Gamers need lovin' too!: How to love and live with a Gamer #Relationships#Dungeons & Dragons#gamers#geeky#video games February 14 | Guest post by Twitchii Who wouldn't love this little gamer!? By: Katherine McAdoo – CC BY 2.0 My husband is a gamer. Not a random "whenever I'm feelin' it" kind of thing, but a serious GAMER. He will take it any way he can; Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Xbox, Playstation, online gaming, MMORPG… you name the acronym, and he either plays it or has played it with a passion. I, on the other hand, am most assuredly not. Don't get me wrong, I'll try anything twice. Truth is, I usually don't have the attention span to really get into these things like he does, and he's completely cool with that. I know we can't be the only couple out here like this. It's inevitable in this day and age of gaming that there are multitudes of gamer/non-gamer couples. Yet every single person I know has asked me at least once "How does that even work? If he's always on [insert game here], how is your relationship not suffering?!" There are some very decidedly nice perks about gamers: Some of the most involved, insightful, and fascinating conversations I've ever had are with gamers. They can concentrate like no one I've ever met. And they're quick and creative as hell when it comes to a good joke. Then there are the hands… Ooooh, the hands of a gamer know where to find ALL the buttons! Have a problem? Bring it to a gamer, they'll pull some voodoo up-down-left-left-A-B-left magic, and come up with solutions you never even thought of. Their problem solving skills are pretty much maxed out. I can honestly say my favorite times together are the random conversations we'll have while he's gaming and I'm doing whatever project I've got on my plate at the moment. For us this works very very well. Being an independent person, I can do my thing while he's off getting his fix of screencrack, then we'll meet up after for snuggles and Monty Python/Doctor Who/JD@TE, etc. Everyone knows a gamer, and while you don't necessarily have to marry them, I do strongly suggest that you now go find your gamer and give them a hug… Just make sure they're not killing something first. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Twitchii I'm a consumate DIY'er with a very patient hubs in a prefab city apartment. I have a slight obsession with the written word, muppets, music, and laughing. PREVIOUS Are there any bed frames that are quiet during sex? NEXT What are your life hacks for drinking more water? Show/Hide comments [ 80 ] Nice article! I'm married to a gamer, and I agree that it has its perks. While I used to love to play World of Warcraft, I haven't really gotten into any of the games on the 3 different systems we have. I'm glad that he has something that he enjoys and is a stress reliever for him. I like having my own time to do things like read a book, and it is nice knowing he is having his own fun and we don't have to entertain each other. There are times we bond over games like Castle Wars or Dominion. Even when he is playing a video game that I'm not into, sometimes just sitting on the couch together while I surf the internet can still be enjoyable time together. Also one thing I really appreciate about gamers is that games can be something that is scheduled around other activities instead of vice versa. Growing up, I remember feeling frustrated at how other things would have to stop when a sports game was on that my dad would want to watch. I have no doubt that there are benefits to any interest including sports, but I have to say one of the things that I like about having a husband for a gamer is the ease in which it can fit around our schedule (stopping anytime something else is going on and starting anytime he wants). 12 agree Reply Thanks! There is something particularly awesome about lounging listening to them play while you do your own thing. Some of the things said by him and/or the game are just friggin' hilarious. 12 agree Reply In my relationship, I'm the gamer and my boyfriend is the (mostly) non-gamer. He likes to watch me play games, but he also loves to snuggle on the couch next to me and relax/nap (especially when I play Skyrim because he finds the music really relaxing). He's a morning person and I'm a night person, so it works out pretty well for us. 10 agree Reply As a gamer marrying a gamer, I can't really think of much to add to this post, other than that I find this whole "But how can you marry a gamer" thing really bizarre. It makes me wonder what other people's lives are like. 25 agree Reply My husband and I are both gamers…so when I see things like this I'm like, "WAT". Sometimes my husband will be playing ME3 downstairs in our computer room, and I'll be upstairs on the PS3 playing FF13 or Portal. I also like to watch my husband game when he plays interesting games like Uncharted 3 or Arkham City. Here is actually another tip for non-gamers: Don't interrupt (or avoid) when a gamer has hit a frustrating part of the game. 13 agree Reply Heh, I was considering a follow up post on the etiquette a non-gamer needs to learn for living with serious gamers. Like, if you want to make an announcement about dinner being ready, tell the GM. He will decide the best time to inform everyone else. Do NOT try to inform the group in the middle of a combat scene. Or, if you have to walk in front of the TV during a video game, watch your timing for fights, duck low, and do it as quickly as possible. I had more and then realized that I was writing my "follow up post" in the comment. 13 agree Reply I was just going to comment exactly this. Also, it's important to remember that when a gamer is playing they're in the zone, and it's hard to shift gears. Sometimes my ex husband would come up behind me while I was playing to give me a hug/kiss/initiate sex. He thought I should stop what I was doing when he did this (there were greater issues in our relationship), but when I was in the middle of a quest it was really difficult to stop and it really annoyed me. It wouldn't have bothered me if he gave me a quick kiss or squeeze (with no greater expectations) during a non-crucial moment; or if he said, "Hey, I would like some snuggle time with you. Can you save the next time you get to a good stopping point?" There's a polite way and a rude way to go about it. 10 agree Reply I know, right?! The first time someone asked me how it "works", I was literally slack jawed, then I just kept running into the question. I'm still trying to figure out why it's so mystifying to others that a non-gamer and gamer can work out. We're just like any other couple really…I think… Reply I think it's just like any other couple. Don't other people occasionally get distracted into things that they can't easily put down? I wouldn't try and distract someone currently elbow deep in cookie baking either. Perhaps it's because MMO gaming tends to imply other people involved who you don't want to disappoint, while the cookies won't care if they end up trashed and restarted. 4 agree Reply I'm a gamer who married a gamer too. Even when I really get into a game and will want to spend hours playing it, I try to take breaks in between to tell my hubby I love him and talk with him a bit. We also have some games that we play together (right now it's Resident Evil 6), and find time to do other hobbies/activities together outside of our gaming. 