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    The long and short of lasting relationship, according to footballer 'Tata' Garcia-Long

    Feb 7, 2014

    FOR footballer Cristina Garcia-Long, love is like a game — you should know the rules wholeheartedly and play it at your best.

    Cristina 'Tata' Garcia-Long fully embraces every aspect of the game that both tests and molds her mettle. “I absolutely love the challenge of getting the ball and [not allowing it to be] taken from me,” the Green Archers United booter says. “There is a certain thrill to it.”

    And while she definitely looks like a girly-girl from a distance, she doesn’t mind letting go and being the opposite once she competes on the pitch. “Football is like any sport you devote yourself to. It builds character,” Garcia-Long believes. “I think it says a lot about women when they aren’t afraid to get all dirty and sweaty, [when they do] not care how they look. Men love that.”

    Other than football, another thing that speeds up her heart rate is a gentleman who shares her sentiments in sport and competition; she thinks “it’s a little more exciting when you’re with someone [athletic] and competitive.” No wonder she married UAAP commentator Kirk Long, who also plays in the PBA D-League for the NLEX Road Warriors.

    They’d been together for five years before tying the knot, and Garcia-Long reveals that what she likes most about her husband is his positive outlook in both life and basketball. “He never gives up no matter how hard life gets,” she shares. “You need someone who doesn’t give up when things get difficult. He’s my positive thinker.” The lesson: Show your steel in handling tough situations and you’re bound to get more than her attention.

    Continue reading below ↓

    And when it comes to what a man shouldn’t bring into a relationship, Garcia-Long simply says to leave behind all pretentiousness, because trust and truth strengthen a couple’s bond and teamwork. “[Men] have to be true to themselves. Be simple. Be real,” she encourages.

    With the right choice of words, you shouldn’t be afraid to articulate your feelings. “Communicate the right way and don’t keep your [feelings] in,” Garcia-Long advises. “Commitment is an effort, but it doesn’t have to be hard.”

    Cristina Fills In the Blanks

    A guy’s got balls when he… stands up for what he believes in even when everyone thinks he looks stupid.

    Work hard so you can... play more.

    “Beautiful Day” by U2… is the song that gets me going in the morning.

    I like it when a guy... gets creative ... while playing football.

    A man should... always try to change things up in a relationship and make it fun.

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