This is a great question from a longtime and lovely reader of mine, Masaleen:
Hope you’re doing well. I’m still an avid fan, and you and David become a cuter couple with every video.
My struggle is this. Recently I’ve been feeling a bit estranged from my man because he feels I don’t understand his love of video games, and wishes I did. I do my best not to make him feel controlled; letting him play when he wants to, and with his friends, etc.
But having him need me to see and appreciate the “depth,” “inspiration,” and “heart” he feels some games have is going too far for me. He even wishes I would play a bit so that I would stop assuming he’s doing something shallow and meaningless. Is it not enough that I leave him alone when he’s playing and never complain afterwards? I’m not silently seething either; I’ve come to accept his need to play.
But now I feel controlled and unappreciated, simply for not seeing gaming the way he and his buddies do. I am NOT his buddy, I am a woman and his lover and I have no interest in games. Is this an inadequate way of thinking?
Should I try harder to share in and understand his hobbies, or am I wise in staying out of his masculine interests?
I feel many women struggle with men who love video games a LOT. I don’t know if David loves gaming, but for most women I know whose men love it, it is frequently a struggle for her in some way.
Whether you want to address me directly or answer it in a post is up to you, but I would LOVE if you shared your insights on how women should handle men and their love, sometimes obsession, with gaming. It can be an extremely delicate subject for men, making them put up their defenses easily, so it’s not easy to deal with the issue.
Thanks for your time, Renee. I really appreciate all you do. You’ve contributed to helping Mike and I stay as strong as we are (because don’t worry, we are still madly in love!”
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dating a guy who plays video games
Hi, lovely Masaleen!
Thanks for your email. And yes, I can relate to this. I laughed when you said he wants you to appreciate the “depth” and “heart” that some video games have (no disrespect to men and their love of video games, that’s just that I’m a woman and that just sounds so hilarious to me), anyway…
Years ago, David used to play video games a lot. Sometimes until late when he had to wake up at 6 am the next day for work! I feel it was his way of escaping from a job that he felt trapped in and that he hated.
You’ve obviously struggled with this in the past, way before you emailed me – what I’m saying is, you’ve struggled to understand why on earth he has to be so “involved” and distracted by video games and can’t give you the deep love you want.
To you as a woman, most video games are not full of depth, or heart. I understand. You see depth in terms of real, human interaction and relationships.
So you’d rather he came over to you and gave you his full presence and loved you so deeply (instead of playing video games at that moment anyway) you don’t know which way is up, or down.
Boyfriend plays too much video games…Is there Depth In It?
When I first wrote this article 10 years ago, I was of the belief that for the masculine soul, video games are a “superficial” way to meet your needs.
I think intuitively, us women assume that video games are just a shallow way of expressing their masculinity and feeling successful. After all, you have to turn the game off and go back to real life sometime soon enough.
Yet, after being married to my game-loving husband and having three sons with him, I’ve come to appreciate certain things about playing games. I will discuss these things very soon, but first I wanted to quickly address your need to not be around him when he plays them.
For a lot of women, we’d rather not be around our man when he plays games, because we’d rather see him do something more ‘constructive’.
Even if our man is already successful and constructive out in the real world, it still hurts to be around him when he actually is playing video games instead of giving you attention.
Not to mention being asked to play WITH him.
It’s a bit like huh? Who said you could downgrade me to watching you play video games and playing video games with you?
(David used to ask me to play video games with him as well, and since I wanted intimacy with HIM instead, it felt like my needs were being dishonored). So I can relate.
However, if I look back over the last 16 years of being with him, some of the better times I had with him were when we played video games together.
Only, it’s just the bond that was nice. Because I was horrible at them, and getting good at any video game took SO much energy out of me. I realised that it just didn’t come as naturally to me as it did to him!
He loves playing games with my sons as well, and though they really don’t spend much time playing games at all, whenever they do play games, I’m often ushering them off to read a book or go to a playground as soon as I can.
