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"The Sims 4" Walkthrough: Romance Guide

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

"The Sims 4" is copyrighted by Electronic Arts Inc. Images used for educational purposes only.

"The Sims 4" is copyrighted by Electronic Arts Inc. Images used for educational purposes only.

Some sims in The Sims 4 may prefer the single life, but others—indeed, perhaps the majority—want a mate. Seduction and romantic bonding both play huge roles in the lives of sims, and depending on how you approach the situation, hooking two sims up may require a lot of work.

There are two ways to romantically entangle two sims:

  • Via Create a Sim. Once you’ve created two sims in the same household, you can set their status relative to one another. Set it to ‘wife’ or ‘husband’, and, voila. You have a relationship. This is the easy way to get things rolling, and it's not nearly as fun.
  • Via social interactions between sims. This is where it gets tricky—and this is where the article comes into play.

Making Connections

Even the most social of sims typically will not go wandering out into the world looking for companionship. Without guidance, sims will sit indoors most of the day, only leaving the house to take out garbage or go to work. You need to take the initiative on your sim’s behalf and order a more thorough exploration of the world around you. There are a few ways for your sims to meet other, unrelated sims:

  • Send them out onto the street. It’s pretty common to see strangers walking past your lot during the day. Your sim can—and sometimes will, if left in the right spot—strike up conversations with these passers-by.
  • Visit other homes. This is something of an iffy prospect, but it sometimes works, and it's most likely to be successful during the evening when sims are home from their jobs.
  • Visit social areas. The two towns in The Sims 4 have bars, restaurants, gyms, museums, and parks you can visit. Simply zoom out as far as you can in Live Mode, click the magnifying glass that appears on your screen, and send your sim to a location of your choosing. These places will be populated by a large number of sims even late at night, and if you choose your destination wisely you will probably find lots of sims with similar interests to your own. Of the methods listed, this is easily the best for striking up a friendship . . . and any romance that may follow.

Meeting other sims is, of course, just the beginning. Now you need to begin the process of romance, and that begins with determining compatibility.

Sims interacting over a drink in "The Sims 4."

Sims interacting over a drink in "The Sims 4."

Compatibility: Is That Sim Right for Me?

Each sim is unique. Possessed of a different combination of Aspirations and Traits, the many sims of The Sims 4 are bound to act, and react, in vastly different ways from one another. Consequently, not every sim will get along. It’d be pretty boring if every sim got along. What does this mean for relationships?

In short, it means that not every pairing is going to work. Your sim isn’t going to like everyone they’ll meet. Indeed, some sims will outright loathe one another, because their viewpoints are radically different, and attempting to forge a relationship between two such passionate haters is not a good idea. (Not unless you’re really looking for a challenge.) As such, you should test the waters a bit with prospective romantic candidates before sending your sim in for the kill.

How to Test for Compatibility

There are a few different ways of doing this:

  • The easiest is to have your sim introduce themselves to another sim. They’ll begin to chatter away on their own for a while, barring distractions. Watch the icons that appear above their heads. If you see a lot of plus signs, they probably get along just fine. If there are lots of minus signs from the start, though, this relationship is not likely to work. Mind that you should be looking for consistent minus signs—even the best of buddies are still likely to disagree every now and then.
  • Another method is to take a more active role in the conversation by bringing up your sim’s specific interests. If your sim has the Athletics Aspiration, for example, or even if they’re just Active, they will probably have dialogue options related to sports or other physical activities. Use a few of these on the other sim and see what they have to say about it. If there are minus signs popping up, it is not to be.
  • One of the most direct ways to learn about a sim is simply to ask by using the ‘Get to Know’ option. Doing this will, most of the time, reveal one of the other sim’s Traits. You can use their Traits as a guideline for determining whether the sims are compatible or not. Someone who’s Lazy, for example, probably won’t make a great pair for your Active sim, and a Loner . . . well, a Loner will be difficult to net no matter what.

How to Check If a Sim Is Single

One other suggestion: Click through your conversation options until you see several broad, overarching categories. If ‘Romance’ is not included in the categories, the sim is already taken. (Or the two sims are related. Ew.) You can also discover whether a sim is available or not simply by asking, though this can come across as a little forward.

On average, it’s not that difficult to find sims who are at least moderately compatible. What’s the next step?

