First, take a long, hard look at your baseball behavior. Be honest with yourself. If your fandom has become such an obsession that it fits the American Psychiatric Association definition of a disorder because it "is associated with present distress… or impairment in one or more important areas of functioning," then you are the one with the problem. You need to learn to control your baseball habit and restore balance in your life. Author Kevin Quirk, who wrote a book about sports obsession because he's been there, says that out-of-control sports fans can get more balance in their lives by cutting back on their sports time, as hard as that may be. One way to help you cut back on baseball and put more into your relationship is to "take the sharp focus and unbridled emotions you display as a sports fan and bring them into your relationship with a woman." Your honey will definitely notice the change [source: Quirk].
Quirk says that another way to restore some balance is to invite your sweetheart to learn a little about baseball, if she's willing. Set up scheduled times for "lessons," when you teach her the fundamentals of the game and share with her what you love about it. (Note: This does not mean quality time when she sits and watches you yell at the TV.) But what if your girl has a perfectly good understanding of baseball but just isn't up on your team? In this case, "lessons" could be a casual talk about the current roster, the team's prospects and the club's history -- followed by a date to a live game. This goes both ways, though: Talk with her and agree on something she enjoys and wants to teach you, and you want to learn about, and schedule just as much time for her to be the teacher. That way you will learn more about each other's interests, you'll spend more time together, and she won't feel so left out of the whole baseball thing.
If your girlfriend has no interest in baseball whatsoever, but has plenty of interests of her own, there may still be hope. Talk with her and make sure you spend enough time together to keep both of you happy, and enjoy a reasonable amount of baseball time while she goes for a jog or visits with friends. You can even negotiate a special schedule during playoffs, and maybe plan a special post-World Series date night of her choosing. As long as you communicate and compromise, a patient woman will still be there when the season is over.
- American Psychiatric Association. "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition." Washington, DC. American Psychiatric Association. 1994.
- Bernhardt, PC et al. "Testosterone Changes During Vicarious Experiences of Winning and Losing Among Fans at Sporting Events." Physiology & Behavior. 1998 August; 65(1):59-62. (Sept. 26, 2010.)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9811365
- Pert, Candace. "Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel." New York. Scribner. 1999.
- Quirk, Kevin. "Not Now Honey, I'm Watching the Game: What to Do When Sports Come between You and Your Mate." New York. Fireside. 1997.
- Russell, Gordon W. "Aggression in the Sports World: A Social Psychological Perspective." New York. Oxford University Press. 2008.
- University of Pittsburgh Health Center. "Living Vicariously Through Sports Teams: Is It Healthy?" February 2010. (Accessed online Sept. 26, 2010.)http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/pages/HealthLibrary.aspx?chunkiid=14286
- Valeo, Tom. "Can Baseball Become an Addiction?" WebMD. (Accessed online Sept. 2010.)http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/can-baseball-become-addiction