Issues with dating a non-gamer.

A post by the beloved Scarybooster has inspired me to talk about this particular topic.

So, as you may or may not know, I am a single woman.  I have been single now for over a year.  My last relationship lasted 4+ years and was with a non-gamer.  Well, I shouldn’t say non-gamer – he did like to play guitar hero. 0_0

When we were dating, I never shared with him that I enjoyed video games.  We met playing poker at a local bar that put on weekly poker tournaments, so it’s not like he didn’t know I had interest in games – I just never shared that part of my life with him.  During the time we met I was playing Heroes of Might and Magic pretty regularly, highly involved in the current commission that I was on.  We didn’t spend every night together, and the nights I was free I would always boot up the comp and get in a few hours of playtime. 

After a year of dating, he asked me to move in with him.  After hesitation (and threats of disownment by my father) I obliged him.  My computer was one of the first things I was concerned about getting hooked up.  After the moving dust had settled, I attempted to get back into some of my old living habits in my new environment – one of which was my few nights a week gaming. 

It upset him so much. 

I don’t know why he let it bother him so much.  I think when women get upset at their men for gaming it’s mostly to do with attention (or a lack thereof).  The women feels neglected by the man and does not want to have to share time with some video game.  We all know when we are gaming that outside stimulus can often be ignored.  I can remember one night I was raiding with my guild, right after we had started raiding ICC, and it was our 2nd attempt ever on Saurfang.  My roommate starts in with a story about work and I found myself doing the “uh-huh, oh really?, ok” shuffle.  I couldn’t tell you anything about that convo today – well, other than I’m fairly sure it had to do with her job. 

This wasn’t my ex’s problem though.  He took issue with the fact that I was even interested in playing video games.  He thought they were worthless and dorky.  He told me that he couldn’t believe how much I played video games. (Mind you we are talking 2-3 nights a week for a couple of hours).  One night he actually told me that he thought it was really unattractive.  And I made the decision to stop playing. 

It disgusts me to this day that I made that choice.  I mean, if he wanted me to stop playing because it was taking away from the time we got to spent together, and he was feeling neglected by me, that would have been a totally different story.  That I could have sympathized with.  Instead, I let him get under my skin.  He made me feel bad for wanting to play a video game.  He was an asshole.  Plain and simple.

Anyways… enough thinking about that douchenozzle. 

Now that I am out and dating again, I wonder how/when I should share my love of gaming with a potential mate.  When do people normally do that?  There is at least one thing I know – I won’t be waiting until we move in together for this sort of information to be shared.  There is honestly part of me that thinks it would be quite embarrassing to talk about it during a date, though.

Sexy Date: “So, Bee, what do you like to do?”

Bee: *flirty smile* “Well, I play guitar, I love watching movies, I take a cardio kickboxing class and I’m working on 25-man hardmode progression through the IceCrown Citadel with my guild PWNDEMNUBS.”

Sexy Date: “…..”

So do I limit myself to only dating those that also game?  That would certainly help with any embarrassing feelings or explaining.  It also would be nice to have someone to game with.  (or “game” with)

At the end of the day though, I have positive feelings about it.   Maybe I should look at Gaming Acceptance as sort of a filter for douchebags? 

I know when the right guy comes along, he’ll accept/love me just the way I am.   Hell, if he treats me good enough, I might even let him beat me in a duel.

33 Responses to “Issues with dating a non-gamer.”

  1. I find this so interesting, because it’s usually gender role reversal – the boy is playing and the girl is not. She’s pissed at him for playing – both because of the time spent not fawning over her and because she thinks it’s “dumb.”

    I’ve written on this before but TL;DR – spouses/partners
    -don’t get to choose each others’ hobbies
    -don’t get to spend excessive time on hobbies so that it is unreasonably cutting into your other responsibilities or relationship time
    -should be allotted equal “me-time” for their respective hobbies

    If that can’t be achieved, we have a problem, regardless of whether gaming is involved. If this dude didn’t object to gaming, chances are he’d object to some other thing that you like, ridicule your choice of reading material, or whatever. Epic. Fail.

