*Wanted to get a lot of issues/points out in this entry so bypass the grammar errors or incomplete thoughts you may see*
If you know me personally, you may know that I have a problem. Well actually it’s not a problem, rather more a lack of avoiding unneeded stressful situations. It’s nothing too serious and I have no reason not to confess it to people, I am anti-relationship for the most part. After years of trying to be my own psychologist, I still can’t figure out what made me like this. Is it because I’m an athlete? If I weren’t an athlete, would I still think like this? Was it my upbringing that shaped my views? I still don’t know the answer to those questions or the method to my madness but I do know relationships are already hard for the average person, but even further complicated for athletes (both sexes). Depending on the sport you play and the demands it requires of you time, it takes even more effort and perseverance to make a relationship work.
Since I don't have a lot of relationship experience, I get all my knowledge from just observing friends, family and hearing crazy stories of failed relationships and the mistakes that were made along the way. Just from those sources (don’t forget the affairs and sex scandals we hear in the news). I figured out why people on so many occasions get into relationships in the first place. People get lonely and need companionship which is perfectly fine to feel at some point, I do too. But forcing or jumping into a relationship too quickly because you need those missing ingredients in your life isn’t very smart either. I'm not going to waste my time on something I don't think will benefit me in the long run. Also I know that people feelings can change towards their significant other over time and next thing you know it might not be what you thought you wanted; which leads me to my next scenario I hear all to well on unsuccessful relationships. When a person is already with somebody but deep down inside they know it won’t go the long haul but scared to break up for whatever reason. So in reality you’re wasting not only their time, but also yours. So it goes on further than it should which means you’re playing with people feelings longer. I thought the point of having a boyfriend or girlfriend was because you thought they could be marriage material not because a person is lonely. You can probably have a happy life if a relationship started that way but the number can't be high, I'm not going to bet on that.
I didn’t get my first girlfriend (for my own personal reasons of course) until I was 24 years old, unless you want to count 10th grade for 2 months. I kept constantly telling myself I was too busy for one with basketball and all. Also, I figured if I knew I wasn’t ready (especially back in college) to give my all my energy to one person on a “consistent basis” why waste both of our time. I had classes, tutors, homework, basketball practice, weights, more homework and don't forget some "me" time. To throw in a girlfriend in there to juggle as well 24/7 I would go crazy. So with that common sense in mind, I knew I wasn’t ready yet. At the same time I didn’t totally throw away the idea either, I also knew I could always change my mind at any given moment too because I can’t control destiny when and where I will meet the right one for me. On top of the career choice I decided upon, being a basketball player. Plus my basketball career isn’t the most stable (at the moment) to start a strong foundation for a relationship either. Im never in one place long enough anymore to feel like maybe taking a chance, long distance relationships takes even more energy than the ones where you see the person everyday. Since I graduated from college in 2006, I live in 2 countries, 4 cities and 4 pit stop cites along the way too. I know I couldn't deal with my girlfriend or wife moving around that much.
Another speed bump I face as well as other fellow athletes is the genuine intentions of people. Here’s an interesting story that happened to me the day I got drafted into the NBA. One of my close friends made a comment that really caught me off guard. He said that I would never know if a girl would like me for me now. Somewhat of what he said is true but people in general can face this problem too, not just athletes. Maybe professional athletes are on a little bit higher level when having to be more careful of fake people. If you haven’t noticed by now, people are usually always perfect when you first meet them; everybody wants to make a great first impression right? Making a good first impression is one thing but having alternative motives which requires you to be fake is another. Nobody can be phony forever if you ask me, but being very attentive from the beginning and over time will increase the chances to unveil people “true” intension and their actual personality for the good or bad. Some people trust sooner than others too and that’s asking for more chances of betrayal or being taken advantage of. My antenna is always up when meeting/getting to know people regardless of what level it is. When pertaining to women, it takes time (I mean a long time) before I let them “in” to get to know me. Its not because I don't trust but I'm a tough person to get to figure out, its just my personality.
One thing people have to realize is that lifestyles by no means stay the same, its persistently changing from generation to generation. This isn’t the 40’s or 50’s anymore; people don’t get married when they’re in their early or late teens. Then more than not have to stay in the marriage because back then there was an unwritten rule and unheard of to get a divorce, even if they all unhappy. I’m not going as far as saying don’t get married, but I don’t see what the big rush is. I mean seriously, what’s the difference from being married for 60 years than it is for 50 years? Most couples don’t even last a measly 10 years anymore. So with that in mind, I’m willing to surrender an extra 10 years and stay single to make sure I’m making the right choice when choosing my wife. The statistics don’t lie; click here to see what I’m talking about. When looking at these numbers, to put into perspective: The highest percent for men to divorce are between the ages of 20 to 24. For women, the highest percentage are between the ages of 20 to 24 years, just like men. So waiting later increases your chances for a more promising marriage. Of course everybody is going to have the “not going to happen me” syndrome, which is fine. But I’m assuming everybody that was a casualty in those divorce statistics was self-assured the same way before getting married too, food for thought. Now just imagine this statistic for basketball players excluding the age ranges but instead the length of their career in the NBA. Bet you didn’t know that during a married NBA players career 90% of the married couples stay together. Post-NBA is a different story; there is an 82% divorce rate. The most recent example of this was Allen Iverson’s wife filing for divorce about a month ago.
Then again I’m just a male athlete speaking from only my point of view too. I’m not the one having the kids and worried about my biological clock expiring on me. If my friends got married before me I wouldn’t let that stress me out and force me to contemplate about actually being alone for the rest of my life. I know it looks like I hate on relationships and marriage, but not really. I’m pretty sure there is way more pros than cons when you comparing being in relationship to not being in one. I can’t wait for the day to be in love with someone and marrying her. The thing is some people fall in love with the “concept” of being in love rather than actually loving that person first. Which consequently might never comes around to what they’re hoping to be, then your left unhappy and incomplete. I don’t need to be in a relationship to learn stuff like that, I’ll just keep watching everybody else mess up. Many athletes I talk to (men and women again) honestly don't think they can be in meaningful relationship until they retire from their sport, I hope that isn't the case for me. Being single doesn't mean you know nothing about love either. It's wiser to be alone than with the wrong person that’s for sure. Basketball can stay my girlfriend/wife for the time being still, she's been taking care of me for awhile so I can't turn on her now.