Maybe screaming at the TV doesn’t rank high on your list of Sunday fun; but a little football knowledge and an open mind might score you a beautiful hang.
Let’s start with a little honesty: I know nothing about football.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I grew up with a dad who played college football and a brother who played in high school, so I know the basics.
The actual truth is I care very little about football—but guys sure seem to enjoy it a great deal.
So, every fall and winter I’m left with a conundrum: hang out with a guy and watch football, or don’t hang with a guy and watch whatever I want? I know all guys aren’t interested in the game, but I don’t know that I’ve ever dated them.
So there’s always that choice, and I usually go for watching the game. I’ve learned a few lessons in the process that make everyone’s afternoon a little more enjoyable.
1. Try to learn a little about the game.
Before Sunday afternoon, do a little research. Maybe google the basics of football, or ask your partner—emphasis on before the game is on. I’ve learned in years past that guys don’t typically respond well to questions on Sunday afternoon, but are probably more than willing to explain before hand. Again, I don’t love football, but I feel a lot better walking into the afternoon with a basic understanding of the activities. Feel free to ask questions about penalties and things of that nature—the details aren’t necessarily intuitive, and show you’re taking an active interest.
2. Combine it with one of your hobbies.
Let’s say you really enjoy cooking, or maybe even baking. Perhaps your new favorite pastime is trying out new craft beers. Those fit just like a puzzle piece into a Sunday afternoon spent on the couch. Figure out something you can enjoy and include it in your day. That way, you both get to do something you enjoy.
3. Be an active participant.
Engage yourself in the game—don’t just sit there and watch it. I’m a pretty competitive person, so even though I don’t understand all of the ins and outs of football, I enjoy watching it the most when I pick a favorite team and root for them. I get upset about calls (I assume) don’t make sense and excited when my team scores. I don’t always (really) know what’s going on, but it makes it more fun than passively sitting on the couch.
4. Watch the game—then do something for yourself.
Football games are pretty long. You can guarantee a three hour stretch of your day will be occupied, and that’s assuming it’s just one game. That’s quite a commendable dedication to your relationship, but I still like to follow it up with something for myself. Maybe that means I give myself an hour to read a book before dinner, or simply order pizza instead of cooking for the day, but it feels good to balance things out a little.
5. Enjoy it—simply because your partner does.
Part of being in a healthy relationship is doing things we don’t necessarily love for the sake of making our partner happy. So even if football isn’t your thing, spend an afternoon (or a few) hanging out with your man and learning a little about it. Just because he loves it. You learn a lot about a person by exploring their hobbies and how they spend their free time.
The rules for watching football are pretty simple; I’ve learned the biggest one is don’t constantly talk about how good the tight pants look on the field. That one goes a long way.
In all seriousness, even if football isn’t your favorite way to spend a day, watch a game or two with your partner if it happens to be their thing. You’ll enjoy getting to learn a little more about them and their hobbies and it will be noted (and hopefully appreciated) that you spent your Sunday doing something with them.
Now Monday nights? Those are a different story. Those are mine. (Just kidding.)
[image: via Shawn Campbell on flickr]