Athlete Dating: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Filthy.

Featured Image By: World Athletics


It’s Valentine’s Day; a time to celebrate love and romance. But what if you have to be up for training at 6 am tomorrow? Or what if you’re suffering from DOMS so painful you can’t “put on a show” on the big day?

The dating game can be a challenging one, especially if you decide to play it as an athlete. Early nights, strict training programmes and those “sorry for the slow reply, I was training” texts can really get in the way of a healthy relationship. I, therefore, decided to see how some of our lovely followers navigated their way through the complex world of dating in an attempt to create a useful resource that can help athletes in the future. SPOILER ALERT! Some of our followers aren’t lovely, they’re awful. And this is less of a helpful resource and more of a seedy gossip column, but I know that’s what you really came here to see, so carry on reading at your own risk but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

61% of the people who responded to our story said that they have dated athletes and over half believed that athletes had a bad reputation in the dating world. I wanted to get to the bottom of why that could be, so I asked our followers for their athlete dating confessions and some of the answers were let’s just say… eye-opening.

Athlete dating confessions:

“I went back to a triathlete’s house after a night out and she only had a single bed so I ended up sleeping on the floor next to her bike.”

Sounds like a wheelie good night!

“A guy I was seeing told me he was away on a training camp and was posting photos on Instagram from Tenerife. Turns out the pics were taken the year before and he was actually down in London with his ex. Surprisingly, we are no longer together.”

Get that man a collar, because he is a DOG!

“I was on a date with a girl and she took a call from her coach mid way through. She came back to the table and told me that her training time had been moved so she had to end the date early to make sure she got enough sleep. She ghosted me after.”

Took a call from “her coach”.

“I dated a guy from my training group for 2 years… My parents were the coaches.”

One big happy, lactic-filled family!

“Swimmers and changing rooms… I don’t think I need to say any more.”

So that’s why they have to chlorinate the water.

“I took a girl back to halls in my first year and she kept checking her Fitbit to see how many calories she had burned.”

Does it matter which wrist you wear it on?

“When my friend wakes up next to a ONS, he gets changed into training kit and pretends that he has to be at an early session. Once they leave, he gets back in bed.”

From lying down to lying straight up!

See. I told you…

I feel like I need to take a shower to wash away that filth from my brain, but I certainly won’t be having one in a swimming pool changing room any time soon!

Having read what some of you get up to, I can see why “normal people” may have some negative preconceptions about dating athletes, which begs the question. Should athletes just date athletes? Think of the positives. You’d be able to train together #couplegoals and as well as having a deep understanding of each other’s wants and needs, you’d be able to share all the free stuff you get because of your banging Instagram pages!

There are definitely some benefits when it comes to dating athletes and 65% of our followers even said that they would use a dating app made specifically for athletes. My market research wasn’t all 50 shades of athletic dismay though. I received a few replies that truly warmed my heart, showing that maybe athletes aren’t that bad, and romance isn’t dead after all:

“I asked a girl on a date in between her final and my final at BUCS. Fortunately, she said yes and we’re still together almost 4 years later!”

It all started with a successful semi.

“I chose to study in America for athletics, met the guy of my dreams on my team and ended up marrying him.”

That’s NCAAmazing!

“I let a girl borrow my swimming hat for a competition, we got talking afterwards and ended up in a 2-year relationship. Things didn’t work out after Uni but we’re still good friends.”

Sharing is caring.

So, there you have it, an insight into the complex and sometimes misunderstood world of athlete dating. For every horror story, there’s a happily ever after and I hope this hasn’t put anyone off athletes. All they ask is that you support their dreams and give them the occasional massage when they need it.

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February 14, 2021

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