Treat Your Relationship Like Your Gym Membership

Men's Dating

Treat Your Relationship Like Your Gym Membership

Frank Bevacqua Frank Bevacqua • 10/09/15

There are many similarities between romantic relationships and physical activity.

Below are just five of the ways we would all be better off if we treated our relationship like we would a gym membership.

1. Deciding when to begin

Maybe you haven’t worked out in a while. Maybe some holiday is coming up that sparks your desire. Wanting to get in better shape before that summer vacation?

Perhaps you consider your age and fear if you don’t get into shape now, it might never happen. Even worse, maybe someone else made a comment implying it would be good for you to hop on a treadmill.

Maybe you’ve been single for a while. Maybe a holiday is coming up and the thought of being alone is bothering you.

Perhaps you consider your age and fear if you don’t get into a relationship soon, it might never happen. Even worse, maybe someone else made a comment implying that you’re not getting any younger.

What it means:

When we pursue something that should ultimately be for ourselves because of the pressure from others, or because of arbitrary deadlines like holidays, we are much less likely to make good choices or stick with them.

While encouragement from others can be helpful at times, make sure the reason for making a big decision is coming from you.

Go at your own pace and know you are much more likely to experience happiness and success when you pursue something for the right reasons.

2. Effort = return

You may have finally purchased a membership to a health club with every piece of equipment you could have asked for and more. You’re not going to see results, however, unless you show up and put in the work.

Many people purchase a membership and are satisfied with that step.

Others still may show up to the gym to give a half-hearted workout effort and be stumped when they don’t attain their fitness goals. What you have available to you is only as valuable as the effort you put into it.

You have finally engaged in a relationship and on the surface your partner has every trait you could have asked for and more. Your relationship will not experience success, however, unless you show up and put in the work.

Many people get into a relationship and expect that alone to make them happy.

Others still may give a half-hearted effort and do not understand why neither they nor their partner feel satisfied. Your relationship is only as valuable as the effort you put into it.

What it means:

There is a tendency to take what we have available to us for granted. The harder we work for something, the more likely we are to cherish it.

Many people enter a relationship for what they think they will get out of it. Enter a relationship focused on what you will put into it and what you will get from it will be infinitely greater.

3. Dealing with injury

Many athletic and other fitness-minded individuals cannot stand the thought of taking time off from their workout regimen or sport.

They push through the pain, rationalizing that getting stronger will help heal their injury.

In fact, it is often quite the opposite. Pushing through with this kind of physical compromise will only lead to lingering or worsened pain until the injury is addressed.

Many individuals cannot stand the thought of taking time away from a relationship, particularly if they are feeling lonely.

They decide to pursue a relationship anyway, rationalizing that becoming involved with someone will fill the void they feel.

In fact, it is often quite the opposite. Becoming involved in a relationship when feeling compromised will only lead to lingering or worsened emotional pain until the issue is addressed.

“Just as an athlete needs to listen to

his body, listen to your relationship.”

What it means:

When a foundation is compromised so is everything built upon it.

Just as someone with a physical injury would be advised to rehabilitate slowly before jumping back into sport, someone who has recently been hurt emotionally, or has difficulty enjoying time they spend alone, needs to rehabilitate those concerns before seeking a relationship.

Ultimately, when we attempt to mask problems instead of solving them, our foundation cannot support future growth.

4. Be willing to engage in a long-term commitment.

When you begin a fitness program, you notice immediate results. There is excitement every day as your clothes fit differently and the scale reads different numbers.

After your workout honeymoon period, however, those results plateau. Soon you realize doing the same ol’ workout each time is only going to get you so far.

Many people lose interest at this point because they incorrectly assume this is the best they can achieve. After all, you’re working out just as hard but no longer noticing the same exciting changes.

When you first begin a relationship, you notice immediate changes.

There is excitement every day as a result of your newfound happiness. Life seems to have a purpose, your worries aren’t so troubling and the good things seem that much better.

After this honeymoon period, however, these initial effects wear off. Soon you realize you have developed a pattern within your relationship that will only take you so far.

Many people lose interest at this point because they incorrectly assume this is the best the relationship will get. After all, you’re putting in the same effort but no longer experiencing the exciting returns.

What it means:

Repeating any one pattern over and over again does only get you so far. In the world of fitness, it is important to incorporate a variety of activities that keep your body used to constant change.

Trying something new expands your capabilities. Just ask the bodybuilder who tries yoga for the first time!

In relationships, it is not uncommon for a rut to occur. Change your patterns, engage in new activities together and experience the world in new ways. You’ll quickly see how much deeper your relationship can grow.

5. Adapt

As you age, your body changes and the way you engage in physical activity typically changes accordingly.

What used to be heavy weights and other strenuous activity may change to swimming and cycling. Your activity does not need to cease, nor does your variety.

The options you seek, however, may be different than the ones you chose many years ago.

As your relationship progresses, the way you interact with one another and what you do together typically change accordingly.

What used to be bars, parties and late nights, might now be time spent with your family or on vacations. Your activity does not need to cease, nor does your variety.

The options you seek, however, may be different than the ones you chose many years ago.

What it means:

Your relationship will not be the same in 10, 20 or 50 years as it was in the beginning. Through variety, you and your partner will evolve together and become closer in ways you might not have anticipated.

The beginning of a relationship is not better than the middle. It’s different. Just as an athlete needs to listen to his or her body, listen to your relationship.

Change with it and embrace the new things that come your way. The excitement will be different, but it does not have to be less.

Photo source: spacoceansands.com