healthy competition

do you have friends that you can’t play Monopoly with because you end up wanting to give them multiple paper cuts with the money and shove the train down their neck?  yeah?  me too.

okay, confession…i am that friend.  all bets are off until the game is over as far as i’m concerned.  we can go back to liking each other after i destroy you and take all your property.

did you know that competition can be a good gauge for how healthy a relationship is?  well, it can.  so there.

how you or your girl react to the competitive process can be pretty telling about emotional stability.

if you revert to ape like chest thumping when you beat her at putt putt golf, you’re a douche bag.

if she refuses to speak to you and goes all ice princess after losing to you at Go Fish, she’s a passive aggressive cow.

if you pout like a two year old and declare “this game is dumb!” when she beats you at Yahtzee, you need to grow the frack up.  baby.

if she’s condescending and makes you feel like an idiot when she beats you at Boggle, she thinks she smarter than you and will take any and all opportunities to prove it.  (i may do have done this)

however, if your competitions end in some good natured teasing, no matter how hard you fought to win, that’s a sign of a healthy emotional relationship.  people tend to lose their ability to keep their mask of decency on when competing against someone else.  i’m pretty sure that is science.  your base nature takes over and it’s really hard to hide it.

Craig beats me at pool more than i beat him.  fine by me.  just makes me work harder to get better.  but he won’t even play word games with me.  we do have offensive pet names for each other we use when we get beat, but that’s all in good fun.

moral of the story, if competitive situations result in hours or days long recovery time to get over the negative feelings, the problem is much deeper than just losing at Words With Friends.

for people that are emotionally stable and emotionally mature, losing or winning just isn’t that big of a deal.  a big ol’ “IN YO FACE!” just doesn’t ruin your day.

ever run into someone who behaves badly when winning or losing?

are you a good loser or bad loser?  good winner?  bad winner?


14 comments on “healthy competition

  1. I have called myself out on a pre-mature in your face fase. I think it was our second date and I won every round of pingpong 21-1. I was about to step on the table and chest thumb, when I thought I’d let her win. Then she called me out on that, but at least I had gone back to being a nice guy. Now we’re at a stage where I won’t ever let her win again. I don’t like girls who can’t handle losing. After ten minutes, they don’t like me either.

  2. I’ve found that Yahtzee always brings me and my significant other closer together. It has a more calming effect than games like Monopoly or Scrabble. In fact, my ex-husband proposed during a game of Yahtzee. True, it ended in divorce – but not because of Yahtzee, just because he was banging his secretary.

  3. happened to me when my wife and I were dating. i was 21, and had no idea how much it would infuriate me when she beat me at Halo. I moped for hours. Then I grew up and learned that it’s a video game, and i still love her, and she still loves me (most of the time.)

  4. So what do you do when your man fits into the third category and pouts like a 5 year old when you turn out to be better than him at something?

    • it’s hard to say. you have to evaluate if that level of immaturity shows up anywhere else. if it’s only about that one thing, feel free to just not play that with him or tease him about it (kindly not meanly) until he realizes how he’s acting. sometimes guys can just be oblivious to their own whining and will promptly stop when it’s pointed out.

      if it shows up in other areas of his life or every time you beat him at something, you need to assess his overall maturity and readiness for a relationship.

  5. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I’m extremely competitive, but I’m the world’s best loser, because I have so much fun competing, that if I lose one thing I’ll move onto something else I think I can do. I’d say it the thing men love most about me. Well, one of three.

  6. JBen says:

    I take it as the ultimate compliment when I teach someone how to play a game and they turn around and beat me.

    But I am going to throw down here: Monopoly is a terrible game. There is no strategy unless you count, “should I buy this?” And it stretches on for hours as the losing players slowly bleed out in an agonizing death.

    You eventually hit a point where spending three turns in jail is the best thing you can possibly do. Staying off the board is the best way to win.


  7. Evan says:

    Monopoly is one of the best games for a relationship. It teaches you how to build wealth slowly. Everyone wants to get rich quick, but this never works in the real world. Also, there is significant strategy in the game. I have been in monopoly games with more shouting than the Super Bowl.

    Furthermore, I am concerned that if someone cannot commit to a full monopoly game, how can I be sure they will be able to commit to a long term relationship? What if I end up in jail? What if I go bankrupt? Will they be jealous of me for placing second in a beauty pageant?

    These are all questions every relationship must answer.

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