Rooting For The Rival Sports Team Is A Bigger Dating Dealbreaker For Women Than Men

by Candice Jalili
Patrick Smith/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

My best friend from college, Nora, is a huge Patriots fan. Like a never-misses-a-game, cries-when-they-lose, cries-tears-of-joy-when-they-win level fan. I, on the other hand, have never really understood football. About a billion people have tried to explain it to me but, alas, it makes no sense to me. That being said, Nora's enthusiasm made me fall in love with sports culture — and now, I'm a casual Pats fan, too. The whole thing was intoxicating. Then I met my boyfriend, a Jets fan. I didn't think about if rooting for different sports teams is bad for dating until I met him. Then, one morning when we had first started dating, I was leaving his place to go meet Nora at a bar to watch the Patriots play. I quickly put on my "Free Brady" shirt and went to go give him a kiss goodbye. I was denied the kiss.

He could barely look at me in that shirt, let alone kiss me. In fact, he couldn't believe that anyone would dare wear a Patriots shirt in his home. Now, of course, I'm not a real fan. I like the Patriots because Nora likes the Patriots. But the whole experience made me wonder how being truly devoted to a particular sports team actually affects your dating life. Well, a recent study looked into just that and, let me tell you, it actually makes a huge difference.

In the study, vinyl graphic décor company Fathead surveyed 2,000 people in relationships to see how being a sports fan affects your relationships. The results were pretty interesting.

For starters, the study found out that being a sports fan is twice as likely to have positive affect on your relationship than it would be to have a negative one. So yay for sports!

But, not everything having to do with sports, is always great news for your love life. Sadly, the survey also found that one in three women have pretended to like a sport to please a potential romantic partner. But, on the other hand, sports rivalries are a huge dealbreaker for women who really love their teams. The survey results found that 21.9 percent of women wouldn't date a dude who rooted for a rival team, whereas only 15 percent of men said the same. I'm not surprised. Women are loyal, duh.

While men were less likely to dump their partners for not rooting for the same team as them (thank god for me), many of them do wish that their partners shared their general enthusiasm for sports. Almost a third of men (30.8 percent, to be exact) wish that their partners were more interested in sports. In fact, they want them to be interested in sports so badly that they admitted they'd be willing to either gain 10 pounds or add 20 minutes to their commutes in order for their partners to share their interest.

As if that wasn't intense enough, a pretty significant 40.7 percent of men also said that it's more important for their partner to root for the same team as them than it would be for their partner to share the same religion as them. Because, apparently, sports > god.

Oh, and the last fun fact? Apparently, 21.8 percent of sports fans have turned down sex to watch a game. And, again, I'm not surprised. You can have sex anytime! You can only watch a game live once. Let's be logical here, people.

Cheers to the start of the NFL season and here's to hoping we all have a great time watching our favorite teams play, with or without our baes by our sides.

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