A Place at the Table Blogs

A Place at the Table: Relationships and Board Games

Hi guys! How are you? I hope that everyone is doing well and that spring has finally sprung wherever you may be. I recently read an article that listed some board games that are “good games” that can help improve your relationship with your significant other. I love the idea of playing board games to improve or strengthen a relationship, but many of the board games listed seemed to be the kind of board game that you’d find back in the adult section of Spencer’s Gifts at the mall.

              I read this list to Number One, and there were only one or two on the list that we would actually play together.  Board games have always been a fairly big part of our relationship. The first board game I ever played with Number One was Tsuro. And the very first board game where I beat him was Catan. There is still some debate as to whether it was beginner’s luck or if he was still trying to win me over so he let me win. He says I won all on my own, but I’m still not sure since in the almost 6 years that we’ve been together I’ve only ever beat him at Catan one other time (and that was in the last 6 months!).


             Playing board games has always been a bonding experience for us. We’re sitting there together and doing something together. We are being in the moment. It doesn’t even have to be just the two of us. If we are playing a board game with other people, we still feel connected to each other. We often joke about the love hormones that come from playing a board game. I found that information in a different article a while back.  In short, the article says that playing board games with your partner releases oxytocin and makes both people feel happier and closer. Yes, there was an actual study done about board games and how people feel after playing them.

             We do try to find games that will work well for 2 players. Our favorite two-player game is Codenames: Duet. It’s a game that doesn’t have a lot of working parts, and it is easy to set up. So, we can be playing the game within 5 minutes of pulling it out of the game closet. Duet is very good at making us slow down and really think about how the other person thinks. When it is my turn to give the clue word, I really have to get inside his head and figure out how his brain is working that day.  We’ve also played Scythe as a two-player game. Scythe takes a little bit of time to set up, but we enjoy the always changing dynamics of the game based on which factions we are playing in a game.

Codenames: Duet

             Playing board games has a variety of benefits in different areas, but had you ever thought about how they can strengthen your relationship. Some games may help with communication, working together, or help to figure out how the other person thinks. It all depends on the game and the players.

              So, tell me, fellow board gamers. What is your favorite game to play with your significant other? Do you feel closer to each other after playing a board game together?

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