February 14, 2019

Culture

Point-Counterpoint: Love & Baseball

By: AFF Editors

Point: Don’t date men who don’t like baseball.
By Chaz Cirame

Some of you have heard this from me before, but I have one developed theory on dating, and it is for women. In honor of Galentine’s Day/Valentine’s Day, I want to write it down and share it with all of you.

Don’t date men who don’t like baseball. Baseball doesn’t have to be a guy’s favorite sport, but a man that grew up in America should have a fondness for baseball (if they grew up somewhere else they should probably get a pass). However, baseball for American men, for the most part, is their first rendezvous with romantic love.

Enjoyment of baseball isn’t like the enjoyment of other sports-where the enjoyment is directly tied to action. For baseball to be fully appreciated, you need to understand the tradition, history, shared common goals, have shared experiences, and, perhaps most importantly, an ability to appreciate the little things in life — like running out a bunt, staying alive on a 3-2 count, or just the view from the cheap seats.

Baseball is perhaps the ultimate team sport. Baseball, like love, isn’t about a score or an individual achievement — perhaps more so than any other sport, a single star isn’t going to make you successful. It is about the experience, and working as a team toward success.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all sports, especially football (shout out to six-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots!), but with few exceptions, the men I have met that quickly volunteer that they like football and have no time for baseball are bad, self-centered dudes usually overly focused on instant gratification.

Baseball, like our values, are often passed down to us from our fathers, grandfathers, and the other important men in our lives, (I feel the need to shout out to my baseball-loving aunts too), and when that love isn’t passed often other things are lost as well.

I am sure there are great guys out there who don’t like baseball, but caveat emptor — in the meantime there are 43 days until opening day.

Chaz Cirame is owner of CC: External Affairs and an AFF Board Member

Counterpoint: Date Men Who Don’t Like Baseball
By Christine Hall

There’s nothing wrong with baseball, but it’s not the best proxy for dating well. I should know: I’ve been married for over 20 years, and neither my husband nor I care for sports, including baseball. Instead, we have a shared passion for history, World War II and the 1920s-1930s eras, in particular. We are longtime members of the Art Deco Society of Washington and love dressing to period social and reenactment events.

Sharing a passion for a hobby interest can help keep a couple together, whether that’s baseball or something else. That’s the “fun” part of being together, and it’s important. We all want our interests and passions to be celebrated or at least respected by our beloved.

Then there’s the not-so-fun part: the anger and resentment that can undermine the ability to appreciate the big and little things in life (“like running out a bunt, staying alive on a 3-2 count or just the view from the cheap seats”). Through way too much trial and error, I have discovered the way to push back against anger and resentment is through calm and direct communication, having a Plan B, and setting firm boundaries.

Got a problem? Want something handled better or differently? You need to say so — plainly and preferably not in anger. No one is a mind reader. Ask for what you want and come up with a plan for both of you to work together on that goal. If your partner is unable or unwilling to join in, decide what your next course of action will be. Remember, while you may have influence, in this life you rightfully get to control yourself — your own words and actions – but not other people.

Also, establish firm boundaries. Be your own best friend. Even good people will tread on you if you let them, unfortunately. That’s why it’s so important to decide for yourself what are acceptable and unacceptable ways for others to treat you. Do not allow your partner to repeatedly berate you for hours or days on end. Address his or her concern calmly, being rigorously honest with yourself (and your partner) about any wrongdoing or defect on your part. Admit it when you’ve made a mistake, and offer ways you are willing to fix it. Then follow through. If you haven’t made a mistake and believe your words or actions are worthy, say so — and explain that you are not going to change for that reason. Either way, you are addressing a concern and moving forward. The matter is settled, therefore, any future efforts to dredge it up again should be out of bounds. “We’ve talked about that already, and my position has not changed OR I’ve fixed the problem and do not do that anymore.”

Be prepared to remove yourself from any conversation or situation that crosses your boundaries. The key to happiness is maintaining an inner well-being and earned confidence. Baseball isn’t needed.

Christine Hall is a Washington, D.C. area Valentine and opinionated libertarian.