Let me tell you something–actually, two things: first of all, I am not one to explicitly discuss my love life, but I do share experiences that feature people I’d be seeing or in a more committed relationship with. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of the guys I’ve been with. Secondly, I can be wrong about many, many different aspects of life. Specifically, I’m targeting the views I held about the male species–I mean, gender–and health and fitness. Truth be told, I was a single pringle and thought that relationships and dating were completely overrated, but the reality of the situation was that I was entirely clueless about that whole scene since, well, I never even had a boyfriend. Note to self, Cassie: experience can make a world of a difference.
Now that I have encountered some experiences with guys, I genuinely believe that my understanding of how health and fitness come into play with relationships is a lot more credible. Some of the men I’ve seen were serious, others were not. A handful wanted a meaningful connection and a few others just wanted to fool around. For every single date and every single man I’ve dated, I’ve experienced their presence, riding in their car, eating a meal with them (while taking out my wallet and hearing them say, “No, let me pay” [except for two guys]), and sitting closely next to them. All of their energies as well as mine differed from each other. Embraces were shared, even some kisses. It’s truly remarkable when you distinguish how much some guys feel like home and how others make you feel deathly uncomfortable.
Personally, I believe that I’m much less cynical now. Previously in high school, I could not possibly roll my eyes farther towards the back of my head when I thought about dating in high school, even dating in general. The selection of male students in my particular school weren’t anybody I felt super compatible with, or if I did find them good looking, they were either taken or uninterested. Whether it be the latter or the former, I couldn’t care less because I simply took the time to focus on myself and bask in my passions for health and fitness. Eventually, once I embarked on actual dates and stepped into new relationships (ranging from nearly a year to less than a day), the feeling of affection, respect, yearning, devastation, and love were finally understood. There were even sprinkles of butterflies, obsession, fear, and insecurity. I finally could recognize why women spend weeks crying over men, why loneliness is the worst state of being, and why heartbroken girls crave chocolate even more when anything goes awry. I wanted to apologize to all of them for being ridiculously judgmental and dismissive of their grief since I endured it all myself and hated every second of each emotion (though I learned that running is an amazing way to exhaust the sadness).
Total disclaimer: I’m not saying that I am a perfect date nor a girlfriend. Maybe I could have been more genuine or more compromising–alternatively, more assertive because I did not always articulate my standards and boundaries. But whatever it may be, both I and the men I’ve seen have qualities to work on. Regardless, all of them have their beauty and their dark sides, plus we all learned a great deal after spending time together.
Now, you may be wondering: what on Earth is the connection between fitness and relationship statuses? Well, there is quite a lot. How you treat yourself physically is how you allow yourself to be treated by someone else. The strength and persistence you exude in the gym and/or the kitchen enables you to stand up for yourself, express honesty, and experience a special type of joy with another person. This isn’t to say that everyone meal preps and dead lifts two to three times a week–admittedly, a lot of them love happy hour and a good bowl of pasta. Many people find themselves in a very dark spot with their bodies and routines after a breakup or even in a new relationship. Sometimes the pressure to impress someone becomes so severe that the meticulousness of control with health and fitness intensifies, but alternatively, people can completely hop off the wagon and sail to laziness. Once the relationship doesn’t work out, both extremes are possible–gaining a bunch of weight or losing far too much too quickly.
In my honest experience, there was a very faint correlation between my relationship status and my routine of health and wellness. However, initially, once the latter increased in intensity, the former basically fell to obscurity. When my routine found its stability, my relationship status completely changed as well. Yet again, the dating scene is one heck of a roller coaster and brings ups and downs wherever and whenever. It was pretty tough realizing that some of the men I went on dates with were looking for nothing more than a one-night stand or just did not see eye-to-eye Being ghosted absolutely sucks. So does being abandoned. Not pursuing certain people didn’t so much until I felt lonely. I lost so much faith when I experienced hardship in my love life, but if there was one part of my spectrum that I never abandoned along the way, it was my relationship with my health.
How did I not ever feel tempted to avoid the kitchen and camp in the gym? Alternatively, how did I not abandon working out and eat my feelings every single night? Truth of the subject is that my relationship with my health has always been grounded for years and years since high school. I’ve learned that prioritizing my own well-being and how I want to exude my body and my confidence will manifest the right people. Yeah yeah, you can say that it didn’t work out for me in the past. However, similarly to trial and errors with types of exercises and diets, not every relationship lasts for eternity. I allow myself to cry it out like how most people need a rest day or two, but I also continue my routine as a habit. Guaranteed, others will see how you carry yourself and react accordingly.
Fitness is a beautiful mechanism for a couple to grow both separately and collectively. Pain is exhausted, muscles are torn, sweat, blood, and tears are shed. Nevertheless, each partner steps out of the workout stronger than ever. This isn’t to say that fitness isn’t beneficial for someone who is newly single, either. Working out regularly post-breakup can make a world of a difference on your confidence and coping mechanisms. Instead of reaching for the alcohol, reach for a dumbbell. One will make you feel like a million bucks and the other will make you feel like death. Not to mention, if the other partner doesn’t end up reciprocating your passion for fitness, then it’s either a pursuit to lead by example or a conversation to be initiated.
Lastly, I just want to return back to how I iterated the fact that I am imperfect and was also imperfect in my past relationships with these people. But inquiring where I went wrong was one of the worst reactions I committed when pondering on these experiences for days, weeks, months. It’s never productive to assume that it was your fault unless it deliberately was (say, if you cheated on or took advantage of them). There’s a fine line between taking responsibility of your actions versus assuming all of the blame. You are always more than enough no matter how frustrating a fitness routine can be, just as how you stand in a relationship. At the end of the day, the fact that someone or something screwed up signifies that the connection was not meant to grow; it’s exactly how working out operates: practice with complete focus and commitment.
You may not necessarily believe this statement, but you ultimately have to love yourself first. How you value yourself is how you value others. When first entering a relationship, the butterfly stage works in its utmost glory. You’re infatuated and obsessed until the ship voyages through different currents where the ride either becomes bumpier or stabler. There are far too many routes that a couple can journey towards (i.e. letting themselves go, changing in different directions, or allowing their relationship status define their entire identities), but in the end, whether the union persists or not, the learning experiences ultimately serve their purposes and the journey doesn’t have to end there. Like everyone else, you and I will and already have met people we click with–at least at one point–and will continue to learn the value of loving ourselves so that we can synchronize that same energy towards the right person.
Thank you so much for reading! This was a very vulnerable and somewhat emotionally reflective post, so I truly appreciate it. ❤