General Gaming

Being One Half of a Gamer Couple… And Why it Doesn’t Always Work

Bit of a personal post today. I’ve had a bit of a weird couple of months, lots of big stuff has happened all at once and unfortunately my blog has taken a back seat, with only a few random, sporadic posts being done. What with all the things that have been going on I’ve been struggling to think of content, but I’m finally getting some more ideas coming through. I’ll give you a quick summary of all that’s happened, just for context, and then we can get to the knitty gritty of my post.

What’s happened then? Well, to kick it all off my boyfriend and I broke up, there was some inevitable drama with that but I moved to a new flat and that’s all sorted now. After that I got made redundant (but that’s a good thing because I was already looking for jobs anyway!), after a few weeks I found a job and started last week. Finally, a couple of weeks ago my gorgeous pet rat Hanzo passed away, and so did my dog Taz who was with me all through my teenage years. Both were quite old and they lived happy lives! So yeah, quite a bit of drama but I’m over the worst of it now!

On with the main part of the post… I wanted to share my experience of dating another gamer because I felt like it was an interesting situation which some may be able to relate to, or it may potentially help someone going through anything similar. After having some time to think about everything I realised that on paper we went together really well but it just wasn’t enough. I used to actively seek out people that were on the geeky side because I thought that that was what I went well with but now I’m not so sure.

When we first started seeing each other gaming was our big “thing”; we played games together, chatted about them, went to related events… it was great. However, after two and a half years it just got a little stale for me. It turned out he was way more invested in gaming than I was, which was fine but I just like a little variety in my routine sometimes is all. It’s very strange to suddenly have the connection with my go-to gaming friend cut off, but to be honest it’s also quite refreshing in a weird way. A lot of my blog posts were inspired by my ex which is probably why I’ve been having massive writers’ block lately. He introduced me to a lot of games that I’d never played before and that influenced a huge amount of my blog content. Once I was moved into my new place and my PS4 was set up I had no idea what to play. I did eventually settle on pettily killing him off in the Sims and making myself a new, super hot boyfriend (OK… Yes, that’s a bit sad but it made me feel better). Once I had done that though I decided to finish a lot of the games I had bought over the past couple of years but not finished, starting with Doom. I used to have a rule where I would always finish my current game before buying a new one, but it was so easy to get drawn into new ones when we were both really excited about a new game release. Now though, rather than leap-frogging from game to game, I’ve stuck with just two for the past month: Breath of the Wild and Doom. More so Breath of the Wild to be honest, but Doom is a nice break from the open world format occasionally. In fact, I haven’t actually finished the vast majority of games that I have bought in the past couple of years, I was always getting distracted by shiny, new games.

After thinking about it for a while I realised that I had been playing loads of games that he liked from his past, but he had rarely played any of mine, and if he did it was extremely short-lived. When I was playing his games, though, he would be bugging me, desperate to see my reaction even if I wasn’t that keen on it. Once I was finished (or tired of) the current recommendation there’d be an instantaneous recommendation for something else. I totally get that, I have been there myself whether it’s for a game, a TV show, music, a book… Lots of different things. It’s awesome when you get to introduce something you love to someone, and it’s especially wonderful if they end up loving it just as much as you do, but to some extent it does need to be a two-way street.

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Final Fantasy was a big franchise he was keen on getting me hooked on. Sometimes that worked out… Other times not so much.

Another thing we started doing, which I was never 100% keen on, was playing different games side by side at the same time. Our two TVs were placed next to each other in our living room and we would sit there side by side playing either the same game or different games. I am not sure why I didn’t like doing this much, I think it was the silence that grated on me and I just didn’t see the point. He said it was because we were spending time together but I didn’t see it as that. I would rather have my own, private gaming time and do something else to spend time together, but he enjoyed it so I did it. Not to say that if you do this it’s weird or wrong, personally I just like my space but this made it seem like I saw him all the time. On top of that I have quite a few hobbies, most days I have aerial fitness classes (some of which I now teach as well), I like to sew occasionally, I have my blog, I like going out with my friends, and of course I have my video games. I like doing a lot of things, but gaming was his sole extra-curricular activity, so if he wasn’t at work he would be at home gaming. I didn’t mind at first but after a while it began to bother me. I actually started to catch myself thinking “could you get off that bloody game and do something else?” I would then have to mentally check myself and tell myself to not be an idiot; I felt like I was being judgmental and felt bad because as a gamer myself I have had a fair few people not just think that when they’ve seen me engrossed in a game but said it out loud as well. I should understand. I put it down to me taking it out on him because I was having a bit of a stressful time and hoped it would go away, but instead it got worse. He seemed to spend even more time gaming than before and eventually it grew to a point where I’d come home from work and see him slumped on the sofa playing something and my immediate reaction would be to roll my eyes and get in a bit of a strop. Again, I can’t believe I did that! I always prided myself on being a “gamer girlfriend” but there I was tutting away…

