“You’re every man’s dream girl.” How often do you hear this? For me, it's a decent amount. So I have a career in sports, play video games and enjoy fishing, well cool. If that makes me “every man’s dream girl,” then that's fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m going after every man. Especially not yours.
One of the hardest parts of being a female working in the wonderful world of sports is maintaining normal friendships. Since the male-to-female ratio in the business is so lopsided, there’s a good chance most of your work friends are male, and that is totally fine. But sooner or later you are going to encounter your first awkward situation where one of your male friends has a significant other that feels the need to claim what’s hers.
One of my absolute best friends in the business, Kelvin Queliz, has been in a serious committed relationship since we met almost five years ago. His now fiancé, Christina, and he have an admirable relationship. She helps his small DII office in so many capacities, especially with video work which is what her career is in. In my five years of friendship with Kelvin, Christina has been almost a daily topic for us. Sometimes, when he’s shopping with Christina, he calls me to talk about work. He sometimes refers to me as his work wife, and I can’t wait for the day that Christina is his real wife.
Despite never talking to Christina until I reached out to her for this blog, I feel like I have known her forever.
“I know our situation is different because we did meet through work,” Christina said. “But I get his job and that he has to interact with a lot of men AND women.”
We talked a lot about the long hours SIDs, or really anyone with a career in sports, have to work.
“The long hours are never fun but it comes with the job,” Christina said. “There are days when I see Kelvin when I leave for work in the morning and then not again until he wakes me up at midnight to say goodnight. Most of the time we don’t get to speak during the day.”
She added, “I know it’s not his fault, his job is demanding and requires a lot of time. It sucks that I don’t get to see him as much as I would like but I know that he’s doing what he enjoys.”
Talking to Christina, I realized how lucky Kelvin is to have someone in his life that not only understands his job but trusts their relationship. Trust is so important in relationships, especially in ones when you don’t see your significant other too often.
“You also have to have trust in the relationship,” Christina added. “The business is full of people that you will never ever meet so having that trust is key. If that doesn’t exist, then being with an SID isn’t for you.”
I’ve seen it all, threats on social media via Twitter or Facebook messages to going as far as finding my phone number in their partner’s phone to text or call me and tell me to “back off.” I’ve needed to block people because of this, but I never let it change my friendship.
It’s extremely frustrating trying to break out of the stigma that you only work in sports to impress men. It’s even harder when another woman puts you down for being friends with a guy she is in a relationship with.
The first time this happened to me was through a Facebook message maybe three years ago. The woman, who I knew pretty well, felt it necessary to message me and tell me to stop hanging out with her boyfriend. She said that we shouldn’t be having lunch together, regardless of whether or not there were three other people joining us. LUNCH! LOL. I guess I was supposed to sit at a table alone with no friends.
Another time, I received prank calls to my phone for a week straight until I caught the person off guard and dialed them back from a different number. They answered and once I figured it out who it was, I blocked the number.
Most recently, I had a woman threatening me via Twitter. The best part of this was that her “boyfriend” and I had never even met in person -- we were just connected via social media and frequently bantered back and forth. I couldn’t (and still can’t) grasp how she could hate me without even knowing me.
It took me a long time to realize I wasn’t doing anything that warranted these reactions from other women. I’ve never dated a guy that didn’t trust me having male friends from work so I guess I never really saw that side of things.
“This business is very demanding and time consuming,” Christina added. “You really need to understand that there are going to be days when you don’t speak to or hear from your significant other. It’s not because they don’t love you or care about you. They are just really, SUPER, busy dealing with a demanding job.”
Catching up with Christina was awesome. It was nice to talk with her and hear how she copes with the day-to-day of sharing her life with someone who works so much. A lot of it may be because she and Kelvin met through work, but I truly believe it is because of the trust they have with each other.
So, for those women that aren’t as understanding as Christina, the bottom line is that they feel threatened. Why? Because they don’t have trust in their relationships; they are insecure and know that women who work in sports are awesome. But I promise you, we aren’t coming after your man. Most of the time we just want someone to eat lunch with... while we, too, are working at a career that we love.