Now that we’re in the midst of football season, we have a question for you sports fans: Are you spending more time in front of the flat screen than you are in front of your significant other? Football has been likened to an all-too alluring mistress: the one that makes enthusiasts ignore calls and texts, glance at their phones during conversations at dinner, and spend late nights away from home. Though a little sport never hurt anyone, if you’re more tuned into the game than your partner, than the romance can quickly collapse and fizzle.
So how does one strike a balance between sports time and together time? How to keep the flame burning (or at least flickering)? One way, according to It’s Just Lunch dating expert Stephanie Kluver, is to make football a social event. Get singles (or couples) together, bring out the beer and wings, and make it an excuse to meet people and make new connections. Not into the game at all? Protect yourself from feeling left out by doing your own thing. Schedule a girls’ nights out on the days when he’s cheering on his team with the guys. Another suggestion? Diversify. Guys: Don’t make football the continuous topic of conversation. Talk about other things. (Life does happen outside the stadium.) And ladies: If he’s really into it, go with the flow, try to see what makes the game interesting. The lessons learned from football—engaging your partner, managing individual and shared interests—are important relationship skills that will come in handy, even when the season is over.
For more of Stephanie’s tips, watch the full video filmed in Minneapolis.