You, Him & the Xbox: Tips for Dating a Gamer

We all know the type of guy: the gamer. He can play for hours crouched in a dark dorm room, staring fixatedly at the television screen while his fingers madly punch at the console controls. But what do you do when this guy is your boyfriend? Dating a gamer can be challenging. Let’s be real: the last thing we want as girls is to share our boyfriend with his Xbox. So how do you balance your relationship with his games?  

Gamer guys tend to get a bad rap–they can be seen as competitive, geeky, anti-social, even a little out of touch with the real world. But don’t let that scare you off–gamers can make the best boyfriends, as I came to realize. You just have to know how to push their right buttons.

I remember the first time I visited my first boyfriend, Alex, at his house in 2004. It was a junior high crush, and I spent at least three to four hours watching him play the video game Final Fantasy X. Not the best first date.

But, as our relationship progressed, and we were getting to know each other better, I knew what I was getting myself in to–I was dating a gamer. So I guess I couldn’t say I was surprised that I found myself sharing him with his PlayStation 2, and, as the years went on, his PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. I was starting to feel as though I was in a love triangle—a love triangle between him, myself and the latest installment of Halo.

When we entered high school as freshmen, I got bored with his button-mashing. As much as I liked him, I didn’t want to spend my weekend nights and summer vacations hunting down zombies in Resident Evil or raising elfish armies in World of Warcraft. I wanted to go shopping at the mall, hang out with our friends and do other typical high school stuff.

I found myself sitting on his living room couch, chin in hand, saying, “Alex, come on, I’m getting bored. Let’s go out tonight.”

Sometimes, he invited me to play with him, and, for the most part, I wormed my way out of it, saying “Ohh, I’m not very good. I wouldn’t be much fun to play with…,” or, “But I don’t know how to play…”

It was one rainy day with nowhere to go, hanging out at his house, when he handed me a second PlayStation™ controller and said, “Hey, play this game with me. It’ll be fun. I’ll show you.”

Without excuses, I took the controller awkwardly in my hands, and, together, we button-mashed our way through a car race in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I’ll admit: it was a lot of fun, and, eventually, playing a game was a great way to sit back and relax together. Who would have thought role playing or car racing in a virtual world could be so fun?

Alex is definitely not the same 14-year-old gaming geek I had a middle school crush on so many years ago, but we’ve been dating ever since. It’s been goodbye, World of Warcraft, and hello, Real World, as lately we’ve devoted our weekend summer afternoons to movie dates and trips to the beach. But, we’re still together seven years later, and I still love my gamer geek.

In the dating world, we collegiettes™ tend to overlook that shy, geeky guy in the corner at a party. But gamers can make the best boyfriends. It can be tough to balance out your relationship with your gamer guy’s hobby. Here are some tried-and-true tips for collegiettes™ dating gamers!