Monday, January 12, 2015

Nice Ass Not Included: 7 Ways a Gym Membership is Just Like Dating

It’s the month of January, which can only mean one thing. New Year’s resolutions are in full force. Without question the most popular and overstated goal for men and women alike is, getting that ass in shape.

With every New Year that passes we find ourselves exclaiming that this year will be it. This is the year I’ll get fit. This summer I’ll have my dream beach bod, with perfectly toned abs and a Sir-Mix-A lot approved booty. By this birthday I’ll be able to fit into my old jeans. Insert a thousand more excuses that range from nonsense to lies and everything in between and my work here is done.

The whole, “NEW YEAR NEW ME” motto goes hand in hand with not just working out, but also reaffirming old goals, making new ones, figuring out passions, exploring personal development, the list is about as bottomless as mimosas at brunch.

If you’re single, this means starting a clean slate for your dating and love life. It means letting go of old stigmas and vowing to only date the best.

When we get geared up for dating, we inevitably think of ways to improve ourselves like deciding to get a gym membership. Accordingly, gyms are a lot like dating. I’m finding out that they have way more in common than I could ever make up. 

From that cringe worthy first date to the dreaded break up talk that ends with both parties bitter and feeling taken advantage of. Cause when a heart breaks, no, it don’t break even.

The similarities are a little too close for comfort.

Check out the 7 reasons below that describe how dating and gym memberships are ultimately the same thing:

1      1. Awkward first meeting.
Every first encounter is a little awkward in a sense. For starters there’s the first impression and you only get one chance to make or break it.

At a gym, trainers are everywhere. They appear to be nice as pie but behind the yoga pants and Nike’s they have already decided your fate.

Similarly, a prospective new beau assesses if they’re interested or not, practically within the first five minutes. That kind of pressure is enough to make Chuck Norris wave the white flag.

Verdict: The foreign territory, forced small talk and fake goodbyes are all too familiar.

2      2. They always make you feel insecure.
Take working out at a gym for the first time. Your thought process might go a little something like this:

Everyone is staring at me. No really, there are about twenty pairs of eyes on me right now. Am I using the machine wrong or what?

After a first date encounter you decide to send an innocent text. Aaaand…crickets. Is he really going to wait seven hours to text me back? Did he die? Your mind jumps to every irrational conclusion possible.

Verdict: The insecurity is inevitable in any intimate first meeting. Visiting a new gym while enduring a sea of judgey eyes and bad glances VS waiting on a crush to text you back is practically one in the same.

3      3. In the beginning it all seems great.
Everything looks perfect from far away. Upon first contact, it feels like you’ve scored. You think to yourself, “I’m getting the deal of the century.” $89 a month and free personal training? I couldn’t be more there if my ass was glued to the leg press.

Finding a new match on Tinder that looks hot, seems to have a sense of humor and owns his own business? It’s on like Donkey Kong. 

Verdict: If it seems too good to be true it probably is. Moral of the story, you didn’t read the fine print.

4      4. The obvious warning signs.
They call you five times in a week. AKA their inner stalker comes out to play. Your trainer leaves you a voicemail saying they haven’t seen you in a while. Ironically you get the call just when you’re plopped on the couch enjoying leftover cheese pizza from the night before. But nonetheless it made you think of them and your lack of calories burned the past week. Mission accomplished.

Likewise, the crush in question not only text you four times and called you to check in, they came by your place of employment to “say hi.” Unannounced visits during the first week of knowing someone? Game over.

Verdict: This is why they have trial periods and online profiles. Use and abuse them. All is fair in love and core. Or war, same thing.

5     5. The argument that it’s “too soon. “
Don’t quit now. You’ve gotta give it three months to see results they say. Hard work and a little discipline over time will pay off in the end.

Why end it now? We’re just getting to know each other, they argue with sincere puppy dog eyes and the best debating skills you’ve seen since Judge Judy.

Verdict: With dating and exercise, what you see is what you get. You know when something isn’t working out and in this instance it’s presumably you at the gym. 

6      6. When you try and leave they turn on the charm.
The minute you start to try and end it, they flip a switch. Complete 180. Excuses start to flood in. We’ve heard them all before. Breaking up and cancelling contracts are always messy and kind of impossible to those who don’t want to hear it.

They say they’ll change. Too expensive? We’ll give you a discount! And suddenly the once bitchy trainer is now your gay bestie who offers you free protein shakes and pep talks.

Party too much? They vow to stop drinking. They’re suddenly the most charming person on the planet. They break out all the bells and whistles you never knew they had. He suddenly sends flowers to your work and whips up crème brulee from scratch as a date night surprise.

Verdict: If they have to add or change their ways within the first few weeks of the commitment, it’s not meant to be, boo. Let it go.

7     7. Something always reminds you of them.
Just when you think you’re over it, a friend screenshots via text “guess who popped up on my popular page” or a random acquaintance tells you they just started working out at your former place of fitness. They go on to brag about the new spin class and just how “ah-mazing” it is.

The regret starts to sink in and you start to second guess if you should have stuck it out. You start to ponder all the reasons why it ended.

Then you’re reminded of some tried and true advice. It’s called a break-up because it’s broken.

When it comes to dating, they say go with your gut. On the flip side, don’t listen to your actual gut when you’re dreading the gym. Or you might just end up chubby and alone and we don’t want that.