My husband LOVES video games. Like, if he didn't have to go to work and I didn't exist, I'm like 95% certain he would park himself in front of his computer with a big stash of snacks and live his life there.
We will have been together for two years this September and married for one this December, and let me just tell you, as someone who is not a huge gamer, dating one was a little bit of adjustment. I know I'm not the only one, as I have seen Tik Toks, memes, etc. about dating a gamer and how much time they devote to their video game consoles.
I know that, especially among women in heterosexual relationships, people who date gamers often find themselves in a place where they feel a lot of resentment towards their partner for spending more time on their games than they do on them. This is totally normal, but if you're in that situation, you're probably over it and looking for some way to figure out how to fix it.
Well, let me tell you. If you're reading this post in hopes that I'll tell you how to get your partner to get rid of their games, you've come to the wrong place.
I like to think that by now, I'm somewhat of an expert when it comes to being in a relationship with a gamer. This post is different steps I took to help me and my husband have a healthier relationship without him having to give up something he enjoys doing.
I'll admit, I wasn't the best about this when Ryan and I first started dating. During the early stages of dating and living together, Ryan played video games literally all day. The man was so used to coming home from work, turning on his computer or Playstation, throwing on a headset, and just getting lost in a game until he fell asleep. This drove me absolutely crazy.
What you don't want to do is get petty and angry and start being passive aggressive, which I'll be honest, I did do that for a little bit, and in the beginning of our relationship, we got into arguments about what each of us were doing with our time off. Eventually, I learned that he uses those games to unwind and destress from work bullshit, and he learned that being in a relationship means that you can't come home and sit in front of the TV or computer for ten hours and expect the other person to be cool with it.
What you should do is sit down with your partner, communicate your needs (not their faults or what you think are their faults; this is very important) and then ask them about theirs. Once you have done this, you'll both be on the same page and will be able to come up with some sort of game plan to make sure that both parties are happy.
Give Him Space
My husband and I are both introverts, with me being the social one and him the more quiet and reserved one. Both of us need some sort of alone time: I usually get mine while he's at work, but he gets his playing video games. I've learned in the past two years of being together that sometimes he just needs a break from everything, including me, and I have to respect that. That's not a bad thing! It's healthy to have some hobbies that don't include your partner.
It can also be your partner's social time. If you're dating or married to an extrovert, they might use that as their way to recharge as well by playing online with their friends. I know that my husband needs social time with other people besides me and his coworkers so if we're hanging out and doing something and a friend of his texts him about joining some online game, I know it's basically the same thing as me going out and getting drinks with some of my girls.
I've also learned that if I give him space to either be alone to play games or play online with his friends, eventually he comes back. If I leave him alone in our study while he's playing, at some point, he will either take a break or finish up so he can come out and give me attention.
They come back. Just give them a minute.
Support What They're Passionate About
My favorite thing about my husband is that when he gets excited about something, he rambles on about it and wants to show me all the cool stuff he can do with/on it. Some ways I support his hobbies is whenever we go to the store after we stop by the kitchen section, I'll make sure that we swing by the electronic section so he can check out all the new games and systems before doing the rest of our grocery shopping.
Honestly, him liking video games makes buying him birthday/holiday presents SO much easier. I have bought him so much video game merch in the last two years. He now has a Pikachu poster, a Charmander Funko Pop, two Fallout 4 Funko Pop, a couple mugs of characters from different games, and some other stuff for his desk that he uses all the time.
Your partner probably supports your hobbies and passions and ramblings so why wouldn't you do the same for them? Just because you don't get it or it's not something you're super into doesn't mean it isn't important to them.
Find Hobbies You Can Do in the Same Room
Whenever Ryan plays video games and I'm feeling particularly clingy, I'll bring him a beer, plop myself down next to him and read a book, play on my phone, eat a snack, or do something else that isn't necessarily distracting. If he's not online, I'll talk to him, but he tends to zone out of the real world when he starts playing so that's not always successful.
My husband loves this because if he wants to show me something he built on one of his games, he doesn't have to hunt me down and I will usually share my snacks plus he gets to spend time with me, his ten out of ten amazing wife.
Find Games That You Can Play With Him
My husband love love LOVES it when I play video games with him, like it's his favorite thing ever. He's always looking to buy me games that he'll know I'll love to play or games that we can play together. He bought me Animal Crossing New Horizons, Kirby's Star Allies, Yoshi's Craft World, and a bunch of the fun Mario games on the Nintendo Switch.
It's fun for me too because some of these games I can play by myself when I'm home alone. I've gotten to the point where I love it when we play Mario Party or Smash Brothers together because I can beat him sometimes.
Find Ways to Be Involved In Games You Normally Wouldn't Play
I don't like super violent things. I don't like watching people get their heads cut off or graphically murdered, I don't like dead bodies, and I for sure don't want to kill people in video games, if it's not like MineCraft where they just disappear. It's just not my thing.
My husband has a lot of games where most of what you do is walk around and complete quests, but you have to fight and kill a bunch of people during the quests. I like the storyline in these games, but I don't want to have to murder someone and then rifle through their dead body for stuff.
He usually does all of the hard stuff, including all the killing and murdering, but I am AMAZING at walking from place to place and designing and naming characters. When he plays Skyrim, my job is to pick what people say and walk from point A to point B. Same thing when we play Fallout, I'm in charge of decorating all the different bases and picking out the dialogue.
This might not work for everyone; I do know there are some games my husband does not want to share because I have a habit of accidentally hitting or stabbing someone you're not supposed to, and then when he unpauses after I give him back the controller, surprise, now there are a bunch of people mad at him.
But if your partner is down for it, then great! Find things in the game that you can do that don't necessarily involve any skill or impact finishing quests too much. It's fun for both of you and you don't feel like you're being ignored.
At the end of the day, the best way to not go crazy when dating a gamer is to realize that everyone has their thing and video games are theirs. If you love and accept your partner and both of you are willing to compromise every now and then, you should be totally fine.
Take a shot for all of the NPC I've accidentally stabbed and toast to winning in video games against your partner.