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What it is like Dating a College Athlete

If I told you when I went off to college that I would be dating a college athlete, I would tell you that you were stretching the truth way too much. However, it would seem that fate had a different idea for me, and I can say I am happily dating a college athlete. Dating a college athlete isn’t like dating a regular guy because athletes are held to a higher standard for their performance, grades, and image. 


Collegiate athletes, for the most part, have been dedicated to their sport for years, and some are even hoping to one day go pro. It is a lot of pressure that they are under to try and strive for this dream, but that is their goal as a college athlete. As the girlfriend or boyfriend of a collegiate athlete, you have to realize that you suddenly become their biggest supporter no matter what. I’ll admit that it is not easy dating an athlete, but it is totally worth it in the end.


You're his number one teacher

Literally, you are his biggest fan and you should let him know that you are there for the sport that he has been obsessed with since he was a child. His sport is a big part of his life, and, with time, it will slowly become a big part of yours. While this is not exactly a bad thing, it for sure shows your man or woman that you care about them and are willing to learn about the thing that they love so much. Learning about their sport doesn’t just mean learning the rules, but it also means the different teams, the pro-players that they look up to, and what all of the equipment is used for.

Listen, but don't nag about the results of a game

After a brutal loss, your guy will more than likely be upset, a little moody, and may even want to just talk about the game and all of his frustrations. Let the boy talk and keep your ears open! You will learn so much about the game and about him by just listening to him during this fragile time. Stay away from nagging or critiquing the game until he is up for it. It’s kind of like that saying of not kicking them while they are down, but picking them back up.

Memorize his schedule

Athletes are super busy between weightlifting, classes, and long practices. Then when they do get free time, it is usually spent either studying, catching up on homework, or sleeping.They barely have any time to even breathe! Between all of that, it almost feels like there is never any time for you. I promise you there is! You just have to memorize his schedule and see where there are gaps in both of your schedules to hang out.

You won't be there for everything, and that's okay

Being in a relationship with a college athlete means that there is some pressure for you to always be at the games in order to show your support for them. However, your world does not revolve around their sport, nor does their schedule revolve around your work/ class schedule. It is not meant to be that way either. You will have to miss some events and that is okay. When this happens, I always try to find another way to be able to see the game, like stalking the team's Twitter feed!

Welcome to the team family!

If you didn’t guess this one, then I am not sure what you thought being in a relationship with a collegiate athlete would be like. You automatically become a part of the team dynamic and family, which is actually really cool.

Athletes are a special breed

To be able to workout daily, strive to do better, and push themselves to the max, that is a special breed called an athlete. They will analyze the game to the extreme in order to be better next time. They will even change their diet to improve their health, or their workout routine to try and improve some aspects of their figure. It is a tough life that they live, but it is so amazing to be a part of the ride. I applaud all of the athletes out there in whatever sport that they choose. What they put their minds, bodies, and soul through to be a better athlete is something that you cannot describe. You just have to watch them play in order to really appreciate all of the efforts that they go through.

Through my time dating a college athlete, I have learned a lot about myself, my boyfriend, and the sport that he loves. To be honest, I would not want it any other way and I am so blessed to have been wrong about thinking I would be dating a college athlete in college.

Gabrielle Gray

Murray State '22

Gabrielle Gray is currently a senior at Murray State University majoring in Elementary Education.Other than attending classes, you can find her drinking coffee at Shaffer Coffee Co., eating sushi from Market 22 in the Curris Center, or helping out around the university. Gabrielle is heavily involved at Murray State University by being one of the College of Education and Human Services senators for the 2020-2021 academic year for the Murray State University Student Government Association, volunteering for events being held around campus, as well as being a social butterfly. Check her out this Fall at the Springer housing desk, or when she occasionally works at her second home: Dan's Southern Prep.
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