- 1. Place your bets. You probably don't care about who wins or loses, but you will if you follow this advice from Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul. Wager about which team will triumph. "If your team wins, he has to fulfill your fantasy, and if his team wins, you have to fulfill his. This way there is a post-game celebration, and you're both excited about the outcome." While this may seem great on paper, no one feels like celebrating after their team loses. Bitterness and a grieving period are standard issue, and if you can move right now, you didn't really care in the first place. Personally, the thought of some saying "it's only a game" makes me want to vomit.
2. Make time for each other. Lauren Wilson of Washington, D.C. doesn't let college hoops interfere with together time. "If a big game is on Saturday night and I know I have no other choice but to watch it, I make sure the guy I'm dating lets me pick what we do on Friday or Sunday night, no matter how girlie or artsy it may be." This strategy doesn't work for the Madness. There are games on all day, every day, Thursday through Sunday for the first two weeks. That is the Madness. There is no time off.
5. Show your spirit. Cheerleaders are an integral part of any basketball game, so why not dress the part? My boyfriend is a huge hockey fan, but college hoops leave him cold," says Marnie Nathan of Santa Barbara. "Last year, he ran in during a key time-out in a super-sized cheerleader outfit to do a cheer for my team. It was hilarious and kind of sweet. He was rewarded during the break between games." Are you fucking kidding me? Suicidally stupid.
6. Wear the team colors. To connect with a partner after a game, get a jersey with your partner's favorite player's number on it and wear just that at the end of the game. You wear the colors during the game. Although this is at first glance a sexy suggestion, wearing it at the end of the game, should there be a loss, is too delicate of a time. You don't want the anyone to associate sex with losing.
9. Host a team meeting. Ask your date about the game if you didn't watch it together (or ask about some particular plays if you did). The idea here is to use conversation about the game as a springboard to more conversation - deeper conversation - so you communicate more. Follow up with questions like, "What do you think of the coach's decision? What would you have done?" Dumb, and extremely transparent if you don't know what you are talking about. If you are capable of having this conversation, you probably have already been having them, and if not, you should not attempt it.