Thursday, March 29, 2007

A sports lover's guide to getting their own sports gal

Well, I feel like a complete slacker since all the guys have been writing so much on the site and I only have my lame-o intro to my name. Thus, I have decided to address a comment Mr. Joey LeMay left on my first post--namely, whether men who love sports can ever find a woman to love them (and understand their obsession).

I feel there are many points that need to be addressed in understanding what kind of woman to pursue and also how to keep them satisfied once you find one willing to give you the time of day. I'll start with the criterion necessary to find a suitable mate. *The important points will be
italicized for your easy perusal, feel free to skip to those points*

The first thing you need to consider when looking for a girl who can understand your love of sports, is that not all women care about sports, but some care very much. But I doubt they will care nearly as much as you do. Either type of woman can be very satisfying,
you just have to be honest with yourself about whether it matters to you that she be interested in your hobbies. Speaking from personal experience, I don't think Corey could ever truly be happy with a woman who did not appreciate sports to some degree. I think part of the reason we work together is because I have an honest appreciation for all things sports, though mine is not an obsession like his is. (Side note, instead I am more obsessed with all things law-related, and that also works for us because he is interested in those things as well.) You have to evaluate for yourself your degree of love/obsession/unhealthy inability to live without sports, to decide which type of woman would be best for you. To help you, I'll lay out some of the pros and cons of each type.

Women who don't care one bit about sports can be great, if part of your love for sports comes from the fact that it is a bonding experience for you and your male friends. For many men on this site, this is probably the case. Sporting events, whether watched on tv or experienced live, can be a great reason for a bunch of guys to get together without any women (unless they're cooking your Super Bowl snacks) to entertain or worry about things like swearing, ridiculous male rituals during excitement, drinking, and just having lewd conversations about everything from the cheerleaders, to the officials, to what you would do to the other team (if you weren't so scrawny). *I know that some of these examples are exaggerated or biased since I am not generally included in them, if you would like to enlighten me about what really goes on and I am more than happy to be educated, otherwise realize that I am speaking tongue-in-cheek in much of these examples*

Piggy-backing off this point, if your woman does not care about sports, chances are she has a hobby of her own and friends of her own (which you may or may not enjoy spending large amounts of time with) and can use this time to hang out with her friends and doing other girlie things. This means you don't have to do them with her AND you get to do the things you want without feeling guilty!

However, her utter inability to care about the things you love may be a bigger drawback than is worth the advantage of enjoying sports unencumbered. For some of you out there, you may need to focus on looking for women who can talk about sports with you. My suggestions therefore is to find someone who has been an athlete at some point in her life. This way you know she's at least interested in one sport, and chances are her contact with other athletes has led to her ability to at least talk about, if not appreciate, other sports as well.

If you find that liking sports is a necessary quality in any woman you would consider having a relationship (other than purely sexual) with, I recommend that you decide which sport is most important to you and find a woman who can at least appreciates/talk about it with you. That way you can talk to her about your sport of choice. But don't be greedy, just pick the most important one and be happy that she's willing to deal with that one sport. If she likes more than one sport, you're a lucky man. If she doesn't, you still need to count yourself lucky that you found someone to share your time with who also shares your love/appreciation/etc. for that particular sport. For some of you that may not be as important, or you may find yourself just loving sports in general and not really discriminating about which sport you watch (or only caring that you NOT watch certain sports); in that case, any woman who likes sports should do.

I feel it is important to note at this point that there are women out there who will be just as obsessed, or more so than you, about a particular sport or team. You are NOT the only gender that likes sports, and I'm sure you all know guys who don't particularly care about sports. For example, as I noted in my first post, I play softball. Almost all of the girls on my team any given year have loved baseball quite a bit. Some of them have been quite obsessed even (sorry boys, most of them are taken).

Then of course, there are some who like the sport mostly because the guys have nice bodies and wear tight pants. Don't hold that against them. I know you all have liked at least one woman in your life solely on the basis of their looks. At least they like men in your sport of choice, so they'll watch it with you. They may not appreciate the great plays, but you can take that as an opportunity to educate them on what's going on and maybe create a true (enter sport of choice here)-lover. But DO NOT presume that just because they think players are hot that they don't know anything about the sport, watch a game with them or talk about it with them and gauge their knowledge before you presume to educate them. Some of them might be able to teach you a thing or two as well.

