Dear Wanda and Wayne,
Thanks for answering letters. You guys are great. I have one for you. I've been in a great relationship for seven months. She's amazing. We're amazing. We get along great and I honestly feel like we've got a real future together, except there is just one thing.
We're both super active but in different ways. I love to run, bike and ski outside, and I can't stand the gym. She loves the gym and goes to Zumba and yoga and other classes all the time or just zones out on the treadmill.
That's our problem. Exercise does so much for us, making us happy and healthy, and it's something we really love but never do it together. When I complain about my sore hips or back from running, she'll tell me to come to yoga with her, but I can't imagine spending two hours inside stretching! I know it bums her out sometimes. On really nice nights I'll try to get her to hike with me and she almost always shoots me down. She has never even tried skiing. I don't think that will ever happen.
We both take positives out of our separate workout times. She goes to classes with her girlfriends sometimes or reads magazines on the treadmill, and I sometimes hike with my buddies or just blow off steam by myself. That's nice, but there are times I really want my girlfriend out there with me to share the experience.
Is it always going to be this way? Should I be fine with it and just let it be? Thanks!
Heart Rate Monitor
Wayne: Remember this old saying? The couple that lifts together loves forever. Of course you don't because I just made it up, and it's totally not true.
I'm glad that you see the positives in your situation. You should fully embrace those. You're both getting time to yourselves, which becomes rarer and more sacred the deeper you get into a serious relationship. You're both regularly burning off stress, which also leads to good relationship vibes. And you're both staying healthy and fit, which keep the libido and attraction pumped up -- also awesome things in long-term relationships.
As far as worst-case relationship scenarios go, this is pretty optimum.
Want to meet halfway? Hook up for smoothies after your respective workouts or meet her for a cool-down walk outside, something that doesn't intimidate her but is still technically outside for you.
If this is still a burning issue for you, you're going to have to lead by example -- take a yoga class with your girl. Your beat-up mountain muscles will probably love it. And it will probably make your woman love you even more for being adventurous ... so much so that it might inspire her to surrender a sweaty Saturday step class to spend some time in the woods with you. Scary!
Wanda: To echo Wayne, if this is the biggest problem in your relationship, you've lucked out.
Still, here you are, burning calories just wondering why your woman won't run up a mountain with you. Maybe she's wondering why you're so darned outdoorsy and is secretly wishing you'd join her for some indoor rump-shaking at Zumba. My point: Your way is not the only way.
You seem to think your transcending moonlight hikes somehow trump her "zoning out on the treadmill." But no doubt, her treadmill time is just as sacred as your mountain climbs. For many of us, our workout time is some of the only peace we get during a busy day -- a true chunk of "me time." No one should dictate how that time is best spent, and for each of us, how we choose to use it is personal. On a related note, don't take it personally when she declines your invites to join you for skis, runs and hikes. She isn't shooting you down -- she's saying no to the activity.
That said, sure, it would be neat if you two crazy kids could carve out space for cohesive cardio and meet on mutual middle ground. Don't give up hope of finding that. For two people who clearly prioritize fitness in their lives, it would be ideal to find some ways to enjoy being active together. Think big: perhaps a yoga retreat in Mexico that blends your love of fresh air with her zest for downward dog? Plus, there are margaritas.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org .