Each is full of bitter recriminations and regret.
1. You fight over the petty acquisition of resources
Real life example – Whose turn was it to buy the toilet paper? You never buy the toilet paper.
Board game example – Stop hogging all the ore in Catan
2. White lies become totally acceptable
Real life example – I have to work late tonight. (Actually, I’m going out for a drink with a friend you don’t like but I want to avoid confrontation.)
Board game example – I promise in this game of Diplomacy I will not enter the Black Sea. (What I really mean is I won’t enter the Black Sea for one turn.)
3. Bad habits are entrenched rather than discussed
Real life example – You never wash the dishes and it becomes a game to see how long you can get away without doing it before the other person blows a gasket.
Board game example – You always pick the lamest answer in Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, just to mess with the dynamics of the game and keep your funny friend from winning.
4. You grow resentful of the other person’s successes
Real life example – I don’t understand why they got a raise and get to travel. I work just as hard and yet my boss seems to hate me. If I had their job I would do it 10x better.
Board game example – I cannot believe that lucky SOB pulled the Peppermint Forest card in Candy Land.
5. You make important decisions without consulting the other person
Real life example – I’m just going to go ahead and buy this new stereo system out of the joint account. (That money was going to be used for vacation.)Board game example – I’m just going to go ahead and place my trains here in Ticket to Ride. (That route was needed for the other person’s longest route.)
6. Small gestures of affection become nonexistent
Real life example – You used to buy me flowers.
Board game example – You always used to place me next to you in Game of Thrones.
7. You become interested in spending time with other people
Real life example – I probably should not be having this 2AM drink with an attractive co-worker on a business trip..
Board game example – I don’t really want to invite that person to game night. They take everything too seriously. Let’s have a game night with just the two of us.
8. Small squabbles turn into raging fights
Real life example – We always go to your parent’s house for Christmas? Can’t we just spend one Christmas with my family?
Board game example – Just GET OUT OF AUSTRALIA ALREADY!
9. Regardless of how it ends, both parties feel like they lost