Let’s face it.
Finding a partner who is as mad about the Arsenal as you are isn’t an easy thing to do.
Chances are you’ll find yourself meeting people who support another team or, worse than that, don’t get why people bother with football in the first place.
Many people might have just read that last sentence and wondered how dating someone who doesn’t get football could possibly be worse than finding yourself with a Chelsea, United, Liverpool or a, good god what were you drinking that night, Tottenham fan?
Despite their questionable life choices, at least you know they will understand the fundamental passion for the game and the time we all dedicate to it without insisting that this family dinner ‘really is more important than Arsenal against some team they’ve never even heard of.’
With a person who doesn’t ‘get’ football you encounter major problems.
Like with most things in life, things we don’t ‘get’ often seem ridiculous so chances are your other half thinks your obsession with Arsenal is, at best absurd and, at worse, a sign of serious emotional problems.
I always tend to find myself with women who don’t like or know anything about football and one of two things usually happens.
In the ideal situation, I manage to convince them to sit down and watch a match. It works even better if I can take them to an actual game. If I’m lucky and they agree I need another slice of luck to go my way – the game will need to be engrossing and exciting.
This is where I’ve already lucked in – Arsenal matches are many things, but they’re very rarely ever dull. Could you imagine trying to convince someone that Manchester United are a team worth devoting your life to if you took them to a game this season?
Jesus, she’d dump you right on the spot for wasting 90 minutes of her life that she can’t get back (180 if they’re playing Cambridge).
No, what you want is a big game and then to cross everything you have that Arsenal don’t Arsenal it up.
Then they’re hooked – guaranteed.
If you’re not able to convert them to the wonderful, if often messed up, ways of football, Arsenal in particular, then you’re going to have to accept the fact that your football life will be a very separate part of your relationship.
The easiest way to do this is to not even try and engage them in a conversation about anything Arsenal related, even if in the latest Unai Emery press conference he donned a clown suit and broke out a chorus of ‘What do you think of Tottenham?‘ – they won’t care and they will remind you of this every time you open your mouth with a casual, but not subtle, roll of the eyes.
Having someone do this when you talk does nothing for your self-esteem levels and, after a while, brings every relationship to its knees.
You will have to do this alone.
At the dating stage, this isn’t going to be a problem, but as things get more serious, something will have to give.
Rare is the partner who cares nothing for football but lets you spend whatever time and money you feel like following the Arsenal around Europe while they stay at home with the kids. Either they will absorb your passion and join you or you will find yourself drifting away from full-on fan dedication to casual watcher.
This is your future and you will save yourself a lot of heartache if you find acceptance of that fact.
Or maybe, just maybe, we are the ones with the problem, after all, you’re reading dating advice from a stranger on a football site.
Could we really have an unhealthy relationship with Arsenal? One that is out of touch with reality and stops us living a normal, healthy, productive life?
That can’t be it.
It’s not us.
It’s them, right?
These are people who don’t ‘get‘ football.
What clearer sign do you need that there’s something not quite right with them?
TL: DR You should only date Arsenal fans.