March Madness Widow Syndrome

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 8.0

Every year basketball enthusiasts sit in their favourite chairs or in their most comfortable spot on the couch to enjoy hours and hours and hours of college basketball. It’s amazing, it’s enjoyable, it’s all of the best moments that you could hope for in 3 weeks of action.

But, if you aren’t that person, you might be a March Madness Widow. You might feel like you are alone, bored, and left without the hangout partner that you normally have.

If you are struggling with March Madness Widow Syndrome, we have 5 things that you can do from March 14 to April 3, 2017 – give ‘em a shot!

1. Create An Awesome Playlist!

Just like the mixtapes we made from our favourite cassettes and the radio, a good playlist still holds all kinds of value!

If you’re looking for simple starting points – we recommend using Spotify or YouTube to start curating your list of songs and mixing and matching until you get the perfect selection to suit your mood. Give yourself something to dance to, something to relax to, or something that just plays as loud as possible while you sing along!

2. Share Music With Your Friends!

Music is best enjoyed as a shared experience. Yes, sometimes it’s great to be lost in a song, but sharing music with your friends is the best.

Here’s a challenge: Every day of March Madness post a link to a song on a friend’s Facebook or Twitter and invite them to send you one back. There are 12 games days over 21 days – that means you have a chance to really share the music you love, and hopefully get some back, with and from your music loving friends!

3. Make Your Summer Music Plans!

Whether you’re into the festival scene or single concert events, there are all kinds of options available for you in the summer. And the worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to make your plans.

Most festivals have tiered pricing, so the earlier you buy – the better. And unless you love sitting in the back row or on the lawn, you should be buying tickets and setting reminders for the concerts that have you most excited when the weather warms up!

4. Watch Some Music Documentaries

Trust me, I know that not everyone is into documentaries, but there are some awesome films on Netflix that you should really check out if you love music.

If you’re looking for recommendations… here you go

☞ Neil Young Journeys
☞ History Of The Eagles
☞ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down A Dream

I watched and really dug all three of those – and if you take a look I’m sure you’ll find a few more that you can get into!

5. Play Along!

If your partner or best friend or family members are in love with the tournament, give it a shot with them. It really can be a whole lot of fun.

Fill out a bracket, pick a favourite team, let yourself get drawn into the drama and excitement that the tournament provides. From buzzer beaters to Cinderellas, you might just find that you like the NCAA action more than you thought you would.

Please remember though, your partner may truly be invested in their team’s performance, so if they do lose on the way to the national championship, try not to rub their face in it too much.

Have fun!

And if you need more ideas, have a look back at the first 7 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0 – March 12, 2016

March Madness Widow Survival Guide 7.0

It’s Time!

March Madness is back baby, and I couldn’t be more excited. UNC has put themselves in good position for the tournament, we’re sure to see some awesome ball with some amazing finishes… and before this tournament is over we’re sure to learn the names of some new players who have primetime performances and make HUGE shots.

NCAA Buzzer BeaterBut if you’re not an NCAA basketball lover this post is for you. If you know that your partner is going to be glued to the TV or tablet or laptop for major parts of the next few weeks (March 15 to April 4) you should probably start looking for some things to do to entertain yourself… trust me.

In the 7th year of putting this post together we want nothing more than to help people who don’t care about the Final Four. So here are 5 things you can do while your significant other is praying for a buzzer beater.

1. Listen To Your Favourite Albums Of All-Time!

Think back to when you were 13, or 22, or 31… what albums were perfect to you? What records did you play from front to back without skipping a song?

Put those on and take a trip down memory lane. Embrace the feelings that they bring to you, think back to the friends and family and times in your life that they represent to you now. We all those artists and songs and records that mean the world to us, even if nobody else understands. Embrace yours!

2. Find New Music To Love!

Spotify LogoPlatforms like Spotify and Apple Music are awesome for finding new music. Pick a playlist in the genre you love, or choose an artist you don’t know from a related music selection and see where it takes you.

I suggest taking notes as you go, because if you listen long enough (while you work or workout or just relax) you’re likely to lose track of some of those new songs and names.

3. Have A Solo Dance Party!

Dancing is good for the soul… and the body, so turn up some uptempo tunes and get your sweat on!

Honestly, whether you want to play a game like Just Dance or you want to dance in your socks all over the kitchen floor, we don’t care… but dancing is good, and you should do it like nobody is watching.

And if solo dance parties aren’t your thing, round up some friends who are feeling widowed during March Madness and invite them to dance too!

