You might be thinking, “But I don’t like sports or know anything about them! How can I become a part of his world in this area? What can I do to make sports work for our relationship and not against it?”
Tips for Making Sports Work for Your Relationship
- Express interest. This is a good starting place, even if you aren’t really interested – yet! One of the best ways to do this is to ask questions. Questions like:
- What is your favorite sport(s)
- What is your favorite team? Why?
- Is there a player that inspires you? How?
- What do you love about sports?
- Educate yourself. Here are some suggestions:
- Research the history of his favorite team. You should be able to do this online.
- Learn about his favorite player(s). Again, you can find biographical information and statistics online.
- Watch sports channels occasionally to increase your knowledge.
- Ask him questions about the game or sport – what the rules are, why a flag was thrown or a whistle blown by the referee, etc. Just be careful not to bombard him with too many questions during a game!
- Know his friends and teammates. Learn about his buddies, their families, their jobs, etc. Invite them (and their spouses) to your house to watch the game or hang out. Make it a point to engage them in conversation. It will help you to understand and be a participant in this part of his life.
- Find a common sport or hobby. Tennis, bike riding, rock climbing, ice skating, even video games will work as long as it is something that you both can enjoy. Most men need recreational companionship with their spouse. They desire that connection that comes when doing something fun together.
- Cuddle on the couch. Touch and expressions of physical affection can be enjoyed by both of you while watching a game. Put out snacks and drinks (or ask him to) and then get comfy on the couch. If you’re playing a game, massage his shoulders or touch his arm. Physically connect somehow, and you both will be engaged in the game and with each other.
- Laugh and flirt. Find humor wherever you can. If he’s taking teasing well, tease him when his team blows it or is behind. And flirt with him. Flirting isn’t just for before you become a couple. It should continue throughout your relationship. Compliment his body or his athletic prowess. Touch him in flirty ways. Be playful and inviting in your behavior. Just have fun!
- Be present. If you aren’t into watching all the game, sit on the end of the could with your feet touching him if he likes it. Read, engage in social media or texting, but don’t do it the whole game and make comments occasionally to let him know that you are still present.
- Allow for alone time. He may want to go to a sports bar or a buddy’s house to watch the game. He may want to go to a sporting event with a friend and not with you. Keep communication open and be willing to ask him if he wants you to go. Give him the time and space to do something alone or with his buddies, and he will appreciate you for it.
You don’t have to do things that you would hate- like memorizing stats and scores – to participate in the world of sports with your mate. And remember, your interest in sports certainly does not have to equal his. With some clear communication and effort, sports do not have to be a divisive issue for you but can become an enjoyable experience.
If you feel excluded from your mate’s world and not connect, sports might not be the root of the problem. It could just be the symptom of a deeper issue. Seek marriage help through a marriage retreat or seminar or a relationship coach or counselor.