1.) Food, Food, FoodThere’s a reason this one is listed first. Food defines us. We live by it, live for it, and live because of it. It is our motivation for getting out of bed and suffering through 3 hour practices. That donut or muffin or burrito we owe ourselves after makes all the shoulder pain worth it. So what does that mean for you? Well, first of all your Valentiness Day or birthday present is always simple Chipotle or Dunkin Donuts gift cards will make our knees shake more than a 200 breaststroke. Second, you should always be down to share your fries or milkshake. You may want it, but we NEED it. Literally unless you’re burning 3600 calories in two hours as well don’t keep food from us.
2.) Understand the Swim FriendzoneYes, we have teammates of the opposite sex with whom we are very close. We struggle through IM sets together, dance to Drake songs in dryland together, and go to Waffle House after practice. There’s even a chance we’ve seen each other naked, and no, it’s not weird at all. Unless you were ever a swimmer yourself, it’s hard to understand the enduring bond between swimmers, whether same sex or opposite sex. So PLEASE don’t get jealous of our swim brothers and sisters we really do consider them family and there is nothing more to it, because that would be swimcest which is just wrong.
3.) Know When to Talk and When to Stay QuietAlthough we probably like you for all of your wonderful qualities, there is another reason we’re exposing ourselves to the non-swimmer dating realm we like the escape from our crazy lifestyle. The world of competitive swimming can be so lifeconsuming and exhausting that we need an escape, and you can provide that for us. It is nice to be reminded that a world outside swimming exists, even if it never seems like it. So don’t feel like you always need to ask us how practice went or if we “won our swimming game” or not believe me, if we want to talk about it, we will, and if not, it’s okay to not bring it up. You don’t need to understand every aspect of our lifestyle just be there for the taper highs and the Christmas training lows (you’ll learn soon enough) and of course, bring us food. That always helps.
4.) Know that we appreciate you!
We know we can get annoying with our constant complaining about being sore, stealing of your food, and pointless stories about something our coach said. But the next time we have a swimming related meltdown and you think you’re done with dealing with it all, remember that we appreciate and thank you for your constant support. It’s not easy dating a swimmer and we know that. You’ll realize that dating someone who’s so dedicated and focused will pay off in the long run. Until then, keep the food coming!Written by Sara Schubert from @SwimmerProblems