No matter what anyone says or how adamant they are, no one truly wants to be alone. Sure we like our solitude from time to time, and having the option to go anywhere and do anything we want at a moment’s notice, but that becomes old after a while. Eventually, we realize that being alone is nice, but enjoying life with a partner is even better. The person who wanted to go anywhere and do anything comes to the determination that doing things and going places with a significant other, is a whole lot more enjoyable than experiencing life on one’s own.
Gaming Your Way To A Soulmate
Recently I asked the online community for stories of people meeting their loves through gaming, and the community let me know that gaming has brought people together in amazing ways, and it gave me hope for the future.
According to a 2017 StatisticBrain survey, there are approximately 54.3 million single people in the United States, with about 49.6 million who have tried online dating. The revenue from internet dating services, as of 2017, has reached almost two billion dollars annually. These are pretty incredible numbers if you think about it. We are apparently a very lonely country, and people are doing whatever they can to meet their soulmates.
Traditionally, before the age of the internet, the main way to meet someone was either through a mutual connection, going to the local pub, or possibly through work, where you and a co-worker hit it off and would live happily ever after. These days, online dating has taken the crown, and what was once a stigma, is now almost universally accepted. As Match.com, OKCupid, Bumble, and the plethora of other sites and apps dominate, there is something less than organic about it all. You create a profile and fill it with truths and half-truths; making yourself look amazing enough to break through the clutter. Once you connect with someone and actually meet (amazing how many people flake), you then have to have awkward small talk until the alcohol lowers inhibitions and you can finally relax, if only a little.
The thing is, it all feels forced at times (ok, most of the time), but meeting people in bars or at work, which I don’t recommend, is increasingly difficult. As you get older, it’s harder to meet people through friends, because most of them are already married and only hang out with other married couples. I hear stories of people who met their partners randomly on the street, subway, grocery store and even waiting in line at the DMV (yes, I actually have a friend who met their future wife while waiting to renew their license). With all that said, what about gaming? Is it possible to comb through the clutter of a billion inappropriate twelve-year-olds who are ecstatic they can use as many derogatory words as humanly possible in a fifteen-second window? Apparently, it is.
One individual who reached out to me was TM (yes, I am clearly not giving their actual name for privacy sake), who had a lovely story about how she met her husband. Life had thrown TM a curveball, wherein a short period of time, her father passed away and she called off a long-standing engagement with a man she knew wasn’t right for her. Not wanting to be alone, TM regularly hung out at a close friend’s house and watched him play hours worth of World of Warcraft. TM didn’t think she’d actually enjoy playing WoW, so her friend issued a challenge; play just a little, and if she didn’t get hooked, he wouldn’t make her play again. Wouldn’t you know it, TM fell in love with WoW, and like most people who are finding the real world a difficult place to navigate lost herself in the online gaming community.
After meeting several amazing people and making new friends, TM met J, and it was the beginning of the end. First becoming close friends, TM eventually decided (against the advice of others), to fly out to J and meet in person. From there they began a two-year long-distance relationship, and eventually, J moved to be with TM. The happy couple has now been married for six years and together for almost ten. This all happened organically and both individuals took the time they needed to really get to know one another.
Video gaming is the predominant topic of choice on our site Nitchigamer, but gaming is all-encompassing and includes many different types, genres, and styles. Although we hardly talk about board games in our reviews and articles, we can’t discredit that they were, in fact, the predecessors to the video games we play today. One of the stories I received was from LJ, who met her husband through gaming nights via meetup.com.
LJ didn’t want to go the online dating route, as she felt it was awkward, misleading, risky, and usually unfulfilling. Instead, LJ decided to join a 20s/30s singles board game meetup. She loved games and knew a room full of like-minded people were all there to have fun, enjoy some games, and maybe, just maybe, meet someone.
Having a great experience, LJ went to a few other groups centered around gaming, and eventually asked out one of the guys who she had been friendly with during her repeat visits. It was a singles group, so they knew they were both sans partner, they both loved gaming, and after spending time together in the groups, they definitely realized there was a connection. Now married, LJ and her husband still play games and have made a plethora of friends in the community.
I am one of the almost fifty million people who use online dating (or at least I did until I decided to take a break a month ago), and it’s extremely difficult to find “The One.” People say one thing, but mean another, they want a real relationship, but then don’t, or they lie about everything for whatever reason they feel that’s necessary. I’ve met people and dated, some for a lengthy period of time, but in the end, none lasted. I can wholeheartedly agree that online dating is awkward. The dates are uncomfortable, the trust levels are non-existent, and the “rules” you’re supposed to follow are ridiculous.
We all look for a partner with similar interests, values, morals, likes and dislikes, and overall compatibility. For those lucky people who had it happen organically via random happenstance, I am overjoyed for you. With online dating, people pretend they’re someone they are not, but with gaming, you’re allowed to be your true self. We all escape into the gaming world because it tends to be a better place than the one we are trying to temporarily shut out. When you meet people who are playing the same game(s) you are, there is already a connection and a starting point of mutual interests. I’m not saying it’s easy to find your soulmate while diving deep into Minecraft, but perhaps if more people got into gaming, we’d all be a little less lonely.