Couples often do some pretty special things for each other.
And sometimes that takes couples places they never thought they’d go.
Take Imgur user TravelBeans as an example. On Sunday, he posted a series of letters that his girlfriend gave him, which outlined details to a quest that would have a special surprise at the end. In a series of enveloped notes, his long-distance girlfriend gave him clues, like telling him to pack a bag and drive to a bus station.
And at the end of his quest, he found out his girlfriend was going to meet him somewhere he’d never been before.
“We are reunited in Ireland 3 hours after leaving work. What a girl!” he wrote on Imgur.
This Ireland-bound couple isn’t the only relationship to see their love spark from quests or games. As The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Leckart wrote in December, he and his wife have turned the mundane yet necessary act of chores into a game to help improve the household labor responsibilities and their marriage.
This game has the couple trading one chore for another — one walks the dog if the other picks the kids up from school, Leckart wrote.
“These constant micro-negotiations keep our domestic gears turning,” he wrote.
What’s more, the couple — after Leckart started working on a documentary film and wasn’t home as often as he would have liked — decided to improve their chores game by keeping a daily log of what chores they do and assigning points to each task. At the end of each month, the two decided to divvy up $600 based on how many points they had garnered individually, WSJ reported.
Leckart said it’s not about keeping score, either. It’s about seeing how equally a couple splits the daily household chores. He found, for instance, that his wife still did more chores than him, despite his increased motivation to succeed.
He wanted to make sure, though, that his wife knew her husband saw how much work she put into the home and was rewarded for it.
“So instead of cash, my envelope contains another smaller envelope addressed to Linda,” he wrote. “Inside: a gift certificate for a 75-minute Swedish massage. Also, a thank-you card with a promise: ‘I’ll keep working towards 50/50.'”
Of course not all games are known to help your relationship in marriage. As Time’s Alexandra Sifferlin reported in 2012, a study out of Brigham Young University found couples often see a dip in marital satisfaction if one partner spends too much time in the virtual reality of an online game. In fact, the study said 75 percent of gamers’ spouses said they wished their partner would spend more time helping the marriage rather than trying to get to the next level in a video game.
But it’s not exactly the game itself that hurts a marriage. Rather, it’s time spent playing the games.
“It’s not the hours that make a difference,” Neil Lundberg, one of the researchers for the Brigham Young University study, said. “It’s really what it does to the relationship — whether or not it creates conflict and quarreling over the game.”
In fact, some couples in the study said video games actually helped their marriage — especially when they played the games together. And couples reported higher levels of satisfaction when they were on opposite teams since they didn’t have to worry if their partner could keep up with them in the game or not, Time reported.
“We didn’t realize that there was a whole group of couples who game together,” Lundberg said. “This study really does verify that gaming has an effect on marital satisfaction. It’s not just a random occurrence that a few couples are dealing with.”