    • You are 100% correct. The issues he had with my gaming, became issues with some of my other lifestyle choices and hobbies. He was just very controlling. He wanted his life lived a certain way (usually the way that he thought others would view as cool) and I didn’t conform to that. I just wish I hadn’t felt so stuck. Once we moved in together though I felt pretty trapped. I, of course, eventually got away from the situation – but when breaking up with someone also involves moving/large change in bills/etc (on top of heartbreak)… it adds many levels of difficultly. I would say that the ending of our relationship was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I left that situation with a renewed sense of self-worth.

  2. I used to date (and live with) a guy who had been gaming for years. He was an old school gamer and was disgusted with my “casual” gaming.

    For him, he not only wanted a girlfriend that was a gamer, but she had to be a HARDCORE elitist gamer.

    Ultimately you need to find someone that you have stuff in common with. If it is gaming, then look for someone who enjoys it as much as you do.

    Once you find that guy, everything is much easier :)

  3. This is the best damn post I have ever seen! Ok, I was linked twice and my ehog grew gigantically. Really tho, great write up. You could be friends with benefits with River. I’m sure he would be there for you :P

  4. Not many people in the physical realm that are my friends know about my gaming habits. Some barely know my real name…Since everyone calls me River in real life as well.

    That’s kind of the way I like it though.

  5. If it were any other hobby, would you even consider being with someone who mocked or belittled it? I suppose it’s not necessary for your partner to play with you – although I’m so glad it works that way for my husband and me – but tolerance and acceptance is a very basic minimum.

    But yeah, in the future probably bring it up sooner, otherwise he might claim you were hiding things from him. Which we all do… my husband says I didn’t tell him how bad I was at doing dishes….

    • No I wouldn’t. But unfortunetly with him, this was not the last time he did that to me. In fact, I think by me making the decision to stop my gaming while we lived together I basically paved the road for him to pick and choose what habits/hobbies etc I would participate in that he found acceptable. He was a controlling dickhead.

      I wish I was kidding. The final “big fight” of our relationship all started when he came home and found me crocheting and watching tv. Seriously… he had a huge problem that I was crocheting. He said he found it lazy and unattractive. Like I should have been biking instead.

      The positive that I take from our relationship is I now know that behavior like his leads to bad bad things, and I would never put myself through it again.

  6. I usually play 20 hours of games a week, average. Just about every girl I’ve ever dated has had a problem with it at one point or another. They’ve all dealt with it in different ways, too. But, at the end of the day, they always felt like they “weren’t as important.”

    The brillant thing about gaming is that you can do it pretty much anytime, day or night, rain or shine. But I also think that’s the problem–it’s a hobby for all instances, which means you’re going to be doing it a lot more than you would snowboarding or tennis.

    Then again, let’s say you’re significant other does play video games. What if she plays WoW or LoTRO? For me, that wouldn’t necessarily make it better because I don’t play or like either of those games.

    You think its tough to find a girl that plays video games like WoW? Try finding a girl that plays Battlefield Bad Company 2, Starcraft II, or APB.

    Good post, btw.

    • I almost think it’s important to have things that you like to do that your significant other does not necessarily participate in. With relationships it can be tough. Your partner can be selfish of your time.

      I think if she wasn’t jealous of your 20hours a week gaming, she might very well be jealous of your guy’s nights, or your UFC fight watching, or any number of testostrone filled bromance fests. :)

      Seriously though, it really comes down to the respect factor. I think your ex-girlfriends aggroed you because they were jealous. Wanted you to choose them over the games. And it’s a struggle I’m sure.

      A guy in my guild always has to log cause his girlfriend gets on his case. He gets such shit for it everytime. I recently met him and the girlfriend in real life. She was a totally down to earth and an awesome girl.

      I told him I’d never give him shit again.

  7. Never had that particular problem. I do think it is important to have some things in common with the people you date. It’s fun to do new things and learn things from other people. You also need a lot of common likes to keep things interesting together.

