Alexandria has been playing video games since the days of the Sega Genesis. She's been writing about video games going on four years.
Video games can be the bane of a relationship for a significant other who doesn’t share a love of gaming. First there’s the stigma against video games and gamers. Then, there’s the massive amount of time and money that an avid gamer can devote to the hobby. Even for a couple that both enjoy sitting down with a controller and a screen every chance they get, gaming can get in the way of romantic bliss.
Take a Game Break
So what can an otherwise happy couple do to keep their love alive when gaming’s in the mix? Simply put “everything in moderation”. Giving your partner an ultimatum, “It’s the games or me”, isn’t really going to help anything. Gaming has its perks, like being a great form of stress relief. Besides, making someone give up something they love is highly likely to result in resentment. On the other hand feeling like your significant other would rather play a game than spend time with you is a recipe for depression and a fading romance. So how do you find the right balance?
Making sure you spend time with each other is important for any relationship and that goes for gamers too. Make sure you put the games aside every once and awhile for some quality time with your partner regardless of whether you share a passion for gaming or not. Spending some time away from technology every once and awhile is considered a healthy move by many and trying new things together is a great way to strengthen and deepen a relationship no matter how long you’ve been together. So make sure to schedule time away from games whether it’s trying out a new restaurant, seeing a movie or going on a hike, the time together can be rewarding.
The Couple That Games Together . . .
That doesn’t mean gaming should be totally left out. If it’s important to one or both of you, than it’s worth giving the hobby a try together. Understanding what your significant other is doing when they're plugged in can help you at least have some empathy towards their decision to spend so much time playing games. You may even find you enjoy gaming too. If you both like to game than much of your time can be spent apart sitting in front of separate screens in separate rooms without as much as an IM to each other. Try playing a game together to share your favorite hobby and time. Your partner in life can be your partner in crime-or saving the world, depending on your game of choice, with some co-op games.
Try and find some games you can both enjoy. A competitive game can be too intense if one of you isn’t familiar with it or is very competitive. Try a fun party or puzzle game to keep hurt feelings at bay or a genre of game you are either both familiar with or have never tried before so there’s a more level playing field. Games that invokes some childhood nostalgia will invoke positive memories that you can share with your partner and might be a good fit. If there aren’t any co-op games that suit your fancies how about trading off the controller on a single player game? Trade off between levels or lives as you play an interesting single player game and share in all the victories and defeats. If you have different gameplay preferences then one person can do the fighting and another the platforming or puzzle solving etc. to keep both players happy. It’s a great teamwork exercise and a fantastic way to have fun together.
Take Time Apart
A healthy dose of personal space is another key element to a successful relationship regardless of how you like to spend your free time. Giving each other time and space to do your own thing will help keep the time you do spend together enjoyable. If you like playing different games then take the time to play them apart. If you enjoy video games and your partner does not ( or vice versa) then let your significant other do something they enjoy while you do the same. Just make sure to make time for each other. Everything in moderation, so not too much time apart and not too much time together.
Everything in Moderation
Take an interest in your partner's passions and help introduce them to your own. Even if you find a middle ground in sharing a love of gaming, it’s important to venture off the couch for some real life adventures too. Video games can be a more efficient form of entertainment than others, giving players hours of entertainment for a flat fee which can work out to less than weekly movie nights or frequent book purchases. Remember, keep your gaming in moderation, include your significant other in your favorite hobby and take an interest in theirs, and take time apart when needed. Consider these things and loving a gamer can be a fulfilling and rewarding relationship.
© 2017 Alexandria Taberski