Does Super Fitness Help You Get A Date?
14 February 2018
The short answer is absolutely not.
It’s Valentine’s Day and this year I will be spending the evening with my lovely boyfriend of nine months. However, the last four Valentine’s nights I have been home alone with a face like a wet weekend, wondering if Cupid’s arrow would ever strike.
‘With your body you must have gorgeous men falling all over you,’ my clients used to say.
Unfortunately, whoever these mysterious men were, they weren’t finding their way to my door.
To rewind slightly, I split with my partner of nine years in 2014 and found myself single at 34. In the nine years I’d been away, the dating scene had changed – a lot. Not only was everything now taking place in cyber space, but the key players had changed too.
Once my focus was happy-go-lucky 20-somethings who fell in and out of relationships with the same ease that they changed their underpants. Now I was forced to interact with slightly damaged 30-somethings who wouldn’t waste a moment on a girl who didn’t tick every box on a lengthy checklist. Because at 30-something time was running out and the options were endless. Tinder had been invented.
And the fitness thing wasn’t helping.
My gym obsession seemed to bring out a host of insecurities in potential beaus. Just seeing my photos could be an unwelcome reminder that their fitness regime had become a little lacklustre. Particularly if they’d done nothing more strenuous in the last six months than open a can of beer.
Yes, it’s my job to motivate people to train, but I’ve never been prescriptive about how much or little my partner exercises. However, some guys were quick to decide a personal trainer would inevitably want an Adonis.
‘I’m not fit – like a rugby player or footballer type of person,’ one diffident bloke said. He’d clearly already counted himself out of the equation.
Another sent me a photo of himself post shower (luckily he was wearing a towel) to prevent any disappointment should we get to the crucial moment. Call me old-fashioned, but I think he should have left his wrapping on – at least until a first date – hehe.
I had no more luck with dedicated gym rats. Frequently I ignited their competitive streak.
‘What can you lift then?’ asked one meathead, virtually squaring up to me via text. ‘I suppose you might be quite strong … for a woman.’
He’d summed up the impression I got from many fitness buffs. They didn’t want to be outdone by a lady. After all, biologically and historically men are the stronger sex. The fact that I was a powerlifter was confusing, inflammatory and, ultimately, a turn off.
Of course being fitter and feeling better about yourself will help you find a mate. However, if fitness dominates your life as it does mine (and happily so), then things become more complicated. Having shared interests is important to a successful relationship, or at least an understanding of the other person’s priorities. And the idea that being super fit gives you a free pass to date whoever you want is, unfortunately, a fantasy.
So, next time you happen upon a ripped Mr Hercules or Miss Amazon at the gym or juice bar, don’t assume they have their pick of totty. In fact, their buff bod and voracious gym habit may be working against them in the romance stakes. The path to true love is always rocky. A six pack doesn’t get you there faster.