At one time superstar music producer Calvin Harris and British singer Rita Ora were a harmonious pair in love and in their professional lives. But last month Calvin used Twitter to announce they were no longer an item. The news came just as a song they had recorded together called “I Will Never Let You Down” was topping charts, and other collaborations were set to be released. According to the British newspaper The Sun, Calvin doesn't want those new songs to appear on Rita's second record. "Rita’s album has hit a bit of a road block after Calvin pulled all the songs he had worked on for the project before they split. He’d made a lot of songs for her but they’re now likely to go to other artists," an insider told the newspaper. It was said that Rita was "a little mortified" that Calvin announced they'd broken up on Twitter since she didn’t know he was going to make the news public. More than that, though, it is hard not to wonder what will happen to their joint endeavors and her career in light of their breakup.
It is not unusual for people to mix romance with business. Countless couples, married or not, work together every day. They invest their emotional well-being and their professional well-being in the same person. They think they will always be able to trust each other, and that they will have each other’s best interests in mind. But that is not always the case. So when something goes wrong with the personal side, everything can be at stake. These are relationships where the blurred boundaries can create heart-rending emotional and financial chaos. You know how people say it’s just business when something goes wrong or people make selfish choices? Well, when the love is gone from the equation it really can become just business. So how can people guard themselves against losing everything?
The most important thing you can do is put a plan in place before things head south. In other words, know exactly who will do what and who would get what if your relationship were ever to go array. Maybe you would split the business fifty fifty, no questions asked, or the one who walks away would still be committed to paying rent for a month or two as the other partner is in the process of finding a replacement. As set in stone as these parameters can be, even if that means drafting legal documents, the better off you might be. As often happens with a prenuptial agreement, people are sometimes reluctant to put it in writing because they think if you are in love you shouldn’t have to. In this case, however, when you are working with someone, it really is your livelihood.
Whether or not you can continue to work together would probably depend on the nature of your breakup. If you have outgrown each other and there is no longer a spark, but the trust and friendship can be maintained, then maybe you actually could continue on as professional partners. That would be much more difficult if there has been a betrayal. In other words, if one or both of you is faced not only with heartbreak, but also broken trust, then working together might prove to be impossible.
For some it is easier or necessary to cut professional ties at the same time the romantic ties are broken, as Calvin and Rita are doing. If they had had a plan in place there might not be so many questions around what is in store for their careers as they move forward. By setting clear directives, everyone knows who is getting what and who is doing what, should it come to that.
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