How I got married through World of Warcraft

I’ve mentioned a lot of times, in passing, how my wife and I connected in part through World of Warcraft. But I’ve never actually gone into any depth on the subject, and it didn’t actually happen because I wanted to be involved with her.

It happened because I needed a healer.

At the time, I had a collection of friends in the game who were all happy to play with me, but we also were all DPS. In the days before the dungeon finder, this meant that forming a party was more or less just something that was not going to happen. So I recruited my best friend at the time with the explicit statement that I wanted her to be our healer.

We’re now many years on from that, and pretty much 90% of the time she plays a tank. So from one perspective, that plan was an enormous failure.

My wife also did manage to create a goblin at one point who served as a used demon saleswoman. THis is where roleplaying goes sometimes.My wife and I had known each other through all of college and we had always been close, to the point that I was informed (after the fact) that basically everyone who knew us was just waiting for us to hook up. That didn’t actually happen in college, though; while there was flirting, we were both in committed relationships. And when the time came that we almost hooked up, we… well, fell out of touch for a while.

But we were talking again, and I was hanging out with her when I mentioned that I needed a healer in WoW. “You would like it,” I said.

“I don’t have a whole lot of time,” she protested. “I have grad school that I’m aiming for, and then there’s work, and I know how those games can suck you in. And that roleplaying stuff you like is dumb; I’m not interested.”

“I’ll buy the game for you.”

At no point did I actually see her put her shoes on; I saw a blur and then she was there with her keys and purse. “Come on,” she growled, “let’s go, I want to play.”

We took a trip down to the nearest Walmart and picked up a copy. This was in the days before any expansions, so it was just the one thing and a quick-ish spot of installation. I explained the various healing options available to her, wondering what she would play but kind of expecting an Orc Shaman or Undead Priest. (I was Horde at the time.) So she surprised the heck out of me by immediately going Tauren Druid and never looking back.

The next day, she called me up while I was at work. “I am a bear,” she helpfully exclaimed, prompting the nickname she has had in our household for the following decade-and-change.

I didn’t explain to her that bear-form druids were, at the time, suitable only for confusing low-level bears into thinking that you were one of them. I may have only been peripherally aware of that myself, really. What followed was a nightly session of what we dubbed the Mulgore Power Hour, despite the fact that by the time we started playing together on a regular basis her druid was long since out of Mulgore.

At first, it was a matter of just playing on my Warrior and helping her out with lower-level quests. Then it was a matter of guiding her through dungeons. Then I was catching her up and farming things with her. Then she was making alts, and she was starting to see the appeal in roleplaying, something I had never expected or planned for.

I remember distinctly one night that we were farming in Un’goro Crater, chatting away while ambling along on normal-speed mounts. We were making plans to move in together, albeit strictly as roommates; it’s important to remember at this point that we had been friends for years at that point. It was a means of saving money and being sensible, and half of the time we shared the same living space anyway.

“I’m scared about us moving in,” she said.

“Yeah, I get that.” I was too, really; it was a big shakeup to our existing dynamic.

She wasn’t actually finished, though. “I want to be your friend and your roommate,” she continued. “But I’m falling in love with you a little more every day.”

I don’t remember what I said at that point. We might have turned it into a joke. It’s definitely possible.

There's a reason I'm super attached to Tauren.

By the time we did move in together, we were broke. But we could still manage to keep a monthly subscription going, and so our nights mostly became sessions of her on her laptop and me on my desktop playing WoW in the same room, joking around as we plowed through enemies and leveled, dipping our toes into roleplaying together.

When The Burning Crusade came out, we were pretty decidedly an item. I remember both of us scheduling work around making sure that we could attend the midnight release, standing in the cold weather outside, ready to get home and make our characters. We drove home talking in excitement about what came next, installed with nearly breathless anticipation. We played our two planned mains for the expansion, a Draenei Paladin and Shaman, until we finally passed out around two in the morning.

Those characters wouldn’t even make it to the next expansion, as it turned out. But the goal was still there.

She makes handsome cats.The thing was that even when we moved on from World of Warcraft, we didn’t move on from staying together. As she wanted to explore other games, I went with her. She wanted to try Final Fantasy XI and City of Heroes because I had played them. She wanted to play Final Fantasy XIV with me at the initial launch so she could enjoy it right alongside me (that didn’t wind up happening with the initial launch, but it did happen with the relaunch). We’ve kept playing together, for more than a decade of being together, through all of our years of marriage.

On our wedding invitations, she drew pictures of our major RP characters to line the invitation. It was really cute.