    Any guy who told you that you were a lesser person for anything you did was just trying to manipulate and control you. Good thing you broke up with him. I am sure you can do much better!!!

  8. “… and I’m working on 25-man hardmode progression through the IceCrown Citadel with my guild PWNDEMNUBS.”

    Be still my heart! Hey, if I were still single, that would get me right there.

    (… to which Mrs Grimmtooth says, “Settle down, fanboy.” Hmph.)

  9. I met my significant other at the Wrath midnight launch. =)

    I love the idea of meeting someone special in WoW, but 99% of the time you’ll discover they live so far away that the only justification for pursuing the relationship is sheer desperation.

    • Speaking from experience, I beg to differ

    • Awww… that’s like the cutest.

      I can see that it would be quite difficult to try and make a relationship with someone that lives so far away. Long distance relationships can be hard enough on there own, but to try to develop a new relationship at such distance (not just maintain one) must be infinitely more difficult.

      I do disagree though when you say it would be out of sheer desperation. Sometimes connections are just made. Real friendships can be formed over vent and in WoW (which I now know for a fact since visiting my guildmembers last month)… I can only assume the same thing could happen with a romantic connection.

      But certainely, you would be setting your self up for a difficult time.

  10. I think people in relationships should have interests and hobbies in common, and also things they like doing separately. I think it’s cool when couples play together, and totally get why partners are in different guilds. In my own relationships, I’ve dealt with it in different ways.

    Years ago, at a time I was only vaguely into video games, I negotiated things thusly with my gaming boyfriend: sex > gaming. Period. Sure, that gave me a “card to play” to get his attention when I wanted (a card his friends respected)…but I didn’t call him on it much. Having that agreement made me feel secure. We agreed on priorities, and I was honest about how much time/attention I wanted…and while he occasionally annoyed me by foing overboard playing too late or at a bad time, mostly it was fine. When it really felt wrong? Well…I knew how to get his attention or call him on it.

    Now? I’m a progressive raider in a different guild and time zone as my wow playing boyfriend. That’s a different one for me. We met through WoW…but I left his guild because I thought it was too stressful to raid and be in a relationship with him. I still do alt runs with him and fill in on his main raids, but my main is independent of that. We have a kick ass time leveling alts together, and that’s a big part of how we spend time together too. But we also make sure we have non-WoW time every week. It’s a balance.

    There are a lot of ways to handle it well. A lot of it depends on the relationship.

    The hardest thing about raiding is there’s a set commitment of certain hours every week. It’s easy for that to feel bad for one party. I know how I’d be tempted to take that if I didn’t understand. Thankfully, that’s never been a problem I’ve had.

    • “I think people in relationships should have interests and hobbies in common, and also things they like doing separately.”

      Absolutely. The problem with my ex is that he didn’t see my extrarelationship hobbies as valid. It wasn’t that he was jealous of my time, it was that he was disrespectful of my choices. This disrespect bled over into so many other things. I could almost thank gaming as my new filter for recognizing controlling jerks like him.

  11. I don’t think I could date a non gamer.. ex gamers as well. Their tales of surviving gaming addition makes them come across as preachy sometimes, though on the otherhand, I dated an ex wow player who promptly reactivated his account and wanted to level together. That lasted to about level 30 – need a middleground between quality time in RL and an understanding to my gaming wants/needs.
    Never pocket healing for a boy again.

  12. I’m sorry your ex was such a jerk! Most guys I know would kill to have a gamer girlfriend! As to when to let someone know you’re a gamer, I might be kind of weird, but I always tell people as soon as I meet them! There’s always the “what are you into?” “what do you do?” questions, and I happily tell them I play lots of World of Warcraft and have a gaming blog. Might be risky, and I know there are some people who haven’t talked to me again after finding out that gaming is such a large part of my life, but they probably wouldn’t have made for good friends anyway! :)

  13. [...] found it fascinating the secret life of female gamers.  and there unique set of [...]

  14. [...] last boyfriend (the controlling, self-absorbed prick) and I were together for 4 years.  After I left him, I moved in with my old roommate from [...]

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