4. Go See A Live Show!

Live music is one of my favourite things in the world, and I fully believe that everyone deserves to treat themselves to live shows whenever the chance presents itself.

Now, that doesn’t always mean you have to spend a ton of money on a big arena or stadium show. Check out the local listings and hit a club or a bar or a coffeehouse near you to see an acoustic show or an open mic night or an artist that everyone is going to be talking about a year from now!

5. Play Along!

2016_Final_Four_LogoEvery year this makes the list, and every year it will. I love March Madness because I love basketball, but I also love the drama and the theatre and the unpredictability that comes with this crazy tournament.

So, pick a team (I wouldn’t recommend any 15 or 16 seeds) and start cheering. Hell, fill out a bracket and see if you can beat your MM loving partner.

With just a little googling you can find out the best players, the celebrity alumni, the mascot name and even the fight song to your new favourite college basketball team.

But if you do choose to play along, please please please remember to be nice when your S/O’s team loses, and they probably will. It can be a heartbreaking and disillusioning moment, and you don’t really want to see them cry, do you?

And have a look back at the first 6 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 6.0 – March 16, 2015

2 years ago

The March Madness Widow(er) Survival Guide 6.0

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

The NCAA March Madness bracket has been set, and 68 teams are ready to hit the floor and fight for a chance to play in the Final Four and be called National Champion.

And if you don’t care about any of that, this post is meant for you.

This is the 6th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide, it’s sole purpose is to help you find things to do to stay busy and happy and awesome while your significant other sits on the couch and watches hours and hours and hours of college basketball. Being left alone like this is what we refer to as March Madness Widow Syndrome. We know it isn’t always an awesome feeling, but we’re here to help.

Here are 5 things that you can do between March 17th and April 6, 2015 if you aren’t a basketball fan.

1. Enjoy the Early Spring Weather

We’ve turned the clock forward an hour, the sun is still up after 5pm, and it’s not freezing cold 24 hours a day. So get your Spring jacket ready, sit out on the porch or balcony, go for a walk around the block or in the park, grab a coffee and sit on a newly opened patio – or grab a beer, that’s great for sunny weekend afternoons.

2. Find Great Places to Eat

Just Eat logo 2015Ask your friends and neighbours and co-workers for their highest recommendations – find brand new places to go out for dinner or lunch or brunch, order the dishes that people tell you are fabulous. And remember, take out counts!

So pull up and find a restaurant that you haven’t tried, pick some stuff you think you’re going to want to eat, and order it.

3. Take a Trip

This is an idea that comes all the way back from the very first March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

If you’ve got a couple vacation days, take ‘em. Build yourself a long weekend and hit a B&B. Hit up a nice little town like Port Hope, ON and see the sights, visit landmarks and enjoy yourself. Or, go home and visit your family and old friends. Or, buy a last minute deal and fly south to sit on a beach for a few days and really, really, really take advantage of the time on your hands.

The Batman Comic Book Cover4. Read Comic Books

There are some really great comic books out there. Whether you like zombies (The Walking Dead) or updated fairy tales (Fables) or all of your favourites from when you were a kid (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man) there’s something on a shelf for each and every one of you.

Trust me. Give it a try.

Plus, you don’t have to go to the comic book store to get them any more. Digital comics are readily available. And they won’t break the bank.

5. Play Along

I say this every year, and I mean it every year. Even if you’re not into the tournament, fill out a bracket. Pick some winners. Find a team to cheer for (please not Duke) and even root against your significant other’s favourite team. Just remember not to rub it in too hard if your team wins or their team eventually loses.

March Madness can be a lot of fun. But if you’re not into it, that’s cool. Make the most of those 3 weeks, they’ll be over before you know it.

And have a look back at the first 5 years of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0 – March 16, 2014

Be awesome!

3 years ago

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 5.0


It’s that time of year again! Selection Sunday is here, and just a few minutes ago 68 teams confirmed that they are headed to the biggest, best basketball tournament in North America.

This is also your 2 day warning before the action gets under way and your significant other settles themselves into the couch and devours hours and hours and hours of upsets and buzzer beaters and big plays and then the Final Four.

For the fifth year in a row I’m here to help. If you are forgotten and neglected and left lonely from March 18th to April 7th, I have a list of tips that just might keep you busy and smiling and able to deal with the tournament.

Remember, there’s no stopping this thing, every year there are millions of people affected by March Madness Widow Syndrome – I just hope that I can help some of you get through these 3 weeks just a little bit easier.

