’m so lonely. WHAT DO I DO?!?!

    [Reply]

  16. 09. Apr, 2012 / Sha Menz:

    … a beautiful post.

    Something I’ve noticed that I’m sure you already know – that twinkle in Rand’s eye sparkles even a little brighter when he talks about you.

    Also important to remember – Haters are such tiny little people with such shriveled up little souls. We really ought to just feel sorry for them.

    Sha

    [Reply]

  17. 09. Apr, 2012 / Joel:

    A pretty awesome picture of the Entrepreneur wife. I did a degree in Entrepreneurship and we learned all sorts of horrible things about entrepreneurs, our personality types, our life expectancy, our average salaries, our divorce rates..

    And then we learned that you can no more tell an entrepreneur to stop than you can tell a bird not to fly.

    Rand is lucky to have someone so supportive of what he does and so understanding of the two worlds he tries to live in.

    Really appreciated this snapshot of that today.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Thank you. High praise from the best look man in the world. :)

    [Reply]

  18. 09. Apr, 2012 / Gillian:

    Rand is the luckiest man in the world. And I love you more than I can say.

    [Reply]

  19. 09. Apr, 2012 / Expat-Mom (Sarah):

    Another great post… check!

    [Reply]

  20. 09. Apr, 2012 / Courtney:

    FU Rand-haters! Team I-like-Rand! Nice post Geraldine!

    [Reply]

  21. 09. Apr, 2012 / Lauren:

    Geraldine, you continue to be my hero.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Weird, because you continue to be mine. :)

    [Reply]

    Lauren Reply:

    Awh I’m blushing.

    [Reply]

  22. 09. Apr, 2012 / Cathron Dodrill:

    Hi there! I found your blog while surfing the internet. I was so glad i did! I, too, am married to an entrepreneur. His dad was an entrepreneur. Three out of four brothers are entrepreneurs. I totally understand your post. It takes a special woman to understand. One that is totally flexible.

    I’m not sure where these haters are coming from. That’s too bad. Keep up the good posts!

    [Reply]

  23. 09. Apr, 2012 / Rafael Montilla:

    Hi, I knew about your blog last year but this is my first visit.
    I can read that you are a highly sensitive person, you are very lucky woman to be with a great person and a SEO Icon, He is a very lucky man to have a great companion, I do not say this because by knowing but by reading your article.

    Thanks!! I enjoyed reading it

    [Reply]

  24. 09. Apr, 2012 / tim:

    My girlfriend FINALLY understands after reading this…..Thanks!

    [Reply]

  25. 09. Apr, 2012 / SK:

    I guess this post to promote hubby’s little seo business or your blogging, you have a good writing style though I will give you that.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Gee, thanks.

    [Reply]

    Joel Reply:

    L-O-L.. because “hubby’s little SEO business” really needs promoting. It’s not like they’re the most well recognized name in the industry or anything like that. What a joker.

    [Reply]

    Pan Reply:

    Rudness. I enjoyed this post and think it has nothing to do with promotions.

    [Reply]

  26. 09. Apr, 2012 / Tom Petryshen:

    This is a great post that every partner of an entrepreneur will resonate with and one every entrepreneur should hand out before/after their first date. Love your work Geraldine.

    PS: thx for the Seattle travel with kids tips.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Anytime, Tom. :)

    [Reply]

  27. 09. Apr, 2012 / Eric:

    I have finally awoken from my Reese’s PB egg coma, only to think my wife was guest writing on your site. But then I remembered (a) Guest Writers are a rare breed on here and (b) my wife’s second language is English and you couldn’t get her anywhere near a pen and paper for the thrill of it. Nonetheless, it was a great post and one that tugged at the heart strings a little as it reminded me of my wife’s and I relationship, only I am not a CEO and we are both unemployed.

    [Reply]

  28. 09. Apr, 2012 / Cam:

    Can I give you a hug? Or get one? ;)

    As an aside to #12, I wish more people went for honesty rather than putting a “filter” on it. I’m crap at reading people and dealing with social subtleties, and really appreciate a straight shooter. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Regarding hugs: Yes, and yes! :) You are lovely, Cam.

