Sports aren’t my favorite thing. And if you’re reading this, they probably aren’t yours either. Hey, I get it. I don’t understand the appeal of watching a group of grown men or women in unflattering uniforms go out of their way to maim each other. Nevertheless, it’s likely a part of your partner’s life, and it’s about making compromises. Right?
Let’s just say it is.
Every now and then, you have to throw in the towel (first sports pun of my life…sort of) and set aside an afternoon for a sports session with the guys. Here are a few tips to help you through:
1. Start with a positive mindset. You’re not going to help anyone (least of all yourself) if you can’t even entertain the idea of being present. Don’t text, don’t roll your eyes, don’t ask “Is it over yet?” This is your boyfriend’s hobby, so don’t belittle it.
2. Do your due diligence. Is it a match or a game? Know the difference. Get comfortable with sports terminology. Are we dealing with runs, goals, touchdowns? Getting a head start is always a good idea — it’ll be infinitely better for everyone if you don’t ask how many innings there are during first pitch. A good way to get some context and stay involved is to follow your team on Twitter.
3. On that note, try not to chirp in with too many questions during the game. Have you ever gone to a movie with a friend only to have her constantly bug you about what’s going on? “Wait, why did that happen? Did that character die? I think that’s his father!” Picture that, but a thousand times worse, especially if there’s a beloved team involved. I’ve known friendships that have ended because a goal had to be caught on instant replay instead of being experienced in the moment.
4. Show some spirit! Find out which team your man supports, and embrace those colors! You don’t have to go too crazy with it – body paint is hard to put on, and even harder to get off. Try an eyeliner or lipstick that incorporates his team’s colors. If makeup isn’t your thing, a team accessory will also work!
5. When all else fails, make a game out of it. There are plenty of sport-specific drinking games that you can play. Ask your man, he’ll be more than happy to share. Try to stick with “Drink when this event happens” games as opposed to sports trivia, or you might not make it through the night.
Make the experience fun in a way that both of you can enjoy it, and you’ll open up a part of his life that you can be involved in. Best of all, he’ll associate his favorite hobby with you. At the end of the day, you’ll at least have earned yourself some serious brownie points for trying. Try it once, and let me know if you scored that night — sports pun intended.