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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Is Dating A Runner A Blessing Or A Curse?

Dating a runner, a blessing or a curse? This is something as a runner that I have been on both sides of and from my experience, I guess I would say it depends on the person and how passionate you are about your running. 

I was a dancer in New York City. When I got married and moved with my husband to Salt Lake City, my dance career pretty much ended (I didn't have the patience to start from scratch in a new city), so I took up running as a way to try and stay in shape. Who knew what impact it would have on my life.

Running became my life saver. When I missed New York (which was always), when I felt depressed (like after the death of my mother) and when I wanted to meet new people, running became my social network. I was new to Salt Lake City and I made a lot of new friends running. Unfortunately, my husband did not share my passion, in fact he resented it greatly, especially the more I started traveling. We ended up divorcing after 5 years of marriage. Not only because of the running, but I would be lying if I said it didn't contribute a little.

One year after my divorce, I decided to get back out there. This time, I began dating a runner. He was AMAZING! He was sexy and as passionate about running as I was. He lived out of state, so we would meet up at races in other states and have the most glorious time. We had amazing physical chemistry and we would run and talk about running without either of us getting bored. He inspired me to be the best runner I could be and being in love (and hard work) made me faster. He was perfect and for 8 months, my life was perfect. That is until I found out he had a girlfriend/mistress AND a wife back home. I was destroyed.

In the height of my heartache, I tried to get back out there and I met the nicest guy in the world. He was a non-runner, so before I got myself into another relationship that was doomed from the start, I was upfront with him about my goals. I wanted to qualify for Boston and run my first 50 mile and 100 mile trail runs. Training for one of these goals would take a lot of time, but I needed something huge to feel good about myself. I wanted to not feel so broken. This man seemed to get me. He was so encouraging and supportive. I thought I had hit it big this time!

I qualified for Boston, I ran my 50 mile trail run, but his patience for following me around races and waiting for me to run two back to back long runs on the weekends wore thin and seven months after we started dating, he broke up with me the week I came home from my 100 mile run. Running was not his idea of fun and as sad as I am about this, I can't blame him for wanting more out of life. Running is my passion, not his. We are still great friends.

This past weekend, had the opportunity to stay with a group of very attractive, accomplished friends, both in their running and in their careers. One thing all five of us had in common? We were all single. The founders of the Marathon Maniacs? All single. What is it about running that keeps us from settling down? Are we narcissistic or driven? I have seen happily married couples that run and travel together, but unless you have a spouse that has their own passion, I don't see happily ever after.

What I have seen is a lot of adultery/cheating in both men and women. This is so sad and painful for all involved. One would think that it would be an easy choice, running or the relationship? It sounds (and might be) selfish, but it's not. When a spouse is not supportive (and sometimes resentful) and we have an addictive personality (which can manifest the same symptoms as if we were addicted to drugs or alcohol), it is easy to find someone that has the same interests that "gets" us inviting and attractive, but keep in mind, the running community is small, no matter what town you are in or club you belong to. Things are made 1000% less secret with social media. With people posting photos and talking about the race and who they saw, don't be surprised if people (including your significant other) find out. This is when things get really painful for all involved.

Finding that perfect person is hard enough, add an addiction (even a healthy one) that takes a lot of money and has you traveling all the time in the mix, and it makes it difficult for someone on the outside.

So is dating a runner a blessing or a curse? If they are single and have the same passion for running as you do? It's a blessing! If they are married or in a relationship (or both) or does not want to talk about running all the time, it can be curse (for everyone).

I don't have the real answer (obviously), but I would love to heat what you all think! Are you in a relationship with a runner? Has it been good or bad?

Are you a runner in a relationship with a non-runner? What has that been like? If is works, what do you or your significant other do to make it work?

Let's learn from each other! 

1 comment:

Doug said...

Wow, you've had some bad luck... My girlfriend is a triathlete, and not overly competitive. We run together but she's not into all the races like I am, nor is she interested in ever doing a marathon. We support each other and it works out great :)