Mon 28.May 2012 14:35 Tanya Taylor,
Christen Press Blog: What's love got to do with it?
Falling in love is fun. I relish the rush while preparing for the big date. Everything has to be perfect: the outfit, hair, a puff of perfume…Oh wait! I mean … the right sliders, secure ponytail, a fresh pair of socks…

As a 23-year-old with an affinity for melodrama, I have done a lot of thinking lately about the state of being single. Yes … I am alone, but I am not lonely. I celebrated last Valentine’s Day by putting in four hours at the field … romantic, I know! And when I received red roses at the game this week, I thought the universe was trying to give me an ironic sign. As it is, my days are filled with both passion and pain. Passion in the form of a renewed love for my sport; and pain, a result of giving till it hurts. Still, when it comes to long-term relationships I have to admit football and I are deeply committed.

This only-somewhat-serious revelation -- that football has taken the place of a significant other -- occurred to me when listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. The song resonated with my hopes for making the U.S. women’s national team … Call me up, maybe? Then it was Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know reminding me of my pregame jitters. How will I know if football will be good to me tonight? Even Florence + The Machine seems to be doling out advice for dealing with post-game disappointment. Shake It Out! Shake It out! So now, like a love-struck teenybopper, every dumb love song on the radio evokes my feelings towards … no, not a significant other, not a potential first date … but my fanatical relationship with football. Awesome.

With my headphones in and a serious bounce in my step, I’m off to rendezvous at Valhalla. I let my mind wander to potential outcomes as I glide through the streets of Göteborg filled with the giddiness of young love: scoring, winning, celebrating! I often catch myself giggling out loud with excitement. Candlelight and dancing await … hmm, make that stadium lights and tackling … oh well.

The feeling of elation after a great game is uncannily similar to the feeling after a great date, too. Breathless, there is that moment when it’s over but you just don’t want it to end. Then there is the restless night to follow that comes with trying to relive the highlights in your mind over and over again.

But sometimes football’s no gentleman. Over the last year, there have been moments when the game has seriously broken my heart. It’s let me down in the most crucial of times. I’ve gone to bed crying furious tears, claiming I’d never love again. We all know, however, the opposite of love is not hate … it’s indifference, and that is one thing I have never felt. Just like any relationship, this love takes a lot of work. So, in the morning, I’ll be back on the market … well, field.

Like the relationships of my past, this love is not stable or easy; but it can be kind and it is fueled by intense emotions. No matter how many games I lose, or game-winning shots I miss, no matter how many mornings commence with aches and pains all over my body, my pre-game butterflies are as unwavering as the hope that floats them. My belief that all my dreams will come true is ever steadfast. And my love, well … it is one for a lifetime.


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