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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To The 20-Year-Old Girl Dating A 45-Year-Old Man, From The Child Of An Age Gap Relationship

Please know what your getting into.
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Recently, I've seen a few stories on the Odyssey discussing age gap in relationships.

They all seem to be written by girls who are dating men who are 20 years or more their senior. The articles talk about how love is love, the heart wants what it wants and that no one will change their mind about their relationship. I respect everyone's right to their opinion and their happiness. If you really think it works for you, then go for it. However, you should know what you are getting into completely before fully committing to this.

I am a child of parents with a large age gap. My dad is 23 years older than my mom. They got married when he was 50 and she was 26. My dad was 65 by the time I was born. I love my parents but here's why I think we should be wary of large age gap relationships

Disclaimer: my parents both know and understand my feelings on this. They know I wrote this article and that they are mentioned. I wouldn't trade or change them or their relationship. My parents have provided me with a wonderful life full of love, family, and happiness. Because of them, I've been given financial stability, a safe environment, an education and a huge, loving family. Things have worked out for our family, especially given the circumstances. However, that doesn't mean I would recommend a large age gap relationship. It may seem like nothing now, but the years between you and your significant other will catch up to you.

My dad is now 86 and struggling. He has trouble taking care of himself.

He needs help with almost everything. He can't be left alone for more than an hour or two. He has nurses come three times a week to help with his care. He needs someone present when my mom leaves the house to work part-time. His memory is fading, his health is declining and it seems that he slips out of lucidity more often these days.

My mom is now a full-time caregiver more than a wife.

She does an amazing job making sure my dad is content and taken care of. However, it is draining. She is still young enough to want to go out and do things. She wants to go on vacations and hang out friends. But most of the time, she is at home watching my dad. She is following her wedding vows to a tee but that doesn't mean it is easy. She struggles with guilt sometimes over the entire situation.

Then there is me. Because of my parents' age gap, I have been put in a difficult place.

I've had to watch my dad slip away physically and mentally for a good portion of my life. I try to help out but it is not always an easy thing to do. I will go watch TV with him so my mom can get out for an hour. Unfortunately, I usually end up calling her home because something arises that I can't handle alone. I have gone over to their house many times to help pick my dad up because he fell and refuses to let someone call the EMTs. I have changed college and life plans in order to stay close to home. I have known since I was little that my dad most likely won't be there for my wedding. He won't meet my children. I have struggled with my relationship with him due to the immense age gap. It is all I have ever known but it is something that still greatly affects me. I love my dad with everything I have, but that doesn't make the situation easier.

So my warning to you is this; be prepared for what is down the road.

Know that your age difference of 18 and 40 doesn't seem like anything now but it will at 60 and 82. It will be difficult for everyone involved. As a wife, you will slowly watch the man you loved slip away. Your kids will have to deal with struggles that no one else will understand. It is a lonely and painful situation. Before you make any drastic decisions, please understand what is coming.

If you decide that is what's right for you, then, by all means, go for it! but just understand the consequences of your choices.

Cover Image Credit: PX Here

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When People Leave

Otherwise known as: the end of all good things.
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There she goes. Her car pulls out of the driveway, he picks up the last box and walks out the door, they leave you with a chaste kiss on the cheeks and, whoever it may be, is completely, unequivocally, gone.

“I’ll call you every day, you won’t even notice I’m gone!” These words were like a heavy sedative to your panic. Every day? Every day. Good. As long as I know you’re still somewhere, it’ll be fine! Everything’s fine, goodbye and now a proper congratulations because I mean it. As long as you call me, I know you’re not gone.

Then the smile leaves your view, all you see is a head of hair getting farther and farther away till it’s not there anymore. Not right next to you, it hurts when you’re wrong. A phone call—even a regular every day one—is not going to cut it; you know it’s not going to cut it, how could you be so stupid?

Not that you couldn’t stop them from leaving anyway, but come on, you could have tried begging. That might have worked. Just one more day, maybe a week? A month? A couple of years? Never leave, I don’t think I could take the sight of seeing you go. But you just did, and who would have known you’d be right! You can’t take it! Not at all. It hurts being right, too.

Alright, enough with the poetry stuff, it’s really not my thing if you haven’t noticed.

Very edgy. Not into it.

From you reading the title and getting this far I’m guessing you’re in a pretty intense level of angst. Seeing that title and being like "yeah, that relates to me"? Heavy stuff, man. I’m sorry for your loss. I think I almost understand? I mean, I really did when I started writing this but then I started feeling better, unfortunately for you.

So, I’m now here to tell you to chin the heck up. Seriously. There are more people in your life besides this one yahoo, and they all care for you so much and cannot stand seeing you this upset. You’ve indulged in your sadness and they are suffering for it; they’re worried for you. Do you really want to put them through the same emotional turmoil that you’ve had to suffer? Of course not, so put on a front, for their sake, at the very least.

Also, if you’re going to keep going like this, finishing off your cycle of grief, you should know first that it’s a long cycle. I’m just saying, if you thought you’d be sad for a little and then be happy immediately after, then you are certainly misinformed. Grieve, sure, but push yourself. Push yourself to get better, to heal. It’s true that time heals most wounds, but you also need to do your part, too. It’ll be okay, as long as you try to make it that way; then it will eventually be okay.

Also, pro-tip here: write bad poetry. Very therapeutic.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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