It’s a common complaint among women: “my boyfriend spends too much time playing video games! I’m starting to wonder if he loves them more than he loves me!”
Since video games can take up a large chunk of a guy’s time, and girlfriends usually need a lot of quality time from their boyfriend, this can create a huge conflict between a couple (that usually creates more disconnects between them if it is not handled well).
Thankfully, though this issue usually causes the girlfriend a lot of pain, I’m here to let you know that it doesn’t have to if you have the right understanding and perspective.
Here are four ways to approach the problem with your boyfriend so that you guys can overcome the problem, create deeper understanding and appreciation between you.
1: Understand Why He Does It First
If you want your relationship to succeed, the first principle is to lead with your understanding.
What does this mean?
It means to feel into your boyfriend’s world and feel what he feels – as well as understand why games actually have a very deep meaning to him. Yes, games can actually hold a deep meaning for guys.
(Not to mention, gaming actually has benefits and can be therapeutic for people who need pain management).
Let’s start with learning why it can have a deep meaning for masculine men.
Consider that masculine energy thrives on challenge, while feminine energy thrives on praise.
So whilst certain video games may seem superficial and pointless to some women, from the viewpoint of the masculine – they can actually be very fulfilling.
The masculine perspective goes a bit like this: I’m bored, what’s something meaningful I can do?
How can I experience challenge and meaning at the same time as filling up my masculine soul?
Well, I could kill some bad guys or solve a big problem. Both of these are easily accessible within a video game, yet not always as easy to access in real life.
As Renée Wade, Author of The Feminine Woman, writes in her article What to do if your boyfriend loves video games too much:
“Video games are an easy way for men to feel successful. It’s kind of like women emptying their bank accounts to buy all these clothes, shoes, accessories, and make-up that they hardly ever use or wear, in order to feel beautiful and magnify their radiance.”
In other words, by overcoming challenges and experiencing success through video games, men are able to access their masculine energy.
Much like women are able to experience different facets of their feminine energy by purchasing lots of different shoes or dresses.
(Purchasing these shoes and dresses may seem pointless to a man and even a waste of money – but they hold meaning for a woman!)
If you want a deeper understanding of the masculine perspective, here’s a great article on the 5 things every woman must know about men.
2: Appreciate That Video Games Can Actually Help A Man Develop Problem Solving Skills
I know this one sounds so counterintuitive to many women – but it’s true, and it took me a while to understand this, but I think it’s finally sunk in after having 3 sons of my own…
When guys play video games, it actually gives them practice at solving different problems and makes them more familiar with solving problems – albeit in a format which you may not think is necessary.
But what’s not necessary in a woman’s mind may be in a man’s mind.
In the case of young boys, I’ve noticed that playing certain games can actually be a great motivator to learn to read complicated words and understand more complex things about life that they otherwise wouldn’t care about.
But that doesn’t change the fact that when your boyfriend spends a lot of time on video games, it hurts your soul, and you feel neglected. So this is what the next point is for…
3: Show Him You Understand Him, Then Build Emotional Attraction To Inspire Him To Be With You
You can say something like:
“I know how much these games mean to you. It’s good that you get to solve problems by playing them.”
To first meet him where he is at and then lower his defenses (since him playing video games already has a history of creating problems between you both).
Once his defenses are lowered, he will then be more open to connecting with you.
Then, if you want him to spend more time with you, then the best way to approach it is by building some emotional attraction with him first.
How do you do that?
The best way is to use banter, as this helps to create a sense of excitement in your interactions.
Here’s an example of something you can say:
“You know what I love about you?”
He says: “what?”
You say: “Absolutely nothing” [insert playful wink or playful face here].
Why would you do this?
Because it playfully creates a feeling of push and pull.
Because the whole concept behind building emotional attraction is to connect with your boyfriend and create a sense of attraction (which can be achieved through banter).
Remember this: the two elements of any successful relationship are emotional connection and emotional attraction. If you don’t have these two things, then getting your boyfriend to be with you will be a lot harder.
Since video games are exciting to him, and you may seem unhappy a lot of the time (or you guys are always fighting), then which one do you think would seem more appealing to him most of the time?
The option that is emotionally safe and gives him excitement, of course.
Renee Wade has a great article you can read in order to learn more ways to build emotional attraction.
One more reason why building emotional attraction is important: because if your guy has a gaming addiction (yes, gaming addiction is real and is now recognized by the WHO), then that means that video games meet more needs for him than almost everything else in his life.
This is what addiction is: it’s a particular behavior that meets a wide range of your needs at a high level.
But it’s all perception, and we could, in theory, become addicted to all types of different pastimes and behaviors (or even to other people).
Alternatively stated, addiction can be changed, (yes he could become addicted to you too), but he has to feel that the relationship with you also meets his needs at a high level.
And yes, it’s possible for him to perceive you as the ultimate source of meeting his needs (in a way that is much more real and much more meaningful than video games) if you want it to be possible.
What does that mean for you?
It means that in order for him to spend more time with you, he needs to perceive that his needs are met at just as high a level with you (if not more).
And the easiest way to do that is to build emotional attraction and emotional connection with him.
4: Try To Play With Him Every Now And Then
You may have no interest in the game he’s playing, but you have an interest in him, right?
If you can show your interest in sitting with him and playing for 15 minutes even – this would make him feel instantly connected to you.
See, while the feminine women of the world feel connected through talking and bonding, men bond with each other (and with you) through doing things side by side, perhaps overcoming a challenge together as a team.
I’m not suggesting that you do this all the time – after all, you have your own life and your own interests to pursue. But it shows him that you care about him and care to connect with him on his level.
So all this may seem like a lot of work – but all it really is is a change in mindset and a test of how much you really are willing to connect with your boyfriend and lead with your understanding.
Even if your boyfriend has hurt you a lot in the past by spending more time on video games than he does on you – you can only inspire him to spend more time with you by leading with your understanding and building an emotional connection and emotional attraction.
If you try to approach the issue with annoyance, hatred, or disgust for his habits – that will only create more disconnects.
So do yourself a favor, and consider how you can lead with your understanding and your desire to connect. It will lower your own stress levels and well as his, as well as give him a renewed sense of love and appreciation for you.
(Because you understood and appreciated him first.)
Recap: 4 Things To Do If Your Boyfriend Loves Video Games More Than He Loves You.
- Understand why he does it first.
- Appreciate that video games can actually help a man develop problem-solving skills.
- Show him you understand him, then build emotional attraction to inspire him to be with you.
- Try to play with him every now and then.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Blue Planet Studio. The picture showing an upset woman next to a gaming man has been prepared by Motortion. The photo with the couple playing happy together on a couch was taken by Hoda Bogdan. The shot with the gaming couple on the floor was done by Ivanko Brnjakovic.