There was a time in my life that I was close to another man than M.A. We had a great relationship and lots of fun, but then I fell in love with eco fashion. What started as a hobby grew into a community, a foundation and eventually a business. I worked 80 hours a week and did not make time anymore for my partner. When he had to go overseas, the physical detachment grew into an emotional one and we drifted apart. In the midst of the entrepreneurial heat, just before opening my own eco fashion store, I broke up with him. By that time I was married to my business and had forgotten about the romantic love I shared with this wonderful human.
Last week, attachment theory gave me a fresh perspective on what happened years ago. Attachment theory originates from psychology and is one of the most prominent frameworks used to study romantic relationships. Entrepreneurial scholars have long suggested that love plays a role in entrepreneurship and some have said that entrepreneurs put their ventures on a pedestal in a similar way as love in romantic relationships. An article I had to review last week, argued that the process of becoming attached to their venture, could actually drive entrepreneurs away from their romantic and social relationships. Looking back on those crazy days of mixing up my love for the venture with the love for my lover, I believe that most of this is very true.
For some of the entrepreneurs I have interviewed, a divorce led them ‘to finally do what they wanted’ which was creating their own eco fashion brand. But I also know that running a brand puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders which can become a great stress factor for the relationship with your spouse. Although I am grateful for what the break-up has brought me, I am cautious of mixing things up again. Because the last thing you want as a passionate entrepreneur, is to lose your emotional support back home.
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