I didn’t form the relationship with her through MMOs; we had been friends for years beforehand. But MMOs gave us a way of exploring that relationship from a different perspective, having a shared goal and play experience we could both enjoy equally. It meant that instead of just playing games separately and metaphorically comparing notes, we could both exist in this same game world together. We could help each other, team up, have separate experiences, come back together. We could roleplay characters as allies, lovers, enemies, family, and strangers, all while coming back to rest upon the foundation of friendship and communication. It was something to reinforce our relationship.

And it’s been a grand journey. Nor is it one that’s ending. I’m writing this right now as we’re getting ready for a trip, but before we go we’re trying to make sure to run some dungeon roulettes in FFXIV for fun. It’s one of the things we do, a shared hobby we can both enjoy.

The game has changed, the time has changed. The people have changed. But our core hasn’t.

And yes, I still tell her that she’s a bear.

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30 Comments on "How I got married through World of Warcraft"

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MesaSage

If you played Lotro, she could be a bear.

atherenlightspeed
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atherenlightspeed

Who knew you had such a romantic past with Wow. Happy adventuring to you and your Bear.

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Sylkesh

‘The next day, she called me up while I was at work. “I am a bear,” she helpfully exclaimed’
Humm ? This quote can explain a lot, especially some introductory paragraphs to the WRUP column :D :D

More seriously, thanks for sharing Eliot, I love reading about nice stories like that ;-)

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Bruno Brito

I N E E D H E A L I N G

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Sajiri

I met my husband in FFXI. At first, I hated him. Oops.

When I joined the game, my friend that had convinced me to play was dating a guy who was the leader of an endgame linkshell (like a guild). My very first day I was invited into it just as a social member, and I was bombarded with all these people and lessons about the game. I wanted to play a summoner, which meant I had to do the avatar fights to get my summons. My friend insisted on taking me into the high lvl group fights so I could just leech wins off some of the others, but I really wanted to do the solo fights. I tried once and failed and was met with ‘this is why you just come with us’ but one guy in the ls started pming me and giving me tips, encouraging me not to give up and so on. Eventually the leader stopped playing and the group fell apart and went their seperate ways, and there was one guy in there who seemed to take a liking to me.

He started inviting me to all these events and other games, and before I knew it, he was calling me his girlfriend. It was funny because he never actually asked me about it, and then he started pulling this ‘I cant believe someone as nice and young and pretty as you would be with someone like me’ and then I felt too guilty to say no. Oh, it also turned out he was 20 years older than me and kept that from me. Anyway, there was this guy who he just hated, always saying how this person ruined his life in game and all this other stuff. Turned out to be the guy who had encouraged me early on about the avatar fights when I was new. I didnt think that sounded like him, but oh well. And then I happened to run into that hated-guy in game one day, and I was on edge about him, but we got chatting. Realised he was actually pretty cool. A few weeks go buy and I bring up how I had all these misconceptions about him based on what my ‘boyfriend’ had said, he laughed and showed me screenshots of all the situations I’d been told about, and I realised that I’d been lied to quite heavily. I made it clear very quickly to my ‘boyfriend’ I didnt want to be with him.

Time passed, I kept hanging out with this guy and getting to know him, and for the first time I started to really have feelings for someone I’d never met in person. I rarely even had feelings for people I knew in person! I hesitantly brought it up to him, and we started a tentative relationship online. He talked about wanting to better his life because of me, so he moved states to attend college. Right before the several-days trip I was being mopey because I hadnt gone more than a day without talking to him since we started hanging out, and he organised a secret wedding in game for us. He told me that I didnt have to worry as one day he was going to marry me for real.

Fast forward years, several overseas trips back and forth, and him moving here to australia, we’ve now been married for 5 years :)

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Bryan Correll

We were making plans to move in together, albeit strictly as roommates

Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more!

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mistressbrazen

Lovely story. There is someone for everyone out here.

Zander
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Zander

On that note;

Looking for even keeled, gamer woman who wants to balance gaming with life, 80/20. Must tolerate 5’6″ hairy but fit bodied, gap teethed, wears glasses but fairly good looking Jewish man from the U.S. Pacific Northwest who can be passionate and out spoken at times but generally keeps to himself. Not religious, hate politics and loves kids but doesn’t want any, food, both dogs and cats as well as his PC. Also has no family.

Looks and body are not everything but can’t let yourself go. Must be motivated to get up and go to work, come home and play games then get pulled away from your PC late night to snuggle, fall asleep then repeat. Generally be responsible. Also must be willing to try new games!

Outside activities include a pool table, beer and some fishing but just enough to maintain some normallsy. Willing to explore other outside activities if you are, just realize we’re both gamers at the end.

No debt, no drama, no fucked up family or history. Be healthy and devoted. Msg me on Reddit and we’ll take it from there.

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Phubarrh

Met my wife-to-be in WoW when I had my eyes out for a guild, and she spammed the zone with a recruitment message where the word “wacky” caught my eye. Married three years later, have level-capped together in a dozen games since then.

