For baseball fans, dating is tough. You have to find someone who loves the game as much as you and maybe even roots for the same team. My girlfriend and I found the former, but the latter? That’s where it gets tricky.
While both Kelsey and I never thought we would find ourselves snuggling up to a die-hard fan of another MLB team, the world works in mysterious ways. The MLB Fan Cave and our love of the game brought us together, and now we have to live with the fact that we will never see eye to eye when it comes to the number one team in the National League.
Cardinals or Dodgers? It’s a huge debate between us. So how do we survive the rival fandom in our relationship? Here are some of our tips for those of you also dating rival fans, straight from the mouths of the first ever Fan Cave couple:
1. Know that your fan allegiances will never change.
Kelsey: You know when people say, “Don’t try to change your partner?” That goes for their MLB team, as well. Think about your own childhood and what made you a fan of your team…There’s no way you could adopt another and neither can your boyfriend or girlfriend. Accept their fandom as just one of those flaws you grow to know and love.
Jeremy: If I can’t be changed by almost a quarter-century of San Francisco living, no lady friend of mine will be able to turn me. Asking your other to switch their fandom is grounds for immediate DFA in the baseball world. As Kelsey said, accept that “flaw,” learn to love it, and move on. Otherwise, you’ll become a free agent sooner than you think.
2. Support each other when only one team is involved.
Kelsey: If your team isn’t playing and theirs is, throw them some love! Jeremy and I have a count of how many times I’ve made him wear a Cardinals shirt and how many times he’s made me wear a Dodgers shirt. We don’t always like it, but there’s no real harm done. Now, if the Cardinals were playing, that’s a different story. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Dodgers shirt, and he knows that!
Jeremy: This point should come with a disclaimer. If I were, God forbid, a Cubs fan, everything changes. If Kelsey was, God forbid, a Giants fan, toss this rule out. If you are in a relationship like that, I would recommend counseling. Otherwise, Kelsey is right – value your relationship enough to pat the other on the back, and even root for their team to do well if it doesn’t directly affect your team’s standing.
3. Appreciate the fact that your significant other loves something as much as you do.
Kelsey: What really matters in all of this is the fact that you both love your sport. It’s important in every relationship to have something in common and to have passion. If you’re dating a die-hard fan of any team, you know you’re getting both of those things.
Jeremy: And look on the bright side: Your boyfriend or girlfriend knows what it’s like to watch their team fail, too. Even if they are a Yankees fan. So they will be right there to catch you when you fall.
4. Keep it fun and playful.
Kelsey: There should always be teasing! Of course, you can’t just let them get away with a free pass for loving another team. Give each other crap and know that it’s all in good fun, but don’t ever take it too far.
Jeremy: Tease all you want, but be cautious. I learned the hard way not to jokingly break “news” to Kelsey that Yadier Molina had been traded. That death glare is seared in my mind forever. So have at it! Just be civil, and don’t pick on the other team’s best players.
5. We’ve said it before – If it comes down to it, watch in separate rooms.
Kelsey: There are some times when it just gets too intense. When you love someone, and you love a team, and they clash…it’s just better to not go there. The 2012 NL Wild Card race saw the Cardinals and Dodgers in a tight race, and Jeremy and I agreed to: A) Watch the games in separate rooms, B) Not talk about it. This way we couldn’t upset one another no matter the outcome.
Jeremy: If you’ve already moved into a cubicle-sized studio…We can’t help you. That was a mistake from the get-go. But yes, if possible, watch the intense games in separate rooms. I promise you, the tension will mount to levels you’ve never experienced at a sporting event before. With all those emotions flying around, I prefer to crack a cold beer and lock myself in my room to watch the Dodgers whoop the Cardinals. It saves a lot of awkward glances.
For more fun couples tips, blog posts, and videos, make sure Kelsey and I get into the MLB Fan Cave! We have tons of ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you on a national stage.
VOTE for us both at mlbfancave.com as many times as you want!