4 agree Reply Have you ever sat on Skype/Vent/Mumble with you husband beside you, also on the same Skype/Vent/Mumble? It's a very interesting experience. XD 3 agree Reply haha the FH and I do that all the time on WoW. It helps us get into the game, but it's weird when you realize you could just take off the headphones and talk norma XD 2 agree Reply Gaming can put a little pressure on a relationship too, sometimes it feels like getting a high XP or kill ratio is more important than spending time with your loved one. We've come to a compromise that there are certain nights of the week that he can game without me moaning (only rule is that we have to eat dinner together) and I get full control of the tv and DVR in the other room And there are other nights where there is no gaming and we share tv/DVD decisions 19 agree Reply I try to be conscious of the amount/quality of time my boyfriend and I spend together, and if I've been playing a lot I will tell him when I'm at a good saving point and ask if he would like to do something together. Sometimes he says yes, and sometimes he tells me to keep playing because he sees that I'm into it, or because there's something else that he wants to do. I don't think he's ever asked me to stop playing, which is pretty amazing (because I wouldn't blame him if he did). I think he's more patient when I play for hours on end because he knows that I'm willing to stop periodically to check in. 4 agree Reply Very much this. I think the reason why the gamers are mystified when they hear "how does that work?" is because they haven't had the problems the non-gamer in a relationship can have. Gaming is a hobby like any other, but a *lot* of gamers have gotten absorbed enough into the hobby that they're using it as a replacement social life. It can be very hurtful to a partner to be turned down for real life fun in favor of some pixels on a screen. Think of how someone would feel if they were reading a book and you said "hey, wanna go out for drinks with friend x,y, and z?" and the answer was *always* "No, I'm reading". Sure, sometimes you need a night in with a good book, but part of relationships are compromises, which means, while you can have that night in here and there, a steady diet of it will absolutely kill a relationship, because your partner wants a relationship with YOU, not you-by-a-gamer's-handle, not the tv screen, not their selves, but with YOU. Some, SOME, not all, gamers get so obsessed with higher XP or achieving some imaginary victory, that they neglect their actual friends in favor of some middle aged Asian man pretending to be a 14 year old nerd girl pretending to be a barbarian/mage/thief. I enjoy video games, and I've lived with hardcore gamers, but it is, frankly, inconvenient for those around them. The only way I'd ever live with a gamer again would involve a separate tv, noise cancelling wireless headphones FOR THEM, not the non-playing person, and an arrangement that involved "real life comes first, then pretend" on the social schedule. I like the certain nights arrangement. It gives both members a specific time to do what they want separate from each other. I'd say that's a good idea in any relationship, and with any interests. It forces a balance, too, so someone doesn't slide over the edge into obsession and start disconnecting from their relationship. (note: I am a voracious reader, and I am DEFINITELY someone who needs my me time, but it'll also be a cold day in hell before I duck and squeeze by in my own home for fear of tantrum) Reply I'm married to a gamer. When we first moved in together 5 years ago his WOW addiction was terrible. We almost broke up over it. He no longer plays WOW but still plays other online games.. just less. It's only really an issue if it gets in the way of other things. He works, goes to school and is a great husband. I have no complaints. It helped that we found games we could play together, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Left for Dead, etc. I have no right to complain anyway, he doesn't complain about my Doctor Who, Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, or fanfiction addictions. : ) 4 agree Reply My now husband and I almost broke up over WOW when we were first dating as well; we had some serious fights about it. When it came before everything, school, being healthy and me, I had some serious issues. We compromised that he wouldn't play WOW anymore because we both knew there were serious issues surrounding his addiction to it, but he still plays other games, to a much lesser extent. It still bugs me when I feel like I'm second fiddle or there are a lot of late nights in a row, but I have become much better at voicing my needs and wants than I was. 7 agree Reply WOW is highly addicting – I'm not allowed to play it anymore cuz I'd lose track of the days sometimes. I've now limited myself to D&D one night a week, which my husband likes cuz he gets to spend the evening relaxing by himself. 3 agree Reply That's why I purposely avoid online games that depend on my friends being online, or where the world moves on so that you miss out on things while you're not playing. Games that effectively penalize you for the time you aren't playing are dangerous for me. 7 agree Reply Yay for makin' it work! We had the learning curb too in the beginning. One thing we agreed on, is the computer stays in the living room. This way we can still converse and enjoy the others' company while he gets to game. *side note, now I have to look up Benedict Cumberbatch because that name is just awesome 1 agrees Reply Yes! We have always had an all computers in the living room rule (it applied to roommates, too in the roommate days) because we all spend so much time on our computers that otherwise we would never socialized. It forced us to abandon our nerd hermiting instincts. 3 agree Reply Getting iPads unexpectedly worked for us–now we can be in the same room together and messing about on the intartubes while the other is watching TV, reading, gaming, or whatever. And we end up sending each other funny pictures, making comments, etc., so we do interact. Reply yay for Benedict Cumberbatch! I have a pinterest board dedicated to my "list" you know… that list.. he dominates it. find me if interested in viewing. Ashleyannzombie. : ) Reply If you like Benedict Cumberbatch's name, you will probably like this song! http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/Benedict/ Reply Yes to the computers in the living room. I did have to add the request that he turn off the voice that says "We need more minerals" because, you know, otherwise I'd lose my mind. 4 agree Reply As a former gamer spouse(we divorced for other reasons), a lot of this is accurate. But in my personal experience, there can be severe issues too. Many a night I went to bed alone and found him still gaming when I got up the next morning, which made me feel very unimportant. Our sex life began to revolve around raid times(WoW), he even 'offered' to put the laptop on my back so he could do both. If anything; I learned to vocalize my needs, wants, and boundaries. Which is helpful in my new relationship. 16 agree Reply With any hobby/activity, there's always going to be extreme situations. I'm a big believer in the whole 'everything happens for a reason' thing. I'm glad you were able to learn and grow, even if it didn't work out like expected. 3 agree Reply I totally feel you on the 'everything happens for a reason' thing, he intro'd me to my Honey. They were in the same military unit! Reply I'm married to a gamer, but he's no where near as addicted as he was say 6-8 years ago (before we met). He plays DnD, the odd game of Magic, and quite a few video + computer games, but thankfully He doesn't ignore me for hours to play them, he typically plays when I'm out doing my own thing (although Monday night Dnd is a sacred ritual). I'm a hoop dancer and performer so I spend tons of hours at classes, rehearsals, workshops and jams. I'm super grateful we each have separate hobbies that we're passionate about. It makes our relationship stronger and it's easy to buy each other presents. Not to mention I have a borderline internet addiction, so I understand:) 2 agree Reply Ah yes, the joy and sometimes frustration of dating a gamer. My boyfriend will game pretty much non-stop. He was gaming much more when we first started dating but as he realized we were going to be a "serious" couple, it meant spending time away from the keyboard. He joked I'm the only girlfriend to get him away from the keyboard. He says he uses the games as something to relax and recharge. I can relate to that as I am a serious reader and have been known to sit for HOURS just reading. It works out because we can be together in the computer room, him playing and me reading. However, there can sometimes be a sense that he's not listening to me when I talk to him. I've learned to be firm and (nicely) say something along the lines of "I want to talk when you're done" or "Can you take a break?" Usually his breaks are only a few minutes after those suggestions. Even then, he'll realize that he's done with the game for the day and we'll do the usual couple stuff. Every now and then I'll get into one of his games for a week or twice, but honestly I just don't have the same focus he does with it. Though he still adamantly believes I will join him on League of Legends. 