All is Fair in Love and War

“All is Fair in Love and War”
A new card game to resolve conflicts

OK so most people know how to play the game of War in cards.

  1. There are two players.
  2. The players divide the deck in half between them.
  3. “War Begins” when you each throw down a card at a time, face up.
    1. The player with the highest card, wins both cards.
    2. Each thrown down is called a round.
    3. Play as many rounds as needed until one player has all the cards.
  4. “War Escalates” when the cards thrown down are the same.
    1. Off to the side, throw down three cards, face down.
    2. When ready, throw down another card, face up.
    3. The player with the highest card, wins all 8 cards.
  5. Keep playing until one player has all the cards.
  6. Reshuffle. Repeat.

Here is how I like to play the game of “All is Fair in Love and War” in cards. It is meant to be a way to introduce neutrality into difficult discussions. When two people just can’t seem to resolve an issue, turn to the cards.

You can get more out of the game when the people playing the game have an intimate or at least a trusting relationship, but this is not necessary. The one absolute is that you both have to be committed to having a healthy relationship with each other. You both, honestly, want resolution. If you are deep in an HR issue or deep into divorce counseling, I think this might not be good for you.

  1. There are two players.
  2. The players divide the deck in half between them.
  3. “War Begins” when you each throw down a card at a time, face up.
    1. The player with the highest card, wins both cards
    2. Each thrown down is called a round.
    3. Play as many rounds as needed until one player has all the cards.
  4. “War Escalates” if the cards thrown down are the same,
    1. Off to the side, throw down three cards, face down
    2. When ready, throw down another card, face up
    3. “Love Takes Over” when the player with the highest card gets to ask for something from the other player, and wins all 8 cards.
      1. It might take a while for this round to complete because what the winner asks for has to be completed right away and for the duration of time they ask for.
      2. Have a place where the cards can stay out for the duration of the round, until the request has been satisfactorily answered and then the game can resume again.
    4. Keep playing until one player has all the cards.
    5. Reshuffle. Repeat.

Examples of what can be asked in the “Love Takes Over” rounds:

For couples/partners:

  • If the conflict is about whether the toilet seat should be put down or left up, the winner of the “Love Takes Over” round can ask for a week of their preferred toilet seat setting.
  • If the conflict is about taking out the garbage, the winner of the “Love Takes Over” round can ask for a week of their preferred garbage removal routine.
  • Consider some of the options presented in David Deida’s book “Finding God Through Sex.”

For work:

  • If the conflict is about who gets the parking space next to the office and who has to park further away, the winner of the “Love Takes Over” round can ask for a week of their preferred parking space.
  • If the conflict is about whether or not colleagues can use pet names with each other, the winner of the “Love Takes Over” round can ask for a week of their preferred pet names, or not.

What can happen in these situations is that for the duration of the “Love Takes Over” round, both players have to stick to the ask. The winner has to enforce the ask and the loser has to perform the task asked. For the duration of the ask, the winner ‘gets what they want’ and also begins to consider the other player’s point of view. For instance, every time that the players leave the seat up or down, they realize the impact it has on the other player – the source of joy or hurt, the convenience or the inconvenience, the humiliation of falling in or getting splashed on. They begin to walk in each others shoes. They begin to grow empathy for each other.

For those truly committed to the relationship, over time, especially if the duration of the round is for a significant amount of time, or if the ask is unreasonable, the power dynamic begins to wane and the love for the other player takes over. Ideas on how to resolve the disagreement emerge in this time of reflection. War is ends, Love wins.

 

Give it a try.
Let me know how it goes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.