How Sports Help You Score In Love

Nothing gets the blood pumping like the thrill of competition! Browse our list to learn what your favorite sport says about your relationship style — and how to take your game to the next level.

By Matt Christensen

opefully, you and your partner have a few things in common — and possibly among them is a favorite team, sport or athletic event that unites you both. Sports are a great way to bond with a partner as you cheer, heckle, and emotionally invest yourselves in the thrill of competition. But what do your athletic tastes say about your relationship style? Game on!

The San Diego Chargers vs. the Oakland Raiders. The New York Jets vs. the New England Patriots. The Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins. These NFL rivalries keep football season exciting, sure — but if you're single, can the team you're rooting
It's like a dinner party, but it's not lame and stuffy.
for actually affect your love life? Yes! Visit the official blog, Up To Date, to learn which team's fans have an advantage on the playing field when it comes to scoring more online dates.

What it says about you as a couple: You have fun interacting with other couples. Football isn't just a sport, it's an event. On game day, there's always a party or people tailgating somewhere, usually with plenty of other fans enjoying the action. "My wife and I are Jets fans," says John, a 30-year-old writer. "Every Sunday during football season we go to our local bar, where we meet up with our friends — mostly other couples — to watch the games. It's like a dinner party, but it's not lame and stuffy." Attending games is also a great way to get close. "Football is a cold-weather sport," adds John. "Going to a game in the middle of the season gives you the opportunity to cover up together under a blanket."

How to take things up a notch: Face/body paint! No football game is complete without some die-hard fans spackled in team colors waving at the camera. So be those fans, enjoy the game, and then hit the showers together to wash off the paint once overtime's ended.

Baseball is America's pastime, so even if you're not a fanatic, chances are you've had more than a few baseball experiences. And a day that's comprised of nine innings, beers and ballpark dogs is a perfect way to relax with your partner.

What it says about you as a couple: You're comfortable together. "Baseball is slower-paced than many other sports, but that doesn't mean the two of you are boring," says Ky Henderson, relationship columnist for Cosmopolitan. "It just means you don't need constant outside stimulation, because hanging out with and talking to each other is enough."

How to take things up a notch: Buy each other custom jerseys. Yeah, it's a little corny, but the personal nicknames you have stitched on the back will remind you of the silly inside jokes that help strengthen any good relationship.

College Sports
Whether you're an alumnus, college town resident, or someone who just enjoys the "purity" of amateur sports, this kind of competition can wrap you up in blind passion as you cheer on your favorite school to victory.

What it says about you as a couple: You're passionate and nostalgic. "If you're into college sports, chances are, you both have nostalgic streaks — especially if you're still a huge fan of your alma mater," says Henderson. "There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't spend too much time idealizing your past when you should be enjoying your present together." Rivalries can be fun, too. "I'm an Ohio State fan," says Chris, a 37-year-old gym owner. "My wife went to Michigan. The banter never stops, but it's always in good spirits."

How to take things up a notch: Start a fan war. Take advantage of those intense college rivalries by leaving a copy of your team's winning record on your partner's pillow. Then, plot your next playful attack while you wait for him or her to respond.

The NBA's 2010-2011 season was the most-watched basketball coverage on television in the past 30 years. And even if you didn't watch a single game, you probably heard something about the controversial goings-on with the Miami Heat — and mildly enjoyed the fact that they got routed in the NBA Finals.

What it says about you as a couple: You're cool! NBA games are "in" right now. Celebrities are always turning up courtside, and the players are larger than life (sometimes literally). And the atmosphere traps the electricity of any pro sporting event within the close quarters of an arena. Watching basketball as a couple — whether it's at the event itself or at home — suggests that you're a trendy, cool pair who are always ready for some excitement.

How to score more points: Play a game of H-O-R-S-E. It's easy, it's fun, and it's a great way to spend an hour before the game's tip-off. Plus, the winner will have bragging rights until the rematch before the next game.

Thanks to its hard-to-follow rules (and players with even harder to pronounce names), hockey is a sport usually reserved for die-hard fans. While it's possible the two of you actually enjoy those frigid playoff games and missing teeth, the routinely unspectacular NHL ratings suggest that one of you is probably a bigger fan than the other one is.

What it says about you as a couple: Either you both love being Canadian, or you're open to the learning and teaching aspects of being in a relationship together. Hockey has plenty of rules, terms, and player names that are uncommon compared to any other mainstream sport. Your willingness to learn or teach someone about a relatively unfamiliar game suggests
That's an extremely important quality for a couple who wants to stay happy together long-term.
that you feel common ground is worth finding with someone. "My boyfriend is a huge hockey fan," says Katie, a 26-year-old teacher. "He took me to a Rangers game and I had a blast. I asked a lot of questions — probably stupid ones — but he took the time to explain everything. I'm still not a big fan, but I always get excited when he says he has tickets."

How to score more points: Spring for good seats. You can't appreciate the intensity of hockey from the nosebleed sections. During the season, shell out for a pair of close seats so you can jump into each other's arms every time a toothless right wing smashes against the boards in your section.

Mixed Martial Arts
No sport has enjoyed the explosive upswing in popularity over the past several years like Mixed Martial Arts. Surprisingly, almost half of the fans who watch the Ultimate Fighting Championships — the leader in MMA competition — are female, which means there's something for everyone inside the Octagon.

What it says about you as a couple: Either you're freaking crazy — or you're both adrenaline addicts. MMA is a brutal, exciting, and borderline barbaric sport. But sometimes, so are relationships! The adrenaline released while you're watching an intense marathon battle is the same as what's released during sexual arousal, and the modern-day gladiatorial battle known as MMA is a great rush for all involved.

How to score more points: Take a self-defense or Mixed Martial Arts class together. You'll learn how to snap someone's fibula while in the comfort of your partner's loving embrace — and possibly pick up a few new positions for the bedroom while you're at it.

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
The split between male and female NASCAR fans is about 60/40, which means there's a good chance that if you're into tradin' paint, you can find a partner who's built for speed.

What it says about you as a couple: You'll do anything to spend time together. "The NASCAR spectator experience isn't always comfortable," says Henderson. "Races are crazily loud — and dirty, depending on how close you're sitting — in person. And races on oval tracks can be monotonous on TV. So one of you may very well be enduring that in order to spend time with the other person and share an interest together."

How to score more points: Attend one of the races with your partner (assuming you haven't been to the track already) and immerse yourself in the smoke, screeching tires, and rowdy fans of a NASCAR event for a guaranteed, out-of-your-element good time.

Despite its increased popularity over the past half-decade or so, soccer still isn't a sport watched by most Americans. But with a huge number of mixed-gender intramural and recreational leagues popping up across the country, it's a great way to meet people, enjoy each other's company, and stay fit.

What it says about you as a couple: You crave new adventures. "Soccer isn't very popular in the [U.S.], so chances are you're both interested in finding and doing new things together," explains Henderson. "That's an extremely important quality for a couple who wants to stay happy together long-term." Owen, a 28-year-old financial analyst, plays on an intramural team with his wife of three years. "It's something we both really enjoy because it's an easy game to pick up, it gives us a chance to work together and, really, it's just fun," he says. "It's a date."

How to score more points: Play with your partner! Join a league, kick a ball around at the park together, or invest in a foosball table for at-home games. Any of the above options is sure to give you relationship a kick.

Matt Christensen has written for such publications as Maxim, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and WWE Magazine.
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