Researchers navigate a complex network of relationships, positions, and responsibilities that are determined by their discipline, funding bodies, and the research community they are studying. Tensions often emerge between and across each of these different spaces. This paper uses reflexive autobiographical writing to discuss some of the ongoing challenges faced with engaging a diverse a group of stakeholders in relation to sociological research on the gender inequalities of bridge as a serious leisure activity. Drawing on the researchers’ personal notes and exchanges during a project on sexism and the card game bridge, as well as the survey data from this project, this paper explores the ways that a combined team of insider/outsider researchers strive to balance the relationship and commitment they have to the pursuit of knowledge and the user community. Many projects face this balancing act which can permeate every stage of the research process and can be witnessed frequently in project meetings, yet there is still little published in relation to these conversations that take place between research team members.