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Drama Mamas: Couples counseling

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Usually couples counseling is for the problems that come with being a couple, not dealing with them. But this week we encounter two situations that involve drama caused by someone else's romance. One may (or may not) be a case of wedding envy. The other letter concerns the awkward public displays of affection from a couple separated by distance, but not by a need to exhibit. On to the counseling...

Wedding Woes

Dear Drama Mamas, I had a couple real life friends running a new raiding guild on another server, they were constantly asking me to transfer over and help with their progression. This was nearly 4 weeks ago now, and as they knew I was getting married in the upcoming week, there was no way for me to transfer over and actually help them due to the obligations of the wedding.

Now, I've been friends with these two individuals since highschool (6 or 7 years now.). They are also dating, and have been for quite some time - a lot longer than my wife and I had been. When we had announced our engagement a year ago, the couple didn't speak to us for nearly a whole month until I decided to be the 'grown up' and break the ice. Our wedding was out of town, and they DID come, but as my wife continues to remind me, they never once congratulated us, nor offered a gift. I know it's not a requirement to attend our wedding, but it does send out some mixed feelings. After the wedding and following honeymoon, I proceeded to transfer my character to play with them as I said.

I've been in their new guild for a week now and I've yet to be invited to one of their raids. I've spoken to my so called 'friends' about it, and they simply brush it off with a "I don't give out raid invites" or the like. I don't know if the female in their relationship is bitter about the fact that we got married before them, but I'm starting to get really impatient with the way they have been treating me and my wife. I have spoken with other, more progressed raiding guilds, and they've offered me a position with them. Should I take it, or should I try to tough it out? Sincerely, Tired of Waiting!

Drama Mama Robin: Hey Tired, it's hard to say if you are correct about the motivations behind their coolness, because nothing ever seems to be out in the open between you. Maybe you are completely right about the marriage issue. Maybe they think you are the one who has changed. Maybe there's something else going on in their lives that you are unaware of. Maybe they have been abducted and replaced by aliens.

You obviously value their friendship and are more in tune with the nuances of what is acceptable behavior between the four of you than what you can express in an email. It sounds like resolving issues isn't part of the relationship you four have. Which is fine. Some friendships allow for full communication and some really don't. But if you aren't going to talk to them about what's going on, for good or for bad, there is no point in "toughing it out".

Tell your friends that you're going to join a guild with a raid spot and that you'd love to join their raids when a position opens, as long as it doesn't interfere with your new raid schedule. Honestly, it sounds like you'd rather join the more progressed guild anyway (a week in a new guild isn't that long to wait for a raid spot). Which, again, is fine, as we told Confused.

If you do decide to talk it out with your friends, then I recommend not accusing them of your suspicions. Be open to what they have to say. This may be some huge misunderstanding. Of course, they won't admit they are alien replacements, if that is the case. Or maybe you're the alien? Hmmmm...

P.S. Congratulations!

Drama Mama Lisa: Tired, I hope you can conjure up the energy to separate the personal issues from the guild situation here. You sound completely worn out by the offline/online doubleheader -- and we can't blame you. Sometimes, playing with significant others and friends just isn't as compatible a situation as we imagined.

As far as what's going on in game, try to be objective. Is your friends' guild doing content you'd like to do? Is the guild atmosphere, aside from the behavior of your friends, enjoyable? If you joined specifically in order to spend time with your friends in game, is that happening? Is there a clear policy or method for signing up for or being selected for raids? If so, is that behind your not having been slotted yet for a raid -- or is something else afoot? Don't allow the situation to become one of implications, expectations and whispers behind the scenes. If you have a question or want to get into that raid spot now, speak up!

That said, these ARE your real-life friends ... What kind of relationship do you share with them outside of WoW? It sounds like a good time to go out for a pizza. You need face time if you're going to figure out if any of the wedding circumstances were intentional snubs or simply the byproduct of busy lives and missed connections. As Robin suggests, this doesn't have to be a showdown at the OK Corral. Just relax and have a good time -- and if you don't or can't, you'll know something's not quite right anymore.


Get a Room


Dear Drama Mamas: I'll be making a return to WoW soon after a three month absence and I'm really looking forward to play again. But there's a social issue that I was hoping you could provide some advice on. A couple of people I play with are in a long distance relationship in IRL. As such, when they're online together there's an excessive amount of in game PDAs, baby talk in guild chat and over Vent. While I understand their situation and I would never say anything in game to them, am I out of line to address them offline and try and get them to tone it down a bit? Or am I simply a curmudgeon and should just leave the issue alone? Signed, Excited But Anxious

Drama Mama Lisa: It's great of you to not want to embarrass the lovebirds in front of the rest of the guild -- but hey, maybe a little good-natured ribbing in game would make a friendly point? Keep the tone light: "My heavens, you two, I've been away for a quarter of a year and you're still all over each other ... Please! My virgin ears!" A good-humored ritual of shushing them whenever they get wound up may help the lovebirds realize they need to be a little more circumspect.

If that's not your style (or the guild's, or theirs), that's understandable too. But first things first: If you haven't been around in three months now, things may have changed a lot since you last played. You could very well be worrying about nothing. If things are still going full tilt once you're back on the scene, however, check in with a guild officer. Let him know you feel a little abashed when you "overhear" the lovebirds, and try to get a feel for how the rest of the guild reacts. Maybe they think it's kinda cute. Maybe they've simply tuned it out. Then you'll know whether or not the lovebirds' behavior is all good in the eyes of the guild -- at which point, you'll also know if you need to request that an officer ease your embarrassment by asking them to tone it down, or if you should keep up your understanding, empathetic approach and turn the other cheek.

(Oh – and all you lovebirds out there? Knock it off. Nobody wants guildchat that sounds like the back seat of double date at the drive-in. Don't make a spectacle of yourselves!)

Drama Mama Robin: Anxious, three months can be a long time in a relationship. Even if no one else has said anything (doubtful), their public amorous advances may have toned down a bit in that time. Or they could be virtual exhibitionists and still going strong. If that is the case, I think the public ribbing ritual Lisa suggests is the right way to go. Regardless of guild policy, a friendly "get a room" or similar comment every time they make you feel uncomfortable isn't going to hurt anyone. Isn't that what you would do if they were doing this IRL?

Paradoxically, I think talking to them offline will actually cause more drama than good natured public humor. It may turn a harmless but annoying situation into a personal conflict. Ew. In summary:
  • Friendly mocking = yay!
  • Tolerance = yay!
  • Anxious whispers = boo.
Let's hope this couple has gotten a bit classier in your absence.



Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

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