    [Reply]

  29. 09. Apr, 2012 / Erica:

    You guys are so cute! I love the honesty behind your posts because I know everything you say in sincere, which makes how much you and your husband adore each other even cuter. :)

    [Reply]

  30. 09. Apr, 2012 / Melina Savi:

    very inspiring and inspired post! cheers!

    [Reply]

  31. 10. Apr, 2012 / Skippy:

    If you “unfiltered” is a bad thing, then PLEASE don’t be good. You are refreshing and honest. Sincere to a fault and so obviously in love with your husband and your life.

    Any haters that pop up must truly be unhappy in their own lives to hate on you and Rand. The anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in people sometimes and I don’t really want to say they are jealous, but if the shoe fits haters……

    I can completely relate to your feelings for Rand and him for you. After almost two decades people scoff that my husband and I are the same way – we like to be together, all the time and do still miss eachother when we are apart – even if we are on different floors of the house. I never knew it could be like this, nor that it was actually sustainable having grown up with many miserable role models who would say “Everyone lives like this. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.” It took me a long time to find out it wasn’t true – not everyone has to suffer an unhappy marriage or stay married for reason A, B or C. Now I don’t care nor wonder what other people think because I know the truth and it isn’t changing.

    Thank you for this post. I am glad others get it too. :D

    Are we able to read Rand’s blog? Is there a link somewhere I missed or does he keep it private? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Skippy Reply:

    PS – I actually looked and answered my own question. Ooops!

    [Reply]

  32. 10. Apr, 2012 / Bev:

    This is so cute. You’re lucky to have each other. ♥ I’m working for a startup as well, and the owner (also a friend of mine) is much like Rand. I bet his partner could relate to you too.

    More happy years to you two. :)

    [Reply]

  33. 10. Apr, 2012 / Eryck Dzotsi:

    May someone writes something like this about me 1 day. This is beautiful

    [Reply]

  34. 10. Apr, 2012 / Matt:

    “There’s one last thing, too. I hope you’ll forgive me for how earnest it is. How stupidly sappy. But it’s this: Rand will often hug me and say, “I love all the parts of you.”

    It’s a crazy statement, because I don’t even love all the parts of myself. Certainly not my thighs. Or my mustache.”

    He loves your vagina!!!

    [Reply]

  35. 10. Apr, 2012 / TheOtherLisa:

    I was reading Rand back when he was planning his super proposal, cried when I watched your reaction to it and found your blog *years* later. I love that you guys still love each other that much.

    Married my hubby in 1985 and he’s going away for four days this week. I miss him already.

    [Reply]

  36. 10. Apr, 2012 / Becca:

    Oh wow. I totally love this! My husband isn’t a CEO of his own company but he works a LOT. He has a full time job but is constantly taking classes to further his knowledge. He also decided to learn a completely different skill and build an entire database on his own for the company he works for. He is crazy smart. And just crazy.

    Anyway, we never go to bed at the same time and he has never had a free weekend since I met him (unless being forced because we are on vacation). Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if he just came home and hung out like I did but I realize that will never happen. He gets way to restless if he doesn’t have something to accomplish. I love that about him actually.

    Thanks for helping me see the other side of things. You are so mature. And awesome.

    [Reply]

  37. 10. Apr, 2012 / CatCatAttack:

    Urg, your article makes me think I should try again to achieve a basic level of knowledge in my husband’s career area. At least I should keep track of which project he’s working on so I can feign knowledge. He’s mildly aware of what I do.
    The funny part is I work in a 95% male career, always have, completely comfortable with it. Yet some people in my husband’s area will always sneer at me as the half-brained wife because I do not have in-depth geek knowledge. I settle for smiling and remembering the Simpson’s episode where comic-book guy tells Aquaman he can’t marry (?), because they’re from two different worlds.
    As always, your posts are great!

    [Reply]

  38. 10. Apr, 2012 / Chris M:

    What a beautiful post!

