February 29, 2024
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Welcome to Robust Love. We’re answering your questions on courting, breakups, and every little thing in between. Our recommendation giver is Blair Braverman, dogsled racer and creator of Small Sport and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Dice. Have a query of your individual? Write to us at [email protected].


My boyfriend lately joined an grownup hockey league for the primary time in his early thirties. He grew up in Maine and performed hockey together with his mates as a child, however that is his first time on a crew, and he’s been going all in. He loves it. He has generally had hassle getting out and making mates, so I’ve been doing every little thing I can to encourage it. I additionally come to his video games once I can and cheer him on. 

When his crew wins a recreation, he’s on high of the world. However when he loses, he will get crabby and unsightly to be round. To be clear, he’s extraordinarily form and loving, and by no means will get imply, however I nonetheless discover myself getting anxious even partway by means of the sport if it looks like issues aren’t going nicely, as a result of I’m anticipating how he’ll be irritable in the event that they lose. That is the one draw back to his new interest but it surely’s sufficient to make me dread it a bit. Is that this simply because he hasn’t performed crew sports activities a lot? Is there hope that he’ll be taught to be much less of a sore loser?

It appears completely regular that your boyfriend could be crabby when he loses a recreation—in any case, that is one thing he cares about and works exhausting for—but it surely’s the diploma of crabbiness that makes all of the distinction. Is he simply bummed out, irritable, and takes just a few hours to wind down? Or does it seem to be his unhappiness after a loss is affecting his self-image and high quality of life (or yours)? Is he taking his frustration out on different individuals, or is it simply upsetting so that you can witness it usually? The issue is perhaps that he takes losses personally, but it surely may also be that you simply’re taking his feelings personally, and try to become involved and make things better when you possibly can simply take a step again and let him work by means of his disappointment on his personal.

In any case, it’s at all times good to have an sincere dialog. “The error individuals make is speaking about an issue when somebody’s already emotional,” stated Leslie Gaynor, a licensed counselor who helps individuals with their relationships, once I shared your scenario along with her. “You must wait till he’s in a great temper, once you’re having espresso or one thing, after which carry up how you really feel concerning the methods he acts when he loses a recreation.” In case your boyfriend’s up for it, she recommends asking about his precise ideas after a loss, slightly than specializing in his feelings. Does he suppose that dropping a recreation means one thing about him? “He would possibly say one thing like, ‘It signifies that different individuals are higher than me.’ Nicely, then, there you go: he thinks he’s not adequate, and that this proves it. That realization may give him a chance to follow proving these ideas mistaken. What has he performed proper? What’s he pleased with? What has he excelled in?”

You may strive an analogous train on your self, attempting to determine what ideas you could have once you begin getting anxious that your boyfriend’s crew is about to lose. Do you suppose that in the event you don’t assist him really feel higher, one thing unhealthy would possibly occur? What, particularly, are you afraid of? I’m glad that your boyfriend’s by no means imply, as you stated, however does he remind you of somebody who’s damage you prior to now? Sharing these ideas along with your boyfriend would possibly assist him to reassure you, or to regulate his habits in order that it’s not triggering the identical recollections, anxieties, or fears.

You can even put your heads collectively to determine what methods would really be useful, for each of you, when your boyfriend’s in a foul temper after a loss. Is it potential that he simply needs to have time and house to wind down on his personal? He’s in all probability drained after a recreation, anyway, and fatigue makes it approach tougher to take care of tough feelings. He may play a online game or watch a present. Possibly he must eat, hydrate, bathe, and take a nap, and as soon as these bodily wants are met, he’ll begin feeling extra like himself. On your half, you possibly can name a buddy, exit for a stroll, or do one thing else you want. You would possibly discover that your nervousness is assuaged by one thing so simple as your boyfriend taking a second to remind you when he’s feeling down after a recreation that he loves you and isn’t mad at you—that his disappointment is actual, but it surely’s not about you in any respect.

I believe that, with a bit time, this drawback will naturally work itself out. However in the event you’re nonetheless discovering your self anxious round recreation time, understand that you could be a lot supportive of your boyfriend’s hockey ardour from a distance. You must go to his video games in the event you each get pleasure from it, however it’s also possible to want him luck, give him a kiss, and let him know that you simply’re pleased with him—after which go hang around with your individual mates for the day.

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