Mike writes a recurring sarcastic and informative column every other Thursday in The Unfinished Man and is the Founder of My Online Dating Consultant
Tired of catching grief from your girlfriend for being more into the game than into her? A passion for sports is something so deeply ingrained in us as men that we’re confounded that women have zero interest in it. Are they another species? Did they land on Earth in space ships and just gradually adapted to this planet’s Oxygen based air? No, it’s simply your fault for not making the game something that they’re interested in. Here’s how to turn that around.
Sports is Soap Operas For Guys
I stole that quote from a good buddy of mine in Chicago and believe it 110%. As fanatical sports nerds, we pour over the Sports section hunting for speculation about who might be traded for whom, who is unhappy with his current team, what internal feuding is going on in the clubhouse, or how someone might be dealing with his current slump. We’re fascinated with the minutia of sports and always want the latest update and nugget of information that might seal or elevate our favorite team’s fate.
This is the side of sports that every woman can identify with whether she’s ever touched a ball other than one attached your groin or not. The key is helping her understand the storyline behind sports rather than the X’s and O’s of the game.
Share the back drop of why there’s such a long standing hatred between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Highlight the plotline running through sports that she can follow. Introduce the characters who give sports humanity and the epic struggle between good and evil that make it compelling for a non-sports fan. Tell her about the athletes’ personal stories of perseverance and overcoming obstacles to make it in the big leagues that inspire and excite us. Give depth to the journey that is the pursuit of a championship with stories that make it tangible and relatable to her life.
Help her identify with your team for the reasons you do. Explain how it’s the team that your Dad indoctrinated you to root for as his father did to him and his father did before him. Explain to her how your team reflects your personality whether it is its youthful enthusiasm, a legacy of winning or a perpetually lovable underdog mantra that makes every God loving sports fan hope “it’s their year.”
These are the kinds of things that women will find undeniably interesting and allow them to see the game as more than just a bunch of overpaid genetic freaks running around in their pajamas between stops at the nightclub…even if that might be closer to the real truth in 2012.
She couldn’t care less about the difference between the 3-4 and 4-3 defense and which defensive coordinator is adept at implementing either. You’ll lose her before you even get started with that shit.
Start with the basics. Now, I’m talking really basic. Think : each batter gets 4 balls and 3 strikes. Believe me, this can be more challenging than you think. If they get lost in some of the details like why a foul ball isn’t a strikeout…don’t sweat it. Move on to the next. Giving them a base level understanding is all that’s needed and the rest will come the more they watch.
Key in this process, is not being discouraging and absolutely never condescending. Have fun with something funny she says that makes no sense in sports terms as this will add to the enjoyment (laughing = bonding = goodness). Encourage her by pointing out that it’s a lot to pick-up all at once and don’t expect her to turn into Sparky Anderson overnight. Do you really want to have sex with Sparky Anderson at the end of the night any way? (Cincinnati and Detroit audiences please refrain from considering answering that question).
What She Really Wants Out Of Watching Sports
Keeping in mind what really matters to her is critical to your success in getting your girlfriend hooked on sports. She wants to understand you better. She wants to connect with you on another level that isn’t present today.
Learning about something you are passionate about, even if it’s at a very basic level will help her feel closer to you. If you do it right, she’ll view your game watching as more than simply a mindless duplication of another guy swinging another bat at the same ball.
Helping your girlfriend understand that the lessons of sports are the lessons of life will only deepen your relationship. Perseverance, struggling in the face of adversity, overcoming the physical, emotional and psychological hurdles before you, maintaining professionalism whether you’re winning or losing and ultimately the value of hard work toward a shared goal are the key notes that we love about sports and also about life…AND not coincidentally, the qualities she’s likely looking for in her man.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show your girlfriend the human side of sports that she never knew was there.
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