In my opinion, I don't see why not - I don't know about other gymnasts in the uk but I know Beth Tweddle has a boyfriend (fair enough she is in her twenties, but she is a top gymnast with a very heavy training schedule)
I guess it depends on your age and maturity, but then I'd be saying the same to a non gymnast too!
I personally had my first "boyfriend" when I was 12 - I use the term losely! We didn't even go out on our own, always in a big group, I never met his parents, he never met mine, but we were "boyfriend and girlfriend" throughout yr 7!
I Didn't have a serious boyfriend until I was 18.
However, I don't know that a teenage top level gymnast would actually have time for a boyfriend between training, school, homework etc. I really think it is a personal decision, and of course parents probably would have something to say about it!
Anyone who has watched Make it or break it knows that banning boyfriends doesn't work anyway! hehe
Well I am assuming your old enough to handle that relationship. Second I am assuming your parents also agree your old enough to handle the relationship.
So with that said - who has time for a boy friend LOL. With school and gym practice and meets almost every weekend.
I guess if you can juggle that around and still do well in school have other friends other than a "romantic boy friend" I don't see why not. But if your my daughter my answer is no dating/boy friends until your at least 16.
Exactly...it was difficult for me to date because teenage boys don't always have the patience to put up with the hours in the gym and all of their results (needing to do homework, family time etc.). My boyfriend and I didn't start dating until after I had already quit (although we did start 'hanging out' well before). Before that, there would be a dance to go to and then dinner or a movie, but it never lasted long enough for us to be a couple.
It would have taken me a major stroke of luck to even get close enough to a boy in high school to start dating him. I just didn't do anything except go to classes really. Didn't go to parties, didn't really hang out - so it was just pretty unlikely.
I used to feel self conscious about that to some extent, but at this point I'd tell you that saving it for later isn't always a bad thing. There is no way I could have dealt with any additional stress even as a 16/17 year old junior/senior between gymnastics, high school, and application stuff. I was stretched near my breaking point around that time, and to be honest have probably gone just about off the edge since (although once I quit gymnastics that whole boys thing happened). I don't even want to know what would have been going on if tenuous relationships were involved.
But on the other hand, there was clearly more at play...and I should have not have been stressed to the point I was either, in some ways (some things were unavoidable events). So, your mileage may vary. But don't feel bad about not dating or try to force a relationship. I feel like there's a lot of social pressure on young girls to do so and it's sometimes really painful to watch once you're out of those years.
Okay, so I'll preface this by saying that it's kind of hilarious that I'm posting on this thread (I'm completely, 100%, not a good person to ask for boyfriend advice), but I think that there is a huge difference between being in a relationship and "being in a relationship." The younger kids in my group (typically 12-14 or so) have "boyfriends," but it really only involves texting incessantly, posting nauseatingly-saccharine messages on Facebook, and occasionally holding hands at school. Maybe going to the mall or a movie with parents dropping off and picking up (and probably staying with them; I don't really know). I think that's pretty normal, although I admit that I roll my eyes every time I hear about their latest crushes.
However, I really couldn't imagine myself being in a serious relationship and still having time to keep up with school, gymnastics, and violin-- I could barely manage to keep up with that. There's no way I would have had time to hang out outside of group study sessions... school and 10 PM study sessions with friends were my only real social outlet outside of the gym. Most of the older, higher-level optionals at my home gym have concluded that boyfriends are bad ideas, and I think only one of them has anything resembling a serious relationship.
As a coach, I want to say no when regarding girls. I probably wouldn't mind it for the male gymnasts though so long as they didn't do anything stupid about it. If they started showing signs of decreased focus and work in practice and comps, there would have to be an ultimatum. Given the right female I wouldn't be exactly opposed to it either. Given some of the girls, I am opposed to it. Some of them are drama queens enough as they are day to day not including any possibly relationship issues.
If the SO of a gymnast would not want to put up with the gymnast being busy with gym it's probably not going to work out for the best. I have seen and heard of gymnasts lieing to their coach and skipping practice to go hang out with their SO. As far as I'm concerned, that would be means for immediate dismissal.
To agree with what someone said earlier, banning relationships would probably have the opposite effect which generally means a negative effect because said gymnast and SO might have to resort to clandestine operations in their relationship which will probably mean said gymnast would get removed from team via their parents or coach.
Most gymnasts aren't headed for the Olympics and don't need to focus on gymnastics to the exclusion of everything else--including boys. That said--as many of the gymnasts have said--who has time?? And most boys don't understand the commitment to the sport either. I know many of the older girls on Beth's team have boyfriends and it does cause problems for some---when they start skipping out on Friday practice to go watch their boyfriend play football, the coach is NOT a happy camper. But that's up to the individual girl to work on--shouldn't be a blanket rule about no dating, imho.
I found that it was rather hard to get close to any boys at school because I was so busy with gymnastics, but also because many of them were scared of me since I could bench press their body weight back in 9th grade gym class. Most high school boys are too insecure to be with a girl that are stronger than them.
With all that I did manage to find one last year who actually had some muscle on him and he asked me to the winter formal. We went to a couple movies and started dating the day after Christmas. We were both very very busy and we knew that going into the relationship, so we spent what time we could together and walked to classes together and such. It wasn't really a strain on my energy because I enjoyed spending time with him. The winter formal was amazing and it was the best dance I had ever been to. We made plans for me to go to his diving competition on Valentine's Day and he was going to come to my cheerleading competition the day after. When I called him the night before Valentines to finalize transportation plans he dumped me.
The next week was winter break and I did 17 hours of gymnastics to keep myself distracted. My first level 7 competition was 3 weeks away and I needed it. I was fine as long as I was in the gym, but school started again after that week and it was the most horrible week of my high school career. He wasn't disrespectful in anyway, but the very sight of him made me agitated. I really couldn't enjoy any end of the year activity he was at because I felt worthless when I was around him. I can count on my fingers the number of words I have said directly to him since February 13th.
The moral of this very long story is that boyfriends can be amazing, but keep your guard up because dealing with break ups can really put a dent in your self esteem. I thought I was keeping my guard up and I never thought he would dump me out of the blue, but he did, and I know I would have enjoyed my senior year a million times more if it hadn't happened at all. This wasn't someone I barely knew or anything, I sat next to him in English class all the previous year.
So as long as you have time for it, boyfriends can really help improve the balance between gymnastics and normal outside life, but keep your guard up.
Interesting no BB, no BF. In our training group (guys mind you) I've come to say, get the BB before the GF or the GF will always rank higher than the training. She can always say, you were only a white belt or green belt when we met. Thus, you had no prior commitment to the training system as a part of who you are/were.