Lovin’ our venues? You’re not the only one!
Be sure to book now for September and October 2024 so you don’t miss out on popular spots.


Lovin’ our venues?
You’re not the only one!
Book now for September and October 2024 so you don’t miss out on popular spots.    DON’T MISS OUT

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You’ve been dating for awhile now, and you want to strengthen your love connection. With expensive hotel rooms adding on resort fees, the price of gas and how much the average dinner bill is these days, maybe a couples escape to the coast isn’t in the cards.

But taking a trip to the Boardwalk isn’t the only way you can have some fun, enjoy each other’s company and get the fire burning hotter.

Try playing some games! 

How Can Games Help You Bond As a Couple?

Studies have confirmed that forming attachments involves the hormone oxytocin. In addition, they have shown that this “cuddle hormone” can increase trust and has a calming effect — decreasing stress, anxiety and fear; when couples do recreational activities together, oxytocin levels are elevated.

In this blog, we’re offering couples ideas for games to play without anything needed in the way of cards or playing boards or dice. These games can be played anywhere, any time with minimal or no pieces or set up.

1. The Floor Is Lava

Agility, flexibility, survivor instinct, your imagination. What doesn’t this game test?! It’s been around for a few decades and has been adopted for living rooms, urban streetscapes and even TV studios in the case of the hilarious Netflix series

We’re sure you’ve heard of it, but if not, the premise is simple: Spread couch cushions, chairs and other household items out on the ground and pretend the floor is “lava” as you make your way from point A to point B. You lose if you touch the lava or fall in.

It’s a good one to play when you’re stuck inside on a rainy afternoon and, like Twister, it might get you tangled up and ready for more adult games.

2. Two Truths & a Lie

This one is fun for getting to know each other better. It’s all about sharing facts about yourself and learning about each other.

To play, one person has to give three statements about themselves. Two of them are true statements and the third is a lie. The listener then has to guess which one is the lie. The facts can be anything you want and the lies can be anything you want.

There are no other rules in this game of deception. If you want to win, try making your facts sound like lies and your lies sound like things that are true about you.

3. Never Have I Ever

It’s fun to share life experiences and talk about things you’ve done or places you’ve been with your partner, but learning what you haven’t done can be just as informative and entertaining.

Make a statement that starts with “Never Have I Ever” and then add something interesting. For example: gone skydiving, cheated on a test, visited the Grand Canyon,  been written up by HR, gambled in Las Vegas… whatever fun non-fact you can come up with.

Then see if your partner’s answer matches. If they’ve also never done that thing, then you can add it to a list of fun things to do together.

Finding things in common and discovering your differences will help you bond as a couple so that when you’re ready to get married, the decision will be more about how you’ve spent the time together and not just how long you should date someone before you get married.

4. Would You Rather

Start this game by posing the question “Would you rather…” to your partner, and then insert two choices.

Maybe to get started, you ask about eating chocolate or vanilla ice cream… Or would you rather go to a rock concert or a broadway show? You’ll learn a lot about likes and dislikes playing this game. If your answers match, you can enjoy sharing “so would I” moments.

Would You Rather can also instigate laughs if you decide to make it about two undesirable things. For example, would you rather have to live with 500 crickets you can see or 1 tarantula you can’t find?

The questions can be thoughtful, silly or completely hypothetical and are oftentimes a little absurd. The idea is to get you talking, sharing, laughing and connecting over the answers.

5. This or That

This one is similar to, but a little different from, Would You Rather. Instead of goofy scenarios, the choices are between actual items you have preferences about.

Boxers or Briefs? Horror or Comedy? Burgundy or Riesling? Ocean or mountains? Tropical or European vacation? Shopping online or in-store?

The possiblities are endless. You can compare and contrast the merits of the options as they come up if you’d like to, which may lead to other engaging conversations.

6. Hide & Seek 

The storage space under your bed. The attic. The shed in the backyard. The backseat of the car. Behind the shrubs in the backyard.

Start by hiding in spots around the house to evade the seeker — when one of you finally picks under the covers in the bedroom, you know the game is about over and it’s time for another physical activity.

This game gets harder the older you get. It can be a real challenge stuffing yourself into the toy chest or the linen closet if you’re six feet tall! But imagine the laughs you’ll elicit if you pull it off.

