A lot can be said about the social aspect of larping – and on the idea of, you know, larping as a couple. I’ve listed just a couple of things I seem to keep forgetting myself when larping – or hanging out with larpers, which happens often enough, too.
#1 Your relationship is not your familiy’s business
Larpers are like a huge, sometimes tight-knit family – but things have to end somewhere (unless you’re really, like, related to them.) Larpers get to know both you and your parner under different levels of stress, so some of them probably will know you better then some members of your own pack – and they will act accordingly, thinking they can help or that they should choose sides if you’re in a row with your partner or whatever. You have to keep the boundaries somewhere. You probably spend too much time with and around larpers already – keeping them in your relationship’s backyard could definitely do more harm than good.
#2 Keep your offgame problems for the offgame
They are your problems, and not your fellow players’ – and no matter what, keep the discussions and fights with your partner (if unavoidable) for the offgame. When problems arise, settle things among the two of you as quickly and neatly as possible. Things like these are especially important if you regularly play with the same group of people. I’ve heard of people having private discussions in the middle of the camp (ingame, if I understood correctly) and it didn’t make anyone feel good – I’m guessing, not even themselves. Larping is supposed to be fun first and foremost – not a private battleground.
#3 Don’t mix axes and exes
There are people – I’ve met some over the years – who are still besties with their exes. If you count among the lucky few, by all means, feel free to skip this part. If you don’t… well, swords count as axes, too, when you’re a larper. Above all, be prepared and talk to your partner, to make sure there’s no unclear situations. Personal history’s a bitch – if it weren’t, we’d all be perfect (and probably bored to death). Be decent amond other people – no one really needs to know who broke whose heart over what detail. Not your family yurt, right? When in doubt, avoid them in any way possible – and if things are still ugly between the two of you (or just in your head) it would probably be okay to let the GM know, discreetly, in advance. It’s the same for other interpersonal problems with people you might run into at a game. Help yourself, your GM and your co-players – your current partner among them – by knowing your limits and acting accordingly.
#4 Jealousy is ugly – and it’s bound to happen sooner or later
Larping really is a social hobby – full of passionate people who can do shit both ingame and offgame which you or your partner might find equal to hitting on (or else). If it’s something which happens regularly to you, agree on some guidelines together, especially how to turn down people politely and without embarassing either one of you or others around you. You should also agree on which approach you’re taking in roleplaying romantic and/or physical elements. Jealousy is a bitch, and I’ve seen it happen among larpers and non larpers alike, and some couples seem to have a bigger problem with it than others – and larping, when you get to play your fantasy self, can pose pretty little pitfalls just for you. Try not to ruin the game for you and the people around you by letting it spoil the fun.
#5 Getting physical the – *khm* – non-boffer way
Regarding physical intimacy, the same rules apply. I sincerely hope you’re keeping it for your home, but if you’re not, do your damnedest best to keep it uder the radar. The reason I’ve chosen the yurt analogy lies in part in the flimsy tent walls – in other words, privacy is a relative thing when you’re larping. I haven’t had any close encounters so far – and I’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much.
#6 When in doubt, talk to your co-players – and listen to what they have to say.
I’d once shouted at my girlfriend across a street full of people because of offgame issues while larping – and I sure hope I made a good enough impression on our co-players later, otherwise they would have thought of me as a complete psycho, and they’d have every right to do so. I’ve said it before – people will get to see you under different circumstances and they will interpret things you and your partner do in different ways. You don’t have to take your co-players’ advice on your relationship – but you can always ask and explain, especially if you or your partner regularly play separate characters or enemies. Not everyone will take an awesome ingame fight between memebers of a relationship as ingame (as not everyone plays the same way). No need to give people the wrong impression.
This post is a part of the Larping for Couples SnW series.
One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six / Seven / Eight / Ebook
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