2 agree Reply This! In the beginning of our relationship, it took me some time to really "get" that I unwind by reading and my now husband unwinds by playing video games. Once I stopped judging, both are valid, equally good ways to relax. We make a point of doing things together a few nights of the week, but we also like doing our own things around the house, or different things in the same room (gaming/reading), or going out with friends separately. 4 agree Reply Oh goodness. I'm the same way. It took me FOREVER to realize that Viking's League-playing was like me reading. I think it actually took him going "You know what reading does for you? That's what killing little goblins that explode into coins does for me." I think a part of it is that gaming is often portrayed in a very negative way, like it's a waste of time, or its turning you into a zombie, or making you violent. As non-gamers, we have to get over those pre-conceptions and see it for what it actually does and is instead of judging our partners or friends for their hobbies. 9 agree Reply Yay for finding the balance !! It's interesting to see another couples 'game-language' as the Hubs calls it. Usually he knows I need him for a bit if I start asking "Are you killing anything? No? Gooooood.. *maniacal laugh* " 1 agrees Reply I'm married to a gamer and it is ruining our marriage. We haven't made love in 7 weeks now because he doesn't come to bed until 3-4am when I am sound asleep. He sleeps in late and then goes to work, comes home and does it all over again. He has neglected our pets, the housework, me and our relationship. I communicate to him that he needs to sort out his responsibilities before he games, he gets angry at says it's not his xbox. He takes days off work to "sort out his life" and he ends up wasting it on the xbox, and if I say anything, it starts a huge fight. I can honestly say I hate that xbox, and if we end up divorced, which is highly likely, I will never date a gamer ever again. I realise not every gamer is like that, but this has been the worst experience of my life, and it is truly ruining every aspect of our relationship. 8 agree Reply I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. Regardless of the problem, to have a relationship on the rocks just plain BLOWS. There have been rare occasions when the Hubs gaming will get a little overwhelming (we call them "autopilot" moments) but honestly, from what I've learned by being w/ him, as well as from other gamers, is that the obsessive game playing is usually a symptom of the real problem. Maybe agree to a tech-free day together? This could give you the opportunity to ask him if everything is really ok, or if he's got some depression/anxiety about other things. This could also serve as a good time to relearn why you two fell in love in the first place. Regardless of the outcome though, do what is good for you. I send biiiiig cyberhugs and a cuppa coffee (or tea, if you swing that way). If you need an ear, I'm always happy to lend mine 14 agree Reply I have to agree with Twitchii here, while relationships on the rocks suck, normally getting obsessively into the game is a symptom of a problem, using it as an escape. I'm a gamer myself, and well, the last time I got really into a game, it was WoW, and I was unemployed, living my parents and boyfriend with no real friends around that were easy to visit. I was stressed out and felt like wasted space, but in game, I had all kinds of impressive achievements and things to be doing. I hope it works out with your husband. =X I don't pretend to know what's up with him, but obsessive gaming is normally more "I'm stressed for other reasons, and this is not stressful." 10 agree Reply This. I'm a gamer who is prone to depression, and I find that I play a lot more when I'm feeling down. Escaping into a world where I'm powerful and effective, where problems are solvable and my real-world problems don't exist, is very therapeutic for me. As long as I don't completely disconnect from the real world, of course. 7 agree Reply I get this, when we got to the point where he wouldn't eat with me or even turn around when I brought his dinner into his office I had to leave because I couldn't stand there having my self esteem sucked out of me in favour of a screen. I would end up talking to myself because I was so lonely. We had no physical intimacy anymore and if I said something in passing by while he was gaming he would startle and get grumpy. That's not the man I used to know and thankfully I got the old him back, a year later. Now he plays games for about two hours a night and I can cope with that. He treats me well if I want to talk or something while he's gaming. Honestly I can't pin down what happened to fix it, it was a horribly dark time and I really feel for you. If it had not have changed so dramatically for us, it would have meant the end of our relationship for me, absolutely. Please look out for yourself, it can be just like a drug or alcohol or gambling addiction. Think about the basic human qualities that you need, just to provide for your emotional wellbeing, in a relationship and fight for them for dear life. If you can't get them, I wish you the very best in moving on. All the hugs! 2 agree Reply They sounds really frustrating and miserable:/ That sounds like pretty severe depression, to me. Gaming addiction like that is often a sign that someone is unhappy and feeling out of control on their life and is spending all their time gaming because that is the only place where they are feeling successful and rewarded. Is your husband showing other signs of depression? If trying to get him to play less isn't getting you anywhere, maybe there is a deeper underlying problem that needs to be addressed. A good therapist might be able to help him sort things out. Maybe he needs antidepressants. Maybe he is unhappy in his job. Maybe he is dealing with some major change or facing some threat in his life that he doesn't know how to deal with. 2 agree Reply Thanks for your kind words. We never have days off together as I am off Sat/Sun and he is off Thurs/Fri. He has had depression in the past but solidly refuses help or even considers he may still have it. He clearly does but there is nothing I can say or do to get him to accept help, any help, even mine. Any time I try and bring up he spends a lot of time on the xbox, he gets angry. When I come home from work and he is playing it, I don't even get a hello because "you can't pause live games". I know why we fell in love, but that person is gone, sucked into the lifeless hole that is gaming addiction. 2 agree Reply As someone who fights depression as well, I can get this completely from both sides. You can't make someone get help, even if they need it. Sometimes it's just a matter of stepping aside, and letting them fall. Just remember, that doesn't mean you have to fall with them, or that you have to let this harden you in any way. Even crappy situations give us something to learn. I really do hope everything works out, no matter what the outcome. 