Find Love In A Poke Place: How Pokemon Go Has Inspired Dating (And Breakups)

Colleen Woodward
Colleen is a24-year-old recent college grad and NYC newbie who enjoys writing about her day to day life epiphanies (which hopefully help others around her). She's enjoys exploring all of the coffee shops Brooklyn has to offer, spending way too much time binge watching shows on Netflix and snuggling her dog (well, really any dog). Instagram: @Collwoodward Twitter: @Collwoodward LinkedIn:

If you haven’t heard of the fact that 90s games, music, and fashion are creeping back into our lives right now (seriously, 98 Degrees is doing a summer throwback tour right now), then you clearly live under a rock and aren’t catching it all on “Pokémon Go.” Walk a block down the street (especially in NYC), and you’ll find packs of people catching their Pokémon together, men on Wall Street who are casually playing on their lunch break, or people attacking you on the subway to get to their Charizard. It’s like something I’ve never seen before.

Don’t get me wrong, I was obsessed with Pokémon back in the day. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not, but I thought my Squirtle card was dope AF and wasn’t going to let anyone tell me different. Now, I’ve realized just how important this game was and still is to us 90s kids, especially my boyfriend.

When we moved in together about a year ago, I knew he was a little nerdy. Ya know, the occasionally computer game here and there, and it was fine. However, the nerdiness has reached an all-time high since Pokémon came out with this new version.

At first I really didn’t think much of it. Sure, he played while on his way home from work, I would see the game out on his phone, and he talked about it a lot. No biggie. Then things got weird. He told me he went for an EIGHT mile walk with our dog. EIGHT MILES.

I, being the most active of the pair, said bullshit. But sure enough I  saw on his “Pokémon Go” app that he most definitely crushed eight miles (as my poor dog is casually panting his life away).

Then last weekend, I realized just how intense his Pokémon catching was becoming. He offered, yes offered, to come running with me (he hates running), to get me a coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts two minutes from my apartment (it took him 20 minutes to come back with it), to take our dog to the park on another extra-long walk again (an hour later…), and to go grocery shopping. Although I was pumped because it was nice to have a running partner, I hate grocery shopping, and our dog needed a long walk, I realized that he was 110 percent doing all of this so he could up his Pokémon game.

Then it occurred to me: this is actually really great.

Although it’s taking him a little longer to do these things, he’s way more active than before. If this is what it’s going to take to get me a running partner than by all means, go catch ‘em all.

I started wondering if other couples were experiencing the same thing. Did other girlfriends or boyfriends get the perks I did that came along with this game, or were they getting a worse off deal? I had to know, so I searched none other than Reddit for all of my “Pokémon Go” dating questions.

Sure enough, there was plenty of others out there scoring dates and getting closer to their significant other. Some sadly ended on the opposite spectrum by getting dumped.

Reddit user lalalava wrote:

“I edited my Tinder profile asking if anyone wanted to go catch Pokémon and soon after got a message.”

Pokémon made it easy to make conversation and there were cute moments where he had to show me how to do certain things in the game, or we’d bump into each other trying to catch the same Pokémon.

“It was refreshing going into the date with a shared activity (but not as serious as something like a movie or rock climbing) that brought up natural conversation.”

Okay, so clearly Pokémon Go is the next dating app.

However, some reddit users are also found the game was bringing up issues in their current relationships (which hey, may be a good thing, maybe your girlfriend or boyfriend sucked and this is the tell all).

Reddit user pokeproblem411 came to the site for some advice:

“My girlfriend is away on a business trip. She called me to talk to me about the dinner she went on with some of her co-workers. Apparently, one of her co-workers was hitting on her, something that happens fairly often and upsets her for good reason. I’ve always been open to talking through these things with her, and try to be sympathetic and understanding. I get that it sucks working with mostly men who make her feel uncomfortable like that. After we finished talking about tonight’s incident, she asked me what I was up to. I had been out playing Pokémon Go, so I told her. I kind of laughed, as I knew that she thought it was dorky. Well she got really upset.

She felt it was inconsiderate for me to bring up such an immature topic after such a serious conversation. I didn’t feel I was bringing up a topic, I just mentioned that I had been playing.

Clearly some find the game ‘immature,’ but even though it’s hurting this guy’s relationship a bit, maybe in the long run we can thank the game for making him realize his girlfriend might not be the one.

I’m not here to say I’m downloading “Pokémon Go” so I can be closer to my boyfriend (although I’m sure he’d be down). I’m saying that I am 100 percent reaping the benefits of a video game that for once gets people to go out rather than hide behind a computer screen. If you’re in a rocky relationship, or cheating on your significant other, this may not be the right game for you (like seriously bae can check where you have been thanks to the GPS, so if you’re at your ex’s house like this guy maybe think twice before playing).

So, for all you Pokémon lovers (or Pookie mon as my dear old Dad texted me the other day) out there in relationships, I support you. You’re making the choice to get out there and be active, and from one person in a relationship to another, I appreciate it. Keep on storming the streets, catch ‘em all, and get me a bottle of wine while you’re out.