Guys, some of you are just lucky. You’ve got girlfriends or wives that already like football, and so when the NFL playoffs come around you get to sit down and watch as much gridiron action as you want without making your female companion feel neglected. However, I’m willing to bet that most of you tend to encounter “relationship problems” when January rolls around and you start spending 12 hours watching football every weekend.
So is there solution to this predicament that doesn’t involve skipping the football? Yes, and it’s quite simple, really: get your girlfriend to watch football with you.
Now I know what you might be saying. “No way. Not going to happen.” But it can. Seriously. I’ve read up on the subject and—gasp—even asked a few real live females their opinions, so today I’ve got a list of things you can do to get your special lady friend to watch the game with you. Some of them may not apply to your specific female situation because, contrary to popular belief, not all women are the same. (Who knew?) Thus, you’ll have to tailor these tactics to your specific needs. But I am confident that, if nothing else, these eleven points will provide a good framework.
So have a look, and give these a try this weekend with the NFC and AFC Championship Games. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
11. Let her know you want to watch football with her
Make it clear to your girlfriend that you actually want to watch football with her. Use keywords like “sharing” and “quality time” and “strengthening” and “relationship” to explain it if you have to (and if you can do it without sounding like a tool). This is the most important thing to do. If you don’t start here, you’ll get nowhere. Chances are your girlfriend has enough interests and hobbies and isn’t necessarily looking for a new one. So you need to give her a reason.
10. Pick and Choose
If you’re GF is a football beginner, start slow. Don’t expect her to spend 6 hours in a row watching football. So pick the one you want to watch most, or the one you think she might be most interested in (see numbers 8 and 7) and go with that. If things go well, who knows? By this time next year—assuming you’re still together—maybe you’ll both be glued to the couch from the first snap of Wild Card weekend.
9. Tailor the rituals to suit her interests
One of the most appealing aspects of football are the rituals that surround it: the party, the food, the beer. But while to you nothing goes better with football than beer and nachos, keep in mind that this might not be the case for your female companion. If she likes beer and nachos, well then great. But if she doesn’t, tailor the gameday rituals to her interests and tastes.
If you’re having people over, make it a balanced group (i.e., invite other chicks) instead of a bunch of your sports nut buddies. And in the food and beverage department, if she likes wine and cheese, then you make sure she has wine and cheese. And if she likes Honolulu Barbie drinks garnished with pineapple and little umbrellas, then you make sure she has Honolulu Barbie drinks garnished with pineapple and little umbrellas.
8. Emphasize the human element
I hate to stereotype, but the TV viewership demographics don’t lie: women like different kinds of shows than men. For example, if you are a guy, you do not enjoy watching “Dance Moms,” “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” or “Real Housewives of Orange County.” But for some reason women do. So try to bring what women seem to like about these shows—the drama, the gossip, the fights—into football.
Talk about feuds and scandals and who’s dating who and ask yourself, what would TMZ talk about if they were covering the NFL? Tell your girlfriend stuff like, “Tony Romo used to date Jessica Simpson, but now she’s married to a Chicago Bear.” Or “Tom Brady is the one who’s married to Gisele Bundchen.” Or “the Jets coach made a kinky foot fetish video with his wife.”
You could also show her the cheerleading page of your favorite team’s website. They’ve usually got little bios and behind-the-scenes videos that might appeal to reality TV fans.
And if your girlfriend doesn’t like any of these things, just find a way to connect the game to what she likes. Is she really into politics? Talk about how the team is trying to get the city to build a new stadium. Is she really into school? Talk about the guys (like Andrew Luck) who went to good schools. You get the idea.
7. Point out the hotties
Hey, you get to look at the cheerleaders. Why shouldn’t your girlfriend get some eye candy too? Point out the hot guys to her. Chicks like butts in spandex, too.
Does this idea make you uncomfortable or insecure? It shouldn’t. Are you worried you’re lady might get turned on by Mark Sanchez? Don’t be. It’s never a bad thing to have your lady turned on as long as you are the one sitting next to her on the couch and not Cam Newton.
6. Take an interest in her shows
If you want her to watch your stuff with you, then you should watch her stuff with her. And I’m not talking about a legalistic, quid pro quo exchange here. Don’t go to her and say, “if you watch football with me this weekend, I’ll watch ‘Cheer Perfection’ with you tonight.” Sure, it might work, but this coupon system isn’t ultimately what you’re after. You want your girlfriend to actually like watching football with you, and she’s not going to like it if she approaches it as a chore.
So just start watching her shows with her. Don’t say it’s because you want her to watch football. Just do it…even if you hate it. She might appreciate it and reciprocate without everybody having to bargain like used car dealers. And who knows, maybe she’ll find ways to make watching her shows more enjoyable for you.
5. Watch some sports movies and documentaries
Sports movies and documentaries do a great job of dramatizing the action on the field. So find some news stories on YouTube of athletes doing amazing charity work, or get out your copy of Rudy and watch it with the GF. It might help her connect with the stuff going on down on the field a bit better.
4. Explain and be patient
Football is complex and confusing, and if you’re girlfriend is new to the sport she’s going to have lots of questions. Thus, while this is obvious, I’ll state it anyway: be patient. If she asks tons of questions, even stupid ones, that’s fantastic. Who cares if she asks what the secondary is a thousand times? If she’s listening then you’ve done something right because she’s paying attention.
If she’s not asking questions, try explaining some things as they come up. Go learn a little trivia about the game (such as the history of the forward pass, or the history of the teams you are watching) to provide some context. But don’t get too detailed—you don’t want to lose her.
3. Buy her a jersey…and flowers
There is not a heterosexual woman on earth who doesn’t enjoy receiving a gift from a man out of the blue. So buy your girlfriend a jersey, and not the regular kind you would wear, but those slimmer fitting ones designed just for ladies. Hell, get the pink kind, or the kind with the sparkles and rhinestones. There’s nothing wrong with making football more girly so long as you’re doing it for a girl.
And while you’re out shopping, get her flowers too. That will make the football watching feel more like a date
2. Talk about stuff other than football
During the commercials and downtime, talk to her about stuff other than football. You know you are going to have to hear about so and so at work who said this or that at some point. It might as well be while you’re watching the game. For her it breaks up the monotony a bit. For you it’ll give you an excuse for cutting some stories short (e.g., “hold on babe, I want to hear what the ref is saying”).
1. Get her addicted to gambling
Okay, maybe don’t get her addicted to placing serious wagers, but at least join a football pool together. Nothing gets you interested in the outcome of a particular game like having money on the line. And this is as true for rabid NFL fans as it is for beginners. So organize a casual weekly pool with your circle of friends and get your girlfriend in on it—preferably one where you have to buy in at the start of the season. You’ll be surprised how interested she can be when a new pair of shoes is on the line.
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.