Dealbreakers: Sports and relationships

    It’s one thing to be devoted to your significant other, but some of us are equally, or more, devoted to another love: our favorite sports team. When it comes to the love that Americans have for their favorite teams, does that love impact their dating life and relationships? At Online Betting , we surveyed more than 1,100 Americans to find out their top dating dealbreakers when it comes to sports.

    Rival teams and fans

    Most Americans won’t let their favorite sports team get in the way of love, with 93% of people saying they could date a fan of their rival sports team. Of those, almost half say that even though they would, they’d rather not. Broken down, 41% of women and 45% of men say they would prefer not to date a fan of a rival sports team.

    Those who said dating a fan of a rival team would be a dealbreaker are mostly fans of the Cleveland Browns, so keep an eye out Steeler fans as it appears difficult to find true love amid the Turnpike rivalry. Maybe keep an eye out on dating apps for fans of other NFL teams .

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    No couple wants to argue, so it’s a relief to see that more than three quarters (77%) of Americans say they can have calm conversations with a fan of a rival sports team.

    Despite saying they could date a fan of a rival sports team, 64% of Americans say they’d rather date someone who doesn’t care about sports at all over someone who’s a fan of their rival team.

    Sports and relationships

    Just like an athlete making their first appearance for a team, when we start dating someone we want to impress. Over one quarter (27%) have pretended to like a sport to please a partner, and almost half (43%) have even done research to learn more about their date’s favorite sport or team.

    Plus, 40% say they’ve even gone to a sports game they don’t like just to please their date. One in five (20%) of Americans say they even pretended to like a certain team to please their partner.

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    When it comes to what’s more important in a partner:

    • 31% of Americans say it’s more important to be fans of the same sports team than to share the same religious beliefs

    • One in 10 say it’s more important to be fans of the same team than to share the same political beliefs

    • 15% say it’s more important to be fans of the same team than to like the same music

    Sports watching and relationships

    Now we know what Americans are willing to settle for. But what do they secretly wish their date really thought when it comes to sports? Almost one quarter (22%) say they wish their partner was more interested in sports, while only 12% wish their partner was actually less interested in sports.

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    It seems like even though most Americans are willing to overlook their dates’ dedication to a particular team, 28% have tried to get a date to like the same team as themselves.

    The passion for a sports team may, however, cause trouble in paradise, as one in 10 Americans say they’ve fought with a partner over sports. Maybe that’s because 31% say they’ve been ignored by a partner who was checking a game or score, or because almost one quarter (24%) don’t actually like watching sports with their partner.

    Sporting merchandise

    If you’re a sports fan and decked out in your team's colors, it may even help you find your perfect partner. More than half (51%) of Americans think wearing a sports jersey is attractive, and 19% say jerseys automatically make someone look more attractive.

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    If sports merch is your thing, 28% of Americans say they have some sort of home decor based on their partner’s favorite team.

    Wrap up

    Next time you’re swiping on dating apps, maybe include your favorite sports team in your bio to weed out those who’ll hold it against you. And include a photo of you in a jersey for good measure.

    Methodology : We surveyed 1,114 Americans about their opinions on how sports impact relationships. Of those surveyed, 60% were married, 34% were in a relationship, 4% were engaged, and 2% were single. Respondents were 49% male, 48% female, and 3% non-binary or transgender. The average age of all respondents was 38 years old.

    Fair use : When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing Online Betting .