After just three weeks of playing, I’m convinced “Pokémon GO” is one of the best things to happen to my relationship.
The general consensus on the internet so far has been that “Pokémon GO” is bad for couples. An article on BuzzFeed names the “29 Relationships Already Ruined By Pokémon Go.” On Twitter, players recount the horrors of losing their significant other to a handheld device.
I used to have a girlfriend untill PokemonGO. Now she is driving around the neighbourhood at 5 in the morning looking for a Ninetails..
— Ngotie (@akaNgotie) July 12, 2016
“Pokémon GO” may have edged some relationships to the end, while stomping out others before they even began.
A guy just told his girlfriend to hold the train while he caught a Pokémon and she got on and left without him.
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) July 9, 2016
Memory full. Going to have to delete Tinder to make space for Pokemon.
— rorychadbouffe (@stokedfishy) July 13, 2016
My boyfriend of three years and I have shared a different experience. If anything, “Pokémon GO” has brought us closer.
Typically, Saturdays are our day to be super-extra lazy.
Kyle and I roll out of bed around 10, make breakfast, and settle into the couch for what often becomes an all-day marathon of TV. We squeeze in some VR time. As day morphs into night, we change our PJs for real-people clothes and catch dinner and a movie. Work waits till Sunday.
Two weekends ago on a Saturday, we laced up our sneakers just after 1 and hit the pavement. Our new external battery charger in tow and our “Pokémon GO” apps open, we walked — for over three hours.
We took the scenic route around Lake Merritt, a large lake near our home in Oakland, California. It was sure to draw all types of Pokémon given its diverse landscape and popularity as a running destination.
The waterfront was rich in Slowpoke, Sandshrew, and even Starter Pokémon that warm, sunny day. We talked the whole time, mostly about Pokémon. With every catch, we celebrated each other’s victories.
We were our own soundtrack, singing (off-key) the lyrics to Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life,” inspired by this tweet that made us giggle.
(SNAKE ME UP) SNAKE ME UP INSIDE
(I CAN’T SNAKE UP) SNAKE ME UP INSIDE
When it came time to pick our team — Mystic, Valor, or Instinct — we discussed the values of each before coming to a decision. We went with Instinct, the Hufflepuff of the gang, because we wanted to be different.
Last weekend, I was away at San Diego Comic-Con (you can check out Tech Insider’s coverage here). Within minutes of my return, we were curled up on the bed sharing our most impressive catches of the week. (Mine, a 513-level Machoke; his, a newly leveled up Slowbro).
I’ve walked some 14 miles since downloading the app on July 8, and much of the distance was accomplished with my man by my side.
We get out more. We breathe fresh air. We strike up conversations with strangers huddled around the same lure module, even letting them juice up with our external battery charger before continuing on.
Yes, most our time trying to be “the very best, like no one ever was,” is spent with our heads down, looking at our phones. But “Pokémon GO” gave us a new shared interest, and it’s one that shakes up our “Hey, how was your day?” routine and gets us far from the couch.
Besides, I would walk 500 miles (and I would walk 500 more) just to be part of the couple who caught a Ditto.