The Similarities Between Swimming and Romantic Relationships

December 1, 2018; , Palo Alto, CA, USA; Collegiate Men's Water Polo:NCAA Semi Finals: USC vs UCLA; USC Driver Zach D'Sa scores Photo credit: Catharyn Hayne - swimming

The Similarities Between Swimming and Romantic Relationships

Swimming and romantic relationships. Both are things many people reading this article will experience at one point or another in their lifetime. Are they related? On the surface, it may not appear so, but when you dive just a little bit deeper, you can see how there truly are parallels between the two very opposite components.

There’s The Initial Attraction

Much like the first moment you see a potential partner, the moment you set foot in a pool may be a moment of awakening and enlightenment, or simply a feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you realize what you are doing brings you immense joy and happiness.

There’s The Honeymoon Phase

As mentioned prior, the first few days, months, or sometimes years of any relationship and any swimmer’s journey are filled with bliss and joy. It will be filled only with exhilaration, which is fueled by constantly learning new things and only getting better as your body acclimates to being in the water, instead of on land, and only getting faster and faster.

Each Arrangement Has Highs

During those feelings of bliss and eternal joy, there is a sureness that nothing will ever touch you. Just as a relationship grows and changes as new layers of happiness and love are felt within each new stage of a romance, swimmers will experience feelings they never understood before, or neve thought they would experience. The best times, the championships, and the overall act of attaining goals you thought were out of reach will keep your swimming career interesting.

Each Arrangement Has Lows

Like any romantic relationship, where arguments ensue and disagreements threaten to drive a wedge into a perfectly delicate new bond, swimming is not always the most agreeable partner. Whether it be a plateau in personal best times, or the mid-week drownsies and soreness making you feel like you’re sinking instead of swimming, there will come a moment when you realize that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Each Takes Sacrifice

Sometimes, in order to save a relationship from two feuding partners and their impassioned yet opposite beliefs, compromise is the only resolution. Just as in swimming, when there is practice to attend but also an opportunity to go out with friends, one must give up the chance to have fun for hours of grueling work in the water. No one ever said it would be easy, but they said it would be worth it, and things like compromise and sacrifice are the hardest parts of meeting your goals in both swimming and in moving through the phases of a romantic relationship.

Both Take Work

Both sappy movies and those couples that everyone knows but secretly hate make romantic relationships look easy. They are always smiling, and never have anything but positive things to say about their partner. The idea of a fight shocks them. Newsflash: Anyone who has had a meaningful relationship can tell you these sentiments are false. Romantic relationships take work. They require hard decisions and putting others above yourself, just as swimming does. Any elite athlete who says they are completely joyful and never struggle is a liar. Relationships, both romantically and in sports, take not only physical but emotional work.

Both Are a Choice

As much as we may fight off the truth of this opinion, I hate to say that it’s real. The idea of love at first sight will never be completely true. Because as much as we may attract someone and barely be able to refuse their pull, we choose to be with each other. Every move we make in our relationship is a decision. It’s the same with swimming. Some swimmers may love the sport so much that they feel like it chose them, but we as swimmers make the decision to pour more and more into our careers with every step we take. We choose to make the hard calls, and we choose to stay in love with the sport. Love may start as a feeling, but it is also a choice, in every instance.

You’ll Learn a Lot About Yourself

This is true in your relationship for anything. You’ll never leave a committed relationship unchanged. It may be a slight change, or it could be a whole new mindset, but new relationships and swimming careers alike will leave you a better version of yourself. Learning the lessons that come with each may not be easy, but as you peel back each metaphorical layer of each relationship, romantic-wise, sports-wise, or otherwise, you’ll learn something about yourself you didn’t know before.

Whichever one you may experience first, swimming and romance are each a unique experience that will take you on a journey to open up whole new worlds of possibility, feeling, and so much more.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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