    My fiance supports me to the same degree, so I know just how lucky Rand is!

    Bless you :)

    [Reply]

  39. 10. Apr, 2012 / Mari:

    Great post! I can totally relate as my guy has always had an entrepreneur spirit!

    [Reply]

  40. 10. Apr, 2012 / Kylie:

    I love this post!

    It’s not quite the same, but being with a chef I can see a lot of similarities between entrepreneurs and professional foodies. Excluding the legal stuff, I know that I too have learned not to compete, to blow off arguing in favour of spending time together (13 hour days in the kitchen are the norm now it seems), that I need to find something for me that I love just as much (getting close!) and when he and his friends talk shop, I should know a little about food to keep up.

    Thank you for posting this — I know my relationship is atypical, but it helps to know it’s not unique!

    [Reply]

  41. 10. Apr, 2012 / ravi:

    He is lucky to have U

    [Reply]

  42. 10. Apr, 2012 / Chloe Winstone:

    I just wanted to say that, I think this is my absolute favourite post of yours. I can’t decide whether it’s the honesty of it or whether it’s because you just know after reading it that you and Rand are perfect for each other but it’s so amazing, it made me well up. I love your last point, about not competing? It’s something I needed to read. Thank you. :)

    [Reply]

  43. 10. Apr, 2012 / Catherine:

    Wow! I thought I was the only one. Reading this helps me understand my boyfriend so mucho more, and in a way it describes what I have always thoughted and feeled, and I bet it helps him understand me too. Its unbelievable to realize that there are a lot more like him. But never exactly like him, that is problably why I love him so much. I tried to understand him and I get so mad when people judge him because of the way he thinks or does things. I have to confess I´ve gotten mad at him when at parties he rathers go read on his iPad than play Pictonary with everyone, but I guess I had to knew better. I just kiss him and say “ok, have fun”. I envy him too, he is so strong-will with what he believes. I´ve learned so much of him. He truley brings the best out of me.

    Thanks for this blog, it helped me realize how much I know him, how much I love him and how much I´ve grown.

    Cat from San José, Costa Rica

    [Reply]

  44. 10. Apr, 2012 / chloe-michelle:

    Hi! Found this blog in a round about way and this is the first post I came across. It literally made me want to cry it was so beautiful. The amount of love you have is, at this point in my life, incomprehensible. But I hope to be there some day. Thank you, thank you, for your beautiful view of the world. It truly has inspired me today.
    –Chloe-Michelle

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  45. 10. Apr, 2012 / Mark Fogarty:

    This was a most excellent post.

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    Kumail Hemani Reply:

    Awesome post Geraldine! I made Tweet, Like and +1 for this post.

    I started reading this and read the entire post, I think you’ve magic in your hand :)

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  46. 10. Apr, 2012 / Lisa:

    Thank you for putting this into the world. Sometimes we need to help each other to remember to keep our heads in a pink bubble of gratitude. And especially, thank you for #4. My relationship broke partially (…a lot) because I couldn’t deal with #4. Bubble!

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  47. 10. Apr, 2012 / Rebecca:

    i love that you wear your heart on your sleeve! thank you for that :)

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  48. 10. Apr, 2012 / Frank Dale:

    Geraldine,

    As an entrepreneur I understand Rand’s motivations and what that lifestyle is like. Rand is as fantastic as you describe him, but he is also very lucky to have you. He knows it too!

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  49. 10. Apr, 2012 / Kristina Cline:

    I love this! I am so glad you found each other, I want your marriage to last 100 years!

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  50. 10. Apr, 2012 / HCD:

    I had always admired Rand. Now I admire his wife too.. No matter what some say, I think that behind every great man, there is a great woman…

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  51. 10. Apr, 2012 / Karen S.:

    Geraldine, this is an amazing post. There are life lessons for all of us in here, even if our hubs isn’t a CEO. it’s sometimes too easy to envy your partner’s passion, whether a company or a sailboat. :-) I applaud and admire that you’ve found yours, too!

