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Sweatpants & Relationships | Two Up: What Gaming Together Teaches You About Relationships

By Alex and Barbara Doyle

We’ve been gaming together for over two decades and we know this for sure: keeping your character and your marriage alive have a lot in common. Here’s what we’ve learned through co-op play.

1

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and goals are essential to any successful adventure.  For example, no matter what fantasy game we’re playing, Barbara plays the spellcaster. She’s good at it, and it satisfies her. Prioritize the experience you want to have as an individual. That said…

2

As the tank, Alex brings all of the attributes that complete the necessary set. Remember: while magic is a quick fix most of the time, sometimes you just gotta (literally) hammer your way through things.

3

If you’re only in the game for yourself, you’re doomed to fail. Relationships may not always be a party, but you have to keep the heat off your partner’s back so they can keep the heat off of yours.

4

Don’t play around on the side—advancing way ahead of your partner makes them question your commitment to working as a team. Stick together. Don’t leave them behind. Nobody likes a know it all.

5

Good communication is essential to keep everything from falling apart and prevents unpleasant or awkward surprises. If you know something, say something. Even if you have to shout across the house from your emotional desktops to do it.

6

Alex knows this well: nothing says “I love you” like a legendary artifact. Contribute to and be happy for your significant other’s gain. You should be just as excited to open a treasure box and find something wonderful for your partner as you would be finding something for yourself.

7

Sometimes? You’re going to fail. Hard. Not everything goes smoothly, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Take your moment, be pissed, and then move on. Getting upset isn’t as important as getting up and trying again. Learn together. Plot together. Kick that boss’ ass together.

8

Spending quality time doing something as a unit builds cohesiveness. Having a shared objective and achieving it only makes you stronger. Plus, in our circle, staying up all night gaming with each other is almost as sexy as…well…other things.

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About Barbara Doyle (138 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for Grumpy Cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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