I've worked at a startup for almost two and a half years now, and it's fair to say that it's by far the most serious relationship in my life. Whoever came up with the phrase "married to the job" must have worked at a startup, because there are few correlations greater than working at a New York tech startup and having a long-term serious partner. Here's why:
1. The longer you've been together, the more time you spend with them: When you first start out you try to take things slow, but after a few months you really can't get enough of each other.
2. They've seen you at your best and at your worst: My life consists of two different types of days: client meeting days and pony tail days. It's fair to equate this variance to what I look like on date night vs. what I look like when I first wake up in the morning.
3. They're your second home: You keep personal hygiene products there, you get things shipped there, you walk around with your shoes off, maybe take a nap...
4. You tend to lose your sense of self: After a while you start to see your friends and your family a bit less, but your life is still somehow equally as fulfilled.
5. You become unnecessarily obsessed with your phone: "Why hasn't the client emailed me back" is the new "Why hasn't he responded to my text?"
6. You need to work hard in order to succeed: Woody Allen famously said in Annie Hall, "A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark." Working at a startup is the same: hustle or go home.
7. They force you to try new things: Every ex-boyfriend I've ever had has tried to convince me to eat sushi. In a similar, and less disgusting vein, startups always force you to do things you would have never otherwise tried.
8. You have no shame: You spend so much time with these people, that you can pretty much say anything in front of them. You're comfortable... probably too comfortable.
9. They've made you cry at least once: Don't be ashamed. We're talking about the largest emotional commitment in your life. Just make sure to situate your desk close to the nearest stairwell.
10. If you're successful, the stress is all worth it: Building a company that is truly awesome is just as exciting as finding someone who makes you truly happy.
Devon Zdatny is a social media specialist and director of Partnerships for Mashwork. Visit her website devonzdatny.com, where this post first appeared.