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  52. 10. Apr, 2012 / Abigail Johnson Akingbade:

    Wow. I loved this article very personal but heartfelt and honest. Makes me think how I will feel when I get married one day. I’m still young and enjoying being single! My favorite part is how you talk about your husband loving entrepreneurship and you decided to find your passion and create a blog. Awesome. It’s like you make each other better. He encourages you and you love him in all his work endeavors. Awesome. I was captivated by your writing style. Best to your marriage you seem like you all genuinely love each other! There’s no other things in the world that can replace it.

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  53. 11. Apr, 2012 / Cremades:

    Great post!

    I’m an entrepreneur and I understand all you say.

    Regards from Spain!

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  54. 11. Apr, 2012 / Anne:

    I read your blog too little, but when I do; my gosh. GREAT! Fantastic. So incredibly loving. Yeah for you!

    (and a big boo for all those haters. Good for you that you know that haters will hate, just let it go. Hah, easier said than done. I know. But still.)

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  55. 11. Apr, 2012 / alexis:

    I have never read anything more true. I have been in a relationship with my entrepreneur for 11 years, and have experienced all these things along the way as well. I have learned incredible (and yes, not-so-incredible) things about me, him, and our relationship. “wonderful madness” indeed! Thank you for writing :)

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  56. 11. Apr, 2012 / Courtney:

    I love this post, you’re such a sweetheart! I also love that hat.

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  57. 11. Apr, 2012 / Shelley:

    I’d love to read any advice you’d have for someone who finds it very difficult to talk to strangers. Any tips for how to start a conversation with a stranger?

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  58. 11. Apr, 2012 / Jenny:

    Rand’s eyes do appear to twinkle and look like large pools of melted chocolate. How could anyone hate that?! You should definitely chuck the laptop if given the opportunity. Great post!

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  59. 12. Apr, 2012 / Tobias:

    Great post. I’ll use this as a “read this first” for my futurre girlfriends.

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    Frances Reply:

    Yes, you must. It’s really hard for a girl with no idea to deal with this kind of hectic schedule.

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  60. 12. Apr, 2012 / Heather:

    This is so lovely. I’ve only been with my boyfriend for 6 months, but sometimes we’ll be in bed together watching a film and he’ll be holding me close and say “Come here”. I tease him all the time saying “I can’t get any closer love!” When I read that you say the same thing to your husband I had to restrain myself from cuddling the computer.

    You and your husband are so lucky to have found each other – you’re perfect together :)

    I also respect your #9 point. When I’m with friends I’m very loud and have no filter at all, but when I meet new people, or are around new people, I sort of hit shut down and this very quiet, polite British girl takes over – I hate it. Hopefully, as I get older, I’ll over come this and lose my filter with everyone. Don’t feel bad about opening up and being yourself around strangers – I’m incredible jealous!

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  61. 12. Apr, 2012 / Mark:

    As a subscriber to Rand’s wonderful tools and being a big Rand fan I am a beneficiary of your great support of Rand’s ventures and I thank you for that. As for lacking a filter I too appreciate a straight shooter and I hope you never ever change!! I love your blog!

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  62. 12. Apr, 2012 / Garmin Fishfinders:

    Thank you so much for this! I have not been this moved by a post for quite some time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You’re definitely somebody that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the good work. Keep on inspiring the people!

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  63. 12. Apr, 2012 / Andi:

    This was so lovely. It’s making me want a boyfriend/husband! Being single can be fun, but it is great to know there’s always someone there for you. Glad that you and Rand found each other, you seem like a wonderful couple.

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  64. 13. Apr, 2012 / Sanjana:

    you are SO lucky!
    This site like like a rom-com and I sometimes hate to visit cos I hate that you have … for want of a better term ” movie love” in your life. It’s like this is the happily ever after, and that gets me thinking “oh fuck! that shit is REAL?! Why the hell don’t *i* have that?!”

