Having worked in a video game store for years I learned a lot about how couples approach their video gaming habits. A majority of the couples I met through there had a problem when it came to gaming. Someone in the relationship enjoyed gaming and the other half did not. I observed this issue numerous times and I successfully aided in solving it a few times for some of the couples. All I had to do was show the non-gamers that they can enjoy gaming as well… and explain to the gamers that if they want their lady on board with them, they had to give them time to learn.
There are also plenty of couples out there who already mutually enjoy gaming together. If you talk to any of them, they probably spend a lot of time at home, together, just gaming the night away. This may come across as lazy to someone who does not game at all, but the truth about this scenario is that it is a cheap way to spend time together.
Think of all the money a couple spends going out to eat, or to the movies, and compare that to the cost of owning a console system… or perhaps a couple of PC’s. Once you own those things, you really only have to spend money on new games as they hit the market. You won’t blow gas to travel places constantly and you will actually spend time at home! This may not be for all couples, but for many, money is tight… and anything that can help you spend less of it, is a good thing!
People, from your non-gamer lovers perspective… this is what they are thinking when they say they hate your gaming habit. They feel like you would rather play games than spend time with them. If that is actually true, then you should not be together anyways, folks! Think about that. If that is not true, and you do enjoy your significant other… then keep reading!
A non-gamer who is reluctant to game with you is most likely worried about being terrible at it! As the gamer in the relationship, you can fix this by being very understanding and open to their noobness. Encourage them to try playing with you. If this does not work, tell them they should play on their own when you are not around. Set them up with their own profile on your system, or their own PC with the games loaded on it. Do all you can to express how much you would love for them to be able to share the gaming experience WITH you! And be patient when they aren’t very good… because we all started somewhere, right? Remember that.
For the non-gamers out there, this is what your gamer sweetheart is thinking. They enjoyed videos games before you were in the picture. Whether you knew that or not going into it, it is probably a trait you cannot change about them. Relationships are about compromise and working together, so the least you can do is take an interest in something they are passionate about… and give it a try. Ask your other half to show you how to play something. Or have them take you out to a game store so you can pick out a game that may interest you! And if you want to learn how to play but you are worried they will give you a hard time as you are learning, play when you are home alone. Baby steps!
Together, you can both improve your relationship by enjoying the fun that is gaming. Player 1 is lonely when Player 2 is an NPC… trust me. And as for online gaming? Don’t rush your non-gamer into that mess… please. Stick to in house gaming together for awhile first.
As for suggestions on what to try together… if you don’t have a Wii, Kinect, or Move… get it! Especially the Wii. If your other half has hardly ever touched a controller, then the Wii is a good first step. You can play Mario Kart, or DK Country Returns… any number of 2 players games, TOGETHER. And that is the whole point, doing something together. If you are both comfortable with the PC environment, try something like World of Warcraft or similar. There are plenty of free MMO’s out there as well… but remember to level together. Don’t jump too far ahead of your first time gamers toon… they may enjoy the actual patience and time you spend together, not you carrying them through everything.
The most important thing to take away from all of this is that you can help one another enjoy something together. That something can be gaming. Even if they act like they hate it, deep down most non-gamers simply do not understand the fun of it. But they will… if you help them! Instead of selfishly burying yourself in your games, bring them into the picture with you. Deep down inside we are all gamers.