4 agree Reply I don't know if this will help or not, but I've been on the other side of this relationship; I used to use the internet to hide from the problems in my real life that were (mostly) caused by bipolar disorder. Your husband is right, in a way, when he says the xbox isn't the problem – it's no more the problem than alcohol is the reason some people get drunk every night. Keep in mind that it's probably the only place he feels in control, and from his misguided pov you selfishly want to take that away from him. You're not selfish, but maybe you should be a little bit. You can't *make* him quit gaming, or get help, or do anything. No matter how hard you wish or nag or threaten. Your best bet is to take care of yourself, whatever that means to you. 3 agree Reply Gamer SOs FTW. ^^ I spent all last night Minecrafting with my long-distance relationship SO and it's nice that we have that medium to connect through. Also there is something neat about creating D&D characters with your SO and connecting on a creative level. Also, the hands. Yes. The hands. I see a comment above from Bally about a gaming habit ruining a relationship, amd while my former relationship wasn't ruined by a gaming habit, I do remember the annoyance of him coming to bed at 3-4-5 a.m. I talked to him about it and we agreed to keep the LATE gaming to the weekends, and the average gaming (midnight, 1, 2 a.m) to the other nights (we're students so that was not so bad.) *hugs to Bally* I hope the best for you. 2 agree Reply I just have to say I stumbled on this website a few days ago for the first time. It kinda felt like coming home!! To find so many people in one place that has a life like mine is amazing. My husband use to be the same way, totally addicted and sucked into games. I had to streak naked in front of him to get his attention. For the first 3 years of our relationship he would complain that we never were intimate but then never came to bed with me either. Well hello! How can we do anything if you wont come to bed?? But after a lot of conversations and compromises we finally got it to work out. And i have to agreee with the large majority of you, sometimes sitting on the couch and watching him play the games or reading is the a great way for me to unwind to. Have a great weekend!! Reply My husband and I dealt with the gaming issue as well. My biggest lesson was not hinting, but firmly telling him my needs. He still comes to bed later than me, but always tucks me in and cuddles with me for a while. His WoW friends know he always stops to have dinner with his wife, some of them have started doing the same. It took lots of talking and compromising to come to where we are now. 7 agree Reply This is a really valuable lesson to learn for any relationship. It is one I am still working on. Reply I love this, there are compromises and learning in any relationship of course, but the things we learn from the gamers in our life have their own "flavor" lol. Sarkat, keep working at it, to be able to communicate your needs and desires comes in handy Reply I'm a non gamer married to a gamer. He stopped playing MMORPG when we started dating, and even reduced his gaming a lot when we moved in together. Now he's back to his usual self, i.e. gaming every single night. It's mostly OK for me because I go to bed eartlier than he needs to, and I enjoy alone time myself (I sew, I write, whatever). Sometimes I wonder what life would be like with someone who had high-attention needs, and if I do feel lonely sometimes (let's face it: when you're depressed, living with a gamer is not exactly the best thing), I think we found a good balance. Some things I won't compromize over though are: always eating together when we're home together, and going out (for a drink or for shopping) at least once or twice a week. It doesn't sound like much, but it works well for us. 5 agree Reply I know I married a gamer, and have to agree with those that talk about not having the attention span for the more "committed" games. For us it works out fine if he's off playing D&D, because I know all the guys in his group [my brother and another long time friend]. When my brother and I were younger, he was still in high school he was very focused on games to the point of not really talking about much else. I finally figured out though if I could do little things like watch him plan, listen while he discussed the great [insert the great and wondrous item or game element here], or sometimes actually playing myself. This did not make me a hard-core gamer, but it did leave me with a wonderful relationship with my brother. And I think it has paved the way for me to be understanding of my husband's interests. We also try limit those times that he's off with the guys or online and make plans for things to do together. Reply I was a non-gamer when I married my husband. He games every chance he gets, and isn't choosey about the type. He plays Xbox, Wii, D&D, Solitaire, board games….. When there isn't a game handy, he'll make one up. I frequently find scraps of paper around my house with numbers written on them. They are him working out game systems while waits in line for things. He's been diagnosed with Aspergers and games are his fixation. It can be frustrating because all he wants to do is play, and I don't always want to. I want to talk and interact with him. We've compromised by setting aside time to develop a board game together. He's developing the mechanics and I'm working on the "flavor." He gets the satisfaction gaming and I get the pleasure of his company. 5 agree Reply A brilliant solution! That sounds absolutely wonderful. 1 agrees Reply I am married to a semi-serious WOW player. He has some pretty intense anxiety issues and he turns to WOW when he is stressed and can't get something out of his head. We haven't had any issues, he plays while sitting on the couch so I tend to sit next to him and read or watch TV. He stops now and again for a quick kiss and cuddle and usually finishes by 11pm or midnight on the weekends. And I love the comment about a gamer's hands – I have to agree! Reply When I was dating my now husband,it was my first experiance with a real gamer. Something that worked for me was 'killing him with kindness'. If I think that he is too focused on a game and I'm feeling neglected, I try to be extra considerate to him. Make him a snack, bring him a drink, or give him a back rub while he plays. 100% of the time he is somewhat startled by this and will ask if I want him to stop or give me estimated time of game-ceasing. If I'm nice about it, I think it makes it much easier for him to peel himself away. Sometimes doing this is HARD if I'm feeling resentful, but in my experiance it works. It was also initially hard for me to recognize his gaming as a valid stress reliever/hobby. I tried to learn and understand one game, he LOVED that I was trying, and I ended up really enjoying it. 2 agree Reply Ooh doggy, what an issue-I'll try not to repeat what's been said above. 1) my mother was all over me about marrying a gamer- I told her my boss leaves the house for 8 hours for golf , my cousins leave for whole weekends to hunt. My husband is always home and available for me. I leave out the multiplayer challenges when speaking non gamers. 