All of us have issues with dating. All of us. Even those of us who managed to put out the right pokeball and…you know…after the long battles – catch the ones we thought we wanted – there are always issues that come up. (Yes. I did just open an article about the pitfalls of nerd dating with a really bad pokemon reference…It is that kind of day.)
We all have issues. Every last one of us. I can really only speak with any real authority on the ones I have actually had so…Let’s get this started.
As gamers, purveyors of the particular brand of “cool” we all tend to gravitate toward – we’ve all had the experience of dating people who not only don’t “get” us, but who SAY they are fine dating a gamer and then REALLY AREN’T.
I started playing games seriously when I was about fourteen. When I was eighteen, I was on a competitive all female Counter-Strike team. We were relatively good – but our main purpose (as far as I can tell in 2001) was to have guys throw tampons at us when we actually managed to win. Someone also made us a lovely banner that said “Get the fuck back in the kitchen. (And make me a sammich)”
Gamers the world over have similar problems when it comes to dating. All of us want to find that special someone who will just accept us for who we are and know when to shut up and let us keep playing.
There. I said it. I’ll be the bad guy.
There are things ALL OVER the internet about guy gamers wanting to either find that magical girl gamer to have, hold, and be with forever – or guys just talking about wanting to have a girl who UNDERSTANDS what it is like being a gamer and really when not to push some issues.
There are (finally) female gamers speaking out about what it is like for us dating. In doing research for this article, I happened to come across some of the most astoundingly stupid stuff on the internet. Dating is difficult for everyone. Even when you are lucky enough to FIND that magic person you don’t want to strangle after the first five minutes of being together – dating is HARD.
When one of your hobbies involves screaming things like “What the fuck are you doing – If I had balls they would be bigger than yours!” into a headset at perfect strangers makes it REALLY hard to keep up the illusion that you are some kind of dainty girl, or whatever the hell it is that men seem to want.
The day that I turned thirty and realized that I wasn’t married yet I started doing some soul searching. For me, this means that I spent a lot of time PvPing and yelling things into a headset at strangers. I have nothing against consoles, and I am actively trying to get into console gaming, I’ve just always had better computers and could only afford to indulge in one hobby at a time. Let’s face it…Gaming is not exactly a cheap hobby the way most of us like to do it, and we all tend to go a little overboard on our games of choice.
For most of my life I have mostly dated men who really were not that into gaming. In fact, gaming was one of the direct causes of the end of the last serious long term relationship I had. The man knew when he met me that I was a gamer. He said he thought it was “cute”. Toward the end of the relationship however, he actually told me that he believed that MMO games were responsible for most of the problems that the world was facing – and that I had a choice…I could repent from my gaming ways and learn to adapt to life with him, in the real world and never pick up a game again, or I could kiss him goodbye.
There were a lot of problems with that relationship. He wasn’t a bad person – He was sixteen years my senior, and ultimately I think that at the end of the day most of the things he said he loved about me were ultimately the things he couldn’t deal with.
Every single relationship has issues. The biggest difference between the relationships that survive and the ones that, well, don’t is that at the end of the day the people who make it work still believing that the relationship is worth fighting for and the ones who break up just can’t justify doing that anymore.
It isn’t some major complicated mystery here.
I do think that gamers and geeks (respectively) have challenges that other people in the “real world” don’t. Typically, we are all very passionate people. We tend to go all in for things. Most of us tend to be smart, funny, and we have the innate ability to piss off people we are with (which most of us do without really trying to).
Being a girl gamer brings with it some other issues. My whole life MOST of my friends have been men. This is because A) I tend to get along better with dudes in general B) there aren’t a ton of other girls who hang out at the game and comic stores who weren’t brought there by their significant others and C) at the end of the day the only drama I like is stuff I write or play. Real Life drama – the kind that most women I have been around tend to indulge in – actually really pisses me off. I have no idea what to do with it.
As much as the guys I have dated have SAID that they were all cool with my mostly male posse – it has ALWAYS at some point caused issues.
As one of my boyfriends put it to me “I know what I am thinking when I look at your ass. If I am thinking it then I know other guys are too. I really don’t want to have to punch every man around you in the face because your ass is fantastic.”
Bottom line, gamer or not, relationships are hard. There’s a reason so few survive, and if you are lucky enough to be in one that has you know that no relationship is perfect. You and your significant other are probably well aware that these things are fragile and that keeping one alive and healthy deserves a fucking achievement, or at least a special title for unlocking one of the most difficult real life things without some kind of dungeon guide.
If you say you have that shit figured out, or that you are some kind of dating/relationship zen master, then you are either incredibly convoluted or you are a lying liar who is lying out of your lie hole.
As we get older – and things in our lives change and evolve – our tastes, standards, and everything should change and evolve with us. We should all grow and hopefully this includes finding a partner who we can be with that loves and respects us for who we actually are – not who they want us to be or conversely, what they think the want.
The world is full of mixed messages about sex, love, and dating. There are weird unspoken rules and sex and dating top the charts of things that there are weird unspoken rules about.
They are also two of the most amazing and gratifying things in the world. When you can find a partner who compliments you, and you manage to compliment them, then for a moment it’s like the world is the awesome place we all want it to be.
Bottom line is this – Be yourself. Be upfront about who you are and have realistic expectations about yourself and your partner. Gamer or not he/she deserves to know what your habits and your level of involvement really is. Hiding in the gamer closet and having the “Surprise! I play this game six hours a night!” talk is never fun. Especially because it rarely goes well.
If you are a gamer and your partner isn’t, chances are that they don’t know what you see in gaming. Chances are actually very good that they really don’t see it at all and there is some kind of resentment brewing. That is NOT a good thing. If significant other isn’t down with gaming chances are that it has LESS to do with the games and MORE to do with the partner feeling disconnected from you. Do your best to bridge that and you will be closer to climbing that mountain. Trying to include them never hurts. Of course, they may never really take to gaming though you never know until you try, but they will be happy you are trying to get close to them. Ultimately, when your woman (or man) is yelling at you to get off the fucking video game, they wouldn’t care if they didn’t want to be spending that time with you.
Of course, if your girl is like me though, she’s probably already at home, naked, screaming into a mic somewhere making someone REALLY sorry that they logged in. If she isn’t? Try and teach her, she may surprise you.