Over the course of my fairly long career, I’ve stayed away from personal commitment in order to focus on being a successful martial artist.
Fighting has been the center of my universe from the beginning. I’ve been single for a long time, but that’s not to say that I haven’t had guys come in and out of my life. I’m not really afraid of commitment, it’s just that it usually gets to the point where I start worrying that it might take my focus off of fighting.
I think a good part of it stems from when I was young, and seeing my parents struggle, and knowing that I never wanted to be in their shoes. I could never really depend on anyone but myself, so I’ve never wanted a man to “take care of me.”
It can be hard because fighters have to be very selfish in some ways. This discipline isn’t just for when I’m in training camp. It extends beyond the walls of the gym, beyond the cages I’ve fought in. My career doesn’t just involve the fighting aspect. There’s sponsor and promotional obligations, traveling, seminars, photo shoots—so much more goes into it than just the 10-12 weeks of camp and 15 or 25 minutes in the cage.
It’s completely random, but a guy that I dated 11 years ago stopped by my parents’ house to see how I was doing. He didn’t even know if I still lived there. I’ve been hanging out with him recently, but again, there’s no commitment there.
I know it sounds like I’m afraid of that, but I’m not. If the right guy came into my life, I think I would change my mind. It’s just that my career is kind of my husband right now, and it has been the whole time.
Even when I meet guys that I might be interested in, it’s never worked out before because I travel so much. If I meet guys along my travels…well, they’re not here. I also don’t have much of a social life, so I don’t get to meet people that much. Most of my friends are married and have kids, so my social life entails them trying to set me up with a friend or family member.
There’s also another glitch in the matrix of my love life: once you get some level of success, you become jaded pretty quickly due to people that want to date you because of your public persona. You get people that are enamored with what you do more than who you actually are.
They already have preconceived notions based on a few tweets and some heavily edited footage from a couple of reality shows. It’s hard to know if they’re really into you, for you. If I wasn’t “Felice the fighter,” if I wasn’t on TUF, if I wasn’t on Fight Girls, would these people even want to date me? Would they even look twice at me?
When you factor in that I’ve been battling anxiety and depression for so many years, it becomes even more difficult to make life altering choices like that. Put it this way, I’ve just now, at 31-years-of-age, made the commitment to having a pet. That’s a story for another blog post, but suffice to say, it was a huge step for me.
One day, I might settle down, and while I can’t see myself wanting kids and the perfect family with the white picket fence and all at this point in my life, that’s not to say it won’t change a few years down the road.
For now, though, Mr. Career is the only romance I’ve got going.