Dear Leather and Lace Advice: I never thought that this would be a problem, until I met Mary. She is an amazing girl in so many ways, but one: she hates golf! Not only doesn’t she play it (and she doesn’t even want to learn) but she makes fun of my passion and tries to get me to stop playing. I really like this girl, but even though we’re “in sync” every other way, her lack of interest and respect for my passion worries me. Should I risk losing a good thing with Mary and find someone who likes golf?
Call me Kevin the Golf Nut
Alison’s Take: It’s great to have a hobby, and a passion, but yours is so all-consuming that you don’t have the time or interest for much of anything else. There’s a difference between liking something a lot, and being so infatuated with it that nothing and no one else can compete with it. That is an addiction and my friend, you’ve got it bad. The love relationship you say you wasn’t isn’t with Mary, it’s with golf! I should think that’s Mary’s issue with you, not the other way around. If, as you say, you are so “in sync” I wonder how you ever got together in the first place, because you seem very mis-matched. For even if Mary is accepting of your passion for golf, she hates it, and she will never be #1 in your life. I can’t think of a single person who really wants to take a step behind a sport for her man. This is a serious problem for her, since as you say, she dislikes the sport you adore and apparently has no interest in embracing it in her life. Since you spend so much of your time involved with golf in various ways, she can’t ever truly be first in your heart.
I also worry that Mary makes fun of your love for the game. This tells me that she is not as tolerant or happy in the relationship as you imagine her to be. As a relationship expert, I’m scratching my head over why you are still together. Life would be much easier if you had a girlfriend who played golf and really liked it. In truth, when you first date someone and you realize they are into something in a big way that you not only don’t like, but really loathe, it is a clear sign to stop dating that person and find someone more compatible.
Well, that is probably water under the proverbial dam since you obviously care for one another in other ways. if you want your relationship with Mary to continue (and I’d give that some serious thought), you need to be considerate of each other’s interests and needs. You’ll have to sacrifice your passion for golf and spend more time developing interests that you can share in common with Mary, and try to get involved with some of the things that she really enjoys. She, in turn, had better find ways to see the good points in the game of golf, and get interested in it. She’d better learn the basics and go out and play golf with you now and then. If you both can’t or won’t do this for each other, do yourselves a favor, and break up. I think both of you will be a lot better off.
Tony’s Take: To it’s players, golf is a whole facet of living. It is played outdoors, which is a peaceful and serene setting, while walking on a lush lawn with picturesque stands of trees, the modern world held at bay, rudeness like loud talking and mobile phones discouraged.. It is played with four friends or compatriots, becoming a bonding experience full of camaraderie and good spirits, giving time for talk and stories, often followed by a round of drinks or lunch. It is mild exercise that makes people feel good and gets them out of the everyday rut. It is a personal challenge to see if you can top your previous record for this hole or this course and how you are progressing with respect to your friends, with respect to your respective golf “handicaps” (for non golfers, an adjustment factor based on how well you do, a lower handicap is a better overall golfer). It is also a challenge to master, whether it is the “drive” where form and follow through reign supreme, or the “short game” where steadiness of hand and precise strokes will sink the putt if you have “read” the hole correctly.
Yes, I do understand your passion for golf, but you, my friend, are an addict. Going golfing is great, watching golf on TV when there is a wonderful and interesting woman present is not. Reading books on golf is ok, there is conceptually no difference and probably no more net benefit to your golf game than reading an action thriller has on your life. Collecting golf memorabilia is not good, consider it the golf equivalent of stalking, it is an obsession.
For many, golfing is their only form of exercise so it is important and it will keep you young in your old age. Golf can be a very good thing for you but trust me, a good woman is better.
Right now, golf separates you from Mary, and that has to change. You need to demonstrate she is important to you, and giving up golf on TV and golf memorabilia is a good start. You need to make her feel special and appreciated. You need to spend quality time doing fun things together, or making mundane things, fun. You need to do some things she likes to do, and find things you both like to do. Talk to her about things she is interested in or would like to try. She needs to know deep in her heart that she is more important to you than golf, so show her that she is. Passion is passion, shower some of that on her.
You need her to understand what being on a golf course means to you. You need to explain, and you need to show her. Take her to a driving range and get her to hit some balls. Take her to miniature golf just for fun. If your course allows, walk the course with her, or do it by golf cart, or just walk the walkways around the outside of the holes. Take her for drinks, lunch or dinner at the club. Have her accompany you to the course and buy her a lesson from the pro, but more importantly, introduce her to you golfing buddies over drinks or lunch after you play. Women fear the unknown competition. By introducing your friends, you lessen that fear. Keep your playing schedule realistic, to one afternoon a week and one morning a weekend (unless you are retired in which case you get another day during the week). If you consume golf responsibly you’ll get both golf and the woman. If you are a glutton, you will lose the woman.