I've always been a fervent, often irrational, sports fan.
I love my teams whether or not they love me back, and I couldn't care less about how obsessed people say I am when it comes to showing my support.
Then, about a year and a half ago, I met the love of my life and suddenly I was trying to maintain my love and commitment to sports while showing my love and commitment to my girlfriend.
What do you mean we have plans on Sunday? Doesn't she know the NFL is on all day and night? She wants me to move from the couch?
But through trial and a whole lot of error, I've realized the qualities that make me a loyal sports fan also make me a great partner.
Dating a sports fan isn't always the easiest thing in the world, but the pros far outweigh the cons when you break it down.
Here's why sports fans are the best people to share your life with.
Their loyalty and support make them your biggest fan.
No matter how poorly your partner's team is playing, they're going to be there to support the squad 100 percent.
That quality is ingrained in every real sports fan, and it's something that makes them a better significant other than most people.
So, if you get laid off from work or want to go for a walk in the rain because that's just what you need to do, your sports-fan partner will pick you up when you're down and walk with you hand-in-hand while you both get drenched.
Real fans don't give up on a 2-10 team, they keep cheering because they know things only start going well after they're at their worst.
Sporting events are an awesome variation on the standard date night.
Without stating the obvious, there's nothing a sports fan loves more than going to an actual game and cheering on their favorite team.
If you're dating a sports fan, going to a sporting event offers an opportunity to do something that's casual, fun, exciting and relaxing all at the same time.
As Nina, 25, says,
Every opening day for the past four or five years, my boyfriend and I take off work and go to Yankee Stadium. If you like sports too, it gives you something to bond over. If you don't, it gives you an excuse to get drunk and wear matching outfits. Also, if he stays true to a team that hardly ever wins, you know he's reliable in good times and bad.
When it comes to sports, emotion is the name of the game -- as it is in life and love.
Show me a sports fan who doesn't wear their heart on their sleeve and I'll show you someone who's, for lack of a better word, fake.
When your mood and actions depend on the outcome of a sporting event, it's not ideal for a partner.
They might not be sure how to handle that situation, and if you go into sulking silent-mode following a loss, it could make them question if this is the right relationship for them to be in.
However, that same emotion is what makes your relationship real in the first place. Newsflash: No one is happy all the time. There's no better primer for the trials and tribulations of life than being a dedicated sports fan.
Like Joana, 25, says,
Watching games together pumps us up with such genuine excitement from a win and unpredictable sorrow from a loss, which is something I enjoy regardless of a W or L. Sharing the passion we have for sports together is such a rollercoaster of emotions, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Sports fans are vulnerable, they know how crucial it is to be supportive.
From my experience, there's nothing worse than not having the support of my significant other. Everyone in the world can be against me, but if my partner has my back, things don't seem nearly as bleak.
Sports fans, for the most part, have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, so they know how to stay level-headed and balanced.
That being said, a tough loss is a tough loss, and there's no immediate cure for getting over it -- both in sports and in life.
Simply being there for your partner can make all the difference, or as Tyler, 26, puts it,
We are used to pain and like to be coddled.
But we also recognize when we need to be the ones doing the coddling.
NFL Sundays aren't going anywhere, but that doesn't mean football fans are undateable.
Just the contrary, actually.
Sporting events work on a schedule, so you know what times need to be blocked out for games. If you and your partner are on the same page about watching your team play, then everything should be gravy.
You also know sports fans are great at managing the clock and juggling whatever life throws at them, which is what every thriving relationship needs.
Watching your significant other get emotional with something they have no control over is also surprisingly refreshing.
It shows they're human, they have emotions and they're not afraid to show passion about something.
As Alexandra, 23, says,
You get to see your man interact with his boys in a more realistic way and it's kinda sweet to see him getting so into something (especially since sports are the one place where men feel totally comfortable expressing emotion).
Being a sports fan isn't what defines me, but it has helped shape me into the man I am today.