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Love During Football Season?


What’s a guy to do when his sweetie and his favorite team compete for his attention? Find out as an expert shares advice.

By Alan Goldsher

like football. OK, I like football a lot. Not as much as those face-painter guys, but I’m no slouch. Now, most of the girls I’ve dated kinda don’t like football—and right around this time of year, this discrepancy in our interest levels becomes an issue. So I wondered, can I watch pigskin without alienating a girlfriend? And who better to turn to for advice than Jaci Rae, author of Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time (www.winningpoints.net). Here, I sought out her advice on how to keep a relationship alive when I’m logging lots of TV time watching the season’s finest hours.

What can a guy do to ensure that he’s able to be an excellent boyfriend without sacrificing his football watching time?

You’ll need game strategies in order to advance to the Super Bowl of love. Here are a couple tips from my playbook:
  • Introduce your partner to the game and the players (history, names, etc.).
  • Strike a deal with her. For every uninterrupted game you get to watch without guilt, you will do something she enjoys.
  • A note for women: Don’t nag him. Let him enjoy the game. Most women enjoy shopping—it’s a sport
    Rent a movie that will teach her about the players and the team—or that’ll make her laugh.
    for you. If you don’t like to be “rushed” with statements like, “Hurry up!” or “Are you done yet?” then don’t do it to him.
How can a guy make his mate happy while watching a game?

Don’t exclude her or use the excuse that it’s “football season.” Football season lasts six months with pre-season games. The average football fan spends 4,914 hours watching or reading about the sport during the season. An average employee who works a 40-hour week spends 2,080 hours a year at work. If you have penalty flags flying all over your living room and you want to avoid the coaches challenge, you’ll need to learn to compromise.

Here are a few techniques that have proven to be highly effective:
  • Strike a compromise with her. For every hour of football that she gives you in uninterrupted time, you agree to give her the equal amount of time doing something fun that she enjoys without asking, “Are you done yet?”
  • Arrange a special night out with her friends for her, so you can be left in peace to watch the game.
  • If your partner is willing to watch the game, but not really interested in it, enticing her to stay involved in your football night is the best maneuver. Rent a movie that introduces her to the team and its members. One of my picks: Football All Stars Intimate Portraits Vol. 3. DVDs like this can help introduce her to the players and the history of the game, which will have the end result of more interest in football, your passion.
Any tips on how to convert a non-football-loving woman into a pigskin fanatic?

If you want her to watch the game with you, don’t get frustrated or put her off when she asks a question. Football widows get tired of taking a back seat to television while their partners play couch commando with the clicker. And frankly, if you are more concerned about that 3rd and 1 on television than the 4th and 23 in your own living room, you’ve got a problem. You might just be another statistic on the playing field of love. Don’t let that happen. Instead, follow some simple rules:
  • Explain the plays to her. When she asks what a “conversion” or a “Hail Mary” is, try to calmly answer; don’t get annoyed!
  • As stated above, rent a movie that will give background on the players and the team—or one that will make her laugh. Laughter is a great bonding element. Another good movie for that is Sports Bloopers—Football.
  • There are some great books on the subject of football (I’m a big fan of The Football Coaching Bible). Have a special “date night.” Start off with a romantic candlelight dinner followed by sitting by the fire and sharing a football book. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can download a fireplace onto your computer monitor and have it crackling away while you read the book to each other. After you have gone over a chapter, have a Q&A. For every answer one of you gets correct, you two kiss…you get the picture, don’t you?
But once the playoffs start, isn't it OK for a guy to blow off his girlfriend somewhat?

Many relationships turn as cold as a Chicago Bears home game in December leaving Football Widows and Armchair Quarterbacks on opposing teams during the Playoffs. If you don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines this season or possibly kicked off the team, don’t blow off your partner. You can watch the playoffs, make your girlfriend happy, go to work and still get everything else done. Ever heard of TiVo?


Chicago-based freelance writer and Bears fan Alan Goldsher is the author of Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read and other books. Visit his website at AlanGoldsher.com..
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