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What was probably the expectation from both of us when we first got together… Very quickly dispelled. You can’t focus properly on the game, what’s the point? Get off me I need to focus.
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That’s more like it

For me I see gaming as more of a solo activity (excluding party games like Worms, Mario Kart, etc) that I like to do to relax and chill out for a bit in my spare time. Other people simply may not see it that way. I came to realise it wasn’t a simple case of our initial “we’re both gamers, yay!” but a case of actually being two very different people that had a couple of massive things in common which we enjoyed in different ways.

I never thought that gaming would be a factor in me breaking up with someone, ever. If you had told me before that I would be one of those girlfriends that complained their other half was gaming too much I wouldn’t have believed you but… I was. What started out as our core, shared interest became one of the things that destroyed us. It was by no means the main reason, at all, but it slowly became a habit that contributed to the mountain of built up frustration. You learn something new about yourself every time you go through a relationship and this time I learned that just because you have so many shared interests, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a good match. Next time my main pick-up line won’t be “I have a Playstation”… I wish I was joking but it was genuinely that.

I am happy to say that since we broke up I feel a lot more relaxed. I didn’t realise how stressed I was but I’m taking some time for myself now and it feels great.

Is your other half a gamer? Have you ever broken up with someone because of gaming? How does gaming fit into your relationship?

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24 thoughts on “Being One Half of a Gamer Couple… And Why it Doesn’t Always Work

  1. Sorry to read this, break ups are rubbish 😥 sounds like you’re coping well though.

    My wife isn’t into my hobbies and vice versa, but I think that’s why we work well. We’ve got our own ways of chilling out but gel on the important things (money, raising kids, running the household)

    From experience, I’d say conpatibllity isn’t just the same hobbies it’s your outlook on life and your aspirations for the future that are important.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you’ve had a pants few months!
    Relationships are hard, especially when you have shared hobbies. Me and my boyfriend game and paint Warhammer together, which is lovely and gives us time to relax together. But I always get a bit bummed out that he has more time to paint and game than I do, so he’s got a lot better so quickly and I still find painting faces hard, and some boss battles stress me out.. you win some, you loose some I guess (‘:
    Hope you are feeling a bit better now ❤

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    1. It sounds worse than it was! Once the initial stress of moving out was done with I had an amazing month, mainly thanks to my friends haha

      That’s a really cool hobby, I would never be able to paint like that! I’m too impatient! Maybe he’ll peak early in his painting skills and you can catch up 😛

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      1. Glad everything is all good now!
        It is pretty hard work, I have terrible patience and hate to build up small layers of paint but I’m getting there haha.
        Oh my, good idea! I will eventually steal all his skills 😉

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  3. I’m glad to hear that breaking it off reduced your stress – that sounds like the sort of relationship where it’s healthy to bring things to an end. Gaming has always been a big part of my relationship with my wife, but we’re both similar to you where we don’t really see it as a group activity unless we’re actually playing a multiplayer game together. Generally if we’re gonna spend time together, we want to really be focused on each other and not doing separate things.

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  4. My husband and I are definitely the “TV next to each other” type of gamers, but I can see why it’s not for everyone. When we started dating, we recommended a lot of games for each other and we didn’t really like each other’s suggestions. After a while, we figured out that while we both play a lot of games, his interests in shooters and mine in RPGS are completely different. Once we figured out what the other one liked, we stopped forcing each other to play games and started just gaming together while actively keeping a dialogue open about what we are doing. A common hobby is helpful in a relationship, but it doesn’t fix an incompatible couple.

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  5. Glad you are feeling better after all that; deaths of pets are awful as are breakups :/ But you seem to be moving forward and that’s important.

    My other half is a gamer, but I think we’re both about the same “level” of gamer, that is to say we enjoy video games and will fangirl over certain ones, but we both also have hobbies outside of gaming that we enjoy individually. For me, though, doing something together is doing it *together*; if I’m playing Mass Effect 3 (yay meme) and my other half were to sit next to me and watch and talk to me, I’d be okay with that. If they had other things to do, I’d be okay with that, as well. Likewise, I’d be perfectly happy to sit and watch her play a game of her choosing. At any rate, I haven’t broken up with anyone over games; the people I’ve dated (even if they didn’t like games themselves) have been pretty accepting of that hobby, but I also think it’s because gaming (or any other hobby) didn’t come before they did!

