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10 Incredible Things Only Couples Who Play Video Games Together Would Understand

10 Incredible Things Only Couples Who Play Video Games Together Would Understand

It is indeed a beautiful day when an article like this can no longer truthfully open with “Although most gamers are male teenagers…” The fact is, video games have become increasingly prevalent in all modern households, regardless of whether or not the owners consider themselves “hardcore” video gamers. And in ever-increasing amounts, couples find themselves turning to video games on rainy date nights, traveling together to virtual worlds from the comfort of their couches.

Any couple who’s ever spent a day with two controllers aimed at a television knows these 10 things:

1. You have to be patient

Okay, even though video games are pretty prevalent today, one person out of the couple is usually much more experienced when it comes to playing them. While this party has always tried to get his (or her, sorry) significant other into gaming, when she (or he) finally succumbs, it’s often not a pretty sight.

We’ve all had to answer the same questions over and over for a full half hour after they decide to jump in: “Which button is jump?” “How do you get over there?” “Why won’t you wait for me?!” We experienced gamers have to keep in mind we’ve been doing this since the NES days, and need to give our significant other time to acclimate to the world of gaming, no matter how annoying it can be at first.

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2. You learn to work as a team

A lot of today’s multiplayer games make it essential for each player to perform a specific role. Games like World of Warcraft are much easier when you have a priest healing your warrior consistently. If that’s not a perfect metaphor for a relationship, then there isn’t one. In games that require partnerships, the relationship is always symbiotic. In Little Big Planet, it’s literally impossible to get every sticker without working as a team (and yes, you should always let the less-experienced one get the stickers). Just like in real life, it’s not important who gets the glory, as long as you both reach your common goal.

3. You have to take the reins sometimes

Sometimes, there are just parts of a game’s mechanics that your significant other just will not be able to grasp. For the sake of getting past what should be a quick obstacle (and for the sake of your relationship), the more experienced gamer has to just take the controller and do his thing. Though this will inevitably upset the other party (“If you want me to play with you, let me play!”), it will ultimately allow both of you to continue the game and attack the next obstacle head on.

4. The less experienced one will always figure something out quicker than you

The beauty of video games is you don’t have to be experienced to be able to do well with them. In contrast to say, golf, where it’s extremely rare that a novice will get a hole in one on their first drive, video games are built so that even the most inexperienced gamer can pick up a controller and start playing.

Of course, this can be a double-edged sword. As a self-proclaimed master gamer, how many times have you been stuck on a certain puzzle or level, only to have your noob significant other pick up a controller, jump around aimlessly a few times, and unlock some power-up that gets your character past the obstacle with ease? We all know what comes next…

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5. The less experienced one will never let you live that moment down

After your better half “figures out” that puzzle that’s been driving you nuts for hours, he or she will probably gloat about how easy it was, and make fun of you for how upset you were – and how much more upset you got after he or she got you past it. The upside to this situation is that your loved one might realize video games aren’t all that difficult, and decide to give them a deeper look. Letting them have their moment of glory is a small price to pay for the unlimited fun you can have when your partner finally takes the plunge and immerses herself in the world of gaming.

6. You make in-game sacrifices

You’ve run your level 90 mage through all of the low-level dungeons in WoW with your SO’s hunter over and over so he or she can catch up to you (and hopefully not lose interest by that time). You’ve watched patiently (read: painfully) as they try to solve a puzzle in Portal that you solved months ago (even though it took you the same amount of time to figure out). You let her make “improvements” to your mansion in Minecraft without saying a word.

You’ve done all this, knowing you could be running end-game raids, destroying GLaDOS, or venturing into The End, because you know what’s really important: spending time with the one you love, knowing they’re truly enjoying themselves.

7. You realize you’re actually better at something than they are

Even if it is something silly like video games. Anyone who’s truly in love admires their significant other for their accomplishments, talent, and drive. You look up to them, and spend every waking moment improving yourself to make you even more worthy of their love than you were the day before. Once you load up that system, however, you finally have one-up on them. You can show them the ropes, feel confident that you’re in charge, and know exactly what you’re doing. Unlike the rest of your life, which is a complete mess, you can actually make sense of the going-ons around you when you have a controller in your hand.

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8. You know it’s all in good fun

We understand that all’s fair in love, war, and video games. Gloating and showboating, from both parties, comes with the territory when couples engage in any sort of gaming. Whether playing competitive games like Mario Kart or (supposedly) cooperative games like Little Big Planet, it’s inevitable that each of you will have your moment to shine, and each of you will make bonehead moves that the other will surely remind you of throughout the gaming session.

But, hopefully, when you shut the system off, you can look back at the whole time you spent making fun of each other, or getting absolutely enraged with one another, and know there’s nothing else in the world you would rather have been doing.

9. You play differently together than when you play alone

Something weird happens when you play a game with your significant other: you look at it from an entirely different perspective.You slow down your speed runs to allow your SO time to explore and get acclimated with the game. You don’t break out as many special moves as you normally would. Maybe you break out more special moves than you normally would, you show-off. You spend less time running over innocent civilians, and spend an hour exploring Mt. Chilead. In yet another metaphor for life, playing video games with the love of your life makes you aware of all the in-game beauty you’ve been missing while rushing toward your goal.

10. You realize it’s the journey, not the destination, that’s important

In video games, as in life, we often are looking forward to what’s next. You don’t want your WoW character to be level 10; you want to hit 90 ASAP. You probably simulate at least half of the games in the regular season of your NBA 2K franchise, only playing the big games and the playoffs. Even playing games like Metal Gear Solid, which you swear has cut-scenes that are way too long, you’re not satisfied until you find out what happens to Snake next. 

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When you play with your significant other, all this goes away; you actually play in the moment. Not only do you appreciate the game while playing it, you actually don’t want to reach the end. You’ll want to shut out the real world for as long as possible, enjoying every moment you can with your love by your side. (Awwwww…)

Featured photo credit: Young couple playing video games together while sitting in their living room. Mixed race teenage couple holding video game console sitting on floor looking away. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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