General Etiquette > Dating

etiquette of da[color=black]ting[/color] and being a gamer

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Saturnine Rodent:
I haven't had this problem as of yet, i am curious as to what you'd think. i play video games a lot. it's one of my favourite past times, i love getting immersed into a good story with amazing graphics and interesting characters, it's like an interactive book for me. however i do tend to get very immersed and can forget about the real world the way any gamer does; i forget to clean up, make dinner and so on. i also become even more introverted than usual, i am a little worried that if i dated a guy or girl at some point, i may neglect them or may become lazy during game time. gaming sessions last for about 1-3 hours, one time it was 5 but never more than that. I've read about a lot of partners of gamers feeling neglected and (quite rightly) annoyed at their partner's neglect of their duties. I'm just worried i may become like the partner they're complaining about.

so my question is on one hand; how far do i peel back the leisure time to avoid being a lazy sloth? i get the feeling 1 hour or 2 hours is enough. and how would i bring this up to future partners to let them know that they can call me out on it if I've been too immersed in games and not cleaning the dishes?

also, if i were d@ting another gamer and they were being very sloth like, how would i delicately bring it up and avoid coming across as judgemental and expecting them to give up gaming completely?

1. It's a question of balance. If my partner wanted to game, say, three nights a week and one longer stretch on the weekend, then my main question would be, is stuff getting done and do I have to repeatedly remind them to get it done? Also, are we getting any time together to do coupley things away from the games? You might decide cut down to two two-hour sessions during the week and one long one, or switch a day. Also, set reminders so they don't have to nag about dishes or dinner, because that's really not fair to them.

2. Arrange a sit-down away from the games, and then talk. "Honey, I love you and want us both to be happy. I'm feeling frustrated about your gaming. I like to game too, but when you don't do the things you said you would because you're too busy on a raid, I get upset because I feel like you're asking me to do all the work while you have all the fun. How can we arrange this so we both have time to game and also get the house stuff done?"

Tea Drinker:
I think part of it can be handled by scheduling: if you're worried about neglecting a partner, make sure to schedule time to spend with them. You can let "I will hang out with $partner" be the default, but make sure it isn't only the default, and that it doesn't wind up being that you're spending time with them doing chores, and you spend time with other people gaming or going out places.

I'm married to a gamer! Actually, an active hobbyist in general. If it's not video games, it's basketball. If it's not basketball, it's Magic. Compromise and effort got us through a lot of fights. Your partner will have to understand from the beginning that gaming is very much a part of who you are. However, your going to have to understand that gaming doesn't mean you can neglect everything else. DH and I don't have any 'rules' written in stone, but we try to mindful (e.g. DH doesn't play until after DS goes to bed or it's okay if DH plays longer than usual if it's a new release). It took a lot of talking to get to this point. I reminded DH that it isn't fair to me or DS when he comes home from work and goes straight to gaming. DH reminded me that it's not fair to him to make him hang out with me for the sake of hanging out with me because we end up not doing anything. When you start dating someone, you'll have a better idea of how to handle the situation. It's a difficult question to answer since it's a hypothetical question.

My partner and I are both gamers. We will have whole nights spent (some would say wasted, I'm sure) with him playing on the XBox and me playing Dragon Age on the computer, say. But when it is *our* time it's *our* time. I would suggest a big separation between Now Is Gaming (Internet, Reading, TV) Time, and Now Is Couple Time. That way gaming time is less likely to 'creep' into couple time if you don't want it to.

I think it really varies by couples--two gamers will obviously have a much higher tolerance, or even one gamer and one person with another absorbing hobby. I think it's all about making sure that when you do have a 5 hour gaming session, it's when the partner is *not* bored at home wanting your attention.

As for the household stuff, I think it's a matter of degree. If once or twice a year a great new game comes up and you lose a couple days of dishes to it, that's one thing. It's another if things are repeatedly piling up every time something exciting comes up. I think this is something that needs to get figured out pretty early in a relationship if you don't want it to be a constant battle--some people are *never* going to have the same standards of cleanliness, for instance. So if you have those standards it is easier to say 'hey, you've been really absorbed with X game lately and Y and Z haven't happened--can we fix this?'


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