Dating A Gamer

If you’re dating a guy who’s under thirty-five, there’s a good chance that he likes to play videogames. There’s also a good chance that if he does enjoy playing videogames, then he might play them more than you would like for him to. My fiancé is somewhat of a gamer. I don’t think he goes overboard with it (ex. he doesn’t dress up like the characters, he usually comes to bed at a decent hour, and he’s not going broke because he won’t stop buying games/consoles), but I do realize that some people may not know how to deal with a guy who has this hobby. Personally, I don’t mind videogames but that is probably due to the fact that my dad and I would play videogames when I was a child. I grew up seeing grown men enjoy videogames but also be functioning adults (ex. They went to work, they took care of their children, etc.). Now I’m about to marry someone who’s just like that.

However, I know that a lot of ladies my age find themselves feeling like they have to compete with videogames for attention from their man. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve fought this battle plenty of times throughout my four-year relationship and I can honestly say this: videogames are not the worst distraction for your man to have. Here’s why:

Videogames will keep him at home!

I much rather have my fiancé come home from work and hop on Call of Duty every night than have him decide he wants to go the club Wednesday through Saturday. At the very least, with videogames, I know where he is and what he’s doing. Of all the hobbies he could have, videogames is nowhere close to being the worst on that list. At some point, I realized that I was the one who was making this a bigger issue than it had to be. Once I came to that realization, I really tried to ease up on the videogame battle. Some things just aren’t worth fighting over. But as a couple, we decided that some boundaries do need to be established. And I learned how to deal with his hobby in different ways.

Give him his own space to play in.

Men like to call this their “man cave” but I really think of it as more of a “play room” (LOL). When my fiancé and I were in college, we typically had one television to share between the two of us. This created a lot of conflict because if I wanted to watch something at a particular time and he wanted to play videogames at that same time, one of us had to “lose” in order for the other to “win”. And that just ended up being a big argument. Now, he has his “man cave” and I basically have every other space in the apartment. When he wants to play videogames, he goes into his room and sometimes I’ll sit in there with him, and sometimes I’ll choose to watch something else in a different room. But now there’s no fight about who gets to use the TV.

Watch him play or play with him (sometimes).

I feel like a lot of girls see videogames as their arch nemesis because they feel like they get neglected when their guy is playing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe if you watched him play or played with him, you would understand why he enjoys videogames so much. I don’t play often because my fiancé mostly plays first-person shooting games and I’m not good at that, but I’ll play fighting games and I tried NBA 2K once. Personally, I get a kick out of watching my fiancé be really good at something that he loves. There are some games I can tolerate more than others but a lot of them are actually entertaining even for spectators. And most of the time when I’m watching him play, we’re having full conversations with each other. His hobby and quality time don’t have to be mutually exclusive; they can exist in the same space at the same time.

Let them know what you want from them in advance.

What I do now to avoid having the “me or videogames” conversation is “schedule” activities with my fiancé. And by schedule I mean, I say “I want to watch a movie tonight” and he knows that that means he might not get to play videogames that night. Typically, there’s no complaints about that. Guys typically know when to put the videogames down and pay attention to their woman. But I started doing this for him because I know how it feels to go the whole day thinking you’re going to get to do something and then that disappointing feeling you get when you aren’t able to do it, for whatever reason. Guys don’t play videogames to piss us off, they play them because they’re fun. If we don’t tell them that we want them to put the sticks down so that we can hang out, watch a movie, go out to eat, etc., then they don’t know. I’ve learned to let my fiancé know what I want and then he can never say “I didn’t know.” Then if he blows me off to play Destiny or Star Wars, I’ll have a REAL reason to be mad.

I really believe if videogames are the biggest problem in your relationship, then you’ve got a good guy. And if I can learn to take my emotions out of the equation and attack this pseudo-conflict with logic, then ANYONE can do it. Trust me, I’m a reformed emotional trainwreck and videogames are now a non-factor in my household.

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