I'm a psychologist in San Francisco, and I've worked with many couples and
small companies on improving their partnerships. I've seen couples become
cofounders, and cofounders become couples, and I've also seen companies and
couples call it quits.
Can a couple make it work as cofounders? Sure. Yes. I've seen it.
Is it advisable? It really depends.
Here are some things to think about:
-Do you have financial contingencies in place? (it sounds like you do)
-How strong is your communication with each other? Do you address problems
in a timely manner? Are there any issues or topics around which you have
difficulty being forthright? Do you tend to take things personally?
-How do you handle decision making? How do you "break a tie"? How do you
know when to give in?
-Do you have strong and readily available sources of mentorship and counsel
outside of the relationship? Do you have outside friendships and hobbies?
(you'll need them!)
-Have you spent long, intense, stressful, periods of time together? (for
example, prolonged international travel) How did you handle it? How did it
affect your romantic connection?
And, most importantly:
-How explicit and comprehensive is your partnership agreement? This is
crucial (and often difficult) for any set of cofounders, but it's
especially important for you two. How much time and effort will you expect
each other to invest? What happens if one of you is seen to be
underperforming? What if one of you chooses to leave?
These are not fun conversations to have, especially at the optimistic
outset of a venture. But before you start building a bridge, you really
should walk to the edge and look down.
I hope that's not overwhelming.
To sum up: Yes, it can work. But think it