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Published on September 19th, 2011 | by Auntie Terror

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Agony Auntie Terror Answers Your Questions!

Dear Auntie Terror,

Derby is ruining my relationship! My boyfriend and I are arguing about it all the time. He hates derby. He always complains that he never sees me anymore. I don’t want to stop skating but I don’t want to break up. Can you help me?

Anxiously awaiting your advice,
Distressed in Derbyville

Dear Distressed,

Settle, love, derby isn’t ruining your relationship. You just have Blinderitis Derbius, a fairly common condition found in derby players, which makes them unable to realise just how much time they are
spending on derby related activities. They no longer think of training, cross-training, bouts, league committee duties, and watching DNN as five different activities but as one – DERBY. In some of the
worst cases the skater doesn’t even realise she has it until she is fighting with her partner about derby. It is treatable and once skaters learn how to they can lead long derby lives and maintain
relationships concurrently.

But seriously, your boyfriend probably doesn’t hate derby what he hates is not seeing you as much and feeling like he isn’t a priority for you. And that’s the real issue; he wants to feel like he is just
as important as derby. You don’t need to quit skating, but you may need to spend more derby free time with your boyfriend.

That might sound like a difficult task, but often a little goes a long way. Here are a few things you can try show him that you are making time for him:

• Date night – Have a night together that is just for the two of you that is derby free. Don’t talk about training, the next bout, stuff going on in the league. Leave all of that somewhere else for a few
hours and do something your partner wants to do. If you can try to do this once a week, but if that is not possible try for once a month. (If you do sneak off to the bathroom to check the forum on your
smartphone, make sure you do it quickly)

• Skip training once in a while – Most leagues do not require 100% attendance so consider giving up a training session every now and again to spend time with your partner. Take a weekend off every couple of months and plan to do something together. Make sure to include your partner rather than just inviting them along on a road trip to see a bout.

• Derby free bedroom – Try to keep shop talk out of the bedroom. Resist the urge to talk about what you just did at training when you are snuggling in bed before falling asleep, try not to mention what derby stuff you have that day when you first wake up, and save those twenty push-ups before bed for another room in the house. If you can, keep your pads and skates airing out somewhere else as well. It may not seem like much, but what you are doing is creating a derby free zone in the house and if you are lucky you will reap the rewards of more time spent in there.

Remember to communicate with him about spending time together. Let him know that you are willing to give up derby sometimes in order to be with him. I am sure you will find that there are fewer arguments when he feels he is just as important as derby.

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