Netflix Logo1. Dig Into Netflix!
You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands for the next 3 weeks, and while I know that sometimes people complain that there isn’t anything good to watch on Netflix, I disagree. Since mid-February I’ve watched all of House of Cards and all 5 seasons of Chuck. I’ve also checked out some awesome WWE content, Archer and even Justice League Unlimited.

I dare you to grab your laptop or tablet and look through the entire catalogue and tell me that there’s nothing that you want to watch or rewatch.

And if you need recommendations, let me know. I’m happy to help.

2. Spring Cleaning and Purging!  
Spring cleaning is one of those terms that gets thrown around every year at this time. But I’m not using it to talk about dusting and washing windows and all those crappy chores. I’m talking about cleaning out your closet. Donating the things you don’t wear any more. Finding new homes for your gently used clothes. Hell, organize a clothing swap with your friends. I know some people who have walked away very, very happy from those events.

And if you fancy something brand new, you’ll have room in your closet to go out shopping for something shiny and appropriate for the warmer weather that is coming.

3. Find Some New Music!
No matter what genre of music you love to listen to, I can guarantee that there is awesome music out there that you haven’t heard yet. Less than a month ago I hadn’t heard of The Lovelocks and now I’m in love with their EP, have an interview with them on the blog here and can’t wait to see what they do next.

It’s not hard to find new music. Ask your friends what they are listening to. Look up indie charts online. Check out recommended videos on YouTube from bands you’ve never heard of before.  Hell, just listen to the radio, there are a lot of us who don’t do that any more.

And if you find some new country music that you love, please let me know!

Knitting Needles and Yarn4. Create Something!
Whether you write, or sing, or draw, or design, or play guitar, or knit, or make movies, or tell stories around a fire – find a way to create something and give it to the world. The world is a happier place because talented people share their creations with us. And in my opinion, too many talented people don’t believe in themselves enough to share what they have created.

In fact, I’d like to issue a friendly challenge to all of you. Create something, anything, and take a photo or send a link so we can share it with the world.

5. Play Along With The Games!
I say it every year, and I mean it. The coolest thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game, but filling out your own bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your March Madness addicted significant other can be a lot of fun.

Please remember though, many fans are very attached to their favourite teams, so please don’t make too much fun of them if they lose. It will be a sensitive time.

If these 5 ideas aren’t what you need to get you through, you can see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness. Check out the first 4 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0 – March 17, 2013

4 years ago

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 4.0

March Madness 2013 BannerLadies and gentlemen, the time has come once again!

Today is Selection Sunday. The glorious day when 68 teams of young men will learn that they are going to be playing in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – and who they’ll be playing in the first round.

It’s also the start of a 2 day countdown to the start of the greatest sports tournament in North America.

However, as we have learned over the years, the NCAAs don’t make everyone smile and they can make things tense and uncomfortable and even unfair in many homes and relationships. Because we don’t want anyone to be negatively impacted by this awesome event we’re back with the 4th annual March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

In the last 3 years we’ve looked at some ideas that partners of NCAA Tourny fans can look into so they don’t feel so neglected during the journey from 68 teams to 1.

And that’s exactly what I’m here to do again right now! Here are 5 suggestions of things to do this year while your S/O is on the couch cheering on their fav team, hoping for upsets and crying over their busted bracket.

1. Catch up on Girls/Homeland/Game of Thrones/Mad Men/ The Walking Dead/ Etc.
There are a lot of great shows out there and it’s almost impossible for everyone to keep track and watch them all every week. However, with Netflix, On Demand, DVDs and downloads there are ways that you can watch these shows in shortened, intense periods. And what better opportunity than the 21 days of March Madness?

Get your episodes in order, make some popcorn (a great antioxidant) and enjoy!

2. Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.
It’s coming, this much we know. But when and how we don’t know. So the best thing to do is get yourself prepared. I would suggest reading The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, think about packing your Zombie Apocalypse First Aid Kit, building your Zombie Apocalypse Team and thinking about where you can go, where you can get weapons, food, ammo, tools and everything else you need to survive.

I’m pulling for you and hope to see you in the safe zone.

3. Start your Spring Cleaning.
I’m not saying that you have to do all of the heavy cleaning by yourself, that’s not fair at all. What I’m suggesting is that you can use this time to go through your closet and pick out the clothes that you want to donate to charity. You can organize the tupperware cupboard. You can even make your shopping list for the things that you need after going through the house and realizing what you’re missing!

4. Eat All The Things.
This is your chance friends. Your basketball fan is going to be so engrossed with the games that they will be able to survive on cereal, chips, celery and coffee. But you, you get to try all the new recipes that you’ve wanted to get at and enjoy some old favourites as well.

