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Wondering if business will cause problems in yet another relationship.


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I tested positive for covid, and so I've been shut up in my house for 8 days now. My girlfriend most likely has it too. She is still waiting on her test results. (She lives here with me.) So for the past 8 days, we haven't been able to show any affection to each other at all. I was talking to one of my friends last night and he was telling me this is such a great test for our relationship, etc. To me, it doesn't seem like that much of a test. If a relationship is that tested by two people being sick then there isn't much of a relationship, in my opinion. I know it's going to seem like I'm rambling for the next couple of paragraphs but it's all relevant in the end.

 

His comment got me thinking about something else. Just some background info... I work full time. I've been at my job for almost ten years. But I'm also a business owner. I have a fine art degree and I sell my work at fairs and festivals. I've gone several states away to work at festivals.

 

Being a vendor is a lot harder work than people think it is, and vendors have a hard time maintaining relationships. My business was one of the final coffin nails in a four-year relationship that ended in 2015. I was also in a relationship with another vendor for a time. He had a lot of relationships fail because of what he does for a living, and he thought hooking up with another vendor was the answer. That relationship ended too, surprisingly business had a lot to do with it. We had completely different attitudes about the way we run our businesses, and this caused a lot of problems. I am really easy going and relaxed with my employees, my booth doesn't have to be meticulously sketched out months in advance These were things he hated about how I ran my business and over time he started to hate me. I think there was some resentment there too, though. He was really strict with his employees, etc. And so he can't keep help. He talks down to his workers, etc. I've never had a problem keeping help because I treat my employees like equals, and I pay better than he did. He would spend hours organizing and micromanaging every single thing. I don't do that and it used to really piss him off, etc.

 

A lot of people think it's such a cool job (And it is in a lot of ways, I love it) but then once they start actually doing it they realize a lot of things. I get so many people who offer to help me because they think "Wow, this will be so cool. I get paid to go to festivals!" They don't take into consideration that we will be out there at 5AM setting the booth up, there will be drunk/stoned people being really annoying in the booth. People will try to steal stuff. Women can pretty much bet on being sexually harassed at some point, etc. I deal with it all the time and I'm not even attractive. I have attractive female employees who have had some real creepers just hanging around in the booth for hours trying to get with them. I literally had to yell at some guy and chase him away from my booth once because the organizers telling him to leave and the cops telling him to leave wasn't enough and he kept trying to get one of my employees to go somewhere and pose nude for him.

 

My girlfriend knows I do this. But since we got together during the pandemic, when pretty much all vendors are out of work, she hasn't seen me in show mode. She hasn't had to wonder if I'm safe when I'm away from her for days at a show in some big city, etc.

 

I'm doing a show in Chicago in 2021 and she is planning to come with me to that one. I told her that everything will be paid for for the trip, etc. But I also told her that if she comes with me helping out a little at the booth might be asked of her at some point. But I also made it clear that I won't treat her like an employee or expect her to act like an employee. I know people will likely jump all over me in the comments for this. But I see it this way... I was married to a musician for 8 years. I got into a lot of shows for free, VIP access, everything. I also helped carry equipment, helped with merch, etc. It was never expected of me, but it just comes with the territory. The family members/SOs of vendors who come with them usually end up helping in some way.

 

But I am worried that once she sees my business up and running in full swing, it will hurt our relationship. It has hurt my last two relationships to the point where it contributed to them ending. I know the best thing to do is cross that bridge when we get there. But is there any way I could try to prepare her for what she's in for? She won't be coming with me to every show. But there will be a lot of times where I have to go away for a few days without her, etc.

 

If you read through all that think you. I know it's a long one. This has been on my mind a lot the last few days and I just want some thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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How thoughtful of you. Just explain to her what it's like and that you appreciate her being there. You'll have to believe that this woman really cares about you and loves you. I'm sensing that there's some hesitancy there believing if it's too good to be true or if you've found someone who could possibly fill that role or understand your life and work?

