By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Last year, rumors swirled that Liv Tyler was dating celeb trainer David Kirsch. There's also buzz that soccer stud Christian Ronaldo is dating (and possibly living and raising his newborn with) a female trainer he met at the gym. And of course, Madonna had her daughter, Lourdes, with her personal trainer.
But is it a good idea to follow their lead? Or is the gym just a meat market where guys look for causal flings? We asked Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Romance), for her 2 cents.
"The gym is a great place to meet guys -- but will they be the guy you want?" says Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again.
"It's better to meet guys where something is happening that will show character, not just muscles. Focus on what activities are interesting to you, follow your passion, get together with groups that are accomplishing something, and you'll be able to see the character of the guys you're meeting much better than you can at the gym," she added.
If you do spot a guy you just have to meet, follow these rules:
1. Know that your hormones are pumping -- and so are his. Don't just go for the good-looking guy with the muscles. Watch how he interacts with others before you make your approach (the jerks are usually pretty easy to spot).
2. Don't feel rushed. Most people are at the gym at relatively consistent times during the week. So if you can't find an non-awkward way to approach him one day, hold off and wait until the right opportunity presents itself.
3. Don't primp like crazy. Slathering on makeup is only going to make you look like a crazy person when you start sweating. There's nothing wrong with looking sweaty and sporty. In fact, studies show a majority of guys are attracted to women in sweats and gym clothes.
4. Flatter him. Ask him for pointers about how to use a certain machine or if he'd be willing to spot you. You'll play to his ego and initiate an interaction.
5. Once you've got his attention -- regardless of how cute and nice he seems -- keep your guard up. "You can hang out waiting for a machine that the guy you like is on, and chat a bit while waiting," says Tessina. "There might be chemistry, but who is he? Meeting him is not enough to find out if he's a good guy, or someone who will break your heart, or worse."
Have you ever dated a guy you met at the gym? Did it work out or crash and burn?
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