Let me begin by stating that part of my reason for joining derby was to date a skater (not any in particular). Now I want you to stop, go back and re-read the first sentence. Done? Did you reread it? Are you sure? To be clear, just in case you missed it the second time. "PART of my reason" as for most of my reason was to skate more often, having fun and as a result ended up with a larger group of friends and family.
It is also part of my reason for this post. See, while browsing around the web I landed on a league's page. While reading through 'about us', I found team pages and then skater profiles. Of which I they all had their relationship status posted along with their likes, what got them into derby and what not. So I asked myself "why on earth is their relationship status necessary?"
I am also aware of some skaters being on dating sites; when I was single, I was registered on a few. While looking for someone to date I would come across skaters profiles - a few I'd recognize from their bout pics. A few I know, or recognize off skates and saw that they didn't have derby pics posted nor mention of derby in their profile. The only thing remotely mentioning derby was their like for skating.
So on my Facebook page I asked if any skaters had been on a dating site; I had a few questions to ask them regarding derby and dating. The following comes from skaters who responded. Most of which, as far as I know are either hetero or Bi. A little more than half are still single and looking. All are aware about the purpose of my questions and only one said she didn't care if I used her name or not. I'll go with the latter since no one else did and I wouldn't like to single her out.
All the skaters that answered, chose dating sites over finding someone in person either via derby or work because the derby pool was relatively small. Most males in derby are already attached to someone, gay or not exactly looking for a relationship.
Some skaters chose not to post any derby pics or mention derby in anyway until they met the person a few times. Not out of shame of derby, but worried that the guy would become too overly attached and be able to find them easily when they decided not to see the guy anymore. Two mentioned that there were a few guys with some "stalkerish attributes".
All skaters who shared that they were in derby would get variations on two responses. "That's cool! You could probably kick my ass". (I find this amusing because hitting hard on skates is quite different from throwing and receiving punches-- but that's a different blog) OR "That's dangerous/stupid/why would you do that?". The latter would end the courtship.
One skater found her boyfriend of over a year on Match although she signed up on the site prior to joining derby. She had posted derby pics once she played and after some time met her boyfriend who is quite supportive of her playing derby.
So how does one find love whilst doing the derbies? For skaters who did not join derby with a significant other, or ended up single for whatever reason, I can't answer that. More often than not, what seems to be the trend is dating someone outside the derby pool. How one goes about doing that, that seems to be just as much of a problem as if one weren't in derby.
What I can answer is how I ended up with my girlfriend. A little background on myself, I'm 6' (1.83m) tall, broad shouldered and have an overall imposing frame and menacing demeanor. In short I "look" like a "bad boy". Add the fact that very few people in derby know my real name, an air of mystery and that draws the attention of the sort of women who are only interested in getting to know me for a few hours. Just because I look like a bad boy doesn't mean I AM a bad guy. I've politely declined a few offers, and seriously considered a few. But if you recall my first sentence I wanted to date a skater, not hook up. Over time, I lost interest in skaters. I mean have you ever heard some of the #shitSkatersSay?
So I joined a few dating sites, and in my experience having my pictures and my written profile I would often get replies stating that I was a fake. No guy could possibly like to knit, or prefer to skate over going to a bar, or even be good at Latin dancing. At least no guy that looks like a "bad boy". I would somehow prove that I AM real and eventually reveal that I'm involved in derby.
I'd get one of two variations in replies "Oh thats so cool! I wanna check it out - let's do that sometime" or "I bet you're !#@$ing all those sluts, can't get enough? Why are you on this site?! I knew your were fake". Of course, I'd never hear from the latter. So setting up a date when you're usually out of town for derby nearly every weekend can kind of hinder dating a girl outside of derby.
One fine weekend, I had planned on visiting some friends (skaters) in their hometown whom I hadn't seen in almost a year. One for lunch and a few for dinner, karaoke, some bowling and whatnot. One by one, as I was getting into to town, they had to cancel for various work or family related reasons; all but one, we had dinner and hit it off. We commiserated about becoming a hermit and a spinster as we had both given up on the notion of dating within or out of the derby pool. It just seemed like too much work.
It may seem like a cliche, "you'll find love when you least expect it" but honestly, in my experience the last few long term relationships I've been in, started out simply by giving up looking for a perfect mate with precise qualities and physical features, and just going with the flow of things.
So is a relationship status necessary for a skaters profile page? It may not be needed, but if dating sites and friend of friends coworker blind dates don't help, I don't think that relationship statuses hurt.