Dating as a driven person

One of the readers suggested that I could write about dating as a driven person.

I thought it would be a great topic to cover.

After all, many of my readers are driven. Otherwise, they will not care about personal growth.

Dating the wrong person can lead to resentment; not seeing the other person as an equal and also make you feel as though your goals are not taken seriously.

Here are some learnings I’ve had.

Reasonable minds often differ, so please feel free to share your views.

1. Proactively share how you operate

High performers have a high level of structure to their lives.

Hence, when dating someone, it is good to be upfront about how you operate.

When you fail to do so, it can cause misunderstandings. In the early stages, this also gives others an opportunity to opt out if it does not work for them.

I always communicate that when I am with someone physically, I will not use my phone at all. I will be 100% present, listening actively and asking questions.

At the same time…

  • I cannot text to chat throughout the day during work hours. I can reply more on lighter days.

  • I do not want to talk on phone because I am presenting for the whole day. I prefer to meet in person to talk instead.

  • I have a low tolerance towards people coming late or changing plans often.

It is also important to block out time for your significant other i.e. align on x number of dates per week. A relationship is a commitment after all.

What i have learned from many of my driven peers is that no matter how busy you are, there is no such thing as no time in this world.

2. Date someone with high integrity and also emotional intelligence 

Vibes and chemistry are important - but not something I would give the highest weightage to.

If you really care about your goals, you’d avoid partners who with low emotional intelligence and who are unreliable.

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you.

If your partner does not take ownership and expect you to regulate their emotions, thing is going to bring a lot of ups and downs in your life. It can set you back significantly from your goals.

Another important trait is reliability.

This is easy to assess: Do they show up on time? do they do what they say they will do? Do they flip flop with their words and intentions?

An unreliable person can create a lot of emotional burden in your life. Charlie Munger says we have to get rid of people who are unreliable in our lives and do it fast.

3.Finding like minded people

Driven people are often lonely. This is because the exposure we get; mindset; lifestyle and life experiences generally can differ from the mass population.

In the wrong room, this can ‘intimidate’ people.

For example, waking up early to exercise, sleeping well, focusing on whole food, attending courses to learn new things and conversations about current affairs and growth… are all seen as intimidating in some groups.

Regular people would ask “How come you live until so stress?” and ask you to “take it easy”.

In the right room, it is seen as normal and in a positive light.

Make sure you put yourself in the right room. This applies to not just dating but also friends.

4. Find people with a healthy self-esteem

If you are driven, chances are you’ve achieved some recognition. When your partner is incredibly insecure, this can create many issues.

They might feel stressed, get possessive, try to one up you constantly, put you down etc.

Hence, it is critical to find a partner who is secure with themselves

In general, I feel it is not healthy to look at people and see them as out of one’s league. This means you do not have the mindset that you can grow or the self-love to recognize you have many things to offer.

If you really have a growth mindset, you will not think anyone is out of your league because you know you can get there.

I feel like if someone is “above your league” but chooses to be with you, it is a sign that they are with you not because they do not have options… but because they really made a deliberate choice.

5.Avoid casual relationships

As a driven person, you are build for the long term future. Everything in life compounds. This includes meaningful relationships.

Please don’t waste your time with someone who just wants something casual, don’t know what they want yet and just wants to “go with the flow”.

If you have a clear direction of where you want to be, someone who does not will become a major burden.

There are some people out there like that. It is strange some times as most are neither well-groomed, successful nor have any deeper core values.

It creates a lot of sunk and opportunity costs in your time and energy, with minimal rewards. This time can be used to build, on your aging parents and to improve your fitness.

I hope this perspective is helpful. Let me know your thoughts!


I am a regular follower of Farnam Street and excited to see that he interviewed Morgan Housel, author of The Psychology of Money.

Housel has shaped my views on finances. I am glad to be born at a time where I get access to his insights in my 20s.

Sharing three highlights:

How to avoid the status game

“So I think you need to define whose love and admiration do I want in life? [I need to define] who those people are and what I have to do to earn their love and respect—the love and respect of my wife, and my kids, and my parents—and that’s what I want to use money to do in my life…once you define that personal game you’re playing, a lot of these decisions clear up."

Avoiding FOMO is the most important financial skill

“I think not having FOMO is the single most important financial skill. I think it’s so important that you cannot ever imagine accumulating significant wealth over your lifetime if you are susceptible to FOMO.

Particularly in modern markets that can get so crazy with social media … Being able to see your neighbor get much richer than you and not being impacted by it is so incredibly critical and easy to overlook these days.”

Why invest in index funds

“My investing strategy is to own index funds for as long as I possibly can, to be average for an above-average period of tim It’s always going to be the case that a very small number of stocks account for the majority of returns. It’s always the case the distribution of returns is very tail driven….

So by owning the index, you’re guaranteeing that you’re going to own the oddballs that account for the majority of the returns over time.”

I am a Singaporean tech worker and content creator. Every week, I share ideas on how we can optimise our career; finance; health and relationships.

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