mag1_health_minHealthHealth Magazine

When we first saw the new game The Secret of a Happy Relationship™, we were skeptical. How could a mystery that poets, philosophers, and songwriters (not to mention sitcom characters) have been puzzling over for centuries be solved by a mere game? Well, this ain’t your mama’s Monopoly. You and your partner collect colored stones corresponding to feelings you have about each other (black for anger, orange for joy, etc.) At the end of a week, you lay your cards (er, your stones) on the table—figuratively and literally. The result: heavy, deep, and real communication, which is, after all, the not-so-secret key to a happy relationship. If the only talk in your house is small talk, you may want to try it—at $49 for the contemporary edition, it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.




Chicago Tribune

By Arlene Schusteff
Dr. Phil preaches it, countless self-help books examine it, and now a game aims to help you and your partner achieve it. No, it’s not how to get your husband to put down the toilet seat, but rather the other age-old mystery of how to have a happy relationship. Aurelia Haslboeck, a teacher of “self-realization and personal transformation” based in Germany, originally created The Secret of a Happy Relationship™ as a personalized wedding gift. After it proved to be a hit with her friends, she engaged the services of Gabrielle Raumberger, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based graphic designer, to design the keepsake custom packaging for the game. There are five editions aimed at different relationships and personal tastes: contemporary, family, best friends, origami and a deluxe edition for couples. “Any two people who want to enhance their relationship, whether it’s platonic or romantic can play this game,” Raumberger says. “The premise is fairly simple, yet the outcome can be quite remarkable.” Each player gets a supply of glass stones and a decorative box to store them in. You begin the game with one of the boxes empty. Each time you have an emotional response to the other player, you remove a colored stone that corresponds with the emotion that you are feeling toward that person. For example, let’s say your husband forgets your anniversary. You take a black stone (anger or rage) and put it in your box. Or, without asking, he folds and puts away all of the laundry. (Hey, we can dream, can’t we?) You take an orange stone (joy or happiness) and put it in your box. Once a week, both players reveal their stones to each other. “There will be some stones that you don’t remember,” says Raumberger. “But, the fact that you were aware of the emotion and you named it means that the feeling is complete and your subconscious has dealt with it. By discussing the positive stones, it will help you build loving relationships and strengthen your bond. Discussing the negative stones will help keep grudges from building and continue to foster communication.” Raumberger says that once you begin this honest communication, you are on your way to the secret of a happy relationship. “If you do this week after week, month after month, you will see that your relationships will change dramatically,” she says. The Secret of a Happy Relationship™ is priced between $15 for the origami edition and $79 for the deluxe edition for couples. For more information, visit


Scottsdale Tribune

By Sam Mittelsteadt
mag4_tribune_minThe Secret of a Happy Relationship™ looks like a board game: There are two boxes with multicolored pebbles inside, and if you don’t read the instructions first you’ll probably wonder if your set is missing the board you’re supposed to put them on. But the creators of The Secret, instead, consider it a lifestyle game—there are no dice to roll or cards to turn over to guide your progress, and there’s no winner. “The relationship is considered the winner,” said Gabrielle Raumberger of California, who designed the game for creator Aurelia Haslboeck. The colored stones inside the boxes represent emotions—pink for love, black for anger, blue for sadness, orange for joy and so on. When one player feels an emotion about the person, he puts a corresponding stone into a round container but doesn’t necessarily share that emotion with the other person. “Once you commit to doing it, the excuse of not having time becomes an illusion,” Raumberger said. “It takes what, three seconds?” Once a week, players get together and open their containers to reveal their stones to each other. Out of every 20 stones, players usually recall the reasons for about three, Raumberger said. “If you don’t remember it, chances are it didn’t belong in your daily communication anyway, because it’s something you needed to deal with on your own,” she said. “A better relationship comes from a little bit of distance. Some emotions don’t belong to your partner. It’s something you’ve carried in from somewhere else. If you’re cut off on a freeway and walk in and your partner says, ‘Hi, how are you? You’ll say, ‘Shut up.’ “By waiting the seven days, you’ll still communicate the positive stuff, which is important, but also clear out the negative stuff so you don’t have grudges that build up.”The idea for the game came from a tale Haslboeck’s grandmother told her about a princess whose parents asked potential suitors the secret of a happy relationship. The prince with the right answer—communication—won her hand. Haslboeck was so taken with the tale, she created miniature kits with stones to give to her sister and friends when they got married. “When the third one got the kit, they said, ‘If you don’t put this out, I will,’”Raumberger said. “I’m not a fairy tale type of personality, though, so I suggested coming out with variations in price and style,” said the designer, who was nominated for a Grammy in 1991 for CD package design. “The novelty wears off and a game becomes a box you put on the shelf. I wanted it to look pretty enough to leave out on a coffee table.”



Bridal Guide

By Laurel Cardone

A better marriage is a stone’s throw away, according to the folks behind “The Secret of a Happy Relationship™.” This charming game comes with two silk boxes (one for you, one for your mate) and two sets of frosted glass stones of different colors that are assigned specific emotions (red for anger, blue for sadness, and so on). You drop into the box stones representing feelings you’ve had when your partner has said or done something—positive or negative. After a week you meet to discuss your collections calmly (key word: calmly). The result? Better communication, which should lead to a stronger union. Rock on! Cost: $59, at




Bridal Magazine


Imagine a game that can show you how to identify and express how you feel to your sweetheart. Discover a deeper connection that will bring you closer for a lifetime of happiness. The deluxe couples edition of The Secret of a Happy Relationship™ is an ideal gift for newlyweds. Comes in a keepsake box with space in the lid for a photo $59. Available at





Giftware Business

It’s a game, but it’s also a way of broadening communication between two people. “The Secret of A Happy Relationship™” involves four boxes, a pile of glass stones, and a willingness to open up. This is the contemporary edition.





New Age Retailer

mag7_newageIn this day of video games, the Internet, and electronic interactive media, we may spend more time interacting with technology than with other human beings. To help modern people revive the art of interpersonal relationships, EPOS Concepts has created a series of games, for couples, friends, family members, and co-workers, in which everyone wins. Created by Gabrielle Raumberger and Aurelia Haslboeck, The Secret of a Happy Relationship™ began as a personalized wedding gift for a few close friends. It was so popular that the two women decided to mass produce it, creating five different versions to address all types of relationships. To play, each person gets a supply of frosted glass stones in different colors that symbolize emotions, along with an empty box. During the course of a week (or a designated period of time), participants “play” whenever they experience an emotional response to a fellow player. When a player’s words, actions, or behaviors trigger feelings in another person, he or she selects a stone in a color that depicts her or his response and places it in the empty box. At the end of the week, players show each other their stones and share the feelings associated with them. In the spirit of the game, players are encouraged to open up to each other, rather than holding on to grudges, and to treasure positive memories of good feelings. The Deluxe Edition for Couples is packaged in an elegant box made of raw silk, embroidered organza, and satin, with a built-in picture frame for the couple to display a photo of themselves ($59 retail). The Contemporary Edition, designed for friends, co-workers, or roommates to play, uses wooden boxes with ribbon ties to contain the multicolored stones ($49 retail). Four colorful triangular boxes (one for each member of a four-person family unit) that fit together to make a cube form the package for the Family Edition ($30 retail). The Best Friends Edition, for girlfriends of all ages, includes neon-colored zipper bags and daisy-snap jelly purses to hold stones ($26 retail). An Origami Edition teaches players how to make their own paper boxes using the traditional Japanese art of paper folding ($15 retail). Life is a game, and we all are playing it. Why not have fun in the process? Rediscovering our sense of play is part of what these relationship games are all about.