Tips for gamers: Try to enter the mind of a non-gamer

I’ve recently had a few of my gamer friends approach me for advice on how to keep their non-gamer partners happy. As well as being very flattered, it has prompted me to start up a new category for this blog: Tips for Gamers.

So gamers, stop raiding for just a second and pay close attention. My Tips for Gamers will hopefully offer some insight into what your partner is thinking and show you that you can have your games AND a happy partner too.

My first tip is nice and simple to start you off: take a moment to consider that your mind and their mind probably work in very different ways. As much as I can try to convince your partners that you don’t mean to ignore them and that the occasional odd behaviour is a very normal side-effect of your hobby, there must be a mutual understanding here.

Gamers, I speak on behalf of PoGs everywhere – PLEEEASE cut us a little slack. We do not read minds. If you plan to spend considerable amounts of time gaming, please calmingly reassure us that it is not to avoid us, because without any explanation, we may be forced to come to that unfortunate conclusion. Seriously.

To illustrate this, let me show you a quick sample I have taken from the gaming-related questions asked on one of the most trusted sources of quality advice (*snigger*), Yahoo Answers:

Yahoo, give these girls some answers!

(Image Sources: Yahoo Answers)

A little concerning, right?

Now, if you are thinking that this line of thought is just plain illogical…. well shush, okay? Bear with me as I try to explain a little further…

The amount of time spent gaming can come as quite a shock to non-gamers, especially when the relationship starts to get more serious. It is only once we’ve spent a decent amount of time together, and perhaps even only once we’ve moved in with one another, that we innocent partners get to see just how much time outside Girlfriend/Boyfriend Time is devoted to this hobby, discover that your cleanliness becomes horrendous during gaming marathons, or come to learn that your Mage was rockin’ the Warcraft world long before we ever came into the picture. Worse still, we learn that all those times during the courting phase when you said you weren’t feeling well enough to go out, you were probably really just spending the night in gaming.

It’s also possible that the gamer may have toned down their gaming during the wooing days, but then as the relationship got more comfortable, they fell back into their regular gaming routine. That’s not a problem per se, but you can understand why some partners would be shocked.

It’s like ordering a ShamWow!® only to find that when it’s finally gets to your house, it doesn’t work at all, doesn’t clean and really just pushes all the grime around.

(Holy cow, that’s an awesome analogy. Do you think my partner would be angry if I started calling him ShamWow?)

In summary: be patient, give us some time to come to terms with it all, reassure us along the way and just be super-excited when we finally get to Stage Six :)

 EDIT: Hmm, so many people are reaching this post after Googling “relationship tips for gamers”. If you are one of these people, please enlighten me – what are you looking for? And did this post help?

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Hi, I'm Vicki and my partner is a gamer. I help bridge the divide between gamers and non-gamers. If you'd like to get in touch, you can reach me at

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi so my bf is a gamer and I think he is in denial about just how much he games! I never knew he was a gamer so it through me off a bit. I’m not a gamer at all and I don’t associate with them on a level that surpasses hi was up. I don’t see the point honestly. But that is not my question lol. My bf seems to think it is ok to talk to me for an hour maybe an hour and half a day and spend all night I mean (6pm to sometimes 4am) playing games and when I say something he thinks I’m trying to tell him what to do and take away playing with his friends. Idk what to do. Can you help me out here please and thank you :)

    • Hi Gigi, thanks for your comment. Don’t worry, I know the feeling – I never knew about my partner’s gaming when we first started dating and I did not at all know what to expect! It’s a tricky situation you’re in. One suggestion is to make sure he knows how you feel about it, and when I say that, I mean talk to him about it when he’s not playing, rather than just yelling for him to stop when he’s already gaming (he’ll probably be much more receptive!). It’s best not to frame it like “you play games instead of spending time with me”, when it’s really about the two of you, not the video games. Good luck with it all :)

  • My boyfriend and I met online via video games and started our relationship that way. We are both gamers but he plays more than I do. we don’t live together so sometimes I feel depressed when he hasn’t said hi to me in a few days, but has played 70+ hours of a computer game that week. I want to let him know that I’d love a little more attention but I don’t want to sound naggy. How, in separate places, can I go about this without annoying him?

    • Sorry to hear you’re in such a tricky situation. I think it’s important for you to let him know how you feel, but I understand it can be hard. If you want to go about it a less confrontational way, perhaps you can suggest for things that the both of you can do together, e.g. Skype dates, playing games together, that he will need to set specific time aside for. That’s your time. Without knowing too much about your particular situation, I don’t want to send you in the wrong direction, but feel free to shoot me an email at if you just want to vent sometime or need someone to talk to :) Good luck!

  • Can I just say that as a male gamer it is pretty refreshing to see a more positive female perspective rather than the usual rants I usually see in both real life and online. My game of choice is WoW and it’s actually useful to see a more logical argument to why my girlfriends (ive been thru a few who have hated WoW) havent been as understanding. I can say w/ all honesty tht this actually kind of makes sense – thanks for taking the time to explain it without paying out our games too much.

    To stickup for the men, a fair lot of us have grown up around videogames so playing is pretty much a reflex. It’s hard to think that “non-gamers” find it hard to understand.

    Excellent blog, Im making my way through all your posts. Keep it up!

    • Thanks for the comments, Joboy. I’m glad that you found the tip handy – I think the biggest problem in most gamer/non-gamer relationships is a lack of communication and understanding of one another’s interests.
      I fully appreciate that many guys (and girls) grew up with some form of video game in hand, I just hope those people can also appreciate those for which gaming may not be quite as instinctual!

      Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoy all the other posts :)

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