Driven men, successful men, and entrepreneurial men all have something in common…
They all yearn for an emotionally fulfilling relationship.
Sure, all people crave a highly functioning and fulfilling relationship. But in my career as a relationship coach I have consistently seen driven, high-achieving men to be the most love starved.
But why would that be?
Why Driven Men Have Messy Love Lives
The more time and energy that driven men put into their careers and self-optimization (fitness, education, nutrition, spiritual practice, etc.) the more they tend to delay being in intimate relationships.
Since driven men are risk-tolerant in business yet risk-averse in emotional intimacy, they tend to subscribe to the “I’ll just keep getting more and more perfect until one day I’ll just fall into the perfect relationship that’s meant for me.”
But this is akin to standing next to a golf ball and taking 400 practice swings before you actually take a shot. You can prepare all you want, but the real learning comes from the experience of breaking through your emotional barriers within a committed relationship.
Unless of course the relationships you keep falling into are just as safe as taking your practice swings because you end up in relationships with people that aren’t a compatible match with you.
So how do you, as a driven man, know what sort of things to look for in a partner?
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, between all of the most highly functioning long-term relationships that I have been witness to over the past decade, these are by far the most common traits that I see embodied in the partners of driven men.
1. Someone Who Is Kind To You When You Are Wrong
In their business dealings, driven men are wizards at being stubborn and laser beaming to the core of the matter. And while this helps them in business negotiations, it doesn’t help them nearly as much in their love lives.
Having a partner that will be kind and patient with you in those moments when you forget that she isn’t your employee and you can’t make all the decisions will be invaluable to your love life’s long term success.
2. Someone Who Is A Cheerleader
Entrepreneurs have an overactive optimism bias – meaning that they assume that they have a lower risk of experiencing a negative outcome than others. As such, they need a partner who can support them in their near manic-like work sprint phases of productivity.
Not only do they need encouraging words when they are up, they especially need someone to help them with emotional support when they are down.
After great success with his first two businesses, my father (a brilliant and talented serial entrepreneur) sold them to open a third business that went bankrupt within a year. With three children under five years old, it was a tough time for my parents. My dad struggled with depression and lost confidence in his entrepreneurial abilities. Fortunately he had the courage and strength of a strong woman behind him (my mom) to help him through those difficult years.
A less supportive partner would have looked at the current reality of “what is” and packed up and left. But his brave and loving partner was able to see “what was” and “what will be” in the future, and knew that he would be able to pick himself back up again. My dad speaks positively about that early business failure. It taught him the value of having strong support in family, friends, partners and mentors, and not hesitating to ask for help.
Driven men can’t go it alone 100% of the time. Sometimes they need someone to lean on for support. So choose a partner that will be your cheerleader through both the good times and the challenging ones.
3. Someone Who Sees Past Your Resume
If you’re used to being one of the most impressive people in the room, you likely get turned off by women that are overly impressed by you.
And it’s not your fault.
As people we don’t value what we don’t work for.
But the moment a woman stands out for you is when they aren’t as impressed by your past accomplishments as they are impressed by your character and personal values.
So when you meet a woman who hears your resume and listens patiently with a “What else ya got?” kind of attitude, your interest is piqued. And for good reason. We all want be seen for who we truly are, not for the things that we’ve done or achieved.
So while having a partner that is encouraging and supportive is essential for a driven man, you also want to make sure that she isn’t fully buying into your PR/bio page/resume above who you truly are as a person.
Can Driven Men Be As Successful In Love As They Are In Life?
If you spent years figuring out how to become a success in one area of your life, you can experience those same results in other areas.
If you’ve read more books about startups, investing, entrepreneurship, or business than you have about love or relationships by a ratio of more than 10:1, then you might want to reconsider your priorities.
Wealth and societal impact are one piece of the pie chart of life, but there’s also plenty of room for emotional fulfillment, nurturing, and authentic love.