“We can still be friends.” We have all heard that line, and we all know what that means… we won’t actually still be friends. Gyms have been hearing this since the day they first opened. Most people can say that they have belonged to a gym at one time or another, and most people can say that they have quit the gym as well. Just like with your relationships in life, it takes a lot of trial and error until you find the right match for you. It is an instinct to keep searching until you find your soulmate, which is unfortunately not true when it comes to finding the right gym. Most people don’t have the motivation or desire to search for a new gym, when the one that they are at (or were at) isn’t working for them. A bad experience in a gym can scar someone forever, leading them to deem themselves “not a gym person.” Although a lot of people would probably have a great experience if they were in the right atmosphere, at the right gym, or with the right personal trainer, they seldom take another opportunity to test the waters. Either out of fear of failing again or fear of being judged by the “fit people,” oftentimes when someone leaves a gym it is the last time that they will step into one again.

A bad breakup from the gym shouldn’t scar you for life. It might make you a little more cautious in the future, and maybe a little less trusting. However, although it might be a little scary at first, I encourage you to get back in the game. Many people fear the same things when starting to workout again after breaking up with their gym. Here are my top 3 tips for overcoming the biggest fears when starting a new relationship with a gym.

1. Don’t live in the past, learn from it!

A fear that many people have when they first start working out again, is that they will be so far behind from where they used to be. Don’t stress about it! Everyone has their own journey, and it doesn’t matter what your weight was when you were 18. What matters is that you are taking steps to get healthier. Just like in a past relationship, there is nothing that you can do to change what happened. However, you can learn from your mistakes to make your next one better. Don’t focus on what your past failures were when attempting to lose weight, gain muscle, or whatever your individual goal is. Instead, focus on what you can learn from your past attempts. Did you try to lose too much weight, too fast? Did you use an unrealistic diet for your lifestyle? There are many lessons to be learned from the past, the key is to not dwell on them, but to grow from them.

2. Always kiss and tell.

Although it might be rude in a relationship to kiss and tell, I encourage you to do exactly that when it comes to working out. One of the biggest reasons why people fail to reach their fitness goals is that they try and go at it alone. Having a support system is a major key to success for most people, because ultimately there are going to be tough times. There will be times when you unexpectedly gained weight. There will be times when you worked a long day, and are lacking motivation to workout and eat a healthy dinner. There will be times where you just want to give up because the results aren’t coming fast enough. Having a support system at home, at work, or amongst friends will help ensure a higher level of success.

3. Don’t sleep with them on the first date:

Taking it slow may mean something entirely different in the dating world, but the principle still applies to working out. Don’t just jump right in on the first day, and crush yourself in the gym with the hardest workout you have ever done so that you can make up for the years of not training. This doesn’t work, and it usually makes things worse. When you crush yourself on the first day back in the gym, you usually have more negative outcomes from it than positive ones. You may get sick, get really sore, or even injured. If you haven’t been in the gym scene for some time, take your time coming back. Start off with some light exercise, and help it develop into a habit. For most people a habit is formed from a positive experience, and not being able to sit down on the toilet for a week is usually not a positive experience. Start slow, take it slow, and you will have a more meaningful relationship with the gym.