But it was when he finally said to me this that I understood:
“I like my boys playing games, because it is good practice for them to learn to solve problems…”
He also mentioned that it helps them read even more outside of all the reading they already do, because having to read the story in the game or read the instructions in the game gives them an internal motivator to WANT to read more.
So even though I really understand whenever a woman says to me – my boyfriend plays video games more than he talks to me, and I can’t stand it!
I am now also able to help her understand that there’s a “special something” about video games that is super important to the men who love them. And it’s this:
To men, video games do have depth, because it is an avenue through which they get to feel, express and access their own masculine identity.
In other words, they are able to “kill”, to “solve problems” and to overcome challenges inside of video games in a way that life may not always readily provide to them!
In this way, it’s not much different to us women buying dozens of shoes or dresses when we hardly wear any of them!
We appear to be ‘wasting” our money on pointless, but though it seems pointless to men, it isn’t to us, because we get to have the option of wearing the shoes that best express our mood and the feminine energy ‘flavour’ we are feeling on that day.
So that to us is a type of abundance. It may indeed be excessive in the eyes of our boyfriend or husband. He may not appreciate it, and it may become a bit of an addiction for us, but i don’t believe we should condemn it, because in moderation it may actually allow us to express our feminine energy.
So now I’m going to help you understand his need for games, and then I’ll give you my thoughts on what ‘steps’ to take.
Understanding Why My boyfriend plays video games for hours:
- 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 and shoes and accessories and make up that they hardly ever use or wear, in order to feel beautiful and magnify their radiance.
(Click here to download the “Goddess Report”)
Obviously, the best way for a woman to magnify her radiance would be to become a woman who radiates love from within. No amount of clothing is ever a replacement for that.
All the while, her man is getting stressed out and feeling disrespected because she’s out spending all this money rather than giving him the love and appreciation HE wants.
Which would be one of the real secrets to actually making her more beautiful to him (at least in his mind, anyway).
- Are you wondering “why my boyfriend wants me to play video games with him?” It’s because this helps him bond to you, as men bond with each other by overcoming challenges and engaging in a ‘purpose’ or mission together.
This is the masculine way of bonding.
As for why he wants you to play them with him, it’s a classic case of men wanting their woman to think more like them, so that they can connect and relate more with you!
It’s no different to women trying to drag their men along shopping with them.
A lot of us women try to do this and then wonder why he walks off for hours or looks so ‘absent’ and dumbfounded whilst we take our good old time!
See where am I going with this?
On the one hand, he wants to feel more connected to you, because he feels you don’t understand him on his level, so he’s trying to ‘make you more like him’. He feels this will make you ‘understand’ him, and develop a connection, and a feeling of commonality.
Yet he’s forgetting that it’s not what you have in ‘common’ that attracts you to each other and made you fall in love in the first place. It’s your differences. It’s the masculine/feminine polarity.
He Will Always Try To Make You More Like Him
Inside a relationship, the man will always try to make his woman think more from the masculine perspective, and the woman will always try to make her man think more from the feminine perspective.
It’s natural. It happens because when a man and woman get together, usually, the woman identifies more with the feminine energy and feels alive when in her feminine most of the time.
The opposite is usually true for men. Men identify more with the masculine perspective, and to have too much of your feminine influence may feel more like a burden to him, and so he will try to get you to become more masculine.
Neither is right or wrong. It just is. It’s how we are in relationships.
But here’s the irony…
If you start playing video games with him all the time, soon enough he’s going to find himself repelled by you and feeling less passionate about you.
Just as you would if you had a man who tagged along on every shopping trip. You would like it at first, but then you’d start to see him through a different ‘lens’. It’d feel different to you. You’d lose the feelings of attraction.
Let Him Have This Pleasure…
So in terms of understanding, you don’t want to take away the pleasure he feels by playing the video games. Let him have that. It makes him feel good, and it’s a quick way to feel successful.
If you try to take away this good feeling from him, he’ll just resent you for it.
It won’t benefit the relationship. And, no matter how ‘immature’ his video games habit may be, it’s not your job as a woman to tell him what to do, and to teach him about the consequences of his habits.
