Musings on Board Games and Dating

When we first started dating, we quickly connected on our mutual love of board games.  Since then, we’ve continued to enjoy our common hobby.  Love and board games go hand in hand to us. With another Valentine’s Day in the books, we couldn’t help but think how different types of games aligned with different stages of dating and relationships.  Let us know if you agree or disagree on our thoughts on gaming and relationships!

Note: Links to board games in this post will go to our Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase through our links, it will help support us in buying more games to play and review. As always, if you have a FLGS, please support them instead!

“When I was young I thought that life was so beautiful…”

At an early age, we only know what we’ve been shown and don’t always question what is actually good or bad yet.  This is often where we follow in the footsteps of our parents and family.  We build up some basic skills, but we’ve got a long way to go before we find out what really makes us happy. 

Example Games: Monopoly, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Sorry, The Game of Life, Battleship

Party Games/Checking Out What’s Out There:

There’s nothing wrong with playing with a lot of people.  It’s all about having fun, nothing serious.  It’s okay if we don’t have a specific end game in mind.  We’ll go as long as we’re having a good time.  Another round?  Why not?  If things start to get stale, we can just move onto something new.

Example Games: Telestrations, Cards Against Humanity, Codenames, Taboo, Apples to Apples

Campaign and Legacy Games/Moving through different Relationships:

You never know what the next adventure might bring.  Every outing has an impact, for better or worse.  Bad choices can leave us with some unfortunate baggage.  There’s always new surprises and many of them can be quite pleasant.  Our present experiences and actions shape our future.  Don’t be afraid to leave a mark.

Example Games: Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy, My City, King’s Dilemma

Solo Games and Modes/Me Time:

You have to love time with yourself before you can truly enjoy the company of others.  Nothing wrong with a little you time.  The world is full of great one-person experiences.  Even some of the activities that you think of multi-person ones can sometimes surprise you with how great they can be alone.  Figure out what makes you happy and don’t worry about anyone else for a bit.

Examples Games: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island, 7th Continent, Marvel Champions, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, A Feast for Odin, Wingspan

Social Deduction/The First Few Dates:

I think I can trust you, but I’m not 100% yet.  Are we on the same side?  Do we want the same things?  What are your goals?  I really want to give this my all, but I’m still a bit afraid of getting hurt.  Please don’t betray me.  Please be someone worth believing in.

Example Games: Avalon, Secret Hitler, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Coup

Co-op/Let’s Make It Official:

We’re definitely on the same team and our goals are aligned.  Teamwork makes the dreamwork and I see you as my partner.  Whatever happens, I have your back and you have mine.

Example Games: Hanabi, Forbidden Island, Marvel Champions, Spirit Island, The Crew, Letter Jam

Deck and Engine Builders/Building Something Solid:

It’s time to figure out what’s working and how to make the most of what you have.  Things will never be completely perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to make them better.  What needs to be trashed and what do you need more of?  It’s time to work towards making things run as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.

Example Games: Dominion, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Games, Gizmos, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Wingspan

Push Your Luck/Every Fight:

Tread carefully.  Sometimes what you want will pay off and other times it’s all going to blow up in your face.  This is all about weighing your priorities, managing risks, and figuring out what’s worth going for and/or leaving alone.

Example Games: Quacks of Quedlinburg, Suspend, Jenga, Codenames

Eurogames/Planning your Lives Together:

Conflict is minimal and it’s not just about getting lucky.  Planning and long term thought is important.  You find yourself in a happy middle ground between the concrete and abstract.  You have your own areas and spaces, but you’re still tied together by larger vision and identity.

Example Games: Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Castles of Burgundy

The Deep Strategy Games/Marriage:

Are you ready to commit and stick it out for the long haul?  This takes some serious thought and dedication.  There’s a lot to learn, but a deep understanding of what we have here is where the true fun and joy is found.  There is no backing out early.  

Example Games: Mage Knight, Terra Mystica, CO2, Terraforming Mars, Game of Thrones: The Board Game

Roleplaying Games

When it’s time to spice up the night and try something different

Example Games: D&D, Fog of Love, Alice is Missing

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