Gamers need lovin’ too!: How to love and live with a Gamer

Guest post by Twitchii
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Who wouldn’t love this little gamer!? By: Katherine McAdooCC 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/[email protected], 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.

Comments on Gamers need lovin’ too!: How to love and live with a Gamer

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    • 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)

      • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

    • 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!

  10. 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…

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

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