12 Ways Athletes Love Differently


1. We won’t tolerate your extreme laziness.

Sure, we’ll bum it out with you on our off days, but if your daily plan is to sleep until three and eat leftovers, we’re not into it. Get up or get out.

2. We are passionate as hell.

The game has taught us this. From hours of practice to day after day in the gym, we’ve learned that when you love something (or someone), you give 110%.

3. We’re used to tough love.

We’re used to coaches and parents ripping us new ones. And we’re our own worst critics. Tough love has helped us get our sh*t together and made us successful. But it can sometimes hinder our relationships.

4. We will push you to be the best version of yourself.

For years we’ve set goals and worked our a$$es off to reach them. We’ve had hard days, sore days, sad days, and almost-give-up days, but we’ve pushed through. And we love you, so we’ll push you, too.

5. We take responsibility for our shortcomings.

We know when we f*ck up on the field. And we’ll be the first to apologize to our teammates. When you’re a part of a team, you carry the team on your back. And the same goes for our relationships.

6. We won’t quit.

On you, on the relationship, or in an argument.

7. We are emotional.

Contrary to the belief that athletes are these emotionless, ‘jock’ or ‘butch’ types, athletes are probably the most sensitive people you’ll meet. Just see us after a conference title or a big loss. We invest our talent and heart into our sports (and our love lives).

8. We’re in our own heads a lot.

Keyword: over-thinkers. We spend a lot of time contemplating how we could have passed better, made that goal, caught that ball…and this obsessive thinking translates to our relationships, which can be both good and bad.

9. We’re not good at admitting our fears or insecurities.

We’ve lived behind our game faces. Game face = don’t let anyone see your weaknesses, so we have a hard time admitting the things we aren’t good at, or what we’re afraid of, especially when it comes to someone we love.

10. We are driven and need a relationship with energy.

Practices, games, gym-time, homework, family, work, school, friends—we have been busy our whole lives. We like to do things. And we crave and need to be with someone who is just like us, or understands that this craziness is just how we’re wired.

11. We will expect you to do your part.

Playing a sport is a team effort. And to us, so is a relationship. So we won’t deal with half-a$$ attempts to be in our lives. A relationship is between two people for a reason.

12. We are strong (in more ways than one).

We are physically strong, so don’t mess with us. But we also are strong-minded. We’re determined, headstrong, and stubborn as hell. We’re going to think we’re right (even when we’re not) and we’re going to fight with you. But don’t ever doubt how much we care. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

About the author

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.