2) anyone involved with a gamer knows the issues. I found the houses that could accomodate a couch in his office were the best. This gave me the option of lounging in there with him, but Also allowed me to close the door to have quiet time away from him. 3) got him the expensive headphones that let in some external noises – doorbells, phone calls, me screaming when a cabinet fell on me. That helped a ton. 4) having a dedicated night for raiding (with high level players) where I under no circumstances interrupt him unless 911. If he raids on another night, I'm allowed to interrupt him and he has to pause, even if the game is not. I'm lucky to have what I understand is a fairly skilled player and his GMs allow him some room cause they need em. I do ask him if he can talk on those nights and sometimes it's fine. But if it's not and I need him, I tell him. That's at about a 90% success rate. 5) I ask him to tell me about the games he is playing. When panderia came out, I gave him a solid week of uninterrupted gaming cause he needed to level up. That was a need he didn't even know to ask for, but my gamer friends told me. 6) gamer community – my husband has a ton of gamer friends I have met and they are almost all in a relationship with nongamers. One wife was having a particularly difficult time and his friends noticed an escalation in his single shooter games and they sat him down and said- you've had enough- move on. She couldn't do it because we don't "get it". But his friends saying it helped. He had to quit cold turkey but now regularly raids in WoW and can keep it under control. 7) chores are a pain- I can't figure out how to get him to realize house before gaming. We are working on it. I recently read a book called Five love languages. It was targeted a married heteros with a pinch of religion, but if you can strip that away from whatever your personal relationship is- I found it quite helpful. I need quality time (not tv, not lunch) he needs physical touch. So I need to come over and kiss him (just a peck) while he is gaming and he feels loved. Good Luck Bally- I hope you can figure something out. I've heard of a spouse starting marriage counseling without the other. I think a professional could offer some ways to change your situation . Wishing you the best- 5 agree Reply I totally gave up on the house before gaming. I like a clean house before I can relax, but he wants to relax before cleaning, so I'll do the things I want to do around the house and make a mental list for him. Then when he's done, he'll ask me for the list. This only works if he eventually stops gaming, and if I don't just do everything (I call this an "angry clean"). Sometimes he'll also do his stuff in between games. I've come to see that (in our case) him doing his share of the housework without me getting angry or resentful is more important than when he does it. 1 agrees Reply Nice article! I'm a girl gamer who happens to married to a guy gamer. Playing together on Halo 4 can be pretty fun, as we're an awesome team. Basically, I end up running people over with a vehicle while he snipes from far away. Oddly enough, it's turned into our daily together time but it works for us. For all of the non-gamers out there, I would suggest to first give his or her game of choice a chance. Who knows, you may end up loving it and being awesome at it. =) If you hate the game, then make it a point to set aside some time where you two can be together, away from the console/board games/computer etc. Like have dinner together each night, or make it a point to go out to a date night sorta thing once a week. That way you have the together time that you're craving, and he/she still gets to play his video games. Also, you can always use his/her gaming time to your advantage. Make that time, your own time to do your own hobbies (knit, paint, read, plot world domination, etc). You don't have to spend every minute together. Sometimes, it's actually healthier to have some personal time apart. 5 agree Reply I am engaged to a gamer as well, and he has corrupted me. Or at least a little more. I started playing D&D in college, but never got into video games until we started dating. There are some games that he has gotten me into (ie Skyrim) that I can't leave alone. My favorites though are the ones we play together. Pretty much any of the LEGO games on the PS3, Guild Wars/GW2, or LOTRO. We make a silly date night out of it. We make easy to eat foods for dinner, plug in our headsets and game. I have to agree whole-heartedly that some of the most interesting conversations I have had are with my fiance. And he is definitely very quick witted with his jokes, and great to have around if there is any kind of techy issue. While there are times I wish he wouldn't game as much, I wouldn't have him any other way. Reply I just have to say, who can leave Skyrim alone???? 4 agree Reply I am a gamer married to a gamer. My husband plays more games than I do, but we have the same mentality and understanding regarding games and etiquette while the other person is playing. We even brought our Wii on our honeymoon, and had a great time playing Pikmin 2! Part of which sounded like, "SON OF A– this freakin' game!!!" but it was genuinely fun. ^_^ One thing we bonded over when we first met was a mutual love of the Pokemon games. He told me once that he had showed his ex how to play when they were dating, and she said, "That's cute, but you can't play that tomorrow." I was like, huh? For him, playing games in his downtime really is like reading books is for me. If I was dating someone who said I couldn't read books, or didn't understand that reading was important to me even if they weren't a big reader themselves, I would feel very misunderstood and unhappy. I think there is somewhat of a stigma against gaming as a legit pastime; in my mind I equate it to snooty English gentlemen of a bygone era sniffing, "Young ladies spend too much time filling their heads with all these silly novels!" We do make an effort to ensure that our preferred hobbies do not take up our time to the point that either of us feels neglected. We frequently used to go to bed at different times and my husband would stay up and play games; this didn't really affect physical intimacy, however, since we work weird schedules anyway and have to plan around roommates not being home, so afternoon is sexytime. 😛 To anyone who is concerned about different bedtimes, I'd suggest planning your intimate time as an activity in your day, and not tying it to when you're going to be in bed for sleep. There are also games that my husband wants me to play *with* him, and we try to make time for that with regularity as well. It helps that he built me a new deck, and now he has yet to beat it!! XD A note for non-gamers: games can definitely be a spectator sport. I had a great time watching my husband play Red Dead Redemption; it was basically like watching a movie that I would not otherwise have seen, since I'm not good at shooters. Ditto Batman: Arkham City. 2 agree Reply I'm a gamer living with a gamer in a house with one Tv and one computer! Our only problem is sharing so we can each play a bit of our game! I find myself waking up super early so I can have my game time! This works because he gets home before me and can play his games. We're also working on bedtimes and intimacy, I've found really getting to the point and not hinting around the subject helps! I enjoy it now because he cuddles me until I fall asleep, then goes back to the game….. The downside to this? Listening to pause menu music drifting in from the living room as I go to sleep! 