DEAR ROCKY LOVE: Can mixed relationships work in a ski town?

By on November 11, 2014

dearrockyweb-300x300Dear Rocky Love,

Last winter, I dated an amazing woman. We met at the coffee shop where she hung out a lot because she was recovering from a ski injury. I’m a writer, and this place was one of my usual haunts. We struck up a friendship that turned into more. She’s wicked funny and we had a great time together for a few months. But when summer rolled around and her knee had healed, she all of a sudden split up with me, saying that she didn’t think it would work. The reason she gave is because I’m not into skiing or climbing — two activities central to her life.

Ever since then I’ve avoided dating ski chicks. I don’t want to get burned again. But I’ve seriously limited my dating pool. Is there any way across this ski town’s “cultural” divide?

— Signed, Skiing Is Not My Life

Dear Non-Skier,

It sucks to get dumped, especially when it seems to you like a petty reason. But remember, skiing is probably a big chunk of her identity. I’m guessing one of the reasons she bailed is because she didn’t think she could be herself in a relationship with a non-skier. I’m not saying she is correct. Plenty of happy couples are made up of two people with very different interests. If she were writing to me, I would encourage her to be more flexible.

By the same token, there are things non-skiers can do to set the stage for happy mountain love. Here are five tips for bridging the cultural divide:

Talk about it. As you would with anyone you date, learn as much as you can about her interests and passions. What does skiing mean to her? What does she love about it? Are all her other friends skiers? Has she ever dated a non-skier before? You’ll be accomplishing two important things when you ask her about skiing: You will be showing an interest in her life (always a turn on), and you will give her an opening to let you know if your non-skier status is likely to be a deal breaker down the road.

Meet her on the mountain. Even if you can’t or won’t go skiing with her, meet up après ski for beer and burgers. This way, you get to know her world and her friends, and you create some ski-related bonding time.

Support her independence. This is a big one. Guys often don’t realize that women enjoy adventure and independence just as much as they do. Your ski girl may be afraid that because you don’t ski, you’ll be jealous of the time she spends skiing. If you let her know she can do her thing as much as she wants to, you will build a lot of trust. (If, on the other hand, you think you will be jealous and demanding of her time, you should probably bow out now before any uncomfortable arguing begins.)

Find your common ground and interests and spend time doing them together. It’s entirely feasible that you could find a skier chick who is not one-dimensional and who will enjoy other activities with you. Build on those as crucial bonding time.

Let her know that you appreciate her passion for skiing. Remember: You are attracted to this person for who she is (hopefully!) and that means you recognize that skiing is one of the things that makes her who she is. When she senses you get that, she can relax and trust you.  Good luck!

XO, Rocky Love

Dear Rocky Love is an advice column on dating, sex and relationships in the Tetons. Send your letters c/o JH Weekly, PO Box 3249, Jackson, WY 83001 or email: [email protected]

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