Sometimes being in a relationship can feel like a job in itself: you spend time working on it. Things go wrong anyway. More time is spent trying to fix those things. Investments are made. Solutions are found, success is had, or the company closes forever. While treating your relationship like your job may come back to bite you in the end (no one wants a cold, calculating partner unless they’re trying to get featured on Wicked Attraction), there’s no denying the similarities. Here are five ways in which intimate, romantic relationships are just like running a business.
– Timeliness. Arriving and completing your work on time are pretty important in the workplace. Fail to live up to either of these standards a few times and be amazed at how quickly your position is handed over to someone else.
– Communication. You may have to communicate with your boss about workplace concerns, to request a raise, or discuss project details. Communicating with other coworkers can be important, too; good teamwork, increased productivity, positive results, and getting to hear all the latest gossip are the effects of good communication skills in action.
– Work. You’ve got to put in the work or it just won’t work. Or you won’t be working, rather.
– Timeliness. Keep missing dates and you’ll be fired as well. Said you would complete some menial task for your S.O. and forgot? Better come up with a good excuse — your partner hates feeling forgotten just as much as your boss.
– Communication. You may have to communicate with your S.O. about relationship concerns (Please stop picking your nose and wiping it on me/Why do you have 12 texts from a guy named Adam?), request a raise (more blow jobs, please), or discuss project details (I really think an abortion is the best course of action at this point in our lives).
– Work. Remembering events like holidays and birthdays, and trying to go out of your way to make the other person feel loved on a daily basis are just some of the ways in which you have to work to keep your relationship successful.
Growing the Business
Growing your relationship like a business doesn’t necessarily imply kids. It can mean expanding in other ways, such as exploring new things together. Like a business, taking your relationship in a new or different direction can be extremely beneficial to both parties. To address the dirty minds, the exploration can be sexual — but doesn’t have to be. Trying new things can be anything from going on a camping trip together to trying a new food one of you is weary about.
When a business changes directions, they discover what works and what doesn’t. The business can learn from that change — what should they have done differently or better? What’s the solution now? This is just like a relationship in the way that exploring new things together can uncover facets about your S.O. you previously never knew existed. Your S.O. may hate or love the experience, and their reaction to it can change your view of them for better or worse. For example, a company that sells headache medication may try to do a campaign focusing on the camping demographic. If that company fails to become familiar enough with the demographic and puts out an ad which alienates that community instead of connecting with them, it can be a huge loss. The same goes for relationship exploration — if the two of you embark on a trip and the two people fail to connect (one person is enjoying the trip while the other absolutely hates it, one person needs help on a task and the other fails to support), it can wind up creating a large rift instead.
The feeling of success is great, whether it’s in a relationship or business. Just like a business, relationship success doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop putting in work and maintenance. In a successful relationship, each employee is happy and working toward a foreseeable goal. This can be a baby, opening a business together, buying a home, getting a dog, or planning a trip.
Successful relationships pay out on time (sex, keeping your dates, sex, remembering birthdays, sex, doing sweet things, having a lot of sex), make the employee feel secure, and give hope for a successful future. And like relationships, businesses experiencing success tend to be happier environments.
When a business falls under hard times, they may hire consultants or new employees to see them through it. Those in a strained relationship may seek counseling. In both of these situations, the advice of a professional only goes so far — the rest of the task is up to the receiver. If the business or relationship uses this advice wisely (assuming it’s good advice), it’s likely that a comeback can be made. There’s still a lot of maintenance going on, especially in trying times.
A business or relationship may begin to falter due to neglect, slacking, a change in employee attitudes, poor investments, or failed exploits. If a couple is finding out that they butt heads more and more on every ‘fun’ new experience they decide to explore together, the problem may be that their goals or personalities simply don’t align. In business, this isn’t much different; employees who become increasingly less invested in a company will most likely start working less diligently. Furthermore, business owners may begin to dispute the direction of the company and find differing goals between the two of them.
Knowing When to Quit
Knowing when to quit is often the hardest part of a business and relationship.
In either one, you get used to being there. You’re comfortable. What are you going to do once you leave? What else is out there for you? Will you be able to make it on your own? What will you do in the meantime, without income/your partner?
Sticking around is a good way to show that you’re committed and trying to make a change, but there are times when walking away is truly the best option. If the relationship or business continues to fail time and time again, it’s probably a bad sign. Don’t invest your life savings or your entire life in something that just doesn’t seem to be working. After years of perseverance, how can you know the right time to call it quits?
In a relationship, problems are usually reoccurring. New ones typically don’t surface unless from an event (i.e. cheating); if someone is angry and suspicious with you for little reason, it may take a very long time for them to get over that — if at all. Businesses are similar, but this comparison works better if we’re imagining the employee. A business who promises raises and never comes through, is constantly in financial turmoil which seems to get worse every year, and often speaks about the greatness to come (which never seems to come), it might be better to walk away. Instead of investing your time and emotions into something which seems resistant to change, unable to pay you enough, and/or going nowhere fast, it may be better to spend some time alone and refocus yourself.
With relationships, consultation is not always the answer. If both parties are unable to work out their differences, try not to invest yourself too much and realize that there are always other options — even if they aren’t the ones you once idealized.