And here’s the best part – if you don’t want to share, you don’t have to! That’s right, this is your time and your food and your treat. I would recommend maybe sharing a couple times to be nice, but not every night. You can even invite other non-NCAA fan friends over and have a little dinner party with some wine and stories and laughs. It will be great!

5. Get in the Game!
I say it every year, the best thing you can do is play along with your partner. You don’t have to sit down and watch every game of course. But filling out your bracket, picking a favourite team, cheering with and against your S/O can be a lot of fun.

Remember this though please: NCAA fans are really into things and when their team loses (and the odds are they will) don’t rag on them too hard. It’s an emotional and disappointing time.

Good luck with your picks and your sanity during this wonderful time of year.

I’m excited. I hope you are too!

If you want to see some other suggestions for your March Madness loneliness, check out the first 3 guides.

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide – March 18, 2010

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0 – March 10, 2011

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0 – March 8, 2012

5 years ago

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 3.0

Hello friends, it’s that time of year again. The magical time when televisions will be tuned to CBS and grown men will agonize day and night over the hardwood exploits of young men from 68 schools from across the United States.

However, as some of you have found over the years, March Madness is not always fun if your partner spends all day and night in front of the TV and ignores you for days at a time.

This year, for the 3rd time, I am proud to bring you the March Madness Widow Survival Guide.

Each year I have given widows and widowers suggestions of things to do during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament that will occupy their time and make sure that they don’t feel so lonely. This year I have 5 suggestions that you can dive right in to!

1. Pinterest: Yes, Pinterest. It’s awesome, the ladies love it and it just keeps getting more and more popular. You can have boards for red dresses, Ryan Gossling pics, accessories, shoes, food, beaches or all of the above. You can use Pinterest at home on your computer or on your phone. So, get to the website, follow me and PIN ALL THE THINGS!

2. Read The Hunger Games: I’m serious. I just bought and read all three books and would recommend them to all of you over and over and over again. Katniss is well written as a lonely, conflicted, confused young woman who grows and fights and ends up in a love triangle that reminds me of 90210 (the original) and Dawson’s Creek.

3. Start a Super Secret Club: Yup, I’m talking handshakes, passwords, uniforms, recipe swaps, fight club type shit! You can rotate the meetings between houses. You can do whatever you want. The possibilities are endless and you may even make your basketball obsessed boy a little jealous.

4. Cupakes: Bake them, Eat them, Review them, Blog them, Photograph them, Enjoy the hell out of them. There are a lot of great cupcakes out there. I suggest that you taste as many of them as you can. Pair them with milk, tea, coffee or whatever else you like to drink and let your taste buds savor the flavor.

5. Participate: Every year I make the same suggestion… and that will never change. Go out and fill in your bracket. Pick a team to cheer for. Get excited. Bet on games against your partner. Just have fun! It’s a fantastic time of year and a real opportunity to enjoy each other when you otherwise may not have.

There you go. 5 things to help you deal with March Madness Widow Syndrome. If you’d like to go back and get more suggestions check out the 1st and 2nd versions of the March Madness Widow Survival Guide. They are here to help you!

Enjoy the tournament!

6 years ago

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0

It’s here again, that time of year that non-college basketball loving spouses loathe. That time when sports geeks can feel their heartbeat quickening. That glorious time of year we know as March Madness!

Last year I came to you with the March Madness Widow Survival Guide. This spring I am happy to be back with a new list of suggestions that may help those afflicted with MMWS. As always, if you have any suggestions that you think would benefit the masses please add them in the comment section below.

The 2011 edition of March Madness begins Sunday March 13th with Selection Sunday and will conclude with the National Title game on April 6, 2011 in Houston. That gives us 25 days of basketball lovin’ to get through. 11 of those 25 days have basketball action. That means 11 days to find distraction.

I hope that something on this list may help you out!

Apps! Yes, those Apps. There are a billion and one of them out there and one for everyone. The likelihood that either you or your partner are rocking an App capable smart phone or tablet is very high. So find yourself a new App to play with and go nuts. Imagine how good you can get at Angry Birds between now and April 6th. You will have bragging rights and the chance to discover the next “IT” App in the process!

Sewing! I’m serious here. Sewing is an undervalued and underused skill in this day and age. Being able to hem pants, skirts and dresses is a great asset. Darning socks is like plumbing, it’s never going to stop being a need. I know that sewing may come off as a gender biased and offensive suggestion. But come on, you know me, I’d never say something with that intent. I think that sewing is getting left behind. And that’s sad! Who doesn’t remember those awesome homemade Halloween costumes for example. Don’t let that tradition die. Consider that over the next 3 weeks.

