Every Running Princess needs her Running Prince
1. Wherever you are, whatever you've been through previously, GET OVER IT before starting a new relationship. For me, I waited 6 months after getting divorced before even dating, a year before I entered Relationship Territory. For some, it may be shorter or longer, but find what you're comfortable with. A lot of friends tried to rush me into dating right away, and a lot of guys asked me out before I was ready. I just said, "No, thanks, not ready." Period.
2. Scope out the running club and running community for single men, BUT have some boundaries. True, I went on dates with just about every single man in the nearby running community. It's sounds kind of reckless, but I hadn't been single in nearly a decade and had no idea what I even wanted in a mate, as my 30 self was a totally different person as my 20 self. Besides, with boundaries, there is nothing wrong with that. Here are the boundaries.
*Don't try to keep your dates a secret, but don't broadcast it like a PSA, either. If the group is close, people will talk anyway. If you conduct yourself in a classy manner, the gossip will be short. If you haven't been single in awhile, I suggest going out with a lot of different guys. Notice I said GO OUT WITH THEM. I did NOT say sleep with them. Moving on to my next point...
*DO NOT SLEEP WITH GUYS IN YOUR RUNNING GROUP (unless you plan on marrying them). Repeat that to yourself 5 times. In fact, don't even kiss them with your mouth open. I mean, if you don't end up in a relationship, how awkward will that be lining up at the next race together? Or what if you end up with someone ELSE in the running group. Do you really want them to be swapping stories about you during the next all-guys long run? No. End your date with a nice hug or closed-mouth kiss.
Because of these boundaries, I am now still friends with all of the guys I went on dates with during my single days (in the running club). It's not awkward at all! I see them regularly and talk to them like normal friends. And there are no secrets with my fiancé, either. It's just one of those, yeah I went on dates with him, but nothing happened deals. It's totally possible to find your Running Prince without acting like a running club floosy.
3. Just because you are a runner, doesn't mean guys like for you to look like one all the time. I mean, really ladies, step it up JUST a notch from your regular running clothes. Not only is this good for your self-esteem, but the guy will feel like you are making an effort. And let's face it- we all look better with a little lip tip and mascara.
4. On your dates, don't talk about running the whole time. If he's in your running community, it's likely you've already talked about running a lot. What else interests you and your date? Talk about that. Running may be what brought you two together, but when it comes down to finding "the one", there needs to be much more than that. Start finding it! For example, I went out with this drool-hot guy from the running community. He is super fast, has a great job, very well-mannered, but... YAWN. Most.Boring.Date.Ever.
In conclusion, I will tell you how I met and fell in love with my Running Prince Charming. It's a cute little story.
We actually met when I was a Newly Divorced Man Hater. He had been following my race results for awhile, as we lived in neighboring cities. He used to be one of those guys that hated getting beat by girls. Lucky for me, he got used to that pretty fast. LOL. (Sidenote- since we've been together, he now beats me at every distance up to the half marathon.) We both ran the local 5K. I blogged about it HERE. Hahaha, just reading that makes me laugh so hard. Fast forward a few weeks after the race. I got a FB message from him, asking for some marathon training advice. Hmmm, sure, don't mind if I do. After a few back-and-forth messages, he asks me to make him a whole plan (which I do). Fast forward a few MORE weeks and he asks me to run with him. We go on a few runs together, and one night we sat at the ball fields talking until well past dark. (We had parked our cars there before the run.) His company, Pepsi, sponsored a 5K I put on for my track team. He came to deliver them and to run the race a few Saturdays later. After helping me clean up, he asked me to lunch. After lunch, he mentioned us going to do something one night. Later that afternoon, he called and asked me on an official date. The rest, friends, is history!
Ps. Truth came out later- he didn't even WANT to train for a marathon. He just wanted an excuse to talk to me!
Good luck finding YOUR Running Prince.