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How thoughtful of you. Just explain to her what it's like and that you appreciate her being there. You'll have to believe that this woman really cares about you and loves you. I'm sensing that there's some hesitancy there believing if it's too good to be true or if you've found someone who could possibly fill that role or understand your life and work?

 

You're sensing right. Of course there is.

 

My parents made it really clear from the time I was really young that I was unwanted and that I ruined both their lives. And ass to that I was told all the time how worthless, stupid and ugly I am. I spent my whole childhood basically feeling bad for just existing. And all my relationships up to this point have been pretty dysfunctional. There was one that I would say wasn't abusive. But even though it wasn't abusive, he was really indifferent. I could give examples but I don't want this pot to go on for a really long time.

 

My girlfriend had a really similar childhood. She doesn't even speak to her dad now. Her dad disowned her. She was treated really bad by her parents too and as much as it sucks that two sets of parents treated their kids this way, it's refreshing to meet someone who actually gets it. Pretty much all my exes were spoiled rotten and coddled by their percents. Most of my exes also were looking for something better the whole time they were with me. I was always treated like miss right now. She actually pursued me. So being with someone who actually wants to be with me and isn't just with me because I'm convenient is new territory.

 

Bottom line... I've never been treated well before. It takes some getting used to. I hope I don't screw everything up.

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I would not ask her to help out. If she feels like it, cool. My husband and I are in related fields. We help each other out at times. But it started on my end because I find his work interesting and like to help in the way that I do. I also totally get -well over 90% get- what his work life is like as he does mine. It helps a lot.

 

I understand it's traditional for families and SOs to help -and I say buck tradition this time for this trip especially since it's still covid time and there will be that extra layer of stress/oddness. If she wishes to help, fine. Also it's a relatively new relationship - if you end up living together long term and own property together or get married, I can see it more then because your financial stability is intertwined.

 

Several men didn't want to date me/continue dating me because of the crazy hours I worked back then -they thought it was cool too until I had to cancel our tentative plans one too many times for work reasons. So I tried to date men in similar fields who got it. Like my husband.

 

Good luck and feel better!!

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I would not ask her to help out. If she feels like it, cool. My husband and I are in related fields. We help each other out at times. But it started on my end because I find his work interesting and like to help in the way that I do. I also totally get -well over 90% get- what his work life is like as he does mine. It helps a lot.

 

I understand it's traditional for families and SOs to help -and I say buck tradition this time for this trip especially since it's still covid time and there will be that extra layer of stress/oddness. If she wishes to help, fine. Also it's a relatively new relationship - if you end up living together long term and own property together or get married, I can see it more then because your financial stability is intertwined.

 

Several men didn't want to date me/continue dating me because of the crazy hours I worked back then -they thought it was cool too until I had to cancel our tentative plans one too many times for work reasons. So I tried to date men in similar fields who got it. Like my husband.

 

Good luck and feel better!!

 

 

The Chicago show isn't until July. Honestly with the way things are going who knows if it will even happen at all. When this whole thing started all the spring shows rescheduled for Fall. That caused a huge problem for a lot of us because then they all overlapped with existing Fall shows. Then all the Fall shows got canceled anyway and so did all the Winter shows. I currently don't have a show on the calendar until February. And anymore I pretty much see them as tentative. Who knows if the one in February or even if the Chicago show will even take place.

 

I would only ask her to help if I really needed her too. Like if we are swamped and one of my employees (or me) has to use the bathroom really bad or something I would ask her to step in and take their place for a minute. She already told me she would be comfortable with that. But if she wasn't, it wouldn't be a deal breaker. I wouldn't tell her "No you can't go unless you help." Idk, if my SO was offering to pay my way there and get me into the event for free I would be more than happy to help them out if they needed me. But I made it really clear she's not obligated to. She just might be asked at some point. Even if it's something really simple like if I need her to hold a wall up during setup. That's a big one for a lot of people. I usually have one employee who is my wall holder while setting up. The one time I tried to set the walls up without someone they all fell down and about destroyed some inventory and could have really injured me, lol.

