1. Get to know your gamer!
Congrats, you’ve nabbed yourself a gamer! Now that you’re dating one, you should know that your gamer is going to spend minutes, even hours, on end button-mashing, puzzle-solving, and online chatting with his friends via live games.
Julie Spira, dating and relationship expert at CyberDatingExpert.com, describes video games as “a place where men go to escape from the pressures of the real world—including job or romantic relationships.”
This is not to mean that your guy is playing video games to avoid you. When you think about it, your guy playing video games isn’t much different from any other guy going out for a beer with his friends or catching that night’s ball game. It’s just that your gamer guy chooses a virtual game of ball instead of a real, live game of ball to pass his time. It’s his means to de-stress.
Respect his hobby as his downtime. In other words, don’t try and change him into something he’s not. You would never tolerate him telling you not to go shoe shopping or catch up on missed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, so it’s unfair to expect him to tolerate the same. As long as your gamer guy is treating you well, his games are no threat to your relationship.
2. Establish time for you to date and for him to game!
On the flip side, it’s perfectly understandable to expect your gamer boyfriend to be attentive and loving. Are your feelings not being met because your boyfriend is playing too much? Striking the balance between your time together and his time playing games can be the biggest issue in dating a gamer. Talk to him about it! Estimate how many hours in a given week he devotes to gaming versus how much time you spend together. “Know how much time he’d like to allocate to video games, and then spending an equal amount of time on your personal needs,” Spira says. “While he’s busy trying to win the competitive gaming battle, go get a manicure or pedicure, read your favorite book, or schedule a girls’ night out at the movies.”
“I deal with my boyfriend's video game-playing habit by taking a book along with me whenever I go over to his house,” says Ally Karsyn, a contributing writer for Her Campus and the girlfriend of a gamer. “Sometimes it's a planned thing, and I tell him before I come over that I'm taking a book so he can play video games. Other times, it's not planned, but then I still have my book as backup entertainment for me. The times that it is a planned ‘date’—he gets to do something he wants to do, I get to do something I want to do, and we get to spend time together.”
If your gamer guy makes you feel like you come second to his games, let him know it! He may not even realize that you are feeling neglected. Spira adds, “It’s good to have separate interests and hobbies from your romantic partner, but no woman wants to be lower on the totem pole than her beau’s favorite video game.”