How to Love a Sports Fan

Credit: The League via FXX

Let me start this by saying, I don’t hate sports.  As my dad’s only child, I was the one who watched sports with him every weekend and I loved having that time with him.  But when I went off to college and was living away from home, watching sports was never a draw for me.  Sure I’d watch the big sporting events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or the World Cup, but I would never go out of my way to see a sporting event.  And dating a sports enthusiast was even further from my mind, but then I met an amazing man who just happened to love (and I do mean LOVE) sports.  So here’s what I’ve learned (so far) about loving a sports fan…

Ask before you jump to conclusions: No, they don’t think sports are more important than you are, but they may already have a standing commitment with their buddies to watch some obscure game that you’re sure doesn’t matter.  I was pretty sure my first date with my (now) husband, Nate, had gone horrifically.  Not only did he seem to be afraid of me for most of our meal (apparently a side effect of nerves), but he cut it short to dash out.  If that’s not a sign of a date go wrong, I don’t know what is.  Ultimately I learned that an opportunity to see his hockey team play live had arisen at the last minute.  If I had jumped to conclusions or gotten steamed that this game was more important to him than a live person, I could have missed out on something great.  

Get involved in a way that works for you: I think fantasy football has been one of the best things for my relationship with Nate.  It’s something I never thought I would enjoy, and ended up playing as a filler for an open spot minutes before the scheduled draft time, but it’s been beneficial in numerous ways.  First, it gets me to care about football.  Now football has a direct effect on my fantasy team so paying attention to what’s going on is always helpful.  It also gives me something to talk about not only with Nate, but also our friends, family, and co-workers.  It’s another tool in your back pocket for conversations that extend past the weather.  

If fantasy sports don’t interest you, try watching sports live.  Baseball may be one of the slowest sports in American history, but sitting outside on a nice summer night with a beer and a mini baseball helmet full of soft-serve ice cream… sign me up!    

Find your people: Eventually you’ll have to attend group events to watch games.  This may seem like a total waste of time since you’re not interested in watching the game in the first place, but approach it as an opportunity to spend time with other fellow significant others of sports fans.  You are not alone… there are others wandering the planet trying to just get through the next game.  Find them.  Cling to them.  There’s safety in numbers.

Take up a hobby: When all else fails, and you’re stuck watching yet another hockey playoff game in May, it’s time to break out your hobby.  In all honesty, I think I read more during hockey/basketball playoffs than any other time of the year.  It allows me to “spend time” with Nate by accompanying him on the couch, without actually having to watch the game.  Reading has been a good outlet for me so far, and I’m contemplating knitting, drawing, writing, etc. for future seasons.  We’ll see what this baseball season brings.

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