How to survive the World Cup with your relationship intact.
If your partner loves football and you really don’t – then this survival guide is for you.
1. Remember it is only for one month, once every four years (or every two years if you count the Euros as well).
2. Go through the fixture list with you partner and find out what dates and times they will be watching matches. Take the opportunity to plan to do things that you would enjoy doing without them, like meeting up with other friends, booking in a massage, signing up for a personal training course at the gym or settling down with your favourite DVD, book, blog or magazine.
3. If a fixture is in the diary, do not accept any joint invitations for that date: no weddings, no christenings, birthday parties or family gatherings unless there is a guarantee that there will be a big screen, plenty of alcohol and time set aside to watch the game, for anyone interested. Do not under any circumstances suggest that your partner records it and watches it later.
4. Book in fun things to do as a couple or ask for jobs to be done on the days when there are no matches in the diary.
5. If you decide to watch a match with your partner, avoid talking your way through it, commenting on a player’s looks, cheering for the wrong side or asking stupid questions.
6. Similarly, if you don’t understand the offside rule, or any other rule for that matter, ask for an explanation before a match but never during one. (And probably safer not to ask about the offside rule because most people don’t understand it and your partner may be left looking stupid.)
7. Make sure the fridge is stocked with some great snacks and your partner’s favourite drinks. (Ok, maybe we are going too far here!).
8. Suggest your partner gets together with his or her friends (that you don’t much like) to watch the match when you aren’t around. That way they get to catch up and you won’t have to see them.
9. If England loses a match and your partner is in a foul mood, remember it is not personal and steer clear from discussing any contentious issues until they have got over their sulk. You could always try cheering them up by wearing an England shirt (or their national team) with nothing underneath! (Although obviously not when their friends are around).
10. Finally, if you do all of the above, you will be in serious credit in your relationship. If your partner doesn’t appreciate your efforts, then consider showing them the red card or booking a long summer holiday with your friends for 2018 (or during Euro 2016).