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“He whom love touches not walks in darkness. ” Plato
Sigh…Cupid, who is a match for that mythic figure? Although Cupid approaches its target seemingly by chance, one swears that it was fate. One slight prick of his arrow leaves the rational, pragmatic man and woman ready to surrender to love. Every situation, good or bad meets ecstatic happiness, optimistic joy and a world-conquering attitude. There is no reasoning with Cupid and Eros; it’s futile. Nothing can prevent the effects of Cupid’s arrow, and isn’t that a good thing?
In a holistic approach to life, there are other concepts of love that are just as important to long-term happiness. There is Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautis love.
Philia love is a form of love between friends based on mutual respect, shared interest and trust.
Storge love is love between family, such as the unconditional love between a parent and child.
Agape love is love for all of humanity, regardless of relationship, shared interest or trust.
Ludus is a lighthearted, playful, uncommitted approach to love, whether it involves romance or friendship.
Pragma love thrives on mutual duties, concerns and outcomes.
Philautis is self-love based on self-respect and self-confidence while still respecting the rights of others. Ideally, this type of love does not behave like a Narcissist.
Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day with all of its traditional trappings; romantic dinners, champagne, chocolates, love notes, wild and whispered pledges of love voiced by the hopeful novice and seasoned couples alike. On this day, let us celebrate Eros.
“He whom love touches not walks in darkness.” Plato.
Let’s explore option 1: Stifle jealousy in order to continue a gym romance.
Their names are Joann and Harry.
In this scenario, Harry is the jealous one. He is used to being the one who likes/love less than the other, so he does not know how to deal with the emotions he is feeling. He sees everything through the lens of personal possessions, so Joann is his alone and is not to be shared with anyone. Harry does not want his gym mates to see that he is not in control of Joann, so he stifles his jealous feelings and pretends that everything is normal and wonderful. Meanwhile, he is seething inside. His one thought is how can he undermine Joann’s position in the gym and get her to rely on him more.
First, Harry goes after her reputation for being a dependable professional. Joann teaches yoga 3 times/week at their location. One night before she is scheduled to teach, he punctures her tire with a nail to give it a slow leak and replaces her cell phone battery with one that is not charged. On the way to the club the tire becomes completely flat and Joann can’t make it to class, nor can she call another instructor to replace her. Harry’s ultimate hope is that she will get fired or quit and be forced to move to another gym.
Two weeks later, Harry sends anonymous emails to the club manager with false complaints about Joann’s teaching methods. He sends one complaint a day for a week. The club manager calls Joann into his office and confronts her about the anonymous complaints. She is completely taken by surprise and has no defense. The class is made up of students that have been with her for years and none have complained to her. Her certifications are all up to date and she constantly updates her teaching skills. Her boss accepts her statements but explains that he has to respond to all complaints. He reminds her that she is responsible for giving sufficient notice if she is unable to teach her class. Joann leaves the office feeling a little bit diminished because she knows the club manager is obligated to watch her performance and closely.
Later that night she confides in Harry about the complaints. He is quick to comfort her by telling her that her boss may be lying about the complaints because he wants to get rid of her. Now ,she not only doubts herself but her boss motives as well. She thanks Harry for being so understanding. Harry smiles at her and tells her that he believes in her, but if her boss wants her gone, maybe she should leave before being fired. He continues on and tells her that this is a new manager and that he really does not like the way he looks at her anyway. Joann hides her angry reaction to Harry’s statement by turning her back to him. She knew that he had been jealous and possessive before, but she thought that he was over that. Joann says nothing to him about what she is thinking, instead, she tells Harry that she is tired and asks him to leave so that she can get some rest. She turns her face as he attempts to kiss her goodnight and the kiss lands on her cheek.
Joann now suspects that Harry is the one that wrote the complaints, but she also knew there was no way to prove that he did. She wondered if he was responsible for the flat tire and dead cell phone battery? If that were true, he had put her life in danger, which meant that she would have to end the relationship.
How could she prove his deceit?
How will he take the breakup?
Can they both work at or attend the same club? Will one leave and let the other stay?
It is common to have a romantic relationship with someone where you spend most of your time. Many people say that they met their soul mate at work, play, or during recreational activities and that they are still blissfully happy. You may be hesitant to start a relationship with someone where you workout though, because of negative connotations associated with dating someone at a health club. Terms like “meat market” suggest that relationships without romance and commitment cannot be found at the gym or health club. Use your own judgement. If you find someone interesting and they feel the same way, why not pursue a romantic relationship?
The flip side of this is a nightmare scenario, where the pitfalls becomes painfully obvious during the romantic relationship, as well as after the romance has cooled off. The number one emotion that ruins a budding romance at the gym especially is jealously.
Jealously can manifest itself in several ways. One way is by making demands on the amount of time spent together at the gym. For example, one of you lifts, and the other one likes yoga, but the class schedules do not coincide. You expect him/her to change their schedule to accommodate yours. Another example of jealously is, one of you notices that the opposite sex hangs around your romantic interest a little too much and he/she looks a lot better in their gym outfit, has a better body than yours or has better skills. You become more jealous and possessive, your attitude changes and everyone notices. You scowl at the check-in clerk, you complain about the facility being too crowded or not clean. You suggest that you both join another gym together so that you can focus on getting better. You begin to put more pressure on your romantic partner to make a choice; to move to another gym, or you will break off the relationship (by now your interest in each other has progressed to a exclusive relationship). Your partner has let you know that they like/love you but not your possessive attitude and that they have no intention of alienating their gym mates or joining another health club. What do you think happens next?
Will he/she stifle their jealousy or come to terms with their own insecurities?
Will he/she relent and move to another gym?
Will they breakup?
Click below to anticipate what happens next.