Playoffs happen on a schedule, so one way to minimize conflict is by letting her know what days you’d like to yourself, and compromising as necessary—who knows, maybe she’ll want to watch the game with you. For games late in the series whose times are yet to be disclosed, schedule a fun backup date for that night. That way you’ll have something to celebrate regardless of whether your team is the first to four or not.
Make it a party
Is the series going to come down to a game seven? Better call over your friends (and hers, too). By making the game a social event, you can spend some quality time with her and your mutual acquaintances, decreasing the chances of any non-fans getting bored if they’re not into the game. Just make sure you take full responsibility for hosting duties, from the invitations to the cooking. This shouldn’t be an excuse to make your partner shoulder extra work for you, but rather an opportunity to treat her to a fun night.
Keep her in the loop
Regardless of the situation, it’s up to you to keep her happy. If you’re glued to the TV or lost in the crowd, it’s easy for her to feel like you’re putting her on the sidelines—that goes double if she doesn’t watch basketball on a regular basis. Let her know which team you’re cheering for, why that play was especially great and generally clue her in on the action so she can join in. Non-fans can still enjoy a game if they feel like they’re part of something, and she’ll be happy to share in your enthusiasm.
Be a team player
If you never miss Friday date night or she’s drawing a line in the sand, it’s time to figure out what matters. If you have other commitments in your relationship, keep your priorities straight and forget about watching the game. Strike a deal so you can check your phone for updates while you’re out to dinner, or agree to set aside some alone time so you can watch it on TiVo later. If she’s okay with rescheduling, go out of your way to make the next date memorable. She cared about your interests enough to compromise, so return the favour and do something she enjoys that you’d otherwise duck.
If you can’t make her a fan
Okay, so she wants nothing to do with the games. She’s just not into basketball. No, it’s not time to dump her. It’s time to accept who she is. You don’t have the right to change someone’s interests to align better with your own—in fact, it’s perfectly healthy for partners to have separate interests in a relationship. It’s what makes the other person interesting and alluring. Embrace your differences, and agree to do your own thing for a day.