Line
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Line

Bear girls best girls!

miol
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miol

Thank you for sharing! :)

aww.gif
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Utakata

I read that as, “How I got married to World of Warcraft”. And my pigtails where about to concur with that sentiment…until I discovered I was off by a word. o.O

Err…congratulations there, Mr. Eliot! :)

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Emiliano Lozada

7.3 and next xpac hype yo!

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Funny. My ex was a druid healer/tank that got me to play on her server because her raid needed a healer. I went over as a dwarf priest while they were OP. We were also friends IRL first and yeah, WoW led to more. MMOs certainly seem better for solidifying friendships in my experience, if/when you can get someone to jump in with you.

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CthulhuDawg

They can be. I have one friend who has convinced me to play 4 MMOs with him, only to not reroll an alt to play with me and then get bored by the time I’m caught up and quit. Now no matter what game he suggests I tell him he can play “x” game that I’m playing but I’m uninterested in playing “y” game he wants me to join. So In this case it sort of drove us apart :P

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Oh man, that was my “friends” in high school. They chose some good games, but just from the way they talked, I knew well enough not to roll my main characters on their servers.

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David Goodman

Really nice story – Thanks for sharing it. I came at my own marriage the opposite direction: We met in World of Warcraft, and later moved in together. Left Michigan for Boston — which, I definitely recommend. Michigan sucks. Haven’t regretted it since.

Now I have a tiny little a-hole (parents understand) behind me who is going to the children’s museum after I get out of work today, all because my Orc couldn’t keep his hands to himself when near an elf. :)

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Little Bugbear

I think MMO’s are great for couples. Heck, when I first meet my boyfriend I couldn’t stand him (All the girls loved him). Then I started playing WoW. I was a noob I needed help but the dudes just amused I was a typical gamer girl. My boyfriend was the first one to realize I was actually a gamer, so he started teaching me the game. Later MMO’s helped us stay close when he had to move across the country for a year. Now we have been together for 9 years. I think anytime a couple shares a hobby it help to keep the relationship strong.

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KumiKaze

That is a great story. I find it awesome when people find love and increase their love in unexpected places.

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Angel

My hubby and I were already together when I discovered Guild Wars, It was my son and I that convinced him to give it a go. Previously he only played FPS games like Battlefield 2. So finally after convincing him that it wasn’t all people RPing all the time, I sat him down and let him create a character on my account In Guild Wars and before the night was over I knew I would never get my account back unless I bought him his own. That was right around the first anniversary of Guild Wars, Since then we’ve played many MMO’s together. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, WOW, Rift, LOTRO, and FFXIV to name a few. I feel like in many ways doing so strengthened our relationship, as we learned to communicate better because of it.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

My good friend and long time rpg/mmo/games in general bud met his wife through Wow and have a 5 year old kid now. Gaming is a culture and those within live their emotional lives like any other. Because of this I have also seen many relationships lost even specifically over Wow. I went through 2 very dramatic guild leader losses due to relationship issues. One in the largest AC monarchy on our server and one in vanilla Wow also in the largest server guild. These were times when guilds actually had influence.

I’ve seen marriages done in mmorpgs that reflected real life relationships started in game. Hopefully they were successful in the long run. I myself have never dated a gamer. I just don’t create internet relationships. I only game to casually socialize with others and to have fun with real friends. My active outside life is where I want my love life to reside in. Just my preference, interest in physical activities and likely the barriers I set in general.

I was in college during the peak EQ craze (although that’s when I started AC instead). I witnessed some EQ players so addicted they dropped or failed out of college. One guy admitted freely he got about 2-3 hours of sleep a day because when he wasn’t in college he was playing EQ. He never reached the end of the first year of college. My friend’s marriage seems more constructed around balance, especially now that they have a child. This goes with all things in life however.

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Michael18

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

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MeltWithYou

Cool story man

I’ve had a lot of girlfriends over the years and not a single one played video games in any capacity…about the closest female in my life that plays would be my sis, but she literally only plays mario/ metroid and still plays those two games and all their subsequent releases to this day…just those two…shes a pro at the side scrollers

I always wondered what it would be like to date someone that loved MMOs or just games in general and what kind of relationship that would be.

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CthulhuDawg

The only problems we have ever run into is when one partner has more game time than the other in a given week. Then things can get a bit testy :P

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

One of the many reasons I loved City of Heroes was that it didn’t matter when one of us didn’t get in as much playtime — we could always, always team up! (GW2 has become the same kind of thing for my husband and me and is why we stay so loyal to it.)

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CthulhuDawg

Welp that left me with a warm fuzzy. I’m happy for the both of you. MMOs, in specific EQ2, helped keep my then girlfriend now wife and I together when we went to different schools 10 years ago. We still play almost everyday.

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