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  65. 13. Apr, 2012 / Dustin Woodard:

    Sounds like you’ve found to embrace a tough situation for both of you – you are certainly not alone. I’m surprised there isn’t a CEO Wives Secret Society (or maybe there is). I do hope that if you have kids, Rand will find a way to carve out more non-work time.

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  66. 13. Apr, 2012 / Christee:

    This was so beautiful and it reminded me a lot of my husband and I. We have been together since highschool and when I tell people that, they often look at me funny or make a comment like “but you never experienced anything different” I just reply, “why would I want to experience things with other men when im having a blast experiencing them with my best friend?” We support each other fully and it sounds like you and Rand do also, congrats on finding a wonderful man.

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  67. 15. Apr, 2012 / Vicky:

    What a beautiful post. You are so self-aware – do you know it takes a lifetime for most of us to get to that place? You’re a wonderful couple.

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  68. 16. Apr, 2012 / Syed Noman Ali:

    I think Rand is lucky man that you were in his life :) and understand what he needs at what time, sounds good and this is a main key of successful life..

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  69. 17. Apr, 2012 / Pam:

    You. Are. Adorable.

    Thanks for allowing me to procrastinate even more today. Off to a meeting, then a nap.

    Could you put posts on book format, so I can read them on the 9hr bus ride to Bangkok tomorrow, and then on my flight to Sri Lanka? That would be super helpful.

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  70. 20. Apr, 2012 / Rachelle:

    Thank you so much for the great post! I have recently started dating a COO and this was a helpful peek into what I am getting into :)

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  71. 22. Apr, 2012 / Peter Drinnan:

    I have worked as an entrepeneur for years and learned that time spent with loved ones is far more valuable than anything else. Money does not buy the simple pleasures of good company. For that reason I make business hours a rule that cannot be broken. If a client does not respect that I have no need of their business.

    My point is client expectations have to be managed.

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  72. Dearest Geraldine,

    Yep, I’ve been there too. My husband was gone for almost 90% of the time and on some lucky occasions I would fly with him. Makes you independent and strong. When he became an American Citizen, on April 23, 1993 I told everyone that I’d traded in my Flying Dutchman for an American.
    But it was a bliss that we’ve worked some 15 years together as international consultants, soaring in the blue skies for 1,500,000 miles.
    Wishing you both well and at least as a ‘happy widow’, as I always phrased it, we are better prepared for whatever comes our way. I’ve seen so many women actually collapse when something happens with their spouse, their world ends. This kind of situations made us act on our own and in a way follow your heart.
    Love to you,

    Mariette

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  73. 30. Apr, 2012 / Danielle Sandahl:

    Can we be best friends? Because you can apparently read my mind. This post literally brought me to tears. Thank you so much sharing and while my boyfriend doesn’t currently have a start up going he devotes the same energy and time to his current jobs and other things in life as would (and surely will) devote to a business.

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    Everywhereist Reply:

    HOORAY! NEW BESTIE!

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  74. 01. May, 2012 / Doc Sheldon:

    Any man whose wife is able to so sincerely say what you do here, Geraldine, is a man to be envied. As for a filter, thank GOD you have none!

    My wife nods off to the clicking of my keyboard nearly every night, and is supportive of my efforts. But she’s not “quite” as gracious about it. ;-)

    Congrats on the recent news, BTW. That rocks!

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  75. 02. May, 2012 / Christoph C. Cemper:

    Awesome post Geraldine! Much enjoyed it and will forward to my wife :)

    Cheers, Christoph

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  76. 02. May, 2012 / Emily:

    I absolutely love this, thank you for articulating so perfectly what I’ve often felt for the past year. My boyfriend is also the CEO of his own startup and though it’s tough at times with all the meetings, conference calls, and late nights at his desk — I love him more than anything. And I wouldn’t trade the few hours we have together each night to cuddle and talk, for anything.

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  77. 02. May, 2012 / Anon:

    Thanks for this post.

    My girl friend broke off with me a few months back. Today, I am breaking up with her, letting her go. Really tough thing to do because I almost worshiped her.