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The Chicago show isn't until July. Honestly with the way things are going who knows if it will even happen at all. When this whole thing started all the spring shows rescheduled for Fall. That caused a huge problem for a lot of us because then they all overlapped with existing Fall shows. Then all the Fall shows got canceled anyway and so did all the Winter shows. I currently don't have a show on the calendar until February. And anymore I pretty much see them as tentative. Who knows if the one in February or even if the Chicago show will even take place.

 

I would only ask her to help if I really needed her too. Like if we are swamped and one of my employees (or me) has to use the bathroom really bad or something I would ask her to step in and take their place for a minute. She already told me she would be comfortable with that. But if she wasn't, it wouldn't be a deal breaker. I wouldn't tell her "No you can't go unless you help." Idk, if my SO was offering to pay my way there and get me into the event for free I would be more than happy to help them out if they needed me. But I made it really clear she's not obligated to. She just might be asked at some point. Even if it's something really simple like if I need her to hold a wall up during setup. That's a big one for a lot of people. I usually have one employee who is my wall holder while setting up. The one time I tried to set the walls up without someone they all fell down and about destroyed some inventory and could have really injured me, lol.

 

I defer to you. It sounds like it is important to you to feel like you can ask her to pitch in if needed.

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I defer to you. It sounds like it is important to you to feel like you can ask her to pitch in if needed.

 

Yea, it is.

 

My ex (The one who was also a vendor) flipped out if I ever asked him for help with anything.) One time I just needed his help cutting a ziptie because I wasn't tall enough to reach it. That resulted in me getting screamed at for 5 minutes in front of a whole bunch of people. It was stuff like this that made his employees and all the other vendors not like him. But he also expected my employees to help him on demand too, so there was a double standard there. She knows she will possibly be asked for help at some point. But she also knows she can say no.

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You're sensing right. Of course there is.

 

My parents made it really clear from the time I was really young that I was unwanted and that I ruined both their lives. And ass to that I was told all the time how worthless, stupid and ugly I am. I spent my whole childhood basically feeling bad for just existing. And all my relationships up to this point have been pretty dysfunctional. There was one that I would say wasn't abusive. But even though it wasn't abusive, he was really indifferent. I could give examples but I don't want this pot to go on for a really long time.

 

My girlfriend had a really similar childhood. She doesn't even speak to her dad now. Her dad disowned her. She was treated really bad by her parents too and as much as it sucks that two sets of parents treated their kids this way, it's refreshing to meet someone who actually gets it. Pretty much all my exes were spoiled rotten and coddled by their percents. Most of my exes also were looking for something better the whole time they were with me. I was always treated like miss right now. She actually pursued me. So being with someone who actually wants to be with me and isn't just with me because I'm convenient is new territory.

 

Bottom line... I've never been treated well before. It takes some getting used to. I hope I don't screw everything up.

 

Stay positive and have faith... It doesn't always have to be sunshine and rainbows but it can be as simple as letting that ray of warmth in, knowing that you have someone on your side looking out for you too.

 

I wouldn't make it too complicated. From the things you've said about her she seems like a good person and she wouldn't take advantage of you that way. Let that good come through. There's always a bit of vulnerability being with someone so special.

 

Emotional vulnerability is a requirement in every deeper or long term relationship. If you have it between the both of you and the desire to care for each other or look out for each other is there, things will fall into place.

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Sorry to hear that. How do you feel? Does your GF have symptoms?

 

Were you at any recent gatherings where you may have contracted covid?

 

Yes, she does, currently worse than mine actually. I feel like I'm getting over it. I still cough a little and my stomach still gets upset. But I had pre existing stomach problems before I got it, so... Yesterday morning she was puking and everything. I feel so bad for her. And where she works is being unfair about it too.

 

No, haven't been to any recent gatherings. But there are quite a few cases where I work and most of the people who've gotten it at work are people who work in or go in and out of the quality lab. I go in the lab pretty regularly. So I'm pretty sure I got it either from work or from her. We both got sick at the same time, so there's a possibility she might have had it first and given it to me without knowing she had it. But I could have gotten it first and given it to her also. How it happened isn't even relevant at this point.

