He's Way Too Into Sports
Q: My live-in boyfriend is a huge sports fan. Although it's something that we have in common, he's slowly turned our apartment into a "man cave" with all sorts of memorabilia, posters, pillows, etc., from his favorite teams. I feel like I'm living in a frat house. Not to mention that every weekend feels like a tailgate party. As post-seasons roll around, I start to pray that his teams lose so we can resume our lives, but then another sport kicks in and it starts all over again. I want to be a "team" player but when is it my turn for some attention? — Kim, 28
Dr. Susan: As a non-sports type, I'm glad you two found each other. But there are always going to be mismatches in couples when it comes to level of enthusiasm for one thing or another. At least yours isn't about religion or politics! That said, this issue of yours sounds like a great testing ground for your relationship. If you can't get this solved, do you really belong together for keeps?
Begin by expressing to him that while you love sharing a passion for sports, you're beginning to feel limited by living in a frat house atmosphere day and night and weekends. Could he limit his sports-themed decor to one room, or at least avoid one room (bedroom, living room?). Could you both agree to put aside half the weekends for your own interests?
You may also have to face the truth that you're not as exciting to him anymore as his teams. You're just . . . there. No need to root for you, vicariously compete on your behalf, or whatever he most finds thrilling in his sports fanaticism. He sounds like a big kid to me, but then millions of men are like that. Discuss this with him now before you turn to something more passive-aggressive.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.