    When we started our relationship, I knew it would be hard. Her husband (boyfriend of 4 years) abandoned her couple of months into their marriage. I was probably a rebound and I was happy to lend my shoulder for her to cry on. But somewhere along the line, I realized how much I enjoyed her company. How her quirks always brought a smile to my face and while she loved to torment me emotionally, I loved to be tormented. It was perfect or so I thought.

    But I think she wanted something else in life. Because of her previous relationship, she was never able to trust me. She has still not forgiven her ex-husband and not forgotten all the hurt. It does come back sometimes. Crazy part, every time we fought, she missed him more than she missed me. But every time she missed him, she would turn to me and cry her heart out with her face buried deep in my chest. Made me love her even more – she looks most beautiful with tears in her eyes and smile on her face.

    Most of all I think she never got enough time from me. With couple of companies to run and some solid friendship across genders meant that I would never be there to go out partying, movies or just hang around. I would see her at 8 or 9 in the night, only to get up at 5 and head to work. We stopped having sex a few months back so there was no intimacy left.

    She has not been talking to me for almost a month now. Last time we met, I received a phone call from work and she suspected something wrong. Wanted to check my phone and I refused not because I had something to hide but because I wanted to stop the maddening suspicions. Wrong call, she didnt call me for a month she was in Ghana and she did not call me after coming back :(

    I am letting her go today not because I am sick of her or because I dont love her anymore. Infact I miss her terribly. I am letting her go because reading this post I realized that may be I could have a chance at something better. May be I was not ready for a relationship. Or may be I need to find someone who would be excited about what I bring to the relationship.

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  78. 02. May, 2012 / Jenny A.:

    I’m sitting here on a train bound for a nowhere tiny town in Illinois to visit my brother. My phone pops up with a notification that Dan just sent me this blog post on Facebook. I read it and found tears welling up in my eyes because this sounds exactly like us. He’s an entrepreneur and I’m a designer so I often become the webdesign consultant on his projects. He’s a totally different breed and I find myself missing him every moment even if he’s snuggling with me. He’s always working often past my crawling into bed to sleep. And now I won’t see him for the next 3 days because of my trip. Hopefully he’ll get enough work done while I’m gone… And hopefully I’ll survive without him for a few more days.

    I’m really glad that I’m not the only girlfriend that loves an entrepreneur.

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  79. 02. May, 2012 / Marleen:

    This applies for ca. 95% to my relationship and I could not have described it any better! My bf is CEO and entrepreneur and when I read this I could not help drawing all the similarities with our own life. Very touchy, thank you for taking the time to put your experience into words!

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  80. 08. May, 2012 / Carmia:

    A friend sent me the link to this today, when I was mentioning some things I’m struggling with in my new relationship.

    I am literally, sitting on my couch in Cape Town right now, in my PJs, bawling like a baby. It’s such a relief to read that someone else has done this!

    I started dating a start-up guy 6 months ago. For both of us this our most serious relationship to date. He’s leaving his current project, which has grown into an SME, to start looking for a new startup project. (Like you say, they’ll keep doing it all over.)

    I honestly don’t know yet if I’ll be able to cope with this like you do. I think the most difficult thing for me has been not sharing the same passions – which is ironic, given that I’ve always said shared values are more important than shared passions. The time we do have together though, is spent with me questioning him to bits about his work (which he obviously doesn’t mind talking about) so that I can try to understand and be part of it all. The sad thing for me is not knowing whether he’ll ever be able to have a geniune interest in anything I’m passionate about. It makes me feel so lonely, if that makes sense, and jealous. Believe me, I feel you on the envy, and it’s made me feel like the most ridiculously immature girlfriend at times.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I hope I can learn to adapt to this as well as you have.

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  81. 08. May, 2012 / J's Everyday Fashion:

    I loved this so, so much. I am Rand in so many ways, and it’s so inspiring to hear how much you love him; it makes it seem possible for me too. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  82. 16. May, 2012 / David Curtis:

    I’ve always liked Rand in his videos and posts. Thanks for sharing your happiness. There is love in the world and you two have found it.