Two sims taking a selfie in "The Sims 4."

Two sims taking a selfie in "The Sims 4."

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Building a Friendship

Whenever two sims interact, they accumulate—or lose—friendship points. Friendship points are displayed as a green bar, both under each sim’s Relationship tab (bottom-right corner in Live Mode) and under the sim’s portrait, displayed at the top of the screen whenever you click on the sim. The more green you see, the better the relationship between the two sims. If this bar turns red—well, let’s just say that we’re not talking about ‘friendship’ if you have a red bar. You want to accumulate as many ‘positive’ friendship points as you can get, and you do this by encouraging positive conversations between sims.

Based on their Traits, sims are usually pretty tolerant of most dialogue options from other sims. You have to look far and wide to find a sim that won’t respond favourably to a joke, polite questions about one’s day are generally acceptable, and even minor compliments will usually get you somewhere. The key to building a strong friendship is to maintain a healthy conversation between the two sims using a slew of positive, harmless, and preferably Trait-conscious dialogue options.

The Slow Method: Neutral Dialogue

At its slowest, the easiest way to do this is to stick with conversation options that are not paired with a particular emotion, or at least not a strong emotion. Chatting alone is quite neutral, as is discussing their interests or asking about their day. You won’t get a huge response by using these options over and over, but you’ll almost always get a positive response, and that’s what you’re looking for while building a relationship.

An Embarrassed sim in "The Sims 4."

An Embarrassed sim in "The Sims 4."

The Faster Method: Matching Dialogue to Emotions

Not every player will want to take this slow-and-steady route, of course, and that’s where emotions come into play. Just as your sims each have emotional states, other sims are subject to emotions, dictated by a thin strip of colour beneath the relationship bar at the top of the screen during a conversation. If you play to the strengths of these emotions and use dialogue options which match those emotions, you’ll typically get stronger responses. (For good or for ill.)

It also helps if your own sim matches that particular emotion during the conversation. You can change your sim’s emotion by engaging in activities that they particularly like, or by watching TV / taking a shower with particular settings. Match emotions to emotions—and, if possible, Traits to Traits—and relationships will skyrocket in a hurry.

Don't Flirt!

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind while building up to ‘friends’ status is not to flirt. Stay away from pink, flirtatious options when two sims are getting to know one another, even if both sims involved in the conversation are feeling flirty. You don’t want to start touching any Romantic menu options until your friendship bar is at least halfway full, which means that the two sims are friends.

Two sims getting romantic in "The Sims 4." Amorous sims can become boyfriend / girlfriend, and eventually they can get married.

Two sims getting romantic in "The Sims 4." Amorous sims can become boyfriend / girlfriend, and eventually they can get married.

Getting All Romantical

Once your two sims have become familiar friends you can press your sim to get a little flirtatious. Explore the Romance category (these options will probably start to appear whenever you open a conversation, as well) and look for some relatively inoffensive chat options, such as Compliment Appearance, Give Relationship Advice, or Ask Risque Question. You can even out-and-out Flirt, if you’re feeling bold. Just don’t get too physical.

If the other sim is feeling receptive, they’ll accept the flirtation—and a second, pink bar will appear beneath the green one. This is indicative of your relationship points. The larger this pink bar, the greater the romantic connection between these two sims.

Physical Affections, Dates, and Woo Hooing

Continue with non-physical displays of affection until the pink bar is about one third full. Once you’ve done that it’s relatively safe to move on to physical forms of affection, such as Hugs, Embraces, Holding Hands, and even a First Kiss. Asking your would-be beloved out on a date can help solidify your place in their heart, though it’s not a necessity. Once you sneak in that first kiss you can probably get away with asking them to become your sim’s boyfriend / girlfriend, at which point landing dates is much easier to do.

Also? Woo Hooing. You can probably guess what Woo Hooing is.

Two sims getting married at a park in "The Sims 4." Satisfy the guests for some marital bonuses.

Two sims getting married at a park in "The Sims 4." Satisfy the guests for some marital bonuses.

Getting Married

Continue to build your relationship in this manner and, eventually, you can press your sim to ask for an engagement. Try to get the pink bar beyond the halfway point before asking for marriage, as there’s a very real chance that the other sim will say no if they’re not ready, resulting in a great deal of embarrassment for both parties. Ouch.

