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Benefits of Board Games for Relationships

Board games have been around since the ancient Egyptians over 5000 years ago. From what we know, the game “Senet” goes as far back as 3500 BC. While the games we play today do not date back that far, many of them have long histories bringing people together. Couples have long used games for two players to pass the time.

Backgammon, a game commonly played by couples today, goes back to 2000 BC and the Roman Empire. It is rumored to have originated around 5000 BC in ancient Persia, but no evidence exists. 

The children’s game Chutes and Ladders began as Snakes and Ladders around 200 AD to teach children in India about mortality and good and evil.

Other games, such as chess, checkers, parcheesi, and mahjong, have existed for centuries. However, in the 1900s, board games exploded on the scene. Couples could look forward to many options for quiet and affordable evenings in – especially before television burst on the scene. 

Benefits of Playing Board Games

Activities that we participate in help us enjoy more out of life. They provide entertainment, fun, and, with some games, knowledge. Most of all, for adults in relationships, playing board games provides a plethora of benefits, including the following:

  • Fosters laughter and decreases stress levels 

Couples can have a lot of fun while playing board games. While some games require serious concentration, many others foster laughter, which can lower stress levels. Game playing is excellent for stress relief.

  • Increases closeness and strengthens their relationship 

When a couple spends time together engaging in a mutual activity, it fosters a sense of closeness, strengthening their relationship. Some games require cooperation to accomplish a mutual goal. Others may use strategy or competition to reach an end. Whether a couple approaches a game cooperatively or competitively, they are still working towards a common goal and sharing a special experience. These shared experiences help foster intimacy. 

  • Improves and increases communication 

Unlike playing games by yourself on your phone, tablet, or computer, board games provide face-to-face communication and interaction. Game-playing allows couples to talk about anything and everything without other distractions. 

  • Triggers endorphin release

Playing board games helps release the body’s feel-good chemicals – endorphins – into the bloodstream. Endorphins help reduce stress and improve hormone levels, such as testosterone and human growth hormone. Your hormonal balance can be enhanced due to that activity. For instance, low testosterone and premature ejaculation are connected closely and have a negative impact on your sexual life and, as a result, ruin your relationship. 

  • Provides opportunities to display your and your partner’s positive side

Some people keep aspects of their personality guarded, which can come out while playing games. Challenges, creativity, and fun often bring people out of their shells. Game playing can be highly beneficial in the early stages of a relationship to help people see other aspects of a person. 

  • Lowers blood pressure

As mentioned above, playing games can help increase laughter and decrease stress, two ways to help lower blood pressure. As the endorphins enter the bloodstream, blood circulates more freely due to relaxed muscles. The previously mentioned hormonal benefits also help lower blood pressure.

  • Reduces Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risks

The more you challenge your mind, the better it is for reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The skills required in various games challenge the brain and help foster cognitive functions and neuronal pathways. 

Examples of Board Games for Couples

Many board games require more than two players, so finding one perfect for couples may take some time. People often go to some tried-and-true games, like Yahtzee, Rummikub, Racko, Chess, Backgammon, Battleship, Checkers, and Scrabble. While these make great date night games for that chill evening at home, many newer games on the market can foster a sense of fun and competitiveness. Some offer strategic challenges, while others foster a more physical and athletic competitiveness. Some games focus on relationship building and romance and can help improve intimacy and communication. 

While it is true that playing games can increase oxytocin release into the bloodstream, painting, such as in couples art classes, can increase those levels even more. If you are not into board games, perhaps an occasional night out at a painting or art class may help. After all, most people remember the famous pottery scene from the movie “Ghost.” You do not get more romantic than that!

Here are some of the newer board games for couples to consider:

  • Morels

A game with superior online ratings, Morels has two players foraging the forest in search of mushrooms to collect and cook to score points. There is a strategy for which mushrooms you should collect and when to cook them. A benefit of this game is that you may uncover some new types of mushrooms to cook together – another great way for couples to enjoy quality time. An expansion pack helps keep this easy-to-learn and fun-to-play game interesting. 

  • Ticket to Ride

A strategy board game with excellent reviews, Ticket to Ride is for 2 to 5 players so you can play as a couple or with friends or family. The goal is to claim railway routes across the US, scoring points by building routes and blocking others. A quick-to-learn game, Ticket to Ride has an added benefit – helping couples plan that next great road or train trip. 

  • Fog of Love

Players explore a fictitious relationship using positive and negative personality cards, relationship goals, character traits, and different scenarios to determine if the fictional couple has what it takes to go the distance. The game provides a safe space to examine relationship questions in a non-threatening way. 

  • Codenames Duet

Rather than a competitive game, Codenames Duet focuses on cooperation by using hints and clues to help the other person guess the undercover agent’s secret name without unearthing an assassin. Couples can use their shared experiences to propel them to victory in this fun game. 

  • Unlock!

Lovers of escape rooms, this is the game for you. If you are looking for a fun and challenging game for two that can be played in under an hour, this is it. A variety of exciting games exist to pique anyone’s thirst for mystery and adventure.

  • Sentinels of the Multiverse

If you and your partner are into superheroes or comic books, this might be the game for you. With many expansions available to add new characters (heroes and villains) and environments, you can take role-playing to a new level. 

  • Talk, Flirt, Dare

Three sets of cards help make your date night more fun or intimate. Flirt and Dare cards help you push boundaries, passion, and intimacy to new levels, while Talk cards help foster deep conversations. 

  • Love Language

If you want a game that will deepen your connection with your partner, this might be it. Love Language uses five categories: intimacy, individual, past and future, family, and couple to provide thought-provoking answers to questions. 

  • Splendor Duel

Competitive couples will enjoy this intense game that allows them to mess up their opponent while taking and using gems to buy cards that help them win the game. With three different methods of winning the game, players need to watch their opponent and determine the best way to win. 

  • Klask

For active, sports-loving couples, Klask is a fast-paced, table-top game that combines table soccer and air hockey using magnetic handles to help the board’s small figures get the ball in the opposing goal. Because matches are short, around 10 minutes each, you do not have to devote an entire evening to play. 

  • Exploding Kittens

Our last game is a short (15-minute) but hilarious entry into card games. With expansion packs that add to the fun of dodging exploding cats while betraying your partner, defusing the kittens, and using wile actions, Exploding Kittens may be your new favorite game. (The cards are a blast to see!)


If you are tired of the same old night in front of the TV or looking for new games to add to your rotation, the list above should help you find fun ways to add enjoyment to date nights.

Game playing is fun, beneficial for health, and fosters intimacy in a relationship. Whether you want to learn more about your partner, improve your communication, or laugh more, there are board games that can help. 

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