😛 Reply i love being married to a gamer, too! he's a leveled up master ninja & has been since birth. there are pictures of his mother playing atari when she was pregnant. i think it really works out well for us & probably for a lot of other couples as well. i'm a very independent person who MUST have personal time alone to do my own thing. so when he's playing, i take the opportunity to have me time. also, even though i never gamed when i was a child, he's really taught me to appreciate the medium. he's really good about getting games that we will both enjoy. he plays & works the controls & i solve the puzzles. he calls me his game-co-pilot & we both have tons of fun together. i think people assume that being married to a gamer means you don't get any attention. this may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all. Reply One of my faaaavorite things to do is play through a Zelda game with my boy guiding me and fighting the bosses (after I've tried once) 😀 It totally works with my crafting. He gets the couch and the tv and I get alllll the rest of the space in the living room. 1 agrees Reply I love my gamer wife, but it can be tough as a non-gamer to live with/understand gaming stuff. I grew up with very little gaming in my house, whereas she grew up with 3 computers in the livingroom for the kids to get their game on. I'm definitely not used to having to yell over the noise to let her know it's time for dinner, or going to work with her on the computer and coming home with her still on the computer. I love her, and support her gaming, but it was tough sometimes feeling like I was taking second seat to a video game. There have been a few fights over negotiating game time ("Babe, it' almost midnight and you're yelling, come to bed!" "Just one more round!"), especially since we both have jobs and I have school, so we don't always get to spend a lot of time together. It has gotten easier as time has gone on. I've gotten used to her gaming, learned to not interrupt when she's in the zone, and have found some great tv shows on demand while she's on the computer. When I see she's gone to a place I can't go (you know, that moment when you realize you haven't spoken in a couple days because they've been in the game, the dishes have suddenly piled up around the computer, and any time you tap them on the shoulder they turn on you like you're amputating a leg), I let her know that maybe it's time to take off the headset, put the dishes away and maybe take a walk and talk about what's stressing her out. Gaming is fun, pleasurable, and even educational at its best, but a serious escape method/addiction at it's worst. I'm all for the occasional marathon weekend (Doctor Who Marathon? YES PLEASE), but when I can count on one hand how many time's I've spoken to K in the last week, it's time for little conversation. That said, being with a gamer pretty great. Her geekiness complements my geekiness quite nicely– we go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong (I could watch Grease 1000 times and not get bored). But maybe it's not being with a gamer that's great, maybe it's being with someone who I love and who loves me in return. 2 agree Reply I am also a non-gamer married to a gamer. And when I say "non-gamer," I mean that before he and I got together, I would not even play board games. And when I say "gamer," I mean the hubs has played every game known to man at least for a few minutes. I still don't game much at all, but he has gotten me into Guild Wars, and that's something we can do together since we have two computers. One thing that has been great for us is that he hooked the better of our two computers up to our TV, so our computer is our TV. He likes to play really cinematic games (i.e. Mass Effect, Uncharted) and those are basically like movies, so I'm perfectly content watching him play. Gamers are great! Give 'em some love! 1 agrees Reply My hubby is a gamer at heart– he used to be a pretty adamant player, especially years ago when we were first dating, but since he started a Ph. D program for Math, he's into mathing in his spare time. I'm not a gamer- I just play Sims when I have a week or two to give up of my life, lol. We actually make it a point for years now to arrange our apartment where the computer and TV are near each other, so we can spend time with each when we actually have spare time… he can do his thing with console gaming while I spend hours on Pinterest, or he can play PC games while I watch netflix on the PS3. When my mom or friends who really didn't know any other gamers questioned it, I told them I'd much rather him devote his time to doing that than gambling or partying. When the hubs and friends drink too much, they usually end up passing out on the floor after gaming for all hours of the night (or that's how it was when we all lived around it each other and now for visits from them). The only problem I had with it back in the day is that it got pretty addicting, but we worked through a lot of that the hard way. I agree with many of you that it is definitely a symptom of something much worse- he used WoW and Eve as an escape for years when he was unhappy with school and our neighborhood. There is hope, though, if you can compromise- you can't really expect them to give it up cold turkey, but plan to have one morning/afternoon/night without it, so you can go on a real date (even if it's just for Netflix at home). However, be careful about your sig-fig getting defensive because that could cause just as much problems. Reply I learned the hard way that when my husband is immersed in a game and wearing earphones, he's totally immersed in it and unaware of anything going on. I found this out when I came up behind him, thinking he'd heard me, and hugged him when he was playing Left 4 Dead. Which is an action zombie survival game for those of you unfamiliar with it. Yeah, the results weren't pretty! I developed a new technique for getting his attention when I needed to tell him something during a game. He was playing Dead Space sometime later, which I knew was a horror game and would be even worse if I touched him unexpectedly. When I couldn't get his attention by STANDING NEXT TO HIM AND WAVING MY ARMS LIKE A MANIAC, I went into the other room and texted him instead. He keeps his phone on the desk, saw it light up, and got the message without freaking out. Anyway, I'm a casual gamer instead of a serious gamer, but we both understand that when he gets a game he's been anticipating, he wants to do nothing but play it until he's had his first run-through, and when I get a book that I've been anticipating, I don't want to do anything but read it. So we give the other person space to enjoy their thing. I also like some games, but hate the tedium of playing them, so like to watch him when he plays. He went through much of the Assassin's Creed series and recent LEGO games (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings) with me on the couch beside him making fun of the game and glitchy game engines. Fun times! 1 agrees Reply I get those reactions all the time and my SO get's it even more "I bet your lady just LOVES it when you spend that much money on games" "ahahaha your lady isn't gunna let you play when ever you want". This bugs me. I'm not a gamer like him, but there is nothing more I love than to watch him play bioshock, skyrim, and fallout. He even asks me to co-op every now and then on some games. If it's a game I'm not into watching (like halo) we get all tangled so he can still see and play and I'm reading or playing my own game and we get optimal cuddle time. You would not believe some of the positions that we find ourselves in lol 3 agree Reply As other commenters have said, my husband and I are both gamers, so I don't quite understand the brouhaha over dating a gamer vs. dating anyone else with a hobby. I didn't play video games when we first started dating, but I watched him play, and then I started getting into some of the games (Oblivion was my first), and finally bought a console of my own. Eventually, we moved in together and set up our TVs and consoles side by side. When we're at home, we're usually sitting together on the couch, playing games. It may look strange to others, but it's normal for us. Reply I think a big part of what people are talking about is being with someone who is obsessed with something that they can't take a break from, sometimes to the point of addiction. My husband doesn't play as much as some of the people on here, but it can still be frustrating. He games truly as a hobby, but it did take awhile for us to find a balance. I can always put down my book, my knitting needles, pause my Buffy marathon etc., but he can't break focus, so it's a bit of a different situation when I need something from him. (Not to mention that gaming gets a bad reputation as a useless