Simone Biles Gets Real About Dating a Fellow Elite Athlete: We Know 'We Don't Come First, and That's Okay'

"We do what we need to do, and then when we come together it's fine," Biles tells PEOPLE of beau Stacey Ervin

Photo: Stacey Ervin/Instagram

Simone Biles is having a ton of fun with new beau (and fellow gymnast) Stacey Ervin, but the Olympic gold medalist says the pair are realistic about how much time they can devote to each other.

Biles, 20, says she recently had a chat with Ervin about how their relationship will change when she starts her full-time training again this November.

“He’s an elite athlete and he’s traveled and stuff, so he understands it,” Biles tells PEOPLE at the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis Sports Legends Dinner in New York City Monday evening. “We already know in each other’s lives we don’t come first, and that’s okay with the both of us. So we do what we need to do, and then when we come together it’s fine.”

32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner

Biles, who shared an adorable snap of the couple on Instagram Saturday, says she met Ervin three years before they started dating, during the P&G Gymnastics Championships (then called the Visa Championships). Biles once told Ervin “he was cute” over Snapchat, but they remained only friends for years.

Then, last spring, Nellie Biles (Simone’s adopted mother and biological grandmother) hired Ervin to be a coach at her gym while Biles was away performing on Dancing with the Stars. When the Olympic gold medalist returned home they spent more time together, and their relationship soon became romantic.

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The couple’s first date was at a sushi restaurant — which was a surprising choice considering her food preferences.

“He took me to a sushi place. He knows I don’t like sushi and he forced me!” Biles tells PEOPLE. “It was out of my comfort zone, which I liked.” (Biles also got Ervin out of his comfort zone earlier this year when she adorably straightened his curly hair.)

The restaurant choice ultimately fit with Biles’ adventurous nature — the gymnast went cage diving with sharks over winter break, but said she wished there was no cage.

“If I could do anything right now I would probably free swim with the sharks,” Biles tells PEOPLE. “I had to be in a cage because my mom said ‘No,’ so I’d love to do that.”

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