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The Beer and Baseball Factor

Do you sometimes wish that there was some way to weed out potential mates more easily just by knowing a few of their likes and dislikes? There is certainly no known method that is foolproof, but there is one that I have found to be reliable more times than not in the earlier stages of a relationship. It’s a compatibility indicator that I like to call, “The Beer and Baseball Factor”. It is a spectrum of preferred activities: at one end is beer and a baseball game; at the other end of the spectrum is wine and the symphony.

My theory about the reliability of this indicator came about from listening to all of my single friends talk about the frustrating aspects of their dating lives. They all seemed to be having a tough time connecting with certain people, and typically it all started with not being able to agree on what to do on their dates. The problem seemed to be even more prevalent in situations where one or both people were extremely passionate about certain activities.

Let me explain by using the example of my friends, Wendy and Jim. Jim and Wendy were very attracted to one another in the beginning. They had a lot of common friends and enjoyed going to parties and getting to know one another in the company of others they both knew. When they started doing things on their own is when they ran into trouble.

Jim is a simple guy. He enjoys a casual evening at home with a beer in his hand and ESPN on the TV. If you asked him if he would rather go sip some wine while at the symphony or drink a beer at a baseball game, he would pick the latter 100% of the time without hesitation. One of Jim’s favorite things to say when you ask him what he wants to do or wants to eat is, “What would Chuck Norris do?” In other words, he is a man’s man and does not particularly enjoy more formal events where he does not feel comfortable. He does appreciate what his date likes to do, however, and will cater to her needs and take her to events even when it involves something he does not enjoy, but would rather not participate in these activities for the majority of their dates.

Wendy’s likes are very different. She enjoys going out more than staying in for a date. She also enjoys it when her dates drop a fair amount of cash on a date. She prefers less casual eating establishments and has no desire whatsoever to ever attend a loud concert or sporting event. So where does Wendy fall in terms of the Beer & Baseball/Wine & Symphony spectrum? You guessed it – all the way at the opposite end from Jim. If you asked her if she would rather go sip some wine while at the symphony or drink a beer at a baseball game, she would pick the former 100% of the time without even having to think about it.

In the beginning, Wendy and Jim tried to attend the preferred activities of the other, but eventually they realized they just did not have enough in common to sustain a relationship. They were such polar opposites in areas that where important to each of them that it was just not going to work. If they had possibly had some other things in common as well, or if they had both been more willing to meet the other in the middle, it might have helped them to continue. But since this was not the case, their differing tastes in activities caused the relationship to fizzle. Admittedly, theirs is an extreme case, but I have found that the more I asked single people about the Beer and Baseball Factor that a distinct pattern did begin to emerge.

Another one of my single friends, Steve, is not only a believer in the Beer and Baseball Factor where his relationships are concerned, but he also watches what his date eats on the first date. He said he can tell a lot about whether or not he and a woman are going to connect based on what she orders at a restaurant. The ladies that pick at their salads or act timid about eating in general are the ones that usually turn him off early. According to Steve, “I would have more respect for the girl if she would just order pizza on the first date!” Essentially what Steve is looking for is for a girl to be herself – or in his words, “to be real”.

While Wendy was being true to who she is, it wasn’t what Jim was really looking for in a partner and vice versa. If you are struggling to progress in your dating relationship, you might want to consider the Beer and Baseball Factor. It may sound trivial, but in some cases where two people just don’t have enough commonality in other areas, it just might explain why the two of you are not making a love connection.