If Relationships Were An Olympic Sport

If Relationships Were An Olympic Sport

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I’m pretty much obsessed with the Olympics. I love everything about it – the stories of perseverance, the hope of becoming a national champion and some kids hero, the grace of some events and the intensity of others, the camaraderie, the rivalries. I even love the fashion. The other night though as I was listening to a segment about the history of the games and how events had evolved and new games had replaced old ones, I thought it might be time for another round of modernization. My mind started spinning with potential additions: snow biking, rollerdancing and it dawned on me that if we treated relationships like an Olympic sport, we’d all be a lot better at it.

Think about it. We wouldn’t settle for anything less than a GOLD medal in our relationship. If we lost we would use the loss as inspiration to go out and play harder, not an excuse to take a break. We'd be encouraged by our fans (i.e our friends and family). We'd all have dating coaches. And we would work tirelessly to get the gold… never giving up, never accepting “good enough”.

Just consider the hypothetical winning model:

Flirting would be the warm up. You'd do it every day. You'd flirt with your local barista, your office mail clerk, the bartender, etc. You'd make flirting a healthy habit so that when its game on, you'd land every wink, every smile, every laugh, every soft touch on the arm, every charming story and so on effortlessly like a triple axle that has been practiced a million times.

Dating would be the day-to-day training. Dating is where you fine-tune your skills. Where you learn about all of your physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual wants and needs as an individual and as a member of a couple. Dating is where you get to screw it all up. It’s where you get to go BIG! It’s where you get to try anything you can dream of from dating an older guy to a younger guy to having a kinky threesome and everything in between… just like Olympic athletes try every jump, twirl and play to figure out what moves, speeds, routines and such work best for them. Dating is the trial run.

An exclusive relationship would be the qualifying event. Athletes go into lockdown before qualifiers and really concentrate on being their best. The qualifier takes extreme dedication, just like a relationship. This is where all that training is put to the test. Would you have what it takes? Would the chosen one qualify for the real game, (i. e. marriage)? On your list of must have characteristics, how would he score, even when the pressure is on? You could rank him from 1-10 with you as the Olympic judge – would he qualify to move on?

Winning the GOLD would be your ‘YES’ to marriage. Scoring the gold medal, like an ideal life co-pilot is beyond special. A bright, shiny gold medal is something to be proud of, something to admire, something worth working to get and something to be cherished forever. It is also attainable by anyone willing to try.

Thanks to Lori Gottlieb’s book, Marry Him, there has been a lot of chatter about if you should settle for Mr. Good Enough. (If you have read MENu Dating, you know where I stand on being picky - Need a refresher? Read pages 168-169). Well if you are the type of girl who is happy with a bronze medal, by all means, settle. But when you wake up next to that bronze medal every morning, chances are that you’ll wonder what might have happened, what love might have come your way, if you warmed up a little more, trained a little harder… and believed enough in yourself to go for the GOLD.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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An Open Letter To The Man I Fell In Love With

I can't wait to spend every day, of the rest of our lives, showing you how much I love you.
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Dear Man I Fell In Love With,

When I met you, you drove me crazy. I was at point in my life where I resigned myself that I wasn't going to fall in love.

I told myself, I didn't need anyone and was fine on my own. I was an independent woman. This still hold true but now I'm an independent woman who has an anchor and pillar to hold her when she needs strength and calm. You think being an anchor to someone is bad but in my eyes, you hold me still in the water even when the harshest waves try to shake me. You are there to ground me when I feel like I can float away and guide me back to reality. You are my pillar when I feel weak and tired, ready to give up. You give me strength to carry on even in my darkest days.

Honestly, I don't know how you put up with me.

When I need constant love and attention you give it to me, without complaint. When I need reassurance and for you to tell me I'm pretty, you do it, without getting mad. Even when I know I'm being annoying, you love me more, remaining steady and patient. You love my flaws and my quirkiness, telling me to never change: that you love me as I am. When we are fooling around and I have a random thought in my head, distracting me from the task at hand, you laugh and stroke my face. When I told you I valued sex and wanted to wait, you didn't hesitate with your acceptance and never pressured me.

When I met you, I thought the worst of men and had lost hope because one man had hurt me so badly that no one wanted to pick up the pieces.

But you, my love, began taking the jagged pieces of me, fitting them back together like a messed up puzzle, cherishing every piece you picked up. You told me what was done to me was wrong and that it wasn't my fault. When I told you I was broken, you pulled me close, held me, and whispered in my ear that I was beautiful. You called me an assassin, your assassin. I am your Natasha. I am fierce and hard but also soft and vulnerable. Every day you show me parts of myself I didn't even know existed. I can share my inner most secrets with you, without fear of judgment or rejection. When I met you, I didn't recognize the girl I saw in the mirror but now I see myself clearly again. I was coming to see myself on my own but you made it more special and more valuable, showing me I deserved love, to never give up hope on myself or the world. You are the first man to call me beautiful and the first man I believed because I saw it in your eyes. You truly think I am beautiful.

When I met you, I fell in love.

It wasn't love at first sight but I knew you'd play a part in my life. You made a girl, who was told she could never dance again, dance. Not just well or as good as before but better than before. You strengthen me physically but also emotionally and mentally. I can never fully express my gratitude. I can't wait to spend every day, of the rest of our lives, showing you how much I love you. My eyes were wide open when we fell in love, it won't be easy but I'm willing to fight for us, no matter what or who tries to get in our way.

I just want you to know, I'll be your assassin forever.

