How do I turn my in-game friend into MORE than just a friend? We raid together, do everything together, are on Discord most of the day, and we even message each other often when we’re not playing the game. How do I find out if she’s interested in more without jeopardizing our friendship? I feel like she’s really into me, but it’s so hard to tell when the entire relationship is all online and she’s friendly with everyone! What should I do?
A Lonely Little Lala
DEAR LONELY LITTLE LALA:
As someone who met my fiance online through FFXIV, I have, more or less, experienced that struggle first hand. There are a surprisingly large amount of couples that met and fell in love in-game and were able to transition into a lasting, real life relationship. However, where there is success, there is also sometimes failure. I’m sure many people know those two friends that thought they could be a couple, but never made it. So realize early on that pursuing a relationship in this manner can be rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful.
The first thing to do my Lonely Little Lala, is to decide what kind of relationship you are hoping for. If you’re looking for a one time fling, a FFXIV relationship is probably not for you. And that’s okay! If you’re looking for a in-game relationship and have no interest in pursuing anything out of game, then this advice may also not be for you. (If that’s the case, talk to her about it! RP relationships can be very fun if done right, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
For the sake of my advice, I am going to assume that you are looking for something long term, as online relationships – game based or not- require lots of time, energy, and commitment to make them work.
The most important thing to remember is that you have to make absolutely sure that the other person is who they say they are, and are as interested in you, as you are in them. This seems like common sense, but this is even more important when dealing with an in-game relationship. That cute cat lady might not be as female as you think. While not perfect, voice chat is the great first step. If you’re in a Free Company with Teamspeak or Discord, or any kind of voice chat, invite them! Not only with this give you a chance to talk to them, but it also lets you see how the other person interacts with others. Just be smart! Do not rush into anything without protecting yourself.
Now, it sounds like you have already taken those precautions. Great! So here are my four tips for a budding (and potentially long-lasting) FFXIV romance.
1. Give her something special.
Now you may not be the richest Lalafell in the world, but if you want to impress your future sweetheart, you got to show them you care. Start with the little things. Buy her flowers for her house or apartment, or that minion she’s always wanted. Listen to what she likes or wants and buy that item for her (just make sure she doesn’t buy it herself before you can give it to her!) If you’re feeling really special, you can gift her something from the Mog Station. Just make sure it’s something she’ll actually use.
Now, what if your girl has everything? The house of her dreams, all the minions, orchestrion rolls you didn’t even know existed. What do you do then? Well, this is where you have to be creative. Consider asking her on a date! Take her on a picnic at your house under a cherry tree using your amazing Culinary skills.
2. Find time to do things together, especially outside of the game.
Now that you’ve wooed your potential soulmate, both in game and out, you have to keep her attention. At first, your entire relationship is going to be in-game. This is not a bad thing, especially if you spend a lot of your time on voice chat. Try to find some time to do some things one-on-one. This could be crafting, queuing dungeons together, or anything, really. My fiance and I enjoy questing together, and set aside special time to do new content together on patch days. However, be careful if you raid together with your significant other, especially if either of you are a raid leader. Make sure you both understand expectations during raid, and are willing to take criticisms from each other when under stress.
As you progress further into your relationship, however, it’s important to begin building ties outside of the game. This is easily the most challenging task you’ll face in a FFXIV romance, and one that could make or break a future with them. Branch out to other games! Spend time on video streaming websites such as Youtube and Watch2Gether! Send her flowers or virtual e-cards! There are hundreds of things to do outside of FFXIV, even online. This is an extremely important step to take if you have any plans of building a long term relationship with your in-game sweetheart. Invite her, but don’t over do it! Balance is key. Just like real life, you will both want some time to yourself. And that’s okay!
3. Get married!
Now I don’t mean in real life (though that is a real possibility if the relationship is serious enough) I’m talking about the Eternal Bond questline. Not only is this a fantastic way to spend some one-on-one time with your S.O., but it also comes with a super handy teleportation ring that allows you and your partner to warp to each other anywhere in the world in an instant. This is especially awesome if you two already play together, and makes things such as hunts or even Gold Saucer gates easier to get to on-time. If you decide to fork out the extra cash, you can even get a two-seater chocobo, as well as dyeable wedding gear and a cute minion for any friends you invite. Just make sure he or she is okay with the idea before going through with it. Even if you two do decide to remain friends, the entire experience can be very fun (especially if you choose the moogle priest)!
4. Have a backup plan.
Now, I don’t mean you should find a backup significant other because that’s not fair to anyone. What I mean is that you should make sure that if the relationship does not work out, for whatever reason, that you are not alienated from the rest of the game. It’s the exact same concept that applies to real life relationships. If you’re in the same Free Company, make sure you make other friends so that you’re not left out in the cold if something goes wrong. If you share a house, make sure you can retrieve your furniture or have a backup place that is your own (the apartments are a great alternative)!
There are many more tips and tricks I can give for in-game relationships, but no matter what, remember that it takes a lot of effort to make it work. Both sides need a lot of time and understanding, but it’s certainly not impossible. And if you both feel the spark, go for it!
Good luck, and happy romancing!