You can do it, but just be mindful of the consequences. It’ll feel good to you at the moment, but it will also just work against you and make your relationship go backwards.
(By the way, just remember for the future that the more you approach the situation with your understanding, the more he’ll be open to you and your suggestions, because he can already trust you as a valuable woman in his life who understands him).
Remember in past emails how I said that masculine energy thrives on challenge?
Well, video games provide a quick way to overcome challenges and magnify his masculinity (in his mind), but it’s only on a very surface level.
So, what you’re doing so far is good in that you’re not making him WRONG for doing this.
That’s the first step. Not making him wrong.
Lead with your understanding and with your acceptance. Otherwise, you’ll just build resent between you both.
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How To Deal With It When Your Boyfriend Plays Video Games For Hours
Here are the next steps you can take:
- Sit with him for 10 or 15 minutes and watch him play the game.
What’s the point of this?
The point is to see him overcome an ‘opponent’. If you can even pick up when he does that. You’ll have to look carefully.
If I ever do this, sometimes I miss his ‘victory’ moments because one: I don’t get the game – and two, as a woman, I’m not really in tune to these kinds of things.
He just wants you to appreciate his successes (yes, they’re very superficial), but fighting it won’t help you guys get closer.
(At least it won’t help you get closer with him until you’ve made him feel that you understand him, at least on some level.)
And when he ‘shoots’ someone dead or whatever triumph he overcomes, just say something like ‘woah….that was cool….’ or ‘well done’.
It will make him feel appreciated and understood. Because his own woman is recognising his ‘victories’ (however fake they feel to you!)
And don’t sit there for hours doing it. You don’t want to dishonour your own needs as a woman. That’s not good for either of you. It also does nothing for the growth of the relationship.
After the 15 minutes or so are up (don’t obsessively time this, you want to be genuine about it and really put yourself in his shoes.)
Then get up and say, ‘you know what, I’m going to read a book’, or ‘I’m going to call a girlfriend now’, cause I’m feeling a bit lonely.
If he tries to get you to stay, you don’t have to just keep staying! You should still be free to honour your own need for intimacy. Especially since it is good for your relationship to fill up your soul the best way you know how.
Here’s your second option:
- The second option I have for you is more playful (or you can use both steps I’ve given you).
When he says ‘come play with me, you’ll appreciate the depth and the heart of the game!’
I’d do what I do very often when these high tension situations pop up – I’d turn around and be playful, and maybe even literally poke him with my fingers, and say:
“Oh yeah!? come shopping with me and my girlfriends for the day! We can buy some pretty dresses and look a wide array of soaps oh and maybe even shoes!“
And I’d do this just to break his pattern and make him go ‘huh?’
It just changes his state, it gives his brain a ‘jiggle’ in a fun way, and it breaks the pattern of him trying to get you to do guy things with him.
It may help him understand more of where you’re coming from, because you’re actively implying in a playful way, that if you were to ask him to do girly things, it would repel him, too.
It kindly reminds him of your differences. And that you shouldn’t force each other to be the same. Without you having to go and literally TELL him:
“Look. We’re not the same. This is the wrong way to go about it.’ which will just make him resent you for telling him what to do.
And make sure it’s done in a playful way.
If you can’t do it without feeling resentful inside, don’t even bother (I know you wouldn’t Masaleen, I just had to put this in so other women would know).
The key is to get to his level and establish some connection in a way that actually also helps you also escalate the attraction in the relationship.
If you would like to learn the art of building emotional attraction with your guy, then I recommend you read my article on How To Banter With A Guy.
And if you’d like to discover the secrets to understanding the masculine perspective, check out our Understanding Men program. Click here to read more about this popular program.
Let me know how you go with my tips!
(By the way, I want to teach you 5 secrets to having your man fall deeply in love with you and beg you to be his one and only. These 5 secrets are inside of my brand new program. Click HERE to get yourself a copy before they run out!)
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Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
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