Once two sims are engaged they can get married on the spot, either by Planning their Wedding (costly, but a bit more fun) or simply Eloping (free and instant, but a little dull). Once sims are married they can move in together, and if a departing sim leaves a house empty they’ll bring the sum total of all their possessions with them as a form of dowry. This is one of the best ways to get a lot of money in a hurry in The Sims 4, short of cheat codes.

Two sims getting to know each other at the gym in "The Sims 4."

Two sims getting to know each other at the gym in "The Sims 4."

Maintaining the Relationship

Throughout this process you need to maintain a level of consistency. If two sims don’t see each other for a while, their relationship will begin to degrade. Go too long without sims meeting and their affection bars can reset back to zero, forcing you to start the whole process over again. Consequently, you need your two sims to get together on a regular basis. Not every day, necessarily, but every few days at the very least. There are a few different ways to maintain contact:

  • Invite the sim over to your home. You can do this by clicking on their portrait under the Relationship tab (bottom-right corner of the screen), then clicking ‘Invite to Hangout at Current Lot’. You can also invite the sim to meet your sim at a different location to hang out.
  • Pop over to their house, assuming you know where they live. Look at the Manage Worlds screen to see which families live in which houses. Lingering in public places will also bear fruit at times, though not always.
  • Use the Travel option. Whenever you send a sim to another location you have the option of transporting other sims they’ve met to that same location, assuming they’re currently available.
  • Talk to the sim remotely. You can send Texts to sims via the Relationship tab, and if you have a computer you can Chat with the sim. These options are less desirable than meeting with the sim, but they’re better than nothing if your sim is too busy for social calls.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice in all this is to use common sense. The Sims 4, for all its wackiness, utilizes the basics of building and maintaining relationships. Get to know the person, don’t come on too strong, take your time, and, most important of all, don’t be a jerk. In most cases, this final point shouldn’t be too difficult to follow.


Sam Moore on November 02, 2018:

I some times like to add another sim in my world though, because often times a lot of the sims in my game are already married or dating someone

lilbabe on November 29, 2016:

So, kind of wierd... I mean have romance with someone of another sex. Any ways I have been trying to get babies with a hansome guy in sims 4, not really working.

lilbabe on November 29, 2016:

So, is it like you can just date anyone?

Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 16, 2014:

In my experience the only time the romance menu doesn't come up is when the two sims are family members. So, yes, it's probably a bug. Try him out on a different female and see what happens, I guess...? I don't think sims have a set sexual preference, but I could be wrong.

silver on September 16, 2014:

Well I think I got a bug or something. I got to create multi-generation family, so oldest son of my founders is now teen, I found him a nice piece of other teen girl, they have one common trait so they're having fun with themselves.

My problem is that said teen son of name Gilbert have a friend with relations "Friend" named Alexander and he can romance with him, but said nice girl named Alisa with relations "Good Friends" does not have Romance menu at all!

Is little Gilby gay or something? Should I make mother to make a burger cake and make coming-out party?

Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 10, 2014:

You might want to try chatting with sims she knows on a computer instead. She should be able to chat with any sim she's at least met. I'm not sure how much Loner applies to online interactions, but I bet it's less stressful overall. Might make building up to a higher relationship easier - and once a sim gets past a certain hurdle with other sims (namely getting them up to at least friends), I don't think hanging out is quite as stressful an ordeal.

Betty on September 10, 2014:

I've been playing for about 5 hrs now and because my sim is a loner she has to spend time with herself or she gets stressed... Trying to form a relationship is the most stressful experience!!!

Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 09, 2014:

Compared to the other ways, it's 'the hard way'. It requires actual effort.

Targa on September 09, 2014:

I wouldn't call it "the hard way". Literally within 3 hours of starting to play the game my Sim had already WooHoo'd with 3 other Sims.

Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 05, 2014:

Thanks. Hope it proves helpful in the future. Most of the romancey stuff is pretty commonsense - don't be a jerk and you'll do fine - but fiddling with the emotions system can make conversations a bit dicey.

Michael Kismet from Northern California on September 05, 2014:

This is a great Sims 4 guide, haven't had time to play recently with school starting up and such, definitely will try out your romance guide the next time I get a chance to play, it's just so time consuming. Thanks for sharing this, awesome hub!

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