This is a new board game I was teaching my kids over Christmas. It’s the Relationship’s Bored game.
Here’s how you play –
- Each person is given a board at birth and a coloured counter
- There are few rules.
- The board is circular – there is no start or end point.
- You agree to play the game with someone and place your coloured counter somewhere – anywhere - on the board.
- Throw the dice, moving forward the designated number of squares.
- One counter must not be placed on top of the other.
- There is not enough room on the square for two counters side by side.
- The squares’ lines must not be touched by the counters.
- Should two counters end up on the same square - both parties must prove that they are the best person for the square. Best is subjective and can be physical, mental or emotional.
- Dominance of the square must be achieved before the game can move on.
- At this point team members can be recruited. As there are few rules, there can be as many or as few in your team as you like. Team members are allowed to get involved in determining ‘best person’.
- As there can only be one person on the square, the game ends.
- Both parties must now go and find a new playmate
This isn’t so far-fetched, it’s how we play relationships together. We make excuses for how we interact with our partners, friends, work colleagues and children - ‘it’s the game’s fault’ and someone had to win.
It never ceases to amaze me what power we give away to rules written by some faceless person of yesteryear. There is little willingness to rip up the rule book. There is little willingness to think outside the box and live our lives determined not by lines and regulations but rather for how long you want to stay in the game with that person. What if both parties playing the game came up with an agreement for their own game? What if they agreed they can land on top of one another, or that there was no square dominance. Would the game makers give a monkeys? – Would they heck!
If you want to stop playing, say you want to stop playing and remove your counter – there’s no need for the team attack, the proving yourself to yourself or your team mates.
If you’re playing a game and someone wants to leave it, there’s not a lot you can do. If you go to the playground with your kids and one is on the seesaw with a friend and the friend has to dash off home for lunch, your child will not be able to seesaw any longer will they? What we need to look at and ask ourselves is whether the child had fun while the seesaw was going up and down and I bet they tried to get it to balance so neither was up or down (or was that just me!) It’s no disgrace or personal slight that the game ended early.
What we tend to do though is forget what game we are playing. Life is a game of risk, commitment, love, laughter, trials, births, deaths, sunshine and snow. The beginning is our birth, the end is our death, in between we play a game which when played with love and respect makes not only our life, but those around us lives, much more enjoyable.