When Your Partner Has a Crazy Amount of Energy
A few Do’s and Don’ts of being with someone who’s continually moving.
I’m fairly certain I’m dating the Energizer Bunny. Last week, he got up at dawn’s early light and went mountain bike riding, then he and his son went skateboarding in the afternoon, then he went on a night bike ride. I have no idea how he does all of this. It confounds me.
I’m an active person in my own right but I also have the innate ability to slow myself down from an eight to a three pretty successfully. I love lifting weights but cardio and I have a very tumultuous relationship. It’s also summer and 115 degrees outside. That’s a hard no.
There are upsides to dating a highly active person. For one, the man is smoking hot and looks like a guy who rides a mountain bike like it’s his job. I enjoy this immensely.
The downside is that we have to learn to balance activity to keep us going in the same direction. I’m not keen on the guy pedaling out of my life because we can’t figure out energy levels. We both think the other is worth a little adjustment.
The good news is that it’s pretty easy. Like any other part of a relationship, it takes conversation and compromise.
Do: Plan active time together.
Chris and I are heading out of town this weekend for our first vacation together. After stepping on a piece of glass last weekend, I let him know I woke up today with my foot nearly back to normal.
It was met with a reply that “now we’ll be able to run and jump and play all over Cottonwood and Jerome!” Oh boy. What did I just do? Does he not understand that vacations mean rest?
Part of the weekend planning has entailed making sure we get the rest we're in dire need of but that we are still staying active. It’s the only way for both of us have our needs met and ensure our vacation isn’t one-sided.
For me, nature makes me happy so exploring trails seems like the perfect fit for something that will work for both of us.
We’ll be spending one day at a little creekside inn in Sedona. We’ve planned some hiking and I acknowledge and will come prepared for the fact that we will, most likely, end up in that damn creek. I’m dating a 45-year-old kid. It’s bound to happen.
Don’t: Guilt them for the time away from your relationship the activity takes.
Autonomy is incredibly beneficial in a relationship. If activity is your partner’s lifeblood, you are never going to change that. You know what you are dealing with going into this, you need to accept it right away.
Last week, when Chris went on the night bike ride, it was his last night off before his work week started. I was hoping to have dinner together. When he told me he had plans to do a night ride, I was a bit deflated.
I wished him a fun ride but, admittedly, I moped for a little while. He chose the ride over me. The moping didn’t last long when I got a great picture of the moon rising over the mountain from the trailhead. He was giddy. How can I feel bummed out when he is doing something that brings him so much joy? I love the idea of him being that joyful.
I found my own bliss to follow that evening by myself. It involved reading in bed with a glass of wine.
Do: Encourage and plan downtime, as well.
Part of the success of any relationship is finding the middle ground. You may need to do planned active time but they are going to have to understand that sitting still needs to happen on occasion.
Highly active people seem to do a whole lot better when you plan the downtime and let them know that there will be little movement during said time.
For me, pool time means you lay there. There is no pool volleyball. Not gonna happen. You grab a pool float and then use it for it’s intended purpose. I let my boyfriend know in advance and he gets in that mindset. He’ll also go bike for God only knows how long to counterbalance the slothfulness.
Don’t: Feel like you have to do everything they do.
You may feel a lot of pressure to keep up. It’s understandable. It’s also dangerous if you’re not ready for that activity level or you try to do something that requires skills you don’t have.
I’m not a mountain biker. I am way too accident-prone and I like my spine intact and my teeth in my mouth, thank you very much. I’m happy to mountain bike on a nice flat, wide trail that has an elevation change of about four feet. That’s about it for me.
Just because your partner likes to do something, it doesn’t mean you suddenly have to do it, too. Likewise, if you’re an active person to begin with, it doesn’t mean they have to start doing hot yoga just because it’s your thing. You can like different things. It’s the joy of being different people.
Active people make amazing partners. They’re full of serotonin and want to see you just as happy as they are. They’re healthy and will live a long life. They’ll encourage you to explore the world differently.
Being part of their adventure, whether it's cheering them along from the sidelines or taking a fitness class you never would have thought of, benefits both of you. It’s bonding. It’s appreciating how you can come together and it’s celebrating your differences. Revel it that.