 

I was on Vacation this last week from work and I just got a huge bonus. I had been looking forward to this week off for so long. We had some fun things planned for my time off work. Then us both getting sick made all of that impossible.

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Yea, it is.

 

My ex (The one who was also a vendor) flipped out if I ever asked him for help with anything.) One time I just needed his help cutting a ziptie because I wasn't tall enough to reach it. That resulted in me getting screamed at for 5 minutes in front of a whole bunch of people. It was stuff like this that made his employees and all the other vendors not like him. But he also expected my employees to help him on demand too, so there was a double standard there. She knows she will possibly be asked for help at some point. But she also knows she can say no.

 

Look -you will establish the expectations in advance -it's not a total vacation for her -she is invited partly to support you in the festival if and as needed. Sounds like she has agreed plus it's a long way off. No surprises. I think with your ex it was different because he was in the same or related business.

 

As much as possible I would treat this relationship as its own entity. No comparisons to the past especially with extremely individual situations -how one or even ten individuals react to your business is no indication of how she will. The only times I declined to date someone because of their business interests was where I didn't respect what they did for a living (either illegal/shady -like one rich guy who was high up in an MLM), or when I knew it wasn't a financially stable business and I wanted my partner to have the financial stability I was bringing to the "table". I personally had to admire and respect the person's chosen career/profession. But many don't care at all. So treat her as an individual. She deserves that. As do you.

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Stay positive and have faith... It doesn't always have to be sunshine and rainbows but it can be as simple as letting that ray of warmth in, knowing that you have someone on your side looking out for you too.

 

I wouldn't make it too complicated. From the things you've said about her she seems like a good person and she wouldn't take advantage of you that way. Let that good come through. There's always a bit of vulnerability being with someone so special.

 

Emotional vulnerability is a requirement in every deeper or long term relationship. If you have it between the both of you and the desire to care for each other or look out for each other is there, things will fall into place.

 

I didn't even want a relationship when we started talking. I was pretty much set on being single for the rest of my life. To me love equals pain and that's the only way it's ever been. She was so persistent. I turned her down for 6 months before even agreeing to go on a date with her. But she actually wanted to know why I was afraid to date anyone and when I asked her to back off and cool it a little she did. There were a couple times she asked me to hang out just as friends and I always wanted to, but those times were always on the weekend of a festival. And it was through my ex (the one who was also a vendor) that I met her, too. I really do think everything happens for a reason. And I think I had to deal with all his crap so he could lead me to her, honestly.

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I didn't even want a relationship when we started talking. I was pretty much set on being single for the rest of my life. To me love equals pain and that's the only way it's ever been. She was so persistent. I turned her down for 6 months before even agreeing to go on a date with her. But she actually wanted to know why I was afraid to date anyone and when I asked her to back off and cool it a little she did. There were a couple times she asked me to hang out just as friends and I always wanted to, but those times were always on the weekend of a festival. And it was through my ex (the one who was also a vendor) that I met her, too. I really do think everything happens for a reason. And I think I had to deal with all his crap so he could lead me to her, honestly.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20. But we can take the good with the bad and filter out most of the bad. I had a very negative experience not long ago. What rehabilitated me back to civilization was being around people who I trusted, every long relationships I've had with some individuals who coaxed me out of a dark place only by their presence and stillness. I felt nothing but things came back slowly. I found myself in them and they found me again. I think your girlfriend gives you hope and she's someone you can finally learn to trust.

 

It's scary but I think it's worth it. Happy for you. I'm sure the show will be amazing. Let us know how it goes.

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But I also told her that if she comes with me helping out a little at the booth might be asked of her at some point.

 

This is too vague, and it's loaded. It can mean different things to different people. It's hard enough to navigate with new traveling companions even on leisure trips, so I'd avoid the mistake of loading a brand new experience with the landmines of 'expectations'.

 

I would continually remind myself of what is MOST important to me: maintaining a good relationship with a loved one versus holding fantasy expectations of her conformity with the way I usually do things.

