10 Tips for Women Who Lose Their Men To Football
Dear April Masini,
I hate this time of year because my boyfriend lives and breathes football. I feel neglected and lonely. Do you have any advice or tips that will help me get through football season?"
A Football Widow
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Football Widow,
Like March Madness widows who lose their men to basketball, football widows can face a long, lonely winter when men are all about football. And unless you’re one of the lucky women who loves football, too, you have an incompatibility in your relationship. Any incompatibility can cause pain, but relax. It’s not cancer. It’s not a deal breaker in a relationship – at least it shouldn’t be. And unless his football mania is a symptom of some larger addiction problem, there’s no need to worry. And there are lots of things you can do to make life easier for yourself.
First, be happy that he has a hobby that he enjoys and that is legal and not harmful. I know it sounds funny, but you have to start with the positives. Being a football fiend is not going to send your family into debt (unless he’s a gambler on the games, and gambling, like other addictions, is a separate problem). It’s something he can enjoy locally without traveling to foreign lands or deep waters – like scuba diving fiends. It’s not unhealthy – in fact, his watching football games can be a great way for him to unwind and release stress. And it’s socially acceptable, so you will have friends, neighbors and family who are football watching buddies for him, and football widows with whom you can make friends with – for you. And if you have kids, they can learn the football culture from the man in your life.
If football is beginning to sound not so bad, now, you may be a candidate for conversion to the church of football! If you hate it without really ever having watched or expressed question or interest in it, you may find a lot of pleasure in getting to understand the game. Try watching with your man, and ask questions. Skim the sports page so you get familiar with the teams and the players. Get the main gist of the game without needing to know all the rules and details. And if you find yourself enjoying the game, say goodbye to football widow-hood, and join the converted football fans.
If, however, you’re just not going to like it at all or ever, then try some alternatives to being left out in the cold during football season:
- Party! Instead of shunning the games, find out when the games are on, and throw a party for his football buddies and their significant others and families. Make it a football buffet – either cook, cater or ask for pot luck contributions. And be sure to invite some of your non-football fan friends so that you can have a good time, too.
- Alternative party. Like the exclusive parties in the back rooms of the clubs, make your own back room party that has nothing to do with his football game. In a separate part of the house – so you’re not disturbing him, and he’s not disturbing you – throw your own party with your girlfriends. It’s a great way to catch up on girl talk.
- Stress less. Schedule a massage and a pedicure during his football games. Take care of yourself, and relieve your own stress without having to stare down the plasma screen for a couple of hours with him. Schedule your private time so that it directly coincides with his game. He’ll never you were gone, and you’ll never know about all the touchdowns you missed.
- Shop till you drop. Use this time to go shopping. Consider it simultaneous, parallel private time. He’s doing his thing in the recliner. You’re doing your thing with the Visa card. Everybody’s happy!
- Step up your game.Be a competitor without playing football. Use the time your man’s watching football to take a lesson – a tennis lesson, that is. Or a ski or snowboarding lesson. Or some other lesson that will hone your sport. Then challenge him, when his football game is over. You can have your own extreme sport
– it doesn’t have to be football. And believe me – if he loves football, he’ll be appreciative of your sporty ways.
- No electricity.Give him a surprise – this is a good one. Right before the game, pull the breakers on the electricity supply so that he thinks he won’t be able to watch the game. Then right before he is about to completely lose it – have all his friends stream in with chips, beer – and turn the breakers back on. Surprise! He’ll really appreciate his football game – and your spunk and sense of humor.
- Get in the spirit. Decorate the TV room like a party for his team with all his team colors. Get a cheerleader uniform for his team and wear it. He’ll love it.
- Memorabilia.Make your own tradition, by presenting him at halftime with a gift – a signed piece of sports memorabilia from his favorite player. Try on-line auction sites and local or national sports memorabilia stores for everything from photos to footballs to jerseys that are signed by various players at all price ranges. He’ll love it – and you.
- Sexy post game show. When the game is over, surprise him with a candlelit bedroom and some lingerie in team colors – or just a football jersey and nothing else – for your own private tackle football game.
- Ticket him. And for the ultimate sacrifice a football widow can make, buy him tickets to a live game. Get the best you can afford – and watch him go crazy with excitement.
When there's no game on, make sure your guy spends some serious tine with you. Check out my book, Romantic Date Ideas, for some great ideas for fun dates...that don't involve football!