13 Dating Rules We Learned From Playing Tetris

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Real talk: Both Ami and I are obsessive Tetris players. We both play Tetris on our iPhones on our travels to and from work. It’s my subway escape. I have mastered how to play while embarking and disembarking from the train and I can play virtually anywhere. Ami’s high score (she’s only been playing a couple of months) is 205,746. Mine is 568,600. I’ve played no less than, like, 13,000 games on my phone. Like, my phone might as well just be for Tetris and text messages. I, uh, might have a problem.

It occurred to me that Tetris might not just be a game of fitting shapes into other shapes originally invented by Russians (true story): It might also be a metaphor! For life! And love! And so Ami and I have come up with a list of 13 rules of Tetris that also apply to dating. 

  1. Focus is key. If you really want to play, you can’t let anything distract you. Not the crazy guy on the train, not the music of the person sitting next to you, and not the few bumps on the route that might jostle your game hand. 
  2. Be careful what you do with squares, because squares lack the flexibility of other shapes. They go down, but not left or right. You might want to avoid them at all cost, actually.
  3. If you wait to put the long rod in the hole, it’s much more satisfying.
  4. One major error can throw your whole game.
  5. Sometimes it’s in your best interest to kill a game when it’s getting bad.
  6. Sometimes your lines can be stacking up and you think it’s over, and then you get the piece you need and everything turns around.
  7. The more you play, the better you are at intuiting where pieces fit best.
  8. A solid foundation sets you up for a winning game and the best way to set up that foundation is practice, practice, practice.
  9. Even if you have an almost clear board and think you’re winning, the moment you get overconfident and slack off, everything can go to shit.
  10. Experiment! Sometimes different shapes make surprisingly good combinations. And just when you least expect it, you might find a combo that creates a new window of opportunity.
  11. Don’t worry about the final tally of lines or scores — just focus at the line in front of you.
  12. Remember, this is a game. It’s supposed to be challenging, but also fun! If it’s not fun, don’t bother playing.
  13. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the game you’re playing, it might be time to take a break and try something else. Like solitaire.
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