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. 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.
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. Gaming can be a great form of stress relief, and 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.
Making sure you spend time with each other is important for any relationship. Be sure you put the games aside every once and a while for some quality time with your partner. Also try sharing your game 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 games you can both enjoy. Maybe a competitive game is too intense. Try a fun party or puzzle game, or perhaps a game that invokes some childhood nostalgia is just right. If there aren't any co-op games that suit your fancies how about trading off the controller on a single player game? You can trade off between levels or lives. Or play to your strengths having one person do the fighting and another the platforming. It’s a great teamwork exercise and a fantastic way to have fun together.
A healthy dose of personal space is another key element to a successful relationship. Giving each other time and space to do your own thing will help keep your time 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 with out you while you do the same.
Take an interest in your partners passions and help introduce them to your own. Even if you find a middle ground 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, giving players hours of entertainment for a flat fee which can work out to less than regular movie nights or book purchases. Remember keep your gaming in moderation, include your significant other in your favorite hobby and take an interest in theirs. Then loving a gamer can be a fulfilling and rewarding relationship.
-Alexandria is an avid gamer who loves fighting, Sim, and eccentric Japanese games. She is happily married to a fan of Shooters, old-school side-scrollers, and rogue-likes. Together they find the perfect balance between gaming and romance.