Should I have a girlfriend while bootstrapping a startup?

Possible Duplicate: How to start a business and not destroy your marriage?

I began to seriously work on a startup idea during the summer after reading a bunch of blogs and watching startup tutorials online. I managed to get a lot of things done and also created a todo list.

My girlfriend came back to college in September. She's already complaining that I spend way too much time working. What's more, we live together. Today, I was relatively productive until she came knocking on my door. After that, one thing led to another and we ended up spending 8 hours together! Needless to say, I couldn't get anything done that I was planning for today. I'm reluctant to break up with her because we've been together for 1 year now.

My question is: Is it possible to have a girlfriend while bootstrapping a startup?

Edit: I've be browsing around and found so far that one cannot have both. In order to be successful, one has to make sacrifices... hard choice...

Work Life Time Management

asked Oct 10 '11 at 11:56
195 points
  • What is the downvote for? Can you add a comment to go with it please – Robin Vessey 12 years ago
  • You should take a look at this Q&A on [How to Start A Business and Not Destroy Your Marriage]( It applies to girlfriends as well. – Jarie Bolander 12 years ago
  • RE: Your edit - I guess I'm the exception to the rule? – Marco Ceppi 12 years ago
  • Depends on how much you value money over a human life. – Jo Jo 12 years ago
  • This is a great question, but I'm closing it because it's a duplicate of – Zuly Gonzalez 12 years ago
  • "I'm reluctant to break up with her because we've been together for 1 year now." If the reason you are together is because of the TIME you've been together, I think there is something wrong... – Anonymous 12 years ago

4 Answers


I think the most concerning part about your post is that you are asking a startup community whether you should break up with your girlfriend or not (unless she is an active member of this community and this is your way of asking her, if so... well done!).

Talk to her, not us.

answered Oct 10 '11 at 12:06
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points
  • ahh you got me! :) Actually, I'm asking it here to see how other entrepreneurs coped with the work-life dilemma during their bootstrapping phase. – Siamii 12 years ago
  • Get her excited by your startup and the lifestyle change it will bring about if successful. Having your partner in your corner is the best way to make it work. – Joel Friedlaender 12 years ago


Have you talked to her about work-life balance and setting boundaries? It's definitely challenging but well worth it when you have someone to support you through the rough patches of being an entrepreneur and someone to celebrate with you when you hit gold.

answered Oct 10 '11 at 12:16
111 points


It seems to me you want to break up with your girlfriend but are afraid to make the decision, and expect justification from this community, and use your startup idea as an excuse.

Success is not about working day and night, it is about good decisions and efficiency. The way you speak, I can't help thinking maybe subconsciously you started working more and more on your idea to avoid her in the first place.

It is not true at all that you have to choose, you are making that up. Hard and impossible is not the same. But work-life balance problems are about working relationships. If you don't love her (strangely enough you never said you did), that is another - completely off-topic - issue. But procrastination and cowardice won't help you in business either.

Good luck with your breakup, but don't blame it on your startup.

answered Oct 11 '11 at 00:58
Mihaly Borbely
715 points


Man i tell you it's hard as hell. I mean work pressure is one thing, but life pressures are an entirely different thing. It also depends on your Gf if she sees things from your point of view, understands the challenges and also shares your passion for your own venture and idea. If she doesn't, you would be smart to either put off relationships until you're reasonably settled or try to explain your work challenges to her. For all you might know, she might even help you out on your own venture. Either way Goodspeed cause every entrepreneur needs it :))

answered Oct 10 '11 at 15:31
46 points

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