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This one is for everyone who has ever been, currently is, or ever plans on being in a long-term relationship. Having been married for almost twenty years, I have found that it can sometimes be difficult to break up the monotony of daily life. You get-up, get the kids off to school, go to work, come home, clean your house, help kids with homework, take them to sports, plays, and other activities, make dinner, then collapse in exhaustion, and get-up the next morning to start it all over again. Sometimes, throughout all the chaos, you may find the time to go out on a date. I find this to be far easier once your kids have reached their teenage years (especially if you have one or two of them with a driver’s license).

Let us now imagine that you have managed to get all your “adulting” taken care of and you have taken advantage of the extra time to have a night out with your significant other. If you’re like many couples that have been together for a lengthy period of time, you may find that as you are sitting down at a restaurant that there isn’t much to talk about. You could each complain about that coworker that drives you crazy, or how your boss is a micromanager (for the record, if my boss is reading this, I don’t think you’re a micromanager 😉). Since you have lived your lives together and have, what seems to be, endless shared experiences, sometimes that only leaves work as the one thing that is new and fresh to talk about. When that conversation dries-up, then what? Out come the phones? Do you start browsing social media to see what is happening in other people’s lives? Remember, the most important person in your life is right in front of you. I am writing about this with experience, as I have been through this scenario many times before. So, what can be done to keep things fun? Fortunately, we have found a great way to still connect, even after so many years. Now, since this is a blog about board games, I don’t think it will be much of a surprise, or take much to guess, what we now do while we’re waiting to order food or for it to be served. What may be surprising is that this was started not by me, but by my spouse. My spouse is not a gamer. She humors me once in a while by coming down to the game room to play. I have found that with many people who don’t consider themselves gamers, they just need the right game in the right setting.Years ago, we were sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food and she pulled a small black box from her purse. I looked at her quizzically. She opened the box and pulled out two small pink pigs made of soft plastic. She had read the rules and proceeded to teach me how to play Pass the Pigs. We had so much fun with this experience that it became a staple for our date nights. This game fit the situation perfectly. First, it is compact (I may be a nerd but no one wants to be walking around on date night with a big game box under their arm.) Second, it doesn’t take up much space on the table and is quickly picked-up once the food arrives. Third, Pass the Pigs is a fairly short game and can easily be paused to finish later. Other games fit into this category, and I am always on the lookout for new games to add to what my wife calls our “waiting games” list. We have since added Ohanami, and Catan the Dice Game.

We have also found other ways to implement this fun idea. One of our kids’ favorite activities is to go roller skating. I used to skate too, but now I elect to forgo any potential injuries and instead sit and watch. During one of our outings, we decided to bring some board games to pass the time and haven’t looked back. The skating rink that we go to has large tables and it allows us to increase the variety of games that we can play when we go out. This has not only been a great way to pass the time while the kids are having fun but has been a great way for us to have fun and spend quality time together.

I’m sure that this problem is not unique to us. If you’re in a situation with your significant other where you’re having a difficult time finding something to talk about, connecting with each other, or having fun like you used to, try pulling out a simple game during date night. Having fun together is what helped you connect in the first place and finding new ways to do this will be beneficial to those who have been together for a long time or have just met and want to change things up a bit. One thing is certain, I am happy that my spouse took the initiative to find a game, learn the rules, and surprise me with it during a date night.

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