Millions of girlfriends across the world find themselves asking questions about their boyfriends’ addiction to video games. If you are taking the time to read this article, the chance is that you want to save your relationship with your boyfriend before you are replaced with video games. Before jumping forward to conclusions, see things from a different perspective. While there may be no sure fire solution to saving a relationship, trying to understand why he plays games could be a step in helping to build a stronger relationship.
The most obvious place to start is to talk to him. As is in most cases, you may have already expressed your concerns about a video game destroying the relationship. Good; that is the best place to start. For those who haven’t done this yet, talk frankly about the subject. Use phrases that suggest (if this is true) that the reason for a break up would be his video games. No male wants that bruise to permanently be on their reputation. If he comes to the conclusion that what you’re saying has truth in it, try and meet him half way. Just because the problem right now is a video game, that doesn’t mean it always has to be.
There are some key questions to ask to further understand him. Ask him why he enjoys the game, or to explain it to you. Show that you are interested and accepting of his hobbies. After all, there are surely activities you participate in that he doesn’t see merit in. Asking him this question will help you understand him better, not just his hobby. There are a variety of reasons why people play games. The reason might be the game may present a challenge, the gamer may have friends who play too, or it might be because it has competitive game play. Understanding this will help you not only understand why he plays, but why he plays at certain times. If he does it to play with his friends, try to bring work to do while he’s playing. If it’s because of a competitive reason, watch his rank or achievements to show that you’re interested in what he’s doing.
After understanding the game he likes, try it out and see if you’ll appreciate it. Many console games offer co-op missions (where you work together) or versus modes. If the game isn’t your style, research and suggest a different game. If it’s in your budget, see if you can get your hands on a game you think both of you might find interesting. Now that video games are so readily available, there is literally a game for any person. From first person shooters to simulating a civilization’s rise and fall, there will definitely be a game for you. Most gamers are more than willing to teach a game to their girlfriends, for the sake of having someone else interested in what they are doing. This may become a great activity that you both actively enjoy.
And as always, there is the great compromise. If you are concerned with the amount of time he plays a game, see if you can create a system: two hours of playing the game, two hours of seeing you without the game. If you are concerned with how much money he spends on the games, see if you can set up a deal with him. Some examples include asking if he’d be willing to take you on a fifty dollar date since he was able to buy a game of that value. If the game he plays has a monthly fee attached to him, tell him you want to be taken on a date of equal value. Fifteen dollars, which is the normal price of a monthly fee, is enough to go to the movies, bowling, or mini golf once a month. Be empathetic to his desire to play with his friends, but see if it is possible to get him to take off the headphones. Most console games will let audio come through the television’s speakers, instead of the headphones.
Remember, there is a difference between a gaming passion and a game obsession. There are a couple red flags that can lead to problems. For example, if he is more willing to spend four hours playing a game than he is willing to spend a couple hours with you, there may be a problem. If he can justify spending fifty or sixty dollars a month for new games or equipment but can’t even scrounge up the money to take you out on a date once a month, that may also be a problem. Always talk it over with him: obsessive behavior may exist because the person doesn’t know there is a problem. You may feel that it is your duty to stay with him despite his addiction, but keep in mind the possible negative effects that may have on you. No one deserves to be second place to a game. However, following some of these steps will give you a fighting chance to stay together.