Game On!

Dear Dharma,

This is kind of a trivial thing, but it is starting to get annoying. When my girlfriend and I have a board game night, either just us or with our friends, she always insists on strictly playing by the rules.

I have always played mostly by the rules, but make allowances for house rules that crop up. I don’t see why she is so inflexible on this, isn’t it supposed to be about having fun?

How can I get her to chill and just play like everyone else?

Not the Game Police

Dear Game Police,

Maaan, I love board game night! I’ve got to get me one of those organized sometime soon…

But maybe not with your girlfriend, haha…

I’m curious if all rules in your girlfriend’s life need to be adhered to with this kind of diligence or if it’s strictly in this arena. Like, does crossing the street against the light or away from the crosswalk make her crazy? Do recipes have room for creative additions or just no…

Because I don’t know if this is just a part of her overall personality, I’ll assume for the sake of this post that it’s just Monopoly that brings out the stickler in her.

How About This

At a time when things are calm and happy, try bringing it up in a non-confrontational way… “So I was thinking about when we were playing Pictionary last week, how upset you got when not everyone followed the exact rules. Can you explain why that bothers you so much so that I can better understand your reaction?”

And then actually listen to her and genuinely try to understand where she is coming from.

From there see if there is some kind of an agreement you can come to that might allow a certain amount of flex on her part, while respecting that this is something she has trouble with.

Also, I would encourage a certain amount of perspective on both your parts… As in, if people blur the lines a little in a lively round of charades, is that the worst thing in the world that could happen to your girlfriend? And conversely, if the rules absolutely must be followed the next time the group gathers for a fun night of Yahtzee, is that the heaviest burden the world could throw at you?

Just something to think about, right?

Dharma

To read more of Dharma’s great advice, just click here!

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