activity, though I think this is completely undeserved) 2 agree Reply As someone who also doesn't quite see the big deal, I think some people just don't draw appropriate parallels. Many games people are talking about here (Skyrim, Fables, any single player games) really can just be put down and walked away from. There's a pause for a reason. But sometimes, there's bits you just cannot walk away from, say you're in the middle of a boss fight or a challenge. Well, just because you can walk away from baking cookies while they're cooking, I wouldn't expect someone to walk away while they're cutting out the cookies to help me put up curtains. Nor would I expect someone to put down their knitting if they're in the middle of a particularly gnarly bit that they've had to rip out twice, or if they got a massive knot in there, or even if they're just in the middle of a row. I wouldn't expect you to drop the Buffy marathon at the exact moment in the finale when some big bad is about to kill a lead character. Heck, some people won't even put down a book until they reach the end of a chapter, and that's generally acceptable too. At the other end of the "cannot put this down" spectrum, you have the games you're playing with other people, say, a League of Legends or Call of Duty match, or a WoW raid. And well, then you've got other people there, expecting you to pull your weight. If you get called away in the middle of a LoL game, or CoD, or a WoW raid, then there 10 or 25 people to be sitting in the same spot, at the same time, waiting for you to get back. It's like being called out of the middle of a soccer game. And while a lot of people are fairly understanding if it's important, no one really wants to end up losing a game because their team was short a man, and no one really wants to have everyone else waiting up on them for small reasons. But then, there's all these other hobbies that can't be instantly dropped, yet it's only gaming that people seem to not understand. 4 agree Reply I'm a non gamer marrying a gamer and I LOVE IT. Yes, there are times when me and games go head to head for his attention, but it's not because of games, he's just a very focused type of guy, he'd be that way with any hobby. He comes around with a little nudging when I really want him, and I also have learned to be a little more flexible. There's so many wonderful things about gamers, I'm floored by people who don't understand "how it works." I'd much rather date a gamer than a sports enthusiast, outdoorsman, car guy, club rat, etc… Think about it… A car guy spends mountans of income on parts and all day in the garage. That's fine for some but I like that gaming has actually been a pretty low-wallet-impact way to spend time, especially when you consider your dollars-to-hours-of-entertainment ratio. An outdoorsman might get up at 5 AM on a Saturday and drive hours away with no cell phone reception and be gone until dark. I like venison and and all, but I'm not outdoorsy and I'd rather sleep in. My gamer spends his days on or near the sofa right next to me. A club/bar fanatic guy could go anywhere or do anything all night. You never know what girls are hitting on him or what his less responsible buddies are trying to get him to do while he's drinking. If my gamer stays up late, he's chatting with his bros in the US (we live in Korea) and playing Dark Souls. A sports enthusiast will natter on about sports. My gamer natters on about games. I personally find the latter more enjoyable and easier to identify with. (I play a little and used to play a lot, enough that I understand the majority of it and can hold a conversation.) So all in all, I've always seen having a significant other as drawing a hobby out of a hat that you then have to live with. Gaming is a pretty good draw — safe, inexpensive, discreet, you always know where he is, who he's with, what he's doing, he's there when you really need him (if he isn't, it's not the fault of games), and the conversation is more interesting (to me anyway.) Even as someone who sucks at most games and is bored by most others, I also trust him not to judge me for being a lazy, geeky, introverted homebody who would also just as soon spend my time in my pajamas staring at a glowing screen. It's funny, the only time I dated a non-gamer, I sorta missed it. 3 agree Reply We're both gamers, so…we just play together! Well, that's the ideal. We don't always like the same games but we always respect the other's opinion to at least try it. There's something very fun about being Team Awesome against an army of zombies or whatever the theme of the day is. I almost feel like we bond over kicking ass together. Also, any game that lets you customize your character is a HUGE plus. We both play female characters and they go off having adventures together because in a game, you can do anything. So far no one can tell he's a G I R L, so…I guess he's good at being a rad gaming princess. Reply So… this is a little off topic, but related. I live in a house with 2 other people, my boyfriend and a roomate. This may sound like an odd pairing, but all of us have known eachother for a while and have very steady relationships. My boyfriend and I are both avid gamers, we even have a household server (because who doesn't?). It is quite a beautiful thing. The problem is our roomate is excercise and heath obsessed. This wasn't a problem for the first year we lived together, but moving into the second year she has become less tolarant of our frozen-pizza and Portal lifestyle, infact she is becoming boderline preachy about our lives being unhealthy, early-graves, etc. (Let's be real here, we don't exercise allot, but neither of us are really overweight, either.) I understand this comes from a place of love and concern, but it is very difficult to communicate to her that she needs to accept our lifestyle choices as we respect hers. It's gotten to the point my boyfriend has begun avoiding her by choosing to game or read in another room, where I am stuck to the living room. I want to continue being friends and do not want to burn any bridges, but she is starting to get a little hostile about the exercising/health food thing. This would be easier to deal with if she would talk straight about it instead of condecending hints/factoids. Any advice? Reply I can definitely relate to this post. When I first met my future husband I thought I was a nerd/geek/dork. Boy was I mistaken. It took me a few seconds to realize where I like Star Wars he could name all the different planets, characters and even most of the off movie information about filming and actors. And then there were the video games. He was obssessed. Whether this came from a lack of girlfriend for 4 years prior to meeting me or just his love of them I don't know. I would sit and watch him play for hours and he would always ask me to join him (i would politely decline saying that I have hand eye coordination problems). Soon we had moved in together and the video games became part of the routine. I would dink around doing homework and reading blogs or watching vlogs while he desimated the enemies!!!! It did get in the way of our relationship more than once with a few fights trying to figure the whole thing out. Not to mention my touchy feely ness was not happy when his hands were on a controller instead of me…. One day he went to work and left me at home by myself… I picked up a game at the suggestion of an online buddy (Fable 2) and popped it into the XBox. 6 hours later my man came home to me sitting on the couch controller in hand and about 1/4 of the way through the storyline of Fable 2. Before I knew it I was waiting in line for games at gamestop and preordering special editions! Granted I'm no where near the level of my guy but I can definitely appreciate his love for them. We both pretty much hate the games the other likes so it keeps things interesting too. Now when I'm busy with a MMORPG he can grab the