Writing! Last year I suggested using March Madness and tournament time to catch up on some reading. This year why not flip that idea and put your own words down. Maybe you have letters and emails you’ve been meaning to send to friends and family (or me). Or perhaps you’ve been dying to blog. I love new blogs so I’d love to see that happen. Heck, maybe you have a Survival Guide or two that can offer to the world. We all need a little help sometimes!

Cook! Who among us doesn’t enjoy a new recipe from time to time? I do. And if your S/O is going to cemented to the couch this is your opportunity. The best part of this option is the fact that the college hoops lover is in your livingroom is going to be content eating crap like french fries and chicken fingers all the time. That gives you the opportunity to cook and create dishes you will enjoy. Share only if you want to. You’re the culinary artist here. Have fun with it. Enjoy yourself. And don’t forget to pair your new masterpiece with a nice bottle of wine!

Yoga! Yoga is huge right now. Even I’m getting ready to start (really, I am). You can improve your flexibility and core strength. You can breathe deeply and find calm and Zen. And you can get yourself some awesome Yoga gear. This is also something that you can carry on after March Madness ends. Yoga night can become your night. You can make new friends and really gain some positives from the experience.

Get Into The Madness! I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year, watching the games with your obsessed S/O can be a lot of fun. Fill out your bracket, pick a fav team. Maybe give some love to Jimmer Fredette (that’s his real name, Jimmer) at BYU or cheer with me as I back the boys in baby blue from the University of North Carolina. It can be a lot of fun to cheer against or with your partner. Remember to try and keep it light hearted. We don’t want anyone’s feelings getting hurt here. It’s already a stressful time as it is. Be gentle with your NCAA loving, bracket busting, chicken finger dipping S/O – they may be very fragile.

There you are friends. 5 suggestions to help March Madness Widows (and widowers) through the 2011 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. I hope that at least 1 of them helps you out this spring.

Good Luck.

7 years ago

The Twitter Widow Survival Guide

Hello internet friends, I come to you today with something that I feel to be very important. With the growing popularity of Twitter and the subsequent #tweetups that come with it we are now experiencing a new social disorder: Twitter Widow (or Widower) Syndrome.

If you haven’t heard the term before it’s probably because I’m coining it right now. Twitter Widow Syndrome can be likened to March Madness Widow Syndrome which I wrote about earlier this year. Both may be identified by feelings of loneliness, temporary abandonment, annoyance, jealousy and unbridled frustration. Any combination of these symptoms in conjunction with your partner being a more than average user of Twitter may point to a case of TWS.

The difference and problem with TWS is that it is a year round, 24/7 issue. It is not a 3 week rush of crazy like MMWS is. To help comfort and aide those feeling that they may be victims of Twitter Widow Syndrome I have decided to put together a quick survival guide. Remember that every tip will not be useful or reasonable for everyone, but hopefully you will find something that can help you (or your significant other if you are the Twitterholic)

1) Create a toll system: Whenever the Tweeter in the relationship wants to update during together time have it cost them a penny or a nickel or a dime that can go towards a date night fund or something of that ilk. Charge a premium for tweets during family events or special occasions – unless of course they are tweeting about how great you (or your mother) are.

2) Do sit-ups or push-ups or jumping jacks: If you do a quick set of something every time your significant other tweets you will be in better shape in no time. You’ll feel better, look better and be awesome. It’s a quick option that you just might find you end up loving.

3) Find an anytime hobby: Something that you can pick up and put down the same way your partner picks up and puts down Twitter. Write your opus little by little. Play with drink recipes (this one can be really fun). Try scrapbooking. Practise your tiddly winks or Jacks skills. People still play those games right, it’s not just me?

4) Keep track of these moments and trade them in for attention later: If your tweeter is neglecting you to bust out 140 characters use it to your advantage later. Without malice of course. But gently come with a little – “remember that time…” Who knows how successful you may be with a little guilt trip action.

And finally, number 5.

5) Join: Create your own network of current friends, people you work with, folks with common interests, celebrities, etc. Go to your own #tweetups – trade them with your partner. Enjoy Twitter the same way that your TWS causing significant other does.

There you have it. 5 quick tips in a Twitter Widow Survival Guide. Try them out and see if any of them work for you or your suffering significant other.

Good luck.

7 years ago
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