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  83. 29. Jun, 2012 / Jen:

    I’m hitting the imaginary “like” button on this one. I’m glad you’re good at introducing yourself to people now, because that image makes my stomach do weird things. Le sigh. Why can’t I live in Seattle so I can meet you someday?

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  84. 19. Jul, 2012 / Reshma:

    I am in a similar situation as you. Reading about your experiences has helped me a lot. Thanks :) Wish you all the best for continued happiness and success in your marriage and the biz.

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  85. 24. Jul, 2012 / Anders:

    Wonderful article. Just so you know, your second sentence is grammatically incorrect. It should say “whomever”, not “whoever”.

    Below is a link for your reference.

    http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/whowhom.html

    -Anders

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  86. 27. Aug, 2012 / mirauncut:

    You don’t understand how awesome it was reading this. Even though your Rand and my husband, and I’m sure other tech “entrepreneurs” have never met, it’s as if you were talking about all of them at once. I have no one around me that gets “it”, and it’s nice to read about it from another woman’s perspective for once.

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  87. 25. Sep, 2012 / Karena Leo:

    You two are so cute! I love reading this, actually I just love your whole entire blog really.

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  88. 09. Feb, 2013 / Kate:

    Thank you. My boyfriend is working on his first start up- it is definitely a challenge for our relationship. Your words couldn’t be more true.

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  89. 20. Mar, 2013 / Emma:

    This article has just stopped a half hour stream of bitter tears. Thank you. I have been with my boyfriend less than a year and care for him very much, but this relationship is totally alien territory to me. Work comes first and work comes always. He is such a good and amazing man but there are such difficult downsides to cope with. I have a problem with thinking before speaking and am desperately trying not to verbally throw up all over him with how I feel and end up being a nag or ‘needy’, but its hard. Reading your article at least I now know I am not alone.

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  90. 06. Apr, 2013 / Frances:

    Thanks for this wonderful post, which makes me understand more about my boyfriend’s professional life. We started dating a year ago, and before that we were friends for 3 yrs. He owns a little company and has always been busy. Well, as a friend I didn’t mind how often we saw eachother, until everything became romantic. Can you imagine he could leave me for business for straight 8 months? no to mention the little control he has over his schedules. Meetings always come up whenever it is.

    But he also tries to contact me telling me he misses me no matter how busy or wherever he is. He gives me quality time when he is available for us. We always enjoy eachother’s company, we share lots of laughters and great foods. We are both foodies.

    I thought it over and over, and really, just as you said, I don’t want to trade the mins with him for hours with someone else. I guess quantity comes with a price.

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  91. 10. Apr, 2013 / Derrick:

    I just stumbled on this gem of a article. I have a question…do you have any advice for dealing with a spouse that isn’t supportive of your entrepreneurial dreams. My spouse thinks I should just go back to school and get a job. She thinks its kind of silly of me to talk about running a business. She tells me her dreams, and i tell her they are amazing and she should follow her heart. How do you cope when you want to be with that person?

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  92. 03. May, 2013 / Aidan:

    Great article. I found myself nodding over and over. If you replace “entrepreneur” with “freelance designer” this would be exactly what I imagine things are like from my fiancee’s perspective. She’s never asked me to leave what I’m doing, just been there to support me and work around what I do. It’s a 24/7 life and work is always part of weekends. And, as you’ve discovered, that’s because it’s not work at all. You sound very much like my fiancee, and I hope you know how much it means to us. To be able to do the thing that we love, and build our business, knowing that as much as we can give to you is enough.

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  93. 12. Jul, 2013 / Angie:

    This was and is such a refreshing blog for me. I am currently in a LDR with a business owner. And its so hard. This blog seriously explained how I feel about him to a T thank you for sharing this. It made me smile.

