Most entrepreneurs have a list of character traits that reads like the ideal profile for a date: curious, creative, fun, adventurous, ambitious, hardworking.

Who wouldn't want to date someone like this? Life would be one exciting, spontaneous experience after another.

Why entrepreneurs are the perfect date

Dr. Ty Tashiro, psychologist and author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, says that many of these typically entrepreneurial characteristics could be encapsulated by one term: novelty-seeking.

Entrepreneurs tend to be on the hunt for the new, the fascinating, and the different. And this is perfect for a nascent romantic relationship.

"They're fantastic because they're interesting, fun, spontaneous, and there's rarely a dull moment," Tashiro explained to me in a recent interview. "They're likely to be curious about you and the relationship, and give you an intense focus. That can feel really good at the start of a relationship."

Why they're less fond of commitment

Unsurprisingly, though, those same traits can become problematic once you get past the first few dates or the honeymoon stage. Individuals who thrive on novelty-seeking tend to be uncomfortable with commitment. To them, it may feel more like containment than safety.

As a result, entrepreneurs can get restless in a long-term relationship. The security and stability that marriage cultivates are in direct conflict with their desire to find the next big thing.

According to Tashiro, "The impulsiveness that comes along with novelty-seeking can be a problem. Such people are more at risk for addiction and infidelity, and at higher risk of divorce." He estimates the risk in each of these categories to be about 8-10 percent higher for novelty-seekers than the general population.

What you and your partner can do about it

While these numbers are significant enough to warrant attention, it's important to remember that they don't doom any one relationship. If you're an entrepreneur or you're committed to one, and you want your relationship to succeed in the long run, Tashiro provides some recommendations that can help offset the challenges that a novelty-seeking partner brings to the relationship:

1. Be self-aware.

Understand who you are through reading books or life experience or from the wisdom of those around you. Know your own tendencies, temptations, and foibles.

2. Be realistic about the potential challenges in your relationship.

Early in the relationship, we all prefer to focus on what we like in our significant others. But it's important to be honest with one another about your strengths and weaknesses, and how that might impact your relationship. If you're not yet married, you may want to consider a premarital program that helps you talk through difficult topics and effective coping strategies when faced with hardship.

3. Look for role model couples and learn from them.

Find one or more couples that have a similar relational dynamic and have been able to stick together. Ask them how they've learned to tolerate one another's quirks and what adjustments or compromises they have had to make along the way to stay in their relationship.

4. Recognize that novelty-seeking is helpful only in particular contexts.

The desire to seek the new and interesting can work against the entrepreneur who wants to build a longstanding business as much as the entrepreneur who wants to have a long-term relationship. Buckling down and sticking with the same thing--whether it be mastering a tedious skill like accounting or romancing the same person day in and day out--can have its great rewards too. Sometimes committing to one project or one person is the best thing you can do.

Published on: May 9, 2017