Today, golf legend Tiger Woods and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn officially announced their relationship. While the two of them do have the whole “world class athlete” thing in common, they both bring plenty of troubled past relationships to the table. Lindsey recently divorced her husband and longtime coach, Thomas Vonn, who reportedly caused friction between her and her relatives. Tiger’s divorce from Elin Nordegren and repeated affairs with other women are not news to anyone who has had an internet connection in the last five years. So, how can these two make sure that their past mistakes won’t haunt them in a new relationship? Let’s take a bit of guidance (and some of these, they’re already doing — always a good sign).
1. Don’t trash your exes
Although some new relationships make you question what the hell you were doing before, both Tiger and Lindsey have refrained from trashing their exes in the media. In Tiger’s case, his ex is also the mother of his children, and who wants to hear Dad saying mean things about Mom on TV. Takeaway – when you move forward, you should also try and move upward.
2. Early in a relationship, gestures mean a lot
It may be “just a gesture,” but before you’ve learned to communicate solidly as a couple, a gesture goes a pretty long way. Recently, Lindsey got injured while training in Austria. Tiger sent his private plane to pick her up and bring her back to a hospital in the U.S. You may not have a private jet at your disposal, but thoughtful gifts and notes are always welcome in a new relationship. Or a non-new one, for that matter.
3. Present yourself as a team
Though there have been rumors about Tiger and Lindsey for a while, the couple only officially announced their relationship today. They did it in grand style: releasing a series of beautiful, professionally-done photos with the Nike logo right up front. You probably don’t need to do a photoshoot with your new partner, but presenting a united front shows skeptical friends and relatives that you mean business. (Example: “Yes, we’d be happy to come to your birthday party.”)
4. Get your lifestyles in sync
Reportedly, one of the problems in Woods’ marriage (y’know, besides the philandery) was that his golf schedule required him to be away constantly, and Elin and the kids couldn’t always join him on the road. Lindsey’s also a world-class athlete, so she likely understands Tiger’s schedule, and vice versa. If both partners have similar expectations going in, that’ll save a lot of time – and hurt — later.
5. Be honest about your respective pasts
It’ll be hard for Tiger Woods to lie about his past to Lindsey, considering she has already publicly joked about his past. But even if you’re not famous, it’s important to be open about your pasts and operate with full disclosure when it comes to old wounds. For example, let’s hope Lindsey and Tiger talk about her teasing him for his womanizing. Water under the bridge, right?