I think it is also important to point out that dating a woman who likes sports can have a few drawbacks as well. For one, your woman might get upset or jealous when you go out with the boys to watch sports and leave her at home. There have been numerous times I have gotten upset that Corey was making plans to go out with the guys to do something sports-related, not because I don't want him to go out with the boys or I don't want him to enjoy sports, but because I really want to go with him! I want to have fun with the boys, bonding over sports too! This sometimes creates tension with us as there are times he interprets my outbursts or sadness as being upset that he goes out, when really all I want is to go with him, not be stuck at home doing homework while he's out watching a game and having fun. Just keep in mind that she might end up invading your guy sports time, so be prepared.

But, it's also super cool to have a girlfriend you can show off to your friends who likes sports and knows about them. The first time Corey took me to watch a Vikings game with his friends I totally impressed them, by not only showing an interest, but getting pissed at him for blocking my view of the game with his violent outbursts. That, and threatening to kick his ass if he didn't get out of my way. Nothing feels cooler to a woman than being appreciated by their guy's friends, and I'm willing to bet it feels just as cool to the guy that their friends think their girlfriend is cool.

But also keep in mind that she might tire of sports at some point. Even though it's your life's obsession, she may not feel the same. I certainly get tired of the fact that as soon as one sports season ends, another begins. Sometimes I just need a break from it for awhile so that I can recuperate mentally.

In the case of any type of woman that I have listed, make sure that if you expect them to participate in or appreciate the sports you like, that you pay attention to the things they like as well. Speaking from personal experience, many of the times that I get upset with Corey are when I feel like I support the things he likes (sports) and he pretty much glosses over many of the things I really like (that are not sports). (That said, he does usually support me in my endeavors, and he tries to make it to all of my games and cheers me on excessively loudly, sometimes getting thrown out of games for being too raucous.) To have a balanced relationship, you need to give as much attention to the things they like as you expect out of them (or at least give them lots of back rubs and other treats in exchange for their attention to the things you like). You cannot expect them to put all their energy into your hobbies if you are not willing to do the same. And, the fact that you make an effort to like the things they are interested in, will most likely translate into more appreciation for you (whatever form that may take).

These are just a few of the things I think are important in finding and keeping a woman. So take heart boys, you don't have to stay a lonely freak the rest of your life. Just because you're a miserable failure at love right now does not mean you will continue to be that way for the rest of your life. In fact, part of my job here is to help you through these awkward periods in your life and give you a chance with the greater, i mean opposite, sex. If you continue to read me, I will do my utmost to give you a fighting chance at finding a woman who is compatible enough with you to make you happy and who you can also keep happy (so she can keep making you happy).

And if there is anything I have not addressed, something you're curious about, or you just think I'm stupid, feel free to tell me. I am interested in any and all feedback and ways to cater to my male readership (and also, at some point I'll write a few things targeted at women, so if you know any you should send them to my site so I can get them interested in you and they can also tell me what I'm missing, thus allowing me to help you further). I love to get comments, so definitely leave me something, but also feel free to email me (even for relationship advice). I am on here all the time (and when I'm not Corey is so he can tell me to sign on if you leave a particularly pressing comment), so contact me any time.

Anyway, that's all I've got for today.

Sports gal out.


Corey Ettinger said...

In defending myself I want to say that, while sports may indeed always be going on, I do usually have a few doldrums in my sports life. Weeks 4-8 of the football season, with the exception of Vikings game days. And usually the months of January and February, after the bowl games and before March madness and spring training. So its not true that she never gets a break. I'm only completely sports obsessed 9 out of 12 months of the year, leaving three whole months for her. That is when I'm not sleeping, as I usually hibernate during those times to make up for lost sleep and to give my voice a chance to recuperate.

On a positive note because of me, we've never had a bear in the apartment. Not one.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to begin by saying that I am not obsessed with sports? Do girls read this? If so, I stand by that statement. If not, that was a lie. I also tell the truth all the time. I loved the insight of your column because it proved furthermore that I shall never love. It's as if your column can see into the future, and that's impressive. I only kid when I say that... about me never loving. I think I have a nice balance in my life right now between sports, school and everything else. And by everything else, I mean things that normal people do that I replace with sports. Like calling home, or paying bills, or funerals... stuff like that, ya know?

Kristen Mainz said...

Joey, of course you will find love. There are women out there who love sports as much as you do, and who would be happy to put up with (or even show up) your love of all things sports. You just also have to learn to love women, until that happens, you might have trouble keeping a woman. Many women will play second fiddle to sports, but if you make them fourth or eighth, they get angry and leave. Sometimes they throw punches. (Or is that just me?)

Corey Ettinger said...

I wouldn't know because you've never fallen further than second fiddle by default. I simply don't have enough hours in my day for a girlfriend, sports and anything else.