There are lots of different things you think about when you’re looking for a boyfriend or new partner.

You might always be attracted to men with a certain look. Or you might be more interested in what they do for a living than what they look like, and what might make the two of your compatible. Do you have the same tastes in film or music? Do you like the same kinds of food?

But while you might have a list of criteria that makes up your perfect man, you’ll probably be realistic enough to know that few of us are perfect. If you can get 60% of your ideal in one man, you’ll be doing pretty well – especially if they also happen to be single and like you. Or you might be the type of gal who falls for a guy first and then finds out about him later, which is probably the more normal course of events for most couples.

He loves football…you don’t understand the offside rule

Girls often complain that they’ve fallen for a man and not realised that they have to share his attention with another love – football. This is a fairly common thing. If you meet someone when the football season is not in full swing, he might seem to be around most nights and every weekend to spend time with you. But, when the English Premier League season starts in August, suddenly he’s not available so often. It might take a while for you to make the connection, but it’s not his mates who are diverting his attention away from you, it’s the so-called beautiful game.

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Image Source: Craig Sunter

If this has happened to you, there are two ways to deal with it. Lots of women with football-mad partners make use of the time to do their own thing while the footie is on. There’s no point trying to fight it. If you complain every time he wants to go and watch a game, you’re not going to enhance your relationship. It also gives you time to catch up with your girlfriends and do things that your boyfriend is not going to be interested in. A classic, perhaps stereotypical, example might be going shopping.

The alternative is to cultivate an interest in the game yourself. So, find out a bit more about the sport he’s so fascinated by, and you might begin to appreciate it more yourself.  Following the Premier League on Twitter is a good place to start.

What do you need to know? At the most basic level, the main football season in the UK is dominated by the Premier League. Your guy will probably support one of the Premier League teams, like Arsenal or Chelsea, Man United or Liverpool, but don’t be naïve enough to think that if their team isn’t playing, there won’t be other matches that they’re interested in. It’s logical when you think about it. The results of other teams in the same league have ramifications for their chosen team. So they’ll be likely to be just as interested in watching other teams’ key games to see how their favourite team’s standing will be affected as in watching their own team play. For example, any team in the bottom three places of the Premier League will be demoted to the next league, the Championship, at the end of the season. The top four teams will qualify to play in the UEFA Champions League, the highest profile football tournament in the world, which features Europe’s best teams. If your partner’s team is in the Champions League, read that as more time that will be taken up by football! As well as the Premier League itself, there are two other domestic competitions which could mean even more hours in front of the TV watching football – the FA Cup and the League Cup. For the last two years, the FA Cup has been won by Arsenal, and if you look at FA Cup betting odds for this year’s cup, they’re currently third favourites to win, just behind Chelsea and Man City. Check out the odds now to see how the FA Cup might affect you in the winter months. Most Premier League fans won’t be as interested in the League Cup, unless their chosen team is further down in the Premier League. This is because those middle-ranking teams have more of a chance with the League Cup than the FA Cup.