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  94. 28. Sep, 2013 / Abby:

    I want to thank you for writing this post. I have found myself completely in love with an entrepreneur and have bookmarked this post when I tend to frequently forget what I have committed to. I used to get so angry when he didn’t come to bed with me when I did, or when we didn’t go out and do fun things on the weekends. I have had a hard time explaining to him that his passion for his business is one of the most attractive things about him and what makes me love him so much. Our relationship is still relatively new and has its ups and downs, I asked tonight if I could interrupt him for just a moment so I could read him something, your post. He thanked me and stated you are a very wise person and appreciated hearing this as much as I do. I will continue to refer back to this as needed! I hope we are able to continue building our relationship to be as wonderful as your’s and Rand’s :)

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  95. 15. Oct, 2013 / Bianca:

    This is a lovely post. I am in the beginnings of a relationship with my entrepreneur. I am reworking my thinking as I go along. It is interesting with mine because are are from two different countries and we are both not fluent in each others languages, but time is of the essence and we have shown each other it is worth this Journey. All these points hit very close to home and I will remember to keep them in mind :)

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  96. 26. Oct, 2013 / RS:

    I really feel like I just matured 5 years reading this. I’ve been in a relationship with my startup boyfriend for the last 4 years and it’s been very emotionally difficult for me. Reading this from someone else makes me feel a lot less alone, and like, well, it’s what it takes to be in the start up world and not giving up on your dreams. I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this post a lot in the future! Thanks for this. It really has just changed my perspective on our relationship and my role.

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  97. 02. Nov, 2013 / Uttoran Sen:

    Hey Geraldine, (got your name from the about page …)

    I have read this blog in the past, but this post made me look more into who runs this blog etc.

    I do try to make less sound when I work late into the night, take my laptop to the most distant room from the bedroom – making sure wifey sleeps ok.

    Must get a soundless keyboard soon!

    thanks,
    Uttoran Sen,

    [Reply]

  98. 23. Feb, 2014 / Kimberly:

    What an amazing post. 6 years in and engaged to an entrepreneur, I related to so many of your thoughts. I have found the experience has encouraged a lot of personal growth on my part, as well as been incredibly motivating to play witness to the consistent drive that fuels his inner fire daily. There are frustrations (the missing part), not to mention the “drift off” look when you know his brain won’t shut off to let him relax, however, the positives far outweigh the negatives. It takes daily effort to stay understanding, and empathetic to the amount of hard work and dedication entrepreneurship requires, and not feed into thoughts that create resentment (why can’t he ever be on time, why does he work 7 days a week, why can’t he just turn the phone off when we are relaxing, worrying about his health). I’m lucky to have him in my life, especially when he does get a chance to relax:) My challenge is keeping him physically active, as there is little time for exercise in a business mans life. I don’t intend to give up dragging him on runs and to the gym;)

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  99. 14. Apr, 2014 / Nana:

    Hi! I am a girl from Japan and just started a sort of relationship with an entrepreneur guy. And your post really did help me a lot getting out of negative thinking. He never lied to me though the more I tried to understand him, the more I felt stressed and I didn’t know what to do. I even told him we should split because I feel I will never be fulfilled and trust him. He said no he didn’t want to, however it doesn’t mean he transforms himself to another guy either, you know.
    So, by reading this post I could make me calm down and felt happy that there is a lady who had a similar problem and successfully sorted out the way both can stay happy. I was totally losing myself in my relationship but now I can say it is still worth trying.
    I think I was focusing too much on preventing myself being hurt by him but I finally found out that it’s just not the point. Even though how much I miss him constantly, I always love every part of him and I want to be with him. Such a simple reason which I was forgetting about..
    I can’t express my feeling well in English though I really appreciate you to bring me a more positive and better way of thinking :) Thanks so much!! xxx

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  100. 22. May, 2014 / Emina:

    Thank you very much for posting this, and keep till now. I totally agree with you as I have an entrepreneur boyfriend knowing each other for almost a decade. I can’t count how many times I had been disappointed because he said “I have to work”, and tried to move on from him because he barely texts me back. But I really like him a lot and admire him to dedicate his passion for his business. I have decided that I will take care of myself more when he is not with me. I believe that makes him comfortable, and can relax with me when he wants.

    [Reply]

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