I know what you're thinking, “Date an athlete? I'll pass.” Aside from the presumptions that society holds on women who date athletes, claiming that they are chasing fulfillment in the form of money, cars and clothes, I beg to present a case for the contrary.
In fact, it doesn't matter what stage of an athlete, the brevity of the fling, or even the sport; just date one -- if only once, and pay attention! Apply all that you've learned to the rest of your daily and dating life.
Of course, this article will be null and void if you're going after the guy for all the wrong reasons and fail to absorb the vitality of all that this man encompasses.
Dating an athlete is not all glamor and limelight. Chances are if you're the girlfriend of an athlete, you'll be rolling over groaning as your boyfriend's alarm goes off at 6:00am for practice.
You'll roll over, thrust the pillow over your head and curse under your breath for having woken up to his earsplitting motions as he wrestles for his practice clothes and slams bathrooms drawers for toothpaste.
As agonizing as it is, you respect the fact that your man wakes early every morning to face a coach ready to berate the team for last night's loss. After all, you spent the entire day before coaching him through plays, stretching him and applying Icy Hot.
Thus, dating an athlete teaches you discipline in its simplest form. It differs from a traditional career in the sense that athletes have to combine a mental and physical state of perfection to flourish.
Athletes' days off are often spent at their field of choice, putting in extra work, perfecting their crafts. And dates during season? They occur seldom to none. Athletes are often too tired to spend a night out on the town, with the exception of a close friend's birthday.
Because so much of your time is spent apart due to the nature of travel during athletic seasons, dating an athlete provides a sense of independence.
There are no banalities involved in it. Your man is not going to go to a job at 9am and be home at 5pm. You learn to appreciate him when he is home, and to find hobbies to occupy yourself when he isn't. If you're an extrovert, this often frees up time to spend with your friends or family, or perhaps socialize at the gym.
Moreover, if you're a person who requires alone time, you'll receive just that; time to focus on yourself, while still maintaining a connection with your partner.
This element will depend on the intensity of your relationship. If you're merely casually dating; you won't truly exhibit a sacrificial element beyond recognizing what your man gives up to be the best, which is a fascinating concept in itself.
However, if you're co-parenting, engaged, or married to an athlete, your sacrificial seed is sown at a much higher cost. You may have noticed that most wives of professional athletes don't have traditional careers, but why? Is it simply laziness, complacence, or a sense of obligation perhaps?
I am going to make a bold statement here and say that not having a traditional career is almost essential for the partnership to prosper.
That is at least until the athlete retires. Due to inconsistency in an athlete's schedule, trades to other teams, away games, multiple practices, etc, it is hard to maintain a full time career, because you may have to uproot with little or no notification.
Thus, many women who marry athletes struggle to find their own path of earning money. While some seek to defy the norm, by starting their own businesses or pursuing higher education, others are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and are perfectly content with being household facilitators.
Even still, sacrifice is no foreign entity when dating an athlete.
Dating an athlete will present you with astonishment at times. You'll wonder how they continue to play with a sprained ankle or a broken toe, while you tend to quit after a broken nail.
It's an amazing feat. No matter how many times they sustain minor injuries, concussions, or even losses, they suit up the next day as though as it were the first. Watching the determination in their eyes is enough to motivate you in every aspect.
You won't care that they woke you up at 6:00 am that day, or that they preferred to order in rather than going to Benihana for your one-year anniversary.
You'll cherish all of his hard work, and when he finally becomes a champion, you'll share in the excitement, and take pride in the small role that you had helping him attain such an accomplishment. Dating him, will inspire you to live your best life.
Pay attention ladies. I can't emphasize this enough and that's exactly what you'll have to do when an athlete is courting you.
I've seen so many women fall by the wayside because they neglect this one fact. Like any other man, athletes will portray signs that reveal whether you're an actual contender for a permanent spot in their life.
There's just one slight difference: these men play games for a living! They are cunning, charming, and calculative. Between the other women who constantly corner them and their insatiable desires, the only way to keep your man focused and yourself sane, is to pay attention.
It can be as trivial as a team function that seems out of the ordinary, an Expedia account that he failed to log out of, or a text message that you mistakenly intercept, that stuns you with the realization that you're being played.
Only one thing is certain: your cognitive awareness will outlive your naïveté.
In conclusion, dating an athlete will at the very least, increase your awareness. Life is all about the experiences that present themselves, and more importantly, our reactions to such.
If you want to prosper in the dating world, or in life in general, it is imperative that you learn from previous relationships. Consummate to that journey, are all of the qualities listed above.
If you don't yet possess them yourself, seek them in other people, and who better than in a spouse? Take a chance, read the playbook, and date an athlete.
Top Photo Credit: Football Player via Shutterstock