The Gamer Couple
There is something attractive about gaming couples. It's not just that people all over are jealous of those whose significant others "get it", but there can be a significant bonus when people come in a pair. Especially if one of the pair is a healer or a tank... or a healer and a tank combo. Of course, this also comes with its fair share of problems for raiding guilds... what if one player is brilliant, while the other can't seem to stay out of the fire? To get one, must you take the other?

Gaming couples are also often drawn to other gaming couples. The pre-raid fish feast can become like something of a dinner party. I have a very extensive friends list, and sometimes I imagine that every single gaming couple on my server and faction is on my friends list. This scenario is actually one of the reasons for my guild name... after about the 8 millionth dungeon run in which I recruited some of my couples-friends to join us, a guild mate cleverly inquired whether I was starting the Lothar Swingers Club. The rest is history.

As someone who is one half of a gaming couple, I've had plenty of people tell me they are jealous of my circumstances. How nice it would be to have someone with whom you can share your gaming hobby! For the record, this attitude usually comes from males. Read into that what you will.

So let me go on the record right here by stating that gaming and raiding with your significant other is definitely not all hearts and butterflies.

Even if you aren't both competing against one another for a raid slot, there are still plenty of problems. Look, raiding is a tense environment and therefore can add a lot of stress to your relationship if you aren't careful. If you're sitting at your computer, alone IRL, screaming at the monitor and throwing your keyboard against the wall, there's no one there to see you act like a fool. However, your significant other may not be so impressed with that clever curveball you just threw with your mouse.

Remember this - when you have a criticism to make of another member of your raid, you have to make an effort to say something to them. By this, I mean you usually need to key vent to yell at them, which gives you a slight moment to reconsider whether this is what you really want to do. When you are sitting next to the person who just took a nap in the fire, there is no brief moment of pause to reconsider before screaming at them for being a complete idiot.

If you're pissed off at someone in your raid, or just generally ticked because things are not going well, there is a scapegoat sitting right next to you on whom you can vent all your anger. This is not exactly what one might call "ideal relationship conditions". Heaven forbid that person try to tell you how to play your character or class. Try sitting quietly while the other person leads a raid, and you just know they're doing it all wrong.

The worst part is when in game squabbles and real world arguments collide. Oh, I'm terribly sorry, did I forget to heal you? It must have been because I was so distracted by how fat you implied my ass looks in these jeans. Dear me, I simply didn't DPS that snobold down fast enough to prevent your death. I wonder if it was related to you calling my mother a shrew? Sometimes wife aggro is a lot worse when your wife is a fellow gamer.

It's silly, though a bit funny, to bring real world arguments into the gaming universe. But it's much worse to bring the gaming disagreements into the real world. I really am ashamed to admit how often my anger has been sparked by something my fiance did (or didn't do) in game that left me in a huff for the next day. Don't touch me, you loot-whoring nazi of a raid leader! Why didn't you stick up for me when so and so complained about my abilities? Why is your gear not properly enchanted and gemmed? Why haven't you paid me back for all that Mooncloth I sent you? I'm actually quite bad about it, embarassingly enough.

So, I write this post as something of a public apology for doing this. Also as a reminder that though the game is not "real life", the relationships and the people within are. I'm very lucky to have someone who shares my love of gaming, and I certainly have no wish to discount that. But that doesn't mean there aren't some struggles in spite of it. Balancing a real life with gaming can sometimes be a lot easier when your partner shares your hobby... and sometimes it can be a lot harder. In truth, if you have deep seated relationship issues, oftentimes gaming together can bring them out and highlight them.

However, I do have to say that the time my fiance wiped the CoS group because he was busy buying me a Bouquest of Black Roses is one of my happiest memories. Especially since I don't mind at all that I've received a lot more in game flowers than I have IRL. They're cheaper, and they don't die ;)

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20 Responses
  1. Kayeri Says:

    Hee, my husband and I are a gamer couple. He's a prot pally and I'm a resto druid in our main specs and you are right, we are quite the team. We are both good at our job, too. We both also have alts we enjoy playing.

    The partnership is great... but yes, stress during a raid does bleed off when he's sitting right next to me, but we cope. :)

  2. Ophelie Says:

    Hahahah ;D

    I had this guildie once who used to buy flowers for all the women in the raid. I kept most of the flowers he gave me in the bank until I ran out of room.

    This post makes me want to write a playful response about the Gamer Not-Couple. I wonder if I can find a couple of hours this week to draft something up. Hmmm

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    I've always found it interesting that even if you are gamers AND you both play the same game, that doesn't necesarily mean that you are doing it together.

