Could this be the best (and cheapest) date night ever?
What comes to mind when you think of a date night?
Most would probably imagine a trip to an expensive restaurant, concert, or special event. You must plan, schedule, and then dress up, spending lots of time and money. We all love our partners and want to do the right things for each other. But sometimes, “doing the right thing” can become another chore or headache.
Not to mention all the extra stresses that come from trying to have the perfect date night. Stressing over what to wear, whether this hip new place will be better than an old favorite, or if you have time to make it after a busy day at work.
Please don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the classic date night. In fact, sometimes dressing up and doing something a bit extra is exactly what you need as a couple. But at other times, we need something different. Something less formal and stuffy. An activity that doesn’t require so much seriousness or won’t add on extra stress.
We’re talking about having a game night.
Sometimes we simply need to play together
When was the last time you were playful with your partner?
As we age together, we’ll often place a lot of stress on ourselves to become adults and do adult things like fancy dinners or trips to the opera. These can be amazing experiences for sure.
But we should also have fun, laugh, and be silly as well.
Being playful together is an essential skill that no couple should lose or take for granted.
Being Playful Can Have Serious Benefits
You might not believe it, but being playful helps the relationship profoundly.
When you lose yourself in play, you’re allowing yourself to take a break from the linear, results-driven mindset plaguing most adults. This time spent playing enables you to activate a part of the brain that we don’t use much as adults. When we’re not stressing about bills, deadlines at work, or serious business, our brains can make new connections and see things in a fresh way.
Playing together with your partner helps boost your mood and gives you opportunities to laugh together, releasing endorphins. Spontaneous laughter, like what would occur in the middle of a game, has been shown to bring you closer together as a couple. Imagine a night spent together laughing over silly mistakes.
Beyond the laughs, time together outside of your regular routines reshapes how you look at problems. Couples that play and laugh together are more able to find creative ways to handle future issues. They also stop taking themselves too seriously, giving them humility and the ability to see that striving for absolute perfection is useless.
Co-op Games to the Rescue
A great way to rediscover your playfulness together is through a game night.
Historically, this means board games, but many modern couples are experiencing success with video games (we’ll also suggest one of those at the end of our recommendations).
Games can help us discover new things and explore fresh ideas together. Our adult lives can easily fall into predictable patterns and routines. But games are typically random and chaotic. A dice roll determines an outcome, and anything can happen. We’re challenged to think on our toes and devise quick solutions to problems. Not only is this usually fun, but it also helps us grow. New situations and thinking through new issues have been shown to boost beneficial change.
If you’re anything like us, some of the classic board games won’t sound very appealing. If you’ve ever slogged through a game of Monopoly as a family, you might think, “this sounds way more likely to cause a fight because someone has to lose. Yes, you can team up and laugh at another player, but it is usually not a totally enjoyable group experience.
Thankfully, a new breed of board and video games are available that focus on cooperative gameplay. Instead of playing against each other, you play with each other against the game board itself.
Many of the games have predictable timelines, so you won’t end up in a four-hour lopsided match where one player is obviously going to win. The games are built with varied and specific goals you can only achieve by working together. This helps foster communication, problem-solving, and other helpful skills for any relationship.
But you’ll be learning these lessons without realizing it. It won’t feel like you’re learning deep, profound life lessons while tossing a set of dice. But trust us, it’s quality time.
Some Co-Op Games We’d Recommend You Play Together at Your Next Game Night
One of the best cooperative games ever made that’s also great for groups. The subject matter is a bit on the nose for our current situation. Still, with solid communication, you can rid the world of a deadly virus as a team.
This game is perfect for couples just getting started playing cooperative board games. The gameplay is basic and quick. Unless you choose a more challenging gameplay mode, you’re almost guaranteed to come out victorious (sometimes, we need to start with an easy win).
Players work together to move through a burning house to rescue people and put out fires. The game can get chaotic, so staying in constant communication and strategizing together as a team is required to come out victorious.
Fog of Love
This one is super on the nose. You play as two characters who meet and fall in love and struggle to make things work. The game is set up to play out like a romantic comedy with surprise twists, awkward situations, and plenty of laughs. There are many characters and situations, like a cop who meets a criminal or a farmer who meets royalty.
It Takes Two (Video Game)
This cooperative video game was on many critics’ best of 2021 lists. In the game, you play as a husband and wife considering divorce. They are transformed into miniature versions of themselves and are forced to deal with their previously small-sized problems. Levels deal with relationship issues like passion, finding time for each other, and attraction.
Go Play and Have Fun!
If you haven’t tried cooperative games before, we hope we’ve encouraged you to go out and give them a try. Again, there’s nothing wrong with the traditional “date night.” But sometimes, we need something new, fun, and exciting to shake things up and keep us from growing stale.
Play is the perfect antidote to stale. Playing together isn’t going to solve all your problems in one sitting magically. But it will give you new skill sets and communication tools you can use to tackle the more significant issues in your relationship.
If you’d like to ask us more about couples activities or anything else about your relationship, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our mission is to help strengthen relationships, and we’ll help you find the care and support you need.