#FitnessRelationshipGoals. We all want them, but do we care enough for it to really matter in our relationships?
This post was inspired by convos with friends over the past few weeks. I honestly don’t have the the typical “don’t F with a man that ain’t ripped” type of thoughts when it comes to this subject. I like to think I’m way deeper than that. And less shallow. And forgiving.
Ok, real talk, I’m honestly not even sure you should even listen to a word I’m saying, but I definitely have opinions! So let me share three of the most common fitness relationship scenarios I see out there, and my thoughts on whether you should care or not.
“If you get with a man that’s on top of his fitness game, he’ll motivate you and get you just as fit as he is.”
This line of thinking was prompted by a text from one of my best friends.
She was referring to the blog I did a few weeks ago on why 10 reasons Why Teyana Taylor is fit. One of those reasons was that her boyfriend, Iman Shumpert, is an athlete and therefore, also fit.
This line of thinking has potential. A lot of men like to work out with their women, and it may even help the relationship since he can teach her a thing or two. It also plays well into the “Strong Man” thing that everyone (both men and women) love…even if they don’t want to admit it.
So, I could see a situation where a fit guy gets with a not-so-fit girl, helps her with her weight and health, and they live happily ever after. Or she starts feeling her new self so much, she decides to upgrade. Either way, sweet story.
“Let’s just wing it and see where we land with being fit.”
This describes the majority of the dating situations that I know. There’s not a real plan on how fitness is going to play out in the relationship from the beginning, and it just isn’t a priority.
Fitness is something like an impromptu hiking day that’s way more strenuous than both of you thought it would be. You enjoyed it, but you’re not in a rush to do it again. Or you go to the gym once or twice a year. Maybe you even take up a hobby like cycling or salsa dancing, with the end goal of being more active. That usually doesn’t pan out into something consistent, but you tried.
Eventually, someone gets fatter than expected. Or someone has health issues from not being in shape. Either way, fitness is suddenly a priority later in the relationship, but not something that ever defined the relationship. You both struggle with this new normal, do joint diets, try to support each other…maybe it actually materializes into a healthy lifestyle. Maybe it doesn’t.
This isn’t a bad thing, and honestly is a small problem in comparison to other things you’ve had to figure out as a couple. You will likely get through it. It would have been nice, however, if some of this stuff could have been a priority a little earlier so you don’t have to play this crazy, uncomfortable game of catch up. Plus, you have to give up Friday cheesecake, and you both really loved Friday cheesecake.
“Before we talk about anything else, I need to know how often you go to the gym.”
I have a friend that is super diligent with her workouts and is obsessed with fitness. She’s currently dabbling in the online and in-person dating world, and when she meets a guy, question number 2 or 3 is “How often do you go to the gym?” Based on his answer, there may or may not be more to the conversation.
So, in her case it’s not enough to hear that he works out, she needs details. And the receipts. Naturally, it’s lead to absolutely nothing in most cases. But in other cases, she’s landed on some guys that have great potential. One thing that’s for sure is that she won’t waste too much time on a guy that doesn’t prioritize fitness.
I made this mistake once. I dated a guy that didn’t give a crap about his health. He was overweight, didn’t ever go to the gym, and was way too comfortable being fat in my opinion. The relationship failed for a bunch of other reasons. Thank God. I think it would have taken me too long to be completely turned off by his lack of drive at the gym. But eventually, it wouldn’t have worked. (I’m like, you’re going to put ketchup, mayo, and chipotle dressing on that sandwich? And eat all the fries? Yuck.)
On the other hand, you seriously shrink the dating pool when this is your strategy. Even though I happen to be married, I know from my single-life experiences and horror stories from my single friends that the dating pool ain’t quite brimming with hope these days.
So, what’s a girl to do?
I feel like ultimately, the most ideal situation is somewhere between the second (“screw it, let’s think about it later”) and third (“Your L.A. Fitness keytag better be torn and battered.”) options.
For my hubby and I, we weren’t insistent on both of us being super fit. We just sort of slid into these roles. I run Spartan races and he runs marathons. Outside of that, we like to lift together, hike, play tennis, play golf, and do all types of active stuff. (We also like to sit on the couch and watch endless hours of ratchet reality TV. We’re all across the board over here.) I love it like this, but I can’t say it was planned. I can also say that from day one, we both gave at least a little bit of a damn about our levels of fitness.
In general, I think it’s a matter of knowing how important fitness is for both yourself and your significant other. You don’t have to be hella active on day one, but eventually, you need to get on the same page.