The woman I've been dating for the past eight months is great, and I have strong feelings for her, but she says she is frustrated and tired of trying to figure out what we can do together. You see, I was a good athlete when I was younger but I have a bad knee and can only hike for about an hour. I also have a bad back now so can't lift a lot. She loves to mountain bike and hike mountains, kayak and cross country ski and I can do only short durations of those things. She refuses to try less strenuous activities as she says the extreme sports is what "makes" her.
I've told her that I would love to do all those things as I used to, but I just can't anymore. In response, she wants to know why we should stay together, since she figures it just won't work. I care for her deeply and don't want to let her go. Any suggestions as to whether I should give up or is there hope for us?
-Can't Keep Up Kurt
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Dear Can't Keep Up Kurt,
It sounds like you are making an effort to do what she wants to do, but she isn't making any effort to do what you want to do. Plus it's not that you don't want to do these athletic things with her, you physically can't. She's not being understanding or sensitive to your needs and limitations whatsoever, and that worries me. This relationship seems a little one-sided, and it's hard to make it work if one person is putting forth all the effort.
Many couples don't do everything together all the time, so you've got to find a way to compromise. Maybe once a week, you guys do an hour long hike or kayak together. Then she can take it to a more extreme level on her own at other times during the week. Or you can do exercise together that's more gentle on your back and knees like swimming or yoga. You can also find other non-physical things you guys can do together like cook, watch movies, and play music.
If you guys love each other, part of that is supporting each other's needs. Talk about how you can make this work. As long as you're both willing to try, you won't have any regrets and if it's meant to be, it will all work out. Good luck!