Monday, July 18, 2011

THE BASICS OF DATING AN ELITE ATHLETE

 
Due to travel this week, my relationship Wednesday has been moved to Monday.   Not to worry there will be an Achtung Blog posted later this week.  I just hope you are ready for it!

WEDNESDAY'S RELATIONSHIP CORNER (on Monday instead, this week)

When it comes to dating, I’m often asked if I date only athletes.


I’ve often pondered the logistics of this question… Is the basis of this question grounded in the physical appearance – like is that code for “would you date someone who does not have an athletic body?” – or based on the assumption that athletes prefer athletes who share a common interest of high performance in sports. 

Dating an athlete, especially an elite/professional athlete, isn’t necessarily the easiest thing.  Our lives and emotions are dictated by our competition and training schedule.  When we are performing well we can be the most likeable creature in the world.  But, if we are in a slump…. Whoa!!!!  You might not want to be around us.  And leading up to a major championship we can be obsessive and have a tunnel vision, whereby the most important thing in the world is our ability to meet the challenge before us…athletically.  That means you might be riding in the back seat.

Elite athletes are complex creatures, and suitors should proceed with caution.  To help you out here are 6 things you need to know:

1.      We don’t ONLY/ALWAYS date other athletes… That could be intense.  Moreover, the world of sports is pretty small, where athletes are separated by 3 degrees instead of 6.  It can end up feeling like you are drinking from the same water you swim in.  So, usually athletes like to spread out and date outside this familiar territory.  Usually, it is the convenience of shared lifestyle which lends itself to athletes dating other athletes. 

2.      You don’t have to be an athlete… But, we like it if you are ambitious and athletic/active.  Elite athletes are highly driven individuals with usually a fixation on high goal achievements.  Observing those qualities in another person, no matter, their area of interest is a definitely appreciated.  Seeing someone driven and passionate about something is an attractor for anyone. 

3.      Be able to travel.  We’re on the road quite a bit.  In my sport, we literally live out of our suitcase for 8 months of the year.  So, unless you can master the Long Distance Relationship plan have your passport ready to join your special someone occasionally on the road. 

4.      Be Patient and Flexible.  Ironically, some athletes can be the most impatient creatures but will demand patience in their partner.  Clearly, an uneven scale.  The schedule and lifestyle for most athletes are governed by their sport and coach.  Fairly or not, we might expect others to be adaptable to our lifestyle and understanding.
 
5.      Missing practice is not an option.  Just like anyone who has a 9 to 5 job, for a professional/elite athlete our sport is our full-time job.  There aren’t any coffee breaks, holidays or playing hookie.  If it is Christmas, the holidays, Sunday or the arrival of the Easter Bunny we train.  And for most of us, our work week is 6 days.

6.      If we are in a rut and you don’t know what to say, say nothing… You can’t go wrong with this advice.  In fact, you may be the necessary reprieve needed for your special someone to reset themselves and get back on track.  

At the end of the day, often dating a non-athlete provides the necessary balance that an elite athlete requires… so long as the relationship is supportive and healthy.

Your relationship non-expert,
Nicole