 

First trip out? I'd treat GF as a complete guest with zero expectations and enjoy allowing her to experience the event through new eyes. After this, you'll both be better positioned to negotiate whether GF travels with you again, or not, and if so, under what terms. I'd recognize that I'm introducing a potential booby trap into the harmony of our relationship with EACH expectation I hold.

 

So I'd clarify exactly what 'help out' means with plenty of 'For instance...' examples, and I'd ask her up front if she'd be willing to be asked these 'favors' or 'duties' or however you want to describe them.

 

Expecting a loved one to conform to my vision of what their performance 'should' be in territory that's unfamiliar to them is a setup for conflict. I'd continually question my motives for doing that--and if there's any REAL payoff that's worth doing that.

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This is too vague, and it's loaded. It can mean different things to different people. It's hard enough to navigate with new traveling companions even on leisure trips, so I'd avoid the mistake of loading a brand new experience with the landmines of 'expectations'.

 

I would continually remind myself of what is MOST important to me: maintaining a good relationship with a loved one versus holding fantasy expectations of her conformity with the way I usually do things.

 

First trip out? I'd treat GF as a complete guest with zero expectations and enjoy allowing her to experience the event through new eyes. After this, you'll both be better positioned to negotiate whether GF travels with you again, or not, and if so, under what terms. I'd recognize that I'm introducing a potential booby trap into the harmony of our relationship with EACH expectation I hold.

 

So I'd clarify exactly what 'help out' means with plenty of 'For instance...' examples, and I'd ask her up front if she'd be willing to be asked these 'favors' or 'duties' or however you want to describe them.

 

Expecting a loved one to conform to my vision of what their performance 'should' be in territory that's unfamiliar to them is a setup for conflict. I'd continually question my motives for doing that--and if there's any REAL payoff that's worth doing that.

 

 

That isn't exactly what I said. I was just trying to keep it simple for the sake of keeping this post simple. I wasn't going to sit here and write a full script of everything we said to each other in the conversation. I did give plenty of examples of what she might be asked to do if I absolutely need her help. There is no fantasy expectation for her to conform to everything, either. I don't even have that high of expectations for the people who work for me. Why would I for her?

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That isn't exactly what I said. I was just trying to keep it simple for the sake of keeping this post simple. I wasn't going to sit here and write a full script of everything we said to each other in the conversation. I did give plenty of examples of what she might be asked to do if I absolutely need her help. There is no fantasy expectation for her to conform to everything, either. I don't even have that high of expectations for the people who work for me. Why would I for her?

 

Hello Cynder,

Please view my post not as an accusation, but rather, a consideration. I believe there's value in doing that because it prompts self-clarification of your priorities. Never a 'bad' thing.

 

You are blessed with a relationship that you value. There's nothing offensive about the suggestion to clarify the value that it holds for you so as to behave accordingly.

 

Might it be a relaxing liberation to view imperfect understandings of your posts as nothing more than that, even while you accept any pearls with grace?

 

In your corner, always,

Cat

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Hello Cynder,

Please view my post not as an accusation, but rather, a consideration. I believe there's value in doing that because it prompts self-clarification of your priorities. Never a 'bad' thing.

 

You are blessed with a relationship that you value. There's nothing offensive about the suggestion to clarify the value that it holds for you so as to behave accordingly.

 

Might it be a relaxing liberation to view imperfect understandings of your posts as nothing more than that, even while you accept any pearls with grace?

 

In your corner, always,

Cat

 

I didn't see it as an accusation. To me it seemed more like you misunderstood what I said to her/expected of her.

 

She was the one that actually expressed interest in going first. So I tried to explain it to her the best way I could. Like if she's going to be there for setup/tear down she might be asked to carry something to/from the car. If we are swamped and someone really needs the bathroom, she might be asked to fill in for that person for 5 minutes while they go pee. (That is probably the least likely, because the spaces are small at this show and keeping an eye on the booth doesn't require as many people.) If she's walking around the show I might also text her and ask if she can get me a water or something. I don't have lofty expectations. But for all practical purposes this is a business trip. I would do those things for her if roles were reversed.

