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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Real Life: Girlfriend’s Guide on How to Survive Football Season


It’s September. 
It’s football season.
Kick off is in a few hours.
In fact, did you know that there are literally thousands of football games every week? 
And I'm only talking about college and NFL games too!
And that means you can expect to lose your man every weekend through the beginning of the year. And guess what, it extends through Monday nights and Thursday nights too!

 

 

It seems like the whole world is into it...except you.

And that’s fine.

 










I’ve written this guide to help wives and girlfriends get through football season.
(For those ladies who finally concede and to wish to start learning, check out my Football 101 Guide.)
But first, let's see what real men had to say. I had an impromptu men’s roundtable, and asked “what they wished their lady understood about game day.”

Beau: 42 & married, broadcaster, Atlanta, GA
“I actually prefer sports to be my own domain - an item of my life largely unshared so I suppose the burden for my wife is even greater. Sports is a big part of who I am. Learning to accept that is a part of learning to deal with me. I encourage her to create a separate area of her life even away from me that she can enjoy. That can and often does include spending a whole lot of money while I am watching sports.”

Scotty: 29 & single, promotions producer, Charlotte, NC
“I wish whoever I am dating at the time would understand that it is more than just the games on the weekend. I actually have a lot of money riding on it, because I am in three fantasy football league.”


Freddie: 34 & single, former NFL player, Tampa, FL
“Respect my pass time or hobbies like watching football, just like I respect yours (shopping, soap operas and the reality tv mess you watch). Don't set double standards when it's convenient for you. There must be a compromise, because God knows that reality TV mess is not making our relationship stronger.”


Jonathan: 30 & single, entrepreneur, Greensboro, NC
“It's give and take. You don't have to like it to still love me enough to accept it on game day.”

There it is. This is what men really want and how they think about “game day”, despite what we want them to think.
It’s like finding out men don’t like Uggs Boots and animal print, despite how much you wish they did because you love them so. (Click here to see my story where I hit the streets to find out men’s thoughts on fashion!)

So let’s address what these men said and leads into my first tip.

#1 Accept it.
Take a deep breath, and now exhale. Girlfriend, it’s not going away; and I know you think it sucks. But the sooner you realize that “this is your life” and you love your man enough to let him have these days of couch potatoing, the less “nagging” you’ll do, the happier he’ll be and the more peaceful your household will run in return.
Once you accept it, the good news is that you don’t really have to be involved. Remember, Beau said “I actually prefer sports to be my own domain.” So there is no expectation for you to be is “rah-rah” chick. 

The other good news: you will always know where homeboy is on gameday!

But the bad news is, that still leaves you lonely on the weekends; a great sacrifice of time without your boo.
Here's a Solution: Make Friday (or another day that works for your schedule) a permanent date night through the duration of the season. Never let him off the hook with it. Tell him he needs to wine and dine you for that one day weekly, in exchange for all the weekends he wants watching games in the fall. (I mean, he even gets Thanksgiving and Christmas!) YOu deserve a special day each week and you promise to him not to harass when “it’s such a pretty day, so lets go to the park.”

#2 Find something else to do.
And if you’re lucky to have a man like Freddie who understands that shopping is your hobby, he may even finance it on game days! (Yippie! *kicks heels up*)’

You could also book a standing date with the girlfriends!

The bulk of your weekends are going to be without your man. If you have kids, you’re going to have to work out who stays with dad watching the game and who is with you. But try your darnedest to carve out huge hours of time for yourself. Don’t compromise it! This needs to be a “fair exchange” of time with your man and his games earns you your share too. Even if you are a mommy, you have to do it to make sure you survive the season...HAPPY.

Don’t have a hobby?
Take this advice I tell young adults as they seek answers about their careers:  What did you like to do when you were a kid? Think about how you passed time, when you had idle time. It is the best way to remember the essence of who you are. When you were a kid, unaffected about results or consequences of how you spent your free time, you did what you were most drawn to; the things that most interested you. That was the truth of who you are. Do that again!
*Fun fact about me: When on family vacations across the country as a kid, I used to do “Eyewitness News” with my siblings. Now look at me today!

#3 You could help get ready for game day.
He may or may not ask you to whip up some snacks for the game. Hey, that’s all on you and your relationship with your dude. But, if you are in a relationship then you already know that food is one of the three things that keep your man into you.
  1. food
  2. sex
  3. acceptance
Try remixing this tradition of barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. Tell him to join you on shopping days and in the kitchen on the mornings before the games. Convince him you need his help in making something! See where I’m going with this...damsel in distress. Just make sure it’s before the games, and your hero should be happy to oblige.

Bonus: Tailgate
If he’s going to the game, find out if he is tailgating. Tailgating is the party before the game, during and after the game. You don’t have to paint your face, you’re just showing up for the social part! Plus, your man will be there. See how that works.

Final tip: I was told to warn you that if you really don’t like football, it is better for you to leave the room. Taking your kindle or a book and sitting on the couch just to be next to him, is going to result in you being bored and then asking what he would call “dumb” questions. To be clear, men are willing to answer your questions about their favorite game if you sincerely want to learn about it. But, since YOU don’t, your questions and comments are going to come off cynical, and that’s going to start a fight or lead to your feelings being hurt.

What do you think?
What has worked for you?
Let us know in the comments below and on our Facebook page!

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