In 5 Things the Sims Taught me about Life, I shared some of the valuable life-lessons I learned from playing a video game in college. I still play The Sims today, but nowhere near as much as I did while working on my bachelor’s degree.
Known for its comical mirroring of life, not only did it allow me to relieve stress, but the game taught me a lot of lessons that I took with me into adulthood.
Here’s what I learned about love and relationships from spending way too much time playing The Sims in college.
Online Dating Works
Like many other millennials, I met my current partner online. By then, I was a bit of a veteran of online interaction. But my first experience with any form of online dating began in The Sims.
I was skeptical of trying this new way of meeting people, but all the traditional ways had simply not turned up anyone my Sim liked. She found the rich ones boring and the poor ones too far behind in their careers to be an equal contributor. Then she tried online dating, met Jake, and lived happily after.
That virtual experience certainly made me a little more open minded about meeting people via online mediums. This not only resulted in my marriage, but many great friendships. It also provided me with networking connections with people around the world who inspired me to travel and take my writing more seriously. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for that experience.
Cheating Ruins Everything
In one of my old Sim games, I built a large family, which included all my friends and our favourite celebrities. I then started the game and left them to interact, while I fetched some grub from the kitchen.
When I returned, I found one character flirting with her best friend, while her husband grew angry at the other side of the room. He then walked over and slapped her silly. After that I could never reconcile them again. In the end I had to reset the game, and start all over.
In real life, we don’t have that option of wiping the slate clean and pretending like nothing ever happened. This reinforced the fact that it’s hard to fix a relationship when someone has been unfaithful, even in virtual reality.
Stay true to the people you love. Cheating is a selfish act. True love calls for self-sacrifice and selflessness in order to grow and blossom.
People Fall out of Love without Intimacy
Love is unconditional, but the feeling of being in love is not. A lot of things come into play to create that feeling, and even more things need to stay in place to maintain it. This is true in real life, and it’s true in The Sims.
Like the humans playing the game, Sims become drawn into meeting career demands and raising kids, and before you know it, couples begin to lose interest in each other. At this point, you try to send them on a date or initiate sex, but often times that doesn’t work. Soon enough, they want to leave each other, and see other people.
It isn’t always easy, but we have to work hard to ensure the demands of college, a career, kids, or pleasing friends don’t take too much precedence over our relationships. Of course, we all need to achieve our individual goals in life, but balance is key.
Equality Builds Great Relationships
Born and raised in Jamaica – where sexual harassment is still legal – I think you can guess that most pairings I saw featured a dominant male. This has drastically changed, but it was The Sims that provided my first glimpse at equal pairings, where all perks and responsibilities are shared.
Some couples like a less equal partnership, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a consensual arrangement where one partner – male, female, or otherwise – becomes the dominant partner.
But for me, I prefer an equal arrangement. I’m too stubborn to be dominated, and too proud to have a partner who can’t hold his own.
Sleeping Around = Drama
I had one Sim whose greatest ambition was to woohoo (sleep with) 20 Sims in his lifetime; which is a lot, considering most Sims only live for about 100 Sim-days. On account of his ambition, relationships were out of the question; so most of his intimate interactions were the result of friends with benefits.
Of course, a lot of his partners soon became jealous, hated each other, and came by the house for revenge. Revenge often included kicking over the garbage in the yard, and stealing the bills, so our property could get repossessed… In the end, it didn’t just affect him. It affected the whole family.
Every relationship is different – as are the people in them. And as we go through different phases of maturity in life, we have different needs and desires. Even so, these five lessons ensured I had mostly drama-free and healthy relationships in my youth. And who knows? They could do the same for you.