I'm A Female Sports Fan—Why Is This A Turn-Off?

woman with basketball
Love, Self

A female sports nut wonders why a perfect March Madness bracket doesn't translate to dating success.

1. Intimidation/Confusion. Like the initial guy I mentioned, if I talk too in-depth about any given sport, this type of dude clams up and no longer wishes to talk about it. I highly suspect this is because a) he fears we will stumble across a subject where I know more than he does; or b) he was simply caught off guard by my assessment of the game, and has no clue how to react. Dating: Are Men Intimidated By Independent Women?

2. Superiority. This man immediately dismisses my knowledge. While I may know a little bit about wildcat formations—aw, well, that's nice and all!—he would still destroy me in any sort of athletic debate. And that is fact. To him, it's not even a contest. Right…

3. Admiration. Much, much rarer, occasionally, a guy will express some immense appreciation for my sports smarts and want to know where I learned it all. It is, after all, a novelty that goes against stereotype. 

But reaction three is by far the least common, so I recently asked relationship expert Carin Goldstein about the phenomenon. She was not surprised that the most prevalent reactions are that of confusion. She explains it in a primitive way:

"Guys, by nature, are competitive and are used to being in a competitive arena with other alpha males," she explains. "When a female enters the ring, the male is somewhat confused as to what to do with her, since society even dictates that men and women don't mix when it comes to team sports. For some men, their reaction comes from simply a raw, primitive place of 'me the hunter—you the gatherer.'"

It's hard to believe reactions to talking about sports with a woman are that deeply ingrained, right? I also consulted dating expert Julie Spira for advice. Her response may be hard for some sports-loving females, myself included, to digest.

"So, here's the deal," Spira advises. "Guys love sports. Guys hate the thought of a woman not allowing him to go to a game, watch the Super Bowl or play golf. However, a guy just doesn't care if a woman is actually watching the game with him. He's just as happy watching a game alone or with the guys. Given the opportunity to go to an NBA basketball game with the guys or his girlfriend, he'd pick the guys."