I’m a hypocrite. But this isn’t new. I’ve been talking the talk and walking a completely different walk – more of a crawl, really – my entire life! A few years ago I wrote a piece titled “Don’t Date a Guy who Climbs,” following a trend of very appropriate and justified articles (see “Definitely date a female climber” (www.examiner.com/article/definitely-date-a-female-climber) and Adi Zarsadias’ “Don’t date a girl who travels” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adi-zarsadias/dont-date-a-girl-who-travels_b_4704794.html) and Brendan Leonard’s semi-rad blogs (especially http://semi-rad.com/2013/04/how-to-get-your-new-boyfriendgirlfriend-to-hate-your-sport/). Well, guess who I started dating shortly thereafter.
Now in my defense, I was single and I was climbing with another single guy, who partly inspired the original article: he was my climbing partner and therefore HANDS OFF! If you refer back to my original piece, you will see that I clearly wrote between the lines that getting into a relationship with your climbing partner is devastating to the relationship, either climbing or romantic. You can’t have both! But, as I just mentioned, I was single. And so was he. So I wrote the article as a distraction and had him read it so he would know that we cannot destroy the great partnership that we have. After that, we felt even more comfortable climbing with each other since we eliminated the extra stress of “he loves me, he loves me not.” We let our guard down, one thing led to another, yada yada yada, and now I’m forever known among our group of friends as a hypocrite.
All that being said, I just want to let you know that all my bullet points came true. Allow me to elaborate with actual bullet points:
- Guys who climb will forever be obsessed with rocks. OK, so actually, I can’t elaborate on this one. This was my first point, so I have to include it here, but I don’t have any evidence. Side note: He actually hasn’t given me a rock yet. I find that strangely unsettling, as he should know by now that what I write is the opposite of what I mean.
- Guys who climb rarely think about anything else aside for climbing. When he asks, “what’s your schedule like this week?” he means, “when are we going climbing this week?” And when we return from an afternoon of climbing, he often obsesses about the crux of a pitch that he did not get clean. Then we have to go back and he redpoints it, and then he says, “I should have gotten the on-sight.” (http://www.climbing.com/skill/climbing-dictionary/)
- He will leave you for days to go on climbing trips to areas that do not get good cellular reception. He did that once. When he came back, he told me a bunch of stories that he thought were funny, but they all ended with a smile and nod on my part, and him saying, “I guess you should have been there.” Then I went with him. Now I don’t know where to bury myself when he tells others about our adventures. Oh, and by the way, I went on my own climbing trips without him, and yes, I feel guilty.
- Guys who climb claim to think that they are attracted to women who climb harder than they do. Unfortunately, the situation is yet to be tested. I’m dealing with some overuse injuries and now climb at his level.
- 90% of all male climbers are dirtbags (http://www.climbingzine.com/the-dirtbag-dictionary/). He fluctuates between the 90% who earn just enough to go climbing and the 10% who work so hard they don’t climb anymore. He goes to the gym sometimes. He has a longing expression on his face for his glory days. By the way, these percentages are made up, but they seem pretty accurate to me.
- Out of the 90% of the dirtbags aforementioned, close to 80% live in a van (this figure is also made up). He does not have a van but talks about getting one all the time.
- Guys who climb think that sleeping on a box-spring mattress is a luxury. In fact, he keeps saying that when we can afford it, we’ll get a good box-spring bed. He takes 3 showers a day any day that he can because who knows when the next one will be. He has A HUGE rack of climbing gear. He eats anything (aside for cottage cheese, which is really bizarre). He farts and burps as if I’m just another rock outside. He wears the same clothes with holes over and over again because he’ll just tear holes in new clothes anyway. Oh wait, no, that’s me.
- Not to mention that guys who climb are notorious for cancelling plans last-minute. He mostly gets calls from work or wants to finish a work project or has the flu or an allergic reaction or a case of food poisoning, and so bails on our climbing date. This is just offensive.
So I stand by my original statement: Don’t date a guy who climbs! But if you must, then know what you’re getting yourself into. I accept all of the above and therefore I can date a climber!