Dating an athlete is an adventure, one that requires patience and understanding in order to have a successful relationship. Between the demands of his schedule both in and out of season, the key to dating a football player is knowing that the job is almost always going to come first but that doesn’t mean that relationships with football players aren’t worth it. They are. You have to be prepared for everything that comes with it.
This list of the pros and cons of dating a football player will help to understand what you might encounter when dating a football player.
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Things to Know About Dating a Football Player
The National Football League (NFL) consists of 32 teams split between two divisions: The American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The season begins in August and runs through December, when the playoffs begin. The season culminates with two teams, one from each division, meeting at the Super Bowl.
Though the season is in the fall, there are year-round demands on a player’s time. From constant training to spring football to pre-season practice and finally pre-season games, there are very few points during the season when a player isn’t busy. Thanks to the television schedule games can take place on Sundays, Monday nights and Thursday nights, which also means that holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can also be game days. There are no days off for birthdays or family celebrations except for very rare circumstances.
Pros of Dating a Football Player
It Can Be a Fun Lifestyle
Dating a football player can be a lot of fun for young people who haven’t settled down yet. While family isn’t usually allowed to stay in hotel rooms during road trips, wives and girlfriends often travel with the team. There is a sisterhood of NFL wives and girlfriends who sit with each other at games and support each other through the challenges of the season. Between the coaching staff wives, the training staff husbands and wives and the player girlfriends and wives there is usually quite an entourage.
Gametime is often a huge deal for the entourage. Some team have boxes for the wives and girlfriends, and in some cases there is a block of tickets so everyone is seated together.
Professional athletes are often invited to big events, with high-profile athletes getting invites to all kind of special events. You’ll meet other famous athletes as well as celebrities and high-profile individuals all the time.
Travel Can Be Fun
Traveling during road trips and being in a new place almost every other week over the course of 16 weeks can be fun if you have the time to enjoy it. While you can’t stay with the players, you can enjoy moments between practice and team meetings. It probably won’t be enough time to go sightseeing or out on a date night, but being able to be there to share the experience is very rewarding.
There are also opportunities for games to be played internationally every season, so you might be able to take a trip overseas too.
Though you might be wandering by yourself for much of the trip, you’ll still be able to see the sights and enjoy a little vacation. And since there are always wives and other girlfriends on the trips, you don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to be.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
If you aren’t able to make the road trips, then there’s the upside that by not seeing each other the time that you are together will count even more. The old expression that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is absolutely true, and sometimes having time apart will make reunions all the sweeter.
Being apart also allows for fun ways to show affection, like gifts sent to hotel rooms, late night phone calls and text messages throughout the day. Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean you can’t connect, and we’re fortunate to live in a word where communication is easier than ever.
Cons of Dating a Football Player
NFL players are under intense pressure to win. The scrutiny is intense. Every move on the field is judged. When you’re dating a football player who is on a winning team, life is good. When you’re dating a player whose team is on a losing skid it will be rough. It’s hard for him to not bring the stress home with him. Seeing comments on social media or while being out and about can trigger the stress and frustration. Sometimes this pressure will case fractures in a relationship that can’t be mended.
Cheating: Dealing with Rumors and Infidelity
There’s no way to sugar coat it: Athletes are known for high rates of infidelity. It’s a byproduct of constantly being on the road away from loved ones and having fans (aka groupies) hanging around all the time. Team groupies are at home games and on the road and it’s not uncommon for them to bounce around from player to player.
While your man might not be cheating, the time apart can lead to insecurity in a relationship, especially as you see relationships falling apart with other members of the team. For some people, dealing with the constant possibility of infidelity is too much to bear, no matter how great the lifestyle.
Challenging Lifestyle With Kids
If you’re dating a football player and you have kids, expect to be handling all of the day to day activities yourself. It’s a hard life for families because Dad is gone a lot and he will miss out on milestones.
It’s not easy to raise kids on your own during football season, but that’s the way it works. Thankfully the off-season demands are such that you should be able to share the responsibilities, but if you don’t think you can manage it on your own then it won’t be easier as his career progresses.
Injuries Are A Game Changer
It’s hard to understand the mindset of an injured athlete without being an athlete, and being an injured athlete performing at the highest level of the profession is incredibly stressful. There is the drive to get back on the field as soon as possible, even when that means pushing the limits of rehabilitation post-injury.
For high-profile players, having to deal with the endless speculation from the sports media as well as fans on social media can be a huge challenge.
If the prognosis isn’t good, it can be devastating. Finding out that a career is over due to injury is the worst news an athlete can receive and it will upend life from that point forward. It is a traumatic time for the athlete and for his family and it can push relationships to the brink thanks to the stress that news can bring.
Dating a football player has far more benefits than downsides, but it’s incredibly important to understand how you fit into his life. High-profile athletes will be under a great deal of scrutiny and so you might end up dealing with reporters camped outside your house every now and then. You will be photographed. You might not see your man very often during season. These are things that cannot be changed even if he wanted to change them. For all of these reasons, understanding what you’re getting into is key. If you can learn to work with the demands on his schedule and make it work for you, the rewards are great.