Having your own startup is pretty much like birthing a child. It's that level of commitment. Time. Money. Mental energy. Stress. It's an always on type of situation and requires sacrifice.
If you are single and doing a startup, then you can do 100%. If you are in a relationship, then your partner is now part of the deal. The question is how much do you share as your relationship is getting going? Do you shift and spend more time with that person and neglect the startup a bit? Do you talk about your startup or would that come across as self-centered? Do you share your financial situation and how much you have tied up in your business?
You share too much and the person might think you're an unstable psycho. You share too little and then you setup that person for an ugly surprise when you shift back into startup mode. You are MIA. Your finances aren't what she thought. You start talking about your business WAY more. She then realizes too late that you're an unstable psycho. ha.
I've done this poorly. I've also done it well. When I look back I realize I was not fair to my partners in that I didn't share enough. I was too chill about Sloane. Didn't talk it too much. It was just a "side thing". I didn't get into the deeper reasons why I wanted to do it and succeed. I didn't get into how financially draining it could be as you deal with the ups and downs.
I then was shocked when I didn't feel like my partners didn't support my business like I needed. Did they realize how hard this was? Did they realize the little things that constantly go wrong? No. They didn't because I didn't tell them as we started dating. Why bore them with "business stuff"??
I also wasn't honest financially. During the courtship period you're going on trips, going to nice dinners and kind of loose with money. You just want your partner to be happy. That's just not startup life! You can't be spending money loosely. You have to be conservative. Put your own skin in the game. When that skin is going towards nice bottles of wine things get bad.
The solution is to be honest. Tell your partner as the dates add up about your business. What it's REALLY like. What you REALLY want to do with it long term. What it REALLY takes daily. How much time you REALLY put in. You have to this. If the person doesn't like it, then it would be doomed anyway. If the person finds it fascinating and wants to be a part of the journey, then you found yourself someone special.
This startup game is hard. The odds are against you. You need to have a partner that supports you.....no matter what. If you have a leach for a partner, then the odds of making it are cut drastically. Your mental game needs to be strong, so having a loving and supportive person by your side is critical.
Trust me. I learned this the hard way multiple times. Be honest.