 

Thank you for relying. I always like reading your replies. :)

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I didn't see it as an accusation. To me it seemed more like you misunderstood what I said to her/expected of her.

 

She was the one that actually expressed interest in going first. So I tried to explain it to her the best way I could. Like if she's going to be there for setup/tear down she might be asked to carry something to/from the car. If we are swamped and someone really needs the bathroom, she might be asked to fill in for that person for 5 minutes while they go pee. (That is probably the least likely, because the spaces are small at this show and keeping an eye on the booth doesn't require as many people.) If she's walking around the show I might also text her and ask if she can get me a water or something. I don't have lofty expectations. But for all practical purposes this is a business trip. I would do those things for her if rolls were reversed.

 

Thank you for relying. I always like reading your replies. :)

 

Thanks, Cynder, I always like reading your posts, too.

 

When it comes to posting, I find it helpful to factor IN the projections of others, as those are natural and show what each of us views as primary importance from any given post.

 

Those don't need to be 'right' to offer value.

 

Whenever responses go off the rails, that's REALLY valuable information. It's tells me how a loved one might misinterpret my best intentions or communications. That kind of feedback is priceless--as long as my knee-jerk to 'correct' it doesn't overlook its value.

 

I'm glad you've worked through examples and such with GF. That's smart, just not foolproof. We never know how another will interpret our best information and intentions. That's why allowing for any wildcards in GF's behavior can save the day--or week--or future.

 

You are very forward-thinking. That's a skill if you don't psyche it into a detriment.

 

Wildcards 'show' us when a loved one doesn't interpret a given thing in the same manner that we intended. It doesn't need to be a dealbreaker--as long as we don't sabotage ourselves by confusing our priorities with being 'right' in any given moment.

 

You already have the advantage of knowing GF's treatment of you outside of this particular work experience. If the road life after several tries doesn't work out to your mutual advantage, cross that bridge once you get there. Trust that you'll have the ability to address an issue should it present itself. And if not, there's always 'us'. :)

 

EnjOy this time!

Cat

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When I bring my hubs or kids to a spot where I have to attend a tradeshow or conference, I don't ask or expect their help at all. And I pay for everything, or my vendor does. If you are that concerned about mixing business with pleasure, Don't. It is not their job.

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When I bring my hubs or kids to a spot where I have to attend a tradeshow or conference, I don't ask or expect their help at all. And I pay for everything, or my vendor does. If you are that concerned about mixing business with pleasure, Don't. It is not their job.

 

I'm not expecting anything. I've said that multiple times in this thread.

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I'm not expecting anything. I've said that multiple times in this thread.

 

That contradicts with:

 

I also told her that if she comes with me helping out a little at the booth might be asked of her at some point.

 

I think you need to let her enjoy the trip. If she offers, without you asking, great. If not, don't use this as a test with the relationship. And don't put her in the same bracket as, "The family members/SOs of vendors who come with them usually end up helping in some way." She isn't family yet.

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That contradicts with:

 

 

 

I think you need to let her enjoy the trip. If she offers, without you asking, great. If not, don't use this as a test with the relationship. And don't put her in the same bracket as, "The family members/SOs of vendors who come with them usually end up helping in some way." She isn't family yet.

 

 

Well clearly you missed the word might in the second thing you quoted. That word carries a lot of weight in this context. And you also missed that I said families and SOs. Nope, she's not family yet but she is my SO. If you want to quote me and throw things in my face that's fine. I guess you missed these other things I said, too. Just saying.

 

I would only ask her to help if I really needed her too. Like if we are swamped and one of my employees (or me) has to use the bathroom really bad or something I would ask her to step in and take their place for a minute. She already told me she would be comfortable with that. But if she wasn't, it wouldn't be a deal breaker. I wouldn't tell her "No you can't go unless you help."

 

She knows she will possibly be asked for help at some point. But she also knows she can say no.

 

That show isn't even the primary focus of this thread. And when we talked she said she had no problem with helping out if I need her to. But hey, I'm sure you'll find some way to twist all this around too. Have fun analyzing everything I say. I'm sure it will be a blast. :p

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