I'll fight any battles you need me to, standing strong and loyal at your side. I'll love you for as long as I breathe and even into death. I'll love becoming your wife and the mother of your children. I love how you make cute noises or how mad you make me when you tickle me until it hurts to breathe, from laughing so much. I love you when you grab my butt and when you put your hand on my head. I love laying on your chest in my "home". I love listening to you talk about your day because it fascinates me.I love laying with you, simply listening to you breathe. I love your kisses and your hands touching my body, in the most innocent of ways. I'll cuddle closer on cold days because you exert an inhuman amount of heat and I love being close to you.

We fit together, like puzzle pieces. We complete each other.

You make me happy every single day we are together. I love you more and more with each and every passing second. You're my "baka". The love of my life. I love you: with every fiber of my being, with all the passion in my heart, and more than all the stars in the sky. I love you, Panda.

Agapi mou, you are my everything."

Love,

Cat

Cover Image Credit: http://www.chobirdokan.com/2061/love-and-rain/

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10 Totally Weird But Totally Relatable Dating Deal-Breakers That Make Me Want To Swipe Left

They may be odd, but they make some sort of sense.

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So . . . dating. The act of one person actively trying to find a mate. It's messy and awkward, but it can also be wonderful and lead to some snazzy wedding presents in the future.

Now, I'm no expert on the subject, but I like to think that, at 22-years-old, I know what I would like in a significant other. Even better than this, though, is knowing what I don't want. Process of elimination, you know, is a much easier way to go.

In making my list of "Don'ts," I realized that some of these, while strange, are pretty applicable when you think about it. Yeah, there are the obvious ones, like "doesn't like dogs" or "doesn't support my life goals" or "is a convicted serial killer," but I'm talking about the little things that you might not immediately think of but are irksome nevertheless.

1. They fold towels the wrong way

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A'ight, so I know it's a pretty "adult" point to start with, but there is a correct way to fold a towel. I know it, and if you don't know it, either ask me and never do it another way again or leave my presence forever.

It comes down to looking at the future. How are we supposed to have a home together if we don't share towel ideals? How will we raise the children?

2. They like kale

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Look, I'm all for being healthy, but I draw the line at kale. Kale is spinach's angry cousin who wasn't hugged enough as a child, and that's tons of emotional baggage that I don't want in my vegetables.

There's also a big difference with accepting kale and actually liking it. If you're like, "Yeah, I need some antioxidants in this smoothie, and it was on sale," feel free to hit me up. If you're making full-on salads with it, I'm afraid you cannot hit me up. Ever.

3. They won't duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

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Okay, so we don't have to be Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé level of duet. That's an ultra mega level of awesomeness that just has to stand alone.

However, I like to sing, and when I say, "like," I mean that 80 percent of my day is spent singing to some type of song. If you're not belting right along with me or at least giving me a standing ovation at the end of the song, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave the show, no refunds available.

4. They have no interaction with literature

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This might be a bit more personalized on my end, but I'm an English major. I legitimately want to teach the youth of America about the wonders of literature. It's one of my passions, and I'm definitely going to be talking about it quite often.

I get that reading isn't everyone's "thing." I'm not asking you to read the Odyssey, for Pete's sake. Choose something you're interested in. A medical journal, a comic book, an article about pants, whatever. Just prove to me that you're literate, and we'll get along swimmingly.

5. They hate board games

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Have you ever met a decent, good-hearted individual who has said, "I despise board games, they are the scum of the earth, and I rue the day they were invented," and meant it?

No. Because that person doesn't exist. Board games are pure and remind us of our childhoods.

Also, if iCarly taught me anything, I would never trust anyone who would use "rue" correctly anyway.

6. They criticize my driving skillz

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I'll admit that I drive like a crazy woman late for her parole meeting, I will. I have a tendency to swerve in and out of traffic and to speed more than my fair share.

However, just because my bad driving is an established fact doesn't mean that fact is up for commentary. Clench your jaw and grip your seatbelt like the rest of my passengers. I pinky promise we'll get to our destination quickly and with lots of adventure.

7. They don't laugh at dad jokes

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Dad jokes are funny, okay? They may be the "lowest form of humor," but I'm all about a stupid joke to get the giggles rolling.

If you can't laugh at a dad joke, either because it's legitimately funny or because it's legitimately the worst joke you've ever heard, what in the world can you laugh at?

8. They binge-watch The Home Shopping Network

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I'm a fan of watching TV. Whether it be a new, binge-worthy show or a movie I've seen seven billion times, it's a great bonding experience that I'm all for sharing with a significant other.

I absolutely draw the line at the Home Shopping Network. I cannot and will not binge-watch a slew of large gemstone rings and super-mega-ultra microwaves. I would watch a string of infomercials (go Flex Seal) before I would listen to Nora and Stacy tell me that I must have this wool sweater dress in navy blue and burnt umber.

9. They wear toe socks

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Picture this: You and your potential significant other have just returned to their place after dinner and are ready to relax. They walk in and kick off their shoes to reveal brightly colored toe socks.

Now, I'm not trying to dog someone's fashion choices, as I have some interesting quirks myself. But toe socks? TOE SOCKS!? I sincerely apologize, but I'd have to turn around and quickly exit before I started laughing in their face.

10. They don't support my late-night nugs runs

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As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm a fan of McDonald's chicken nuggets. They're a supreme comfort food, and are good at any and all times of the day.

If you can't support my nugs runs, then I'm going to have to assume you don't approve of my self-care, and that's just not okay all around.

Which deal-breakers do you agree with?

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