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:
(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?