In 2014, a major cultural shift occurred in our society when the number of single people was greater than the number of married people in the U.S. Gender roles are changing and women are now graduating college at a faster pace than men. They are entering the workplace and putting off marriage to pursue careers and entrepreneurship.
Women-owned businesses earned 13 percent more revenue than firms owned by men, according to BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur's Report. Through my work with single success-driven women, I see four common factors as to why entrepreneurial women avoid marriage.
1. Lack of Role Models
There are few women leaders in general and those who are successful seem to be making it on their own or getting divorced. One reason is that the woman outgrows the first husband both emotionally and financially as she grows her business. Without many positive women role models who are happily married, looking for a spouse does not sound too appealing.
If you do want to find a great partner, look for role models who have made marriage work. Don't pay attention to the drama and focus on what you really want to create in a partnership.
2. No Time
Starting a business takes up a lot of time. When you are passionate about something you fall in love with your dream. All the love is focused on your business and there is little room for passion in your private life. The fear is that if you meet someone you will have to "cheat" on your business with your new relationship and the business will suffer.
You can be highly motivated for success and find time for your social life and family. Having time off for your personal life is actually helpful for your company. You will find that escape into romance can refuel your passion and feel more inspired with a full life.
3. Fear of Loss of Control
The boss lady likes to run everything. She has control over her business, finances and her dream. One of the biggest fears that single entrepreneurs face is that a man is going to come in and mess her life up. She does not want to be accountable to anyone about her business decisions, especially financial.
No one can mess up your life without your permission. You can always be in control of your choices in your business and home life if you find a partner who respects and supports you. Make sure you establish healthy boundaries and open communication with everyone in your personal life.
4. Fear of Distraction
Some people see a relationship as a distraction from their goals. Getting caught up in another person, worried about their feelings or how they feel about you can interrupt your work flow. You may be tempted to spend the weekend with him instead of working on your third quarter financials and get lost in the romance. Worse, if there is a breakup, the heartache could distract you emotionally where you cannot focus and think clearly on your company's mission. Many choose to barricade their heart and not risk a disturbance.
The relationship isn't going to create new problems, it just magnifies the ones you haven't dealt with yet. If you are having trouble with your emotions and relating to others, it probably interferes with work with your team, vendors and investors. If you fear being distracted, look at other areas of your business that you fear facing and find ways to deal with those emotions. If you don't deal with them, they will end up sabotaging your business with or without a partner.
You Can Have It All
I was single when I first started out as an entrepreneur. I grew so much the first year and the person I became (and what I wanted in a partner) had changed dramatically from the day I started. I met my husband-to-be in year two. He was writing his dissertation and worked a full-time residency and I was building my online business and writing my first book. We made the effort and found time to be with each other to make it work.
If you really want to be married and have a family, it is possible. Look for great role models and know who you are so you know who would make a good match for you. Above all, don't settle. Believe that someone can harmonize with your passion and bring more life to you, not take anything away. Your business can and will prosper with the right person.