7. Truth or Dare

Do you remember the first time you played Truth or Dare? Every teenager does it at some point and, as long as you keep the dares safe, legal and friendly, there’s no harm in resurrecting it as adults. 

Take turns offering your partner the choice to answer a question truthfully or to complete a dare.

If they say “truth,” you’ll get to know something about them that maybe you’ve always wanted to know.

If they say “dare,” you’ll learn how far they can push the boundaries of craziness. Either way, you’ll be getting to know your partner better.

8. Staring Contest

This one is exactly as the name sounds. Start staring at each other and keep score by seeing you blinks first.

This one works for helping couples bond and science proves it, as long as some of that staring time is spent gazing and thinking rather than just trying to concentrate on not blinking.

When two people gaze into each other’s eyes for a few minutes, they can develop deeper trust and greater intimacy and mutual attraction.

Several studies have shown that eye-gazing brings couples closer and ultimately enhances sex, because extended eye-gazing releases compounds in the brain associated with long-term bonding and attachment.

Here’s the science behind it: prolonged eye contact spurs the nervous system to release oxytocin as well as phenylethylamine, which is called the “love chemical,” a neurotransmitter involved in feelings of interpersonal attraction.

There’s no guarantee that this little exercise will bring you closer. For some people, it doesn’t. But most couples find that eye gazing reduces interpersonal tensions and increases feelings of attraction.

9. 20 Questions & Charades

These trivia type games, in which the objective is to guess what the other person is thinking of might, not be an obvious bonding game.

But if all the answers are shared memories, things you want to do in the future or your partner’s favorite personality trait, then it could make for a good way to open up and get more in tune with each other. 

Maybe you could play 20 Questions while doing another bonding activity, such as on a hike or while driving through Nebraska on a road trip. It will help pass the time and give you things to talk about, which will help strengthen your relationship. The more you talk, the better.

10. I Went to Market & the Category Game

Both of these games are designed to test your recall and memory skills. Like Charades and 20 Questions, they can be good time-killers and, if you stick to things that define your relationship, then they can both be good bonding games as well.

I Went to Market is a short term memory challenge in which you try to see how long a string of fictitious items you “bought” at the market can get. You take turns going back and forth adding another item to your shopping list haul, and whoever can’t remember one of the items first loses the round. 

The Category Game is a quick recall sort of game in which one person names a category and then you take turns naming a thing that belongs in that category.

So if your category was “Things Under Our Christmas Tree Last Year,” you take turns naming things in rapid fire succession and the first person to not have an answer loses the round.

Other potential categories could be, “Fun Dates We’ve Been On,” “Movies We’ve Seen in Theaters Together,” or “Vacations We’ve Taken Together.”  Trips down memory lane can be very beneficial for bonding.

11. Fortunately Unfortunately

This one can be just plain silly fun. Together you tell a story back and forth line by line. Begin the story with a line such as, “Once upon a time there was a fireman named Fred who lived in a house just up the block from the fire station.”It can be anything, you just need a beginning. 

The second person then adds to the story with a line designed to throw the next person off, make them laugh or improve the character’s lot in life. Something along the lines of “Fortunately, Fred was nearing retirement and still in good health after 25 years working for the department.” YAY FRED! Let’s root for Fred. 

The story then comes back to the first person who adds the unfortunate turn of events that come next. “Unfortunately, the mayor had recently raided the fire department’s pension fund to take his mistress on a ritzy ski vacation in the Alps.” 

It might be good to take turns starting the story once the first one leads to a conclusion so that one person isn’t always the doomsayer and the other not always the one filled with rainbows. Either way, hilarity ensues.

12. Trace Messages

This one actually requires some equipment: your finger and your partner’s skin. It could be their forearm, across their back or somewhere else, you choose.

One person thinks of a word or phrase and then they “write” the word/phrase on their partner’s skin.

Then the partner has to guess it, either letter by letter, word by word or all together at the end, you decide. Make the messages or phrases cute, intimate and loving.

You could also “draw” shapes or emojis. “I love you” or a heart is a good place to start, and you can get more complicated or deep from there.

Bonding with your partner and strengthening your relationship should be an enjoyable thing. Just because these games don’t require game pieces or decks of cards doesn’t mean they are played with nothing. You’re playing with each other, and that counts for a lot.

Recommended Reading:

How Long Should You Date Before Walking Down The Aisle?

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.