In Love With a Gamer? Tips For a Lasting Relationship.
Video games are increasingly popular these days for both men and women. Some of these men and women game more than others, usually these people are called hard-core gamers. We're not talking playing a little Wii fit or mario cart. These gamers spend many many hours playing a variety of highly engrossing games.
Relationship problems are bound to occur when one of these gamers and a non gamer get together. Don't get me wrong two gamers will still face problems, but they will usually be more understanding and quicker to compromise. Unless you're a gamer yourself it is very difficult to understand the allure. You may wonder why they wont just grow up and stop playing. A gamer on the other hand doesn't understand what the big deal is. They wonder why its ok to spend the same amount of time on other entertainment and hobbies but not games.
The biggest issues are understanding and communication. Everyone has something they enjoy doing whether it be spending hours watching tv, shopping, surfing the web and so forth. What the non gamer needs to understand is these games are the entertainment and hobby of choice. If someone has a passion for cooking they would be devastated if their partner wanted nothing more than for them to just stop cooking. This would cause huge amounts of resentment, and when it comes to relationships resentment is poison. However if the gamer is neglectful of their partner and responsibilities this will also cause resentment. This is where communication starts and hopefully ends in compromise. I've listed the most common problems and solutions below.
Great games to play together, my husband and I played all of these and loved them!
Cooperative gaming is wonderful for relationships. Instead of fighting you are brought together and forced to use teamwork. You become partners in a relationship instead of adversaries. Isn't that what everyone strives for? If you're new to games and not very good its ok, co-op games are great for beginners to play with veterans. There's an increasing number and variety of games that support cooperative play, so finding one that suit both your tastes shouldn't be too hard.
Problems and solutions
Relationships are tough already, add someone who loves to game into the mix and you've got a whole new set op obstacles to overcome. Sometimes people who game become so engrossed they completely tune out the real world. They might neglect responsibilities and their partners. Here are some of the most common complaints from people in relationships with gamers.
1. My partner spends all their free time playing games, we don't spend enough time together.
Games can be very addictive, even more so when the newest hottest game recently made its way to your console. Plus, time flies when your having fun right? Well that no excuse when your making your partner feel neglected. For most couples that have been together a while certain things get put on the back burner especially regarding each other. Whether its caused by video games or kids at some point together time needs to be scheduled or it just isn't going to happen enough. Try planning a date night once a week, whether you leave the house or not is up to you. If possible, plan on eating together at the table and not in front of the television. Go to bed at the same time and turn in a half hour to an hour early. Spend the extra time cuddling, talking about your day and when possible being intimate. Co-op gaming is my personal favorite fix for this problem.
2. My partner doesn't do their chores around the house and plays games instead.
Ask yourself, if my child did this what would I do? I would hope letting them continue this disrespectful habit isn't an option. If they are going to make you feel like their parent, picking up after them, well then use parental tactics. New house rule; no video games until your chores are finished! You might be surprised how fast things will get done.
3. My partner stays up late playing games keeping me awake as well.
Do all the flashing lights, the hum of the console, rapid clicking of buttons and the occasional outburst keep you awake? One of two things will help. One, set a bedtime that is reasonable for both of you. If your schedules are just too different and sleeping at the same time is inconvenient or awkward for one of you then this will just create more problems. I would then recommend option two. Option two; Use a tv outside of the bedroom. If you only have one tv or the bedroom tv is just so much better then move it out to another room. There have been several good studies showing that tvs have no place in the bedroom anyway.
4. My partner hogs the television.
Sit down with your partner and figure out good times for each of you to be "in control" of what's on the tv. You could also consider co-op gaming as I discussed above.
5. Whenever I try to talk to my partner while they're gaming they get irritated and/or snap at me.
Nobody likes a backseat driver, well the same goes for video games. Sometimes games require even more concentration than driving and being distracted could mean life or death (in the game of course.) Losing a battle could also mean losing an hour, sometimes more, of tedious gaming that now has to be done all over again. For online shooter games, dying from distractions could be a huge hit in pride. Stats that everyone can view will go down making the gamer appear less talented. When possible wait until what seems like down time in a game. For the online shooter games this is easy. Between matches are perfect and they come along every 5-15 minutes. For other games look at the screen; is there dialog? Does it look like an intense battle? Use common sense to see it it's a good time to talk. If you really want to be sure have a plan with your partner. Use an item of some sort than you can set somewhere in front of them and then when they can pause or a low part of the game comes along they must find out what you needed.
6. My partner gets worked up during games and cusses within earshot of children.
If your partner really can't hold their tongue while kids are around then they will just have to wait until the children are asleep or out of the house to play those games. There are less intense games to play while kids are around. Maybe they could even play a family oriented game together with the kids.
7. The nudity or content of the games my partner plays make me very uncomfortable.
If there is a game your partner wants to play that makes you uncomfortable you need to talk about it. There are some games that touch on sensitive subjects, and these can and should be avoided if they make you uncomfortable or insecure. If it is something you just don't want to see yourself but don't mind if your partner does then make a deal that they can play it whenever your not around. Ultimately there are plenty of great games that come out every year and your partner can choose another. I will say if its killing in games your against it is unreasonable to have your partner avoid these.
8. I feel left out or lonely when my partner is having fun gaming with his friends.
My first and strongest recommendation is to join in! Co-op gaming with your partner is a wonderful bonding experience and I highly recommend it. See above for more on co-op gaming. If gaming just really isn't for you then set aside some time for each other as described in problem #1. Spend some of your own time connecting with your own set of friends.
9. I think it's ridiculous to spend $60 for a video game.
Yes it may seem like a lot but unless your partner is buying a brand new game every month it is actually a pretty cheap form of entertainment. The great thing about video games is if you wait a few months after it comes out to buy it the price goes down. You can also get pretty new games much cheaper if you buy them used.
Comparing the costs
Form of Entertainment
Time per cost
$60 or less
Round of golf