We've seen them on Instagram. "#Swolemates". Couples that live, breathe, eat and sleep fitness.
But far from being a shallow social fad, "fit couples" represent a key trait of healthy relationships; a shared value for betterment of self and time spent together.
Relationships Are Standards
As individuals, we have standards. Standards that we aspire to and standards we hope to never sacrifice. Standards form the definition of who we are.
Fitness, no matter the sport, is the will to challenge your standards and change what you are capable of. The will to be a better version of who you are right now.
When we enter a romantic relationship, we have standards we hope our partner fulfills and standards we try to fulfill for them.
We want to be with this person, we want them to want us. We want to share our lives. We dream that sharing is joyous and that we want to share again and again. We hope they make us better and that we make them better in return.
You pursue fitness to better yourself.
We pursue relationships to better each other.
It's not hard to imagine the two might be connected.
A SILENT SHIFT
So where does it all go wrong? I've seen this scenario happen over, and over, and over again.
Client: "I got into a relationship, and you know how it goes, I stopped working out/training/lifting/running be active, and stopped eating clean/eating healthy/watching what I ate, and I gained weight, and got out of shape”
What's going on here? The situation is not as simple as “I’m out of shape”. The problem goes deeper than that.
When couples in relationship allow their fitness to suffer, they silently agree to change standards.
They let their boundaries shift slowly downward to accept a lower standard of health and living.
And over time this builds friction.
In relationships we will either rise or fall to the standards of the other.
Fitness is the perfect way to make sure we're constantly rising, and even exceeding the standards of each other.
Be Better Together.
"Fitcouples" or "Swolemates" can be funny. The phenomenon certainly has a sense of immaturity and eye rolling to it, but there is truth in the adage "couples that train together stay together".
Physical health and wellness are a cornerstone of well lived lives, and training is a working metaphor for making yourself better.
Make time to be better together.
People fall in love for many reasons. People stay in love for better reasons.
Fitness is a long term commitment to bettering yourself.
Love is a life long commitment to bettering each other.
Make those things harmonious.
This Valentine's day go do something fun and active together. Hit the gym. Try yoga. Go for a hike. Play a sport. Act like kids and have fun.
Share the physical nature of life with each other.
You will be better for it.