Dating someone who works out at your gym could relate back to the old saying that goes, “Don’t foul your own nest.” This saying essentially means, don’t do something that could have negative repercussions on your homestead. If you’re a regular gym-goer, then there’s no denying that there’s usually a natural attraction to others who share your workout passion. At the end of the day, the other person understands how you think, eat, and invest time into you wellness, so it makes things slightly easier in the long run.
Dating a fellow gym rat is great, but if you do so at your home gym, tread lightly. In some cases, these situations can lead to fairy tale endings, but not always. For those who choose to walk the fine line of dating someone at the same gym, then below are four tips to help you navigate a possibly sticky situation.
[Question: Is it shallow to only want to date someone who also works out.]
1. Disclose All of the Details
If you’re going to date someone at your gym who most likely has a lot of the same connections, then you need to disclose details at the start. For example, discuss what could happen, and how no one wants to impact their ability to attend the gym. Disclose what you’re looking for, or what you want out of the situation, and make sure everyone involved is on the same page.
The last thing you need is to hit the gym and have the other person have anger or hostility towards you. This could not only get awkward, but impact your performance, which is why you’re at the gym in the first place.
Kenny Santucci Strength Coach at CrossFit Solace states, “If you’re going to take the plunge keep it on the down low as long as possible.” This could be a useful point for ensuring the two of you are serious, so you don’t jeopardize mutual friendships you share.
2. Beware of Coaching Each Other
There are two possible scenarios that can accompany this point. First, one of the members involved in the relationship knows much more than the other, so there’s a natural tendency to coach. This is great and can be very effective, but only if the person who knows less can separate themselves from the relationship in the gym setting and be coachable. Otherwise, they may interpret the coaching as a subtle jab.
Second, both members involved are on the same playing field, as in they both know the same amount about working out. This could be expert, beginner, or the in-between, it doesn’t matter. Nick DiMarco Head Coach and Owner of Four Horsemen Strength and Conditioning warns,
“Don’t coach one another! Often times, it starts off harmless, but soon it turns personal like, ‘You’re just saying my squat is high because I forgot to put the dishes away!’ It also makes it awkward for the ACTUAL coach, as they probably don’t want to get in between a lover’s quarrel or doesn’t want to step on either person’s toes.”
Outside of coaching one another Santucci warns, “Try to keep your eyes and hands on your significant other and only yours. Otherwise, they’ll get pissed if you are sweating and going through grueling workouts exclusively with someone else.”
3. Create an Action Plan
This point can come as a little cold and extends from our first tip, but it’s essential to the success of all parties involved. Basically, what’s going to happen if things go south? This is the action plan you make based off all of the disclosed details. Do you attend the gym at the same time? If that’s the case, would it be hard to see the other person everyday, or when you’re working out? Come up with an idea of what you’ll do in a worst case scenario, and be sure to make this plan to accommodate your needs.
Another important point to consider in your action plan is the mutual connections. Chances are you’ll both have mutual connections at the gym. If these parties are close friends and your relationship is public knowledge, then they should be briefed on the details as well. This can help limit the “taking sides” aspect that comes with a breakup.
Ideally, your action plan should be catered to how you handle a breakup, and seeing that person often after the fact. If you know you’re someone who can’t see someone post-relationship, then it goes without saying that your plan should be focused on not doing so.
4. Don’t Forget What Drew You In to Begin With
At the end of the day, you both created a connection because you both love similar things, namely working out and pushing yourselves. This is a fundamental piece to any healthy relationship, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you and your gym crush end up hitting it off, then use the gym to your advantage. Brittany Smith Strength Coach and Co-Owner of Four Horsemen Strength and Conditioning says,
“Keep having fun. You probably connected because you both were enjoying the process of reaching goals separately – keep enjoying and supporting that process together. Challenge each other, push each other, try to beat one another in workouts, have fun, but most importantly support one another.”
DiMarco and Smith both coach and co-own the same gym, so they’ve been in the shoes of having a gym-esque relationship, along with owning one together.
Dating someone who works out at your gym could be the best and worst thing to happen. You both share similar passions, which creates an awesome dynamic in any relationship, but it’s also a risky situation. What’s most important in this scenario is that both parties are honest and straight up with each other at the beginning. The last thing anyone wants is to not feel comfortable at a place that facilitates their passion.
A gym romance is entirely possible, and can be a great thing, but tread lightly and have a plan if things take a turn for the worst.
Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.
Feature image from @britt.a.smith Instagram page.