Climbing is a great sport. No really, it’s the best. If I’m not actually climbing, I’m talking about it. And if I’m not talking about it, I’m thinking about it. Sounds like an obsession in the making, right? Too late actually. I. Am. Addicted.
If this sounds familiar, which it probably is since you are reading this, then you may be at either end of the climbing relationship spectrum.
You either are the obsessed climber, or you’re not.
Making sure to have a healthy relationship while an obsession is in the middle can make or break many couples. But there’s a few things that both of you can do to make it work.
And let’s also remember, it works for most people!
AS THE OBSESSED CLIMBER
You have a single drive and focus in life. Climbing. And that can be good. But there’s other stuff out there. Non Climbing stuff.
And your romantic other half would love it if you tried them. Read on!
► Spend Quality Time With Them
It’s no secret you spend all your time climbing. So make sure to put aside quality time to do things other than climbing. In fact, make sure you regularly do things that aren’t to do with climbing. Getting your mind off your latest project or dream trip is actually good for you.
► Don’t Compare
There’s no point comparing all the other relationships you see out there. They aren’t perfect. You need to focus on what you have right now. If you like/love the person you are with, it will work.
► Be Appreciative
Just like you love and appreciate a good, dynamic belay, make sure you fully appreciate the sacrifices the other person is making so you can fuel the fire of your climbing addiction.
If you decide you want to get the other person into climbing, be sure to avoid the biggest dangers! Don’t rush into the biggest adventure you can find. Start off slowly. Show them how safe it can be. Don’t push them and remember to be patient when they are learning. An ‘epic’ does not make the heart grow fonder after all!
► New Relationship Tip
If you are just starting the relationship it’s very important to have the conversation about how important climbing is to you. Have the conversation, it’ll set good groundwork and make it clear right at the beginning.
AS THE NON-CLIMBER
You are a bit lost to why climbing is so important to them. But obviously it is. What the heck can you do?
► Compromise Is Key
Just as you make the sacrifices so the other half can climb (like, all the time), it’s also your job to keep the ratio in check. To someone addicted to climbing, it's never going to be 50/50, but that doesn't mean they aren’t putting effort in! Climbing is a lifestyle, but it’s also important for you to get time as well. Which leads me to...
You can’t work out issues or things that annoy you if you don’t talk about them. Good communication is the single most important skill to having and maintaining a good, healthy relationship. It makes no difference whether you date a climber or not, communication still rules!
► Don’t Knock it Till You've Tried It
Have you tried climbing before? If you haven’t, why not give it a go? There’s many styles, and with things like bouldering, you don’t really get far off the ground if that’s one of the things that bothers you. Saying yes to adventures and trying new things is healthy, so at least try it once or twice.
► Have Your Own Passions
Everyone should have passions in life. At the bare minimum, it keeps us growing as a person and is beneficial no less. Find things that interest you and pursue them. Who knows, you might become addicted to something too!
THE BOTTOM LINE
With climbing being such an all consuming lifestyle for many, it's important to realize that being in a loving relationship is a great and special thing. Treasure it and make sure you aren’t neglecting it.
Being able to both compromise and keep a balance is the key.
Not all relationships will last, but being able to make relationships work isn’t unique to this type of situation.
Remember, as a climber, with your partner you have a life AND a passion. Without that other person, all you have is an obsession.