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.
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…
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?