I fell really hard for a college baseball player my senior year of college. It was spring semester and he was about to start the longest season an athlete can possibly have in college with 58 games underway. I went in knowing that I would barely see him and that did not stop me from trying to win his heart (which I successfully did). But along this ongoing journey I quickly picked up on the uniqueness of my relationship and how different it is from what is considered the norm in college. Here are ten statements I recommend any significant other reading if you are dating an athlete whether it is a male or female (and friends can also relate).
1. Always understand their time is precious, and there is not always time for you but when they make time eat it up and enjoy it. (Note to Self: your schedule may change a lot but you can never get mad, there are always plenty more opportunities awaiting and 9/10 times it is out of their control).
2. If you do not understand the sport they play, learn it and learn quickly (baseball acronym dictionary helped me a lot) after the fact my soon to be boyfriend called me out on saying the MBA instead of the MLB on our second date.
3. The small things count and so does time. Be creative and make your dates worthwhile. Plan events, lunch dates and a night of staying in and just doing homework. These are the moments you both will cherish the most. You also learn a lot about each other when you are alone I have learned that my boyfriend loves (hopeless) romantic movies!
4. You are not always going to understand the effort, time and dedication it takes to be a part of a collegiate sport while balancing school, other organizations and a social life but try your best and always have a positive attitude because they need you more than you think. Vent sessions will happen and you need to be a positive impact always, even if it is about how he thinks he may get bed bugs from the Red Roof Inn, and yes this conversation did happen.
5. Always offer to help with anything such as laundry, homework, or even a massage if they say no you are still showing that you care and they will realize the little gestures. (Note to Self: If you offer a massage there will be no hesitation, shirt will be off in seconds and they will be pointing to where they are in “excruciating pain.”)
6. Become close with their team, they will become your next best friends. If he/ or she loves you they will too (+ you just made 20 new friends on campus). Also, be prepared for midnight talks with your significant other + ten more athletes sitting in the living room, and believe me you will always learn something new.)
7. When they are in season most of your time will be spent apart but that does not mean you stop giving 100% this is when you need to give 110% by staying involved such as keeping up with their away games, having interesting conversations and making them excited for the next time you both are reunited. I send my boyfriend inspirational quotes not just because I am a quote guru but everyone deserves a little motivation before a game and it shows him I care even when I cannot be in the stands yelling with all the moms lol.
8. Be respectful of “Nap Time” they will nap more than you ever thought was possible because of their crazy schedules. But if they truly care about you they will text you before, after and even when they cannot fall asleep on long bus rides back to school. (My boyfriend naps every chance he gets, but I look forward to that text every time he wakes up!)
9. They need space too. You many not realize it because your schedule does not align with theirs, and I am almost positive it is probably not as hectic, but they need that time to their-self (we all need it). But you need to respect that even if you have not seen him/ or her for a week (They will make time do not worry).
10. Be their number one fan always, they want you to support them in every way possible. They would not date you if they did not want you to show interest in what they love to do (aka their sport). You have to care about it because you are about to live it and enjoy every minute of it!