    I love hunting achievements & do silly things in the game that Fulguralis has no interest in. There are many nights that I'll be on an alt & never ever see Ful.

    That's our Alone time ;)

  4. Edainne Says:

    My boyfriend and I are another gaming couple (Tanking DK (his) and Holy Priest (mine) are our mains). I find it interesting how many gaming couples we've run into. On our old realm, it was kind of a unique situation, but once we moved out of Terenas, it was like the couples came out of the woodworks.

    I genuinely love playing with him, but sometimes I too have moments when I want to strangle him....over a game. "Why the hell are you doing that instance without me when you know I needed to go there?!"

    On the flip side, I love having someone to vent to when people are acting stupidly but not stupidly enough to be yelled at over vent (he usually isn't the dumb bunny on our team, and when he is, I'm less pissed off). Sometimes OUR biggest problem is talking to each other while working together and getting other people killed because we weren't paying enough attention...

  5. Cassandri Says:

    I hate to break up all the love but I've been forced to diplomatically deal with too many gamer couples that just -argh- you wish you could treat as 2 goddamn individuals sometimes.

    I've played with couples when only 1 player wants to be there, and the other is being dragged along. NOT FUN

    I've played with couples where one player is very very skilled and the other is just not. Talk about a difficult situation.

    I've played with couples when 1 person takes offense at something and then 3 weeks, 1 month later they blow up and explode all over your organised raid because when one person is slighted, the other can't let it go either.

    ATM we're having major guild drama and it's because an officer's girlfriend feels they were mistreated by another officer. Now the officer team can't seem to communicate and both sides believe they are due an apology. And it's very much a 2 vs 1 situation (how is that fair?)

    So yeah, a pair can be a powerful thing, but be aware of that power and don't abuse it please!

  6. Askevar Says:

    My husband and I are a gamer couple too :) In fact, we're co-raid leaders for our guild's 25 mans. He's a prot pally and I'm a frost tank DK. For 25 man content, there's nothing quite like 2 tanks moving as one and working instinctively together.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    same, my bf and i are gamer couple, actually me and him knew each other since ragnarok online days. =)

  8. Edainne Says:


    Yea, I've actually had a very similar piece of drama just go down in our guild (luckily it wasn't pertaining to officers, unluckily it led to the wife leading her husband out of the guild and his friends went with them).

    As a RL, it really can be stressful to tell a good player's S.O that they're not so good. There's (a different) couple on our team whose hubby is an awesome DPS while his wife eats fires. So, we don't ever let her heal, but we do take her along to dps when we can.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Brade and I are also a gaming couple.

    One thing that I *know* I'm a bit unfair on is that I hold him to a much higher standard of performance than others. And I hold others to a fairly high standard of performance. I guess I just expect him to be better...and not ever wear the dunce cap!


    Pretty sure that is a cliff's note version of what could be heard in our game room last night as we raided and Brade did stupid things ;-)

  10. Sanctimo Says:

    My wife and I are a gaming couple. She is also taking a shot at blogging about it called Real Life First (

    Now that we have a son that is sleeping through the night, things are a lot easier.

  11. Zigi Says:

    As a former large guild leader, I have had my fair share of contact with gamer couples in WoW. I would say for the most part they were an extremely positive force for our guild provided that they were both skilled, committed players.

    We did run into problems where it became impossible to bench one of them without the other, or one of them would necessarily side with the other on disputes, even if the position was indefensible. For example, one husband was bored of his main and wanted to start bringing his undergeared alt to progression raids, and even though this was blatantly against guild policy, we ended up having to let him, lest we lose our top dpser, his wife.

    For the most part, though, real-life cohesion is a strong asset in keeping a large guild together. I'm happy to say that I'm currently in a gaming couple now, and it does make the game a lot more fun ;)

  12. Exanna Says:

    My husband and I run together all the time. He has a ret pally, a DK tank and a mage- so the run opps are somewhat endless for me. We are a package deal, but I'd like to think we are good players. Also, Miss Med- wanted to let you know, my feed address has changed. I moved my site to Happy Raiding! Exxy

  13. Kayllnn Says:

    I play with my fiancee and sometimes I want to kill him when we raid together. Usually we try not to raid together because he is much more casual than I am. I am way to controlling to raid with him too much. But when we only play together rarely I do ok lol.

  14. Undirafel Says:

    My husband and I are a gaming couple as well, though we seem to not run into them as often as one would think.

