Gentlemen, once or twice you may have been prodded by your girlfriend on the amount of video games you play. It’s a pretty delicate topic sometimes. Imagine, you’re sitting down with a controller or keyboard, maybe shooting up some zombies, or hacking away at orcs. But then your girlfriend – who loves you very, very much, by the way – comes along and asks why you’re not spending enough time with her.
Now off the bat, let’s just get this out of the way: if your girlfriend demands that you completely drop videogames in favor of her, she probably isn’t worth keeping. If she holds you to an ultimatum like that with one of your favorite hobbies, there’s no telling she won’t do it again in the future.
But otherwise, consider how you can get the best of both worlds.
The Balancing Act
You might be lucky and get together with someone who loves video games as much as you do. In that case there’s hardly a conflict. She understands. Then the worst that happens is you bicker over who gets to play first.
But let’s say that’s not the case. On some days, you choose your non-gaming girlfriend over a night of Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, or Grand Theft Auto. That’s typically free from complications. But a night you feel like choosing videogaming instead can still be win-win situation. How? Remember, like most aspects of your life, it’s a balancing act.
Start with the things you do when you’re not playing videogames. Reassure your girlfriend that you love her very much, and keep your undivided attention on her when you’re out on a date. The simple gestures go a long way: keep your phone out of sight when you’re out, give her specific and observant compliments (comment on her new earrings or fingernail polish). This indicates that you pay attention when you’re with her.
Learn her language of love too, and answer her in the same language. Does she like giving gifts? Surprise her with your own. Does she go out of her way to perform loving acts of service for you, like picking you up some dinner on the way out of work? Then think about driving her around on a day when she’ll need to commute.
So when it comes to playing videogames, there won’t be an ounce of insecurity that you’re ignoring her.
You could even pay her attention while playing videogames, as part of the fun. Small things – such as asking her for suggestions on your hairstyle on a character creation screen – shows she’s never out of sight.
The Benefits of “Me” Time
The benefits of having time on your own can’t be understated: it reduces stress, lets you pursue things that may be outside your girlfriend’s interest, and gives you time to miss each other. There’s a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Without a doubt, your girlfriend needs that “me time” too. Support her to pursuing her own hobbies. If it’s something simple and indoors – like reading, or sketching – she can even do it in the same room as you playing. That way, you can still spend time with each other, even when you’re not.
Mind that the most important thing is communication. Be sensitive, and say what you mean when you need time with your videogames. But be likewise sincere every time you hit the off button and step outside with her.