xbox and play COD. It's quite a nice arrangement now but I will say it took a lot of getting used to in the beginning stages of our relationship. Reply Oh, the Fable series is such a great gateway game. It's easy for non-gamers to learn and it's so silly and fun. And you get to have a dog! Reply These comments really helped a lot! I recently moved in with my girlfriend and two of our friends (who are engaged), all of whom are gamers and engineers, whereas I am not. I like to categorize myself as a "casual gamer" because I enjoy video games, just not to the extent that they do. I tend to latch on to one or two game and keep playing those games until I beat them, unlike my roommates who bop around to different games when they feel like it. Lately, my one roommate and I have been having problems with our significant others' DOTA 2 playing, but we're working on it… Reply Yay, great article, and excellent to see so many SOs of gamers here! I too am in a relationship with a gamer, and at first, it was tricky to understand his hobby and to find a good arrangement that made us both happy. I think the most important part was understanding that his gaming did not at all reflect on how he felt about me – first reaction for many may be to think that their partner is gaming because they don't want to spend time with you, which is totally not the case. The other important thing was making sure I had my own hobbies for me to enjoy while he enjoys his gaming time. Now, four years on, we have found a good balance of spending time together and also him gaming while I watch trashy tv shows and blog (often about him!) Thanks for sharing your story with us! 1 agrees Reply I love this article. It hits me deeply how some women refer to men who loves games as "less of a man". Heck one woman on my facebook even posted a picture that read," Ladies, if a man pauses his game to text you, marry him." Then at the bottom it said something along the lines of ,"Aim higher." To be honest, it pissed me off. My husband games, and he IS a gamer…like midnight release waiting gamer. (Yes I have sacrificed after a date night to wait for COD to come out) When we first dated, he found out real quick that if he wanted me to stick around, he had to compromise with time and consideration. I planned date nights and hang-outs around game releases…(which again is no different than a guy during football or baseball season). And there would be times he would surprise me and actually WANT a break to hang out and relax with me. I'm not clingy and kind of like being left to my own devices to enjoy. There was even a time he had woken me up from a long work night the following morning by playing a first person shooter…not realizing..the TV is literally a foot away from the bed and he has a surround sound that could blow your head off. THAT was a good knock-down drag-out that sent him on the search for a wireless headset. (There is happy peace now!) And when we searched for our first apartment I got him his own separate man cave to game all he wanted. People who fail to understand that gaming IS a hobby, and that obsession can happen with any hobby. Just because sitting in front of a gaming system and not running a marathon or volunteer avidly may seem "unproductive" for some people doesnt mean its useless. The accomplishment from reading that book, catching that legendary bass, or finishing that decor project feels just the same if not better. I'm happy he balances out his gaming life with UNO and Farkle nights with me. He even GASP! has other hobbies other than games! He is an avid fisher (we live on the gulf) and I have enjoyed many star-filled nights wandering on the beaches in search of the perfect fishing spot. Heck I've come to love fishing too! I've learned to even work with him, giving him ultimatums such as you can't have poon-tang time until you reach level so-and-so. And you have to keep your concentration for an entire boss battle during a blow-job, or you have to order pizza if you reach "victory" before the battle is over. lol OR even tease him by doing a little pin-up burlesque dance ending up completely naked and usually ends up in fun times!! Theres always a way to make it work, just as he does the same when I'm reading, watching my fave shows, or Pinning like a nutcase on crack. And for those who have had an awful time with gamers in their personal lives, I just want to say they would have been crappy ,regardless of the hobby they had. Do you know how many jerks I dated in Georgia who cared more about their car, guns, and how many points their deer had compared with other guys. Oh you want to go out for a nice meal? Well, you can't have leftovers because that will stink up my mustang. DONT TOUCH OR MOVE MY GUN! Or the ever-favorite, "What the hell do you know about hunting? You should know how to just COOK, like my momma!" >.o Yeah so I'm HAPPY with the husband gamer I got because I coulda just ended up with an asshole/non-gamer instead. lol 1 agrees Reply I love this. My husband is the gamer and I can totally relate to the crazy creative ways he thinks. It has gotten me out of some seriously stressful situations. Reply I'm a casual gamer (PvZ ftw) married to a fairly hard core video gamer and I too get annoyed by the "how can that work?," or "Of course I broke up with my boyfriend because all he does is play video games." themes out there these days. On the other side of it, my husband also works in the gaming industry and is regularly questioned as to how he could be married to a non gamer and still game. What could we possibly do together? I can see how gaming to the addiction level is a definite problem but so would anything done in such extremes that one neglects employment, necessary chores and general health. If either of us pursued an activity like that it would be a problem in our relationship because of the attitude not the activity itself. I sew and craft and volunteer. My husband games online. In our new home I've decorated a gamers den for him and a sewing room for me in adjacent rooms. We've spent lovely evenings at home together in rooms next to each other gaming and crafting. I'll also sit on the couch with him and read or knit while he games – surrounded by purring kitty cats. Gaming does not have to be isolating. Yes, we've had to find a routine that works for us. When we lived in a tiny apartment, upon my request, he purchased really good headphones so I could still hear the radio while he was gaming. I've learned which games he can pause and which he can't and know to come to the door of the room, and catch his eye and wait if I need to speak about something. Likewise, he games in spaces that aren't thoroughfares so I don't usually need to walk in front of him at all. He's learned to tell his COD team that he can play X number more rounds and then he needs to help me carry something heavy or we have somewhere to go. There's a give and take about it. I can wait because I know I will get his attention the first moment he can spare. He respects my needs and I respect his so I don't doubt my place in his life in relation to the gaming, just as he knows I will stop sewing if he needs me to. And we schedule around each other for most things. If there's a double XP weekend coming up, we will try to keep it completely clear for him to marathon. I do think there is still a disdain out there for gaming that makes people view it as a waste of time or somehow more childish than other hobbies so it's not granted the same status as other hobbies and passions and that is absolutely wrong. He's had people tell him that I would "make" him stop gaming and I resent hearing it. It just seems to me like a variation on the old sexist wife-as-a-ball-and-chain-who-will-destroy-your-freedom meme. I wondered sometimes if we were unicorns and I'm glad to read here that we're not (although unicorns are cool and sparkly). Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.