With the pandemic, I’ve had to move my workouts from the gym to the great outdoors (unless it’s raining), so I’ve been doing a lot of running. With each run and every exertion, my brain has a sort of revelation where I come up with great ideas, or so I’d like to think (lol)….. Like comparing the way we exercise, specifically running, to the way we move through our relationships.
Hear me out: When we run, do we choose the sprint intervals, or do we choose the long distant run?
When we sprint it’s an all out blitz attack on our muscular, circulatory, and respiratory systems. The 30-45 seconds of all out power and push feels exhilarating and strong but at the end of it we are gassed out and 100 per cent done. With heavy breathing and maybe a cramp, we keel over to catch our breath; it hurts, but we push through.
When we jog we find a steady pace, and keep it going for the duration of the run. Maybe it’s for a straight 10 minutes, or 45 minutes, or maybe it’s a marathon. Sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end. But we persist, we find our rhythm, our motivation and take it one step at a time.The celebration comes moments before we hit that finish line. We are proud of our accomplishment and can bask in the hard work we did. Ah, sweating for something makes it worth it, eh? *ahem*
We can thank our body for all the hard work it did, breathe and walk it off to recover, and maybe sometimes throw our hands up in the air from the relief and joy we feel at the same goddamn time.
So, how does running relate to dating?
The online dating scene is very much like a sprint. We tend to move too quickly, going from zero to 10 doing intervals in our love lives. We try to build a foundation, trust, and a relationship with someone we barely know and the thing is, we need it like, yesterday! We are not patient. We want the relationship, the label, the security, the trust, the romance, the sex, the wooing. And what usually happens? We gas out within weeks trying to get those things at the same time. We pushed ourselves too hard in the beginning. In this instance, we take an all out emotional and physical attack on our mental, and emotional well-being. We bend our boundaries, we don’t listen to our bodies, we ignore red flags and push ourselves through the discomfort….but dating shouldn’t be uncomfortable, right?
Why do we do this? Because it’s exciting and we get caught up in the momentum of thinking we met Mr. Right. We get that high from the attention.
And then the coulda-been-relationship burns out and we need time to catch our breath, sometimes keeling over with the thought of “what the fuck was that?”
We breath, reflect, and recover only to do it all over again and repeat the pattern.
When we jog we warm up at a steady pace taking it one step at a time, with full awareness of not over-exerting ourselves. We give space, consistent action, and work up our endurance to be able to go for longer periods of time. This allows us the opportunity to tune-in and navigate how our bodies actually feel and slow down if we need to. It gives us time to reflect and make change. It allows us to take authentic action that works best for us.
So does the long-distance run approach to dating mean we might actually give the relationship a shot in hell to grow organically? With this type of run we’re not looking for a quick high anymore, we aren’t burning out. We’re moving at a pace that works for us, making adjustments along the way, doing what’s best for our bodies. This time our eye is on the finish line in the distance.
So moral of the story? It’s the classic Turtle and The Hare. Slow and steady wins the race, depending on which kind of race you want to run. I mean I am still single, so this is all speculation really. Whichever you choose to run, remember: keep your head up, shoulders back. Be confident.