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  6. Once again I’m terribly sorry about your pets, it’s never a good thing when they pass away as you feel it’s like losing a part of yourself with them. You know we are here if need be.

    Now as promised, on to my own experience with being the defined “gamer couple”.
    Once upon a time I had a girlfriend who like myself were a gamer, we could make it work by playing some of the different games we enjoy but also some together. She brought me back into the world of Pokémon after many years, finally taking them more seriously and research more into breeding, building a team, farming after shinies etc.
    However, one day something stranged happened. I didn’t notice it at first but it became more apparent when looking. She had a few things she would do that would drive me nuts but never would I get angry and yell at her (better to just talk about it) but after the few times we did have conversations about it and what I did that she weren’t enjoying. More and more did it become clear to me that we weren’t compatible with how we were as people. In the end it wasn’t video games that were the evil, but the person instead.

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out between you two but still glad to hear how you are dealing with it (again, get a hold if you want to talk.) but in my opinion it’s the people that either can work it out by always talking and find different ways to deal with it, never the video games. 🙂

    Stay Cozy and onward you must go in your adventure my friend!

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  7. I’m sorry about your break up and your two beloved pets! 😥 My boyfriend and I are both gamers but I’m more on the casual gamer …whilst he is the more serious variety gamer. We are in a LDR so we don’t spend the same amount of time in which you did with your boyfriend. However, I think we are half-half for now in terms of playing different games – he recommends games and we play it. I recommend games, and he is open to trying it out! I think we both respect that if either of us doesn’t like a game, we won’t pester another with it and probably just play it on our own. I’ve yet to see what it will really be like once we are together on a day-to-day basis!!

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  8. Breaks up sucks, but it sounds like you two were on different gaming wavelengths and TBH I can kind of relate. I’m a gamer and have been since I was three, but me and my husband have vastly different philosophies on it. I’m with you about it being a solo venture. I see it kind of like reading. I do it to relax/wind down, play something with an epic story, or whatever. He does co-op games like Destiny where he spends most of his time screaming at the game or the other players (not the ones that can hear) and complaining about it. One, I hate yelling; it sets me on edge, and two, I have no clue WHY he continues to play this game if he hates it so much, but he says he wants to play with his friends. I just need a good set of ear cancelling headphones so I don’t murder him. He also plays Pokemon Go, which I also have no problem with, but i DO have a problem with him pulling over on the side of a busy street because there’s a gym. Like…I take games pretty seriously. I mean I write fanfiction and essays FFS so I’m serious about games, but I think we’re serious in different ways, which is fine.

    I think gaming has gotten to the point where just having that in common doesn’t mean you’re going to make a good couple. It’s like if someone says they like reading comic books. There are SO many ways to enjoy things now, and it honestly sounds like he was trying to make you enjoy it his way instead of your way.

    Omg my heart is broken for you about losing your fur babies though ;_; Even though they lived long, good lives, that’s still the worst.

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    1. The co-op shouting and stressing out would drive me mad! I’d definitely have to get headphones if I were you!
      You’re right I think, it’s such a broad spectrum of genres and abilities it’s hard to actually find someone that likes exactly the same stuff.

      Thank you about the fur babies, I still have one rat left and I’ve been trying to find him a new friend his sort of age as they’re not supposed to be kept alone, fingers crossed I’ll have some more soon! Trying to think of video game based names haha

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      1. Rat friends just don’t live that long and that’s heartbreaking ;_; Is it a male or a female? I’ve heard boys will fight unless they’re brothers. I think they’re super cute. They’re now training rats to sniff out landmines! I keep getting these posts about sponsoring one of them and I’m legit thinking of doing so. I don’t think the rats are hurt because they’re light enough to go over the mines without setting them off.

        Hm, well all my names would be Final Fantasy based :p Spyro would be cute for a rat though as would Sonic, Samus, Zelda, or Midna. Of course now I’m blanking. What series were you thinking of?

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  9. Yikes. I can only imagine how hard all of that was to go through. I haven’t been lucky enough to be in a relationship with anyone before, so I can’t really comment on personal experiences. You gave me a lot to think about if I ever do meet the right person though. Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck with everything. 🙂

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