    I am a holy priest and he is a feral kitty, and the number 1 dps in our guild. After I had to take about 2 months off this summer because of travel and 6 weddings I came back to realize I was just the part of the gamer couple you so vividly described in your post...the crappy one. Two months while a very short time IRL is an eternity in terms of gear in game. It was hard for my guild and my hubby to see me struggle in Uld when everyone else had uber drops form weeks of raiding. -- not to mention the INSANE JEALOUSY I had fpr my very apparent lack of healing power. Luckily though I was able to get all the gear since no one needed it anymore and now I'm the second geared person in the guild, and pretty damn good at my job...if I can toot my own horn a bit :)

    Just on a side not I'm so glad I married a fellow gamer...I dont know what I'd do...or what we would talk about :P

  15. Psynister Says:

    Here's another couple for the list. I didn't marry a gamer girl though, instead a married a girl and then converted her into a gamer.

    My wife and I both play the game, but we don't often actually play together. The problem is that we have completely opposite play styles. She's a slow going key-turner and I'm a fast paced pvp junkie. She likes to raid, and I like to level. She wants the best gear she can find, and I want the whole of Northrend to die in a fire. Things of that nature. /nod

    We do low level stuff pretty well, we can handle leveling together in a starting area and the first major zone, but after that it all falls apart. She'll get a call from her friend and talk to her so in my boredom I'll jump into a battleground and she'll come back to find I have more experience than her and it's time for me to dodge the flying wireless mouse.

    She's also overly critical of any mistake that I make, so if I happen to pull agro off the tank because my spell crits and does so then it's the end of the world, but someone else does it and she just shakes her head and blows it off. /sigh Women!

    But, there are times where I'll do something similar where she messes something up because she's slow to move or slow to react to something. Her first 80 was a Holy Pally that she leveled with her friend who's a Prot Warrior and as such she's used to sitting there and clicking what she needs to on her addons to keep everyone healed. When a mob went after her she always had the tank there waiting to pull it off, so she's never had to develop reflexes and think of all the things she can do on the fly. But being a fan of pvp like I am that's what comes natural to me and is also why I end up soloing things as a clothy that would have killed her as a plate wearer.

    So, we have fun with each other on RP servers or when we see each other in towns or out in the world, but for the most part we don't actually play together. I'm married to her in real life, but she's just the woman I love but can never have in the game.

  16. Kristi Says:

    But what about when your gamer partner doesn't want to play with YOU?

    My man insists that he wants to start playing instances (his main is a 71 warrior, who has never tanked) but he just won't make good on that promise. By the sound of it we may actually be AVOIDING drama this way. Sigh. He's a keyboard turner, for one thing, drives me batty... At least he buys me flowers IRL.

    Excuse me while I level another alt while I wait for him.

  17. Rhii Says:

    I am also part of a gamer couple. I'd say our greatest friction is the fact that he doesn't ever want me to do any content without him. We're co-leaders of our guild currently (owing to a bloodless coup about a month ago) which wasn't a position we'd bargained for. I'm also the SOLE geared healer in the guild. We're the sad sad group who has to pug a bunch of heals in order to raid. He tends to get upset with me when I go out with other tanks, which is somewhat unfair, because if I don't go, nobody else can either... there's no other healer to fill in the blanks.

    But at the same time... I'm in finals week for law school, and honestly, I CAN'T play, as I don't have the willpower to study if I let myself log in at all. I'm pretty upset that the patch dropped yesterday and he's run so many damn random heroics that he's already accumulating T9 pieces, while I'm stuck with my head in a book. By the time I get back, he'll outgear me by a huge gap and won't want to go back and play catch up.

    So yes, being a gaming couple is great... we're a really good tank-healer combo, probably because we know each other so well and have better communication than your average strangers, but the gear curve and "loyalty" puts a strain on things sometimes.

  18. Presaya Says:

    "what if one player is brilliant, while the other can't seem to stay out of the fire?"

    That sounds like Astraia!

    ...burning in the fire that is!


  19. Cecily Says:

    I'm finding that most girls I encounter in WoW are part of a couple. On my old server, there were so few girls that every time I talked it would evoke silence. Which was good if I ever wanted to be heard.:) But in our new guild, we have more girls in one place than I'd encountered in the other 4 years of playing! And all coupled. Not sure about everyone else, but that's my limited observation.

  20. Miss Medicina's worse half Says:

    In all fairness... I'm a mage. I'm supposed to die.

    Therefore, if I'm getting too many heals, I have to take matters into my own hands.

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