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Article updated 2018

This is a great question from a longtime and lovely reader of mine, Masaleen:

“Hey Renee!

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;)”

~Masaleen

 

*******My Answer*******

Hi, lovely Masaleen!

Thanks for your email. And yes, I can relate to this. I laughed so hard 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) lol, 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. (Click this link to take the quiz on “How Naturally Feminine Am I?”)

So – 

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’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.

I think intuitively, us women know 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.

And We’d rather not be around him when he does it, 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.

(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.

FIRST I’ll touch on understanding him, then I’ll give you my thoughts on what ‘steps’ to take. (read my article about why he takes me for granted)

Understanding Him

1) 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”)

When in fact, the best way 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.

And all the while, her man is getting all 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).

It’s a classic example of men wanting women to think like men and women wanting men to think like women.

It’s no different to women trying to drag their men along shopping with them and getting hurt when he walks off for hours or looks so ‘absent’ and dumbfounded whilst she’s shopping for stuff and wants his opinion on what she picks up to try on (which, if you’re like me, is usually half the entire clothing store!).

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 ‘commonality’.

But, 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.

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 attraction. (Click here to take the

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, the more you approach the situation with understanding, in the future, if you seriously feel like telling a man what to do, he’ll be far more open to it 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. Acceptance. Otherwise, you’ll just build resent between you both.

(There Are Exactly 7 Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to Men. Do You Know What They Are? (& How to Avoid Them Like the Plague)? Click here to find out right now…)

So, here are the next steps you can take:

1) 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 as 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. At least it won’t until you’ve made him feel that you understand him, at least on some level. (read my article about how to comfort your man)

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 recognizing his ‘victories’ (however fake they are!)

And don’t sit there for hours doing it. You don’t want to dishonor 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. Honor your own need for intimacy.

Here’s your second option:

2) the second option I have for you is more playful (or you can use both steps I’ve given you). Here’s what I would do if it was ME.

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!

You’ll see just how pretty and DETAILED all the clothes are! I can even SHOW you! Sometimes they add lace detail AND floral and buttons AND silk on to the ONE cardigan!”

And I’d do this just to break his pattern and make him go ‘huh?’

no thanks….lol.

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, and is ‘gets the ball rolling’ toward him starting to 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.

Because these two things (connection and attraction) are often in contradiction.

The more connection or ‘commonalities’ you have, the less attraction you’ll have. (Click here to learn about the 17 Attraction Triggers)

So it’s like a constant (but fun) balancing act when you get into a relationship with a man.

And also take your time to check out our Understanding Men program. Click here to read more about this popular program.

The more the balance tips towards attraction and passion, the more you’ll have attraction, but perhaps the more fights you’ll have because you’re so different.

So that’s all I have to say about that. 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 DVD, and right now it’s FREE. Click HERE to get yourself a copy before they run out!)

Lots of love,

email_polaroid

P.S – please leave ANY tips you have of dealing with a man who is obsessed with video games.

Also, leave any stories or experiences you’ve had with men who are obsessed with video games. Thank You! 🙂

P.P.S. Connect with me on social media

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Jessie
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Jessie

I love your articles Renee and I think this lady’s situation is true for a lot of women. I just wanted to say that I play video games with my husband and I have fun. I don’t get all competitive. I laugh at how terrible I am. But I enjoy it and I feel connected with him. He also comes shopping with me anytime. He s patient and interested and I honestly care more about what he thinks of my clothes than what my girlfriends think. We both just love being together and always do our best to consider each… Read more »

Bighorner
Guest
Bighorner

What terrible advice this author gave! Relationships are successful when the two people involve share common beliefs, attitudes, and personalities. Having differences does not make things more interesting – it makes things more stressful.

Also, you assume that men play video games because they want to feel masculine and successful. What is that based upon? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

You’re also assuming that because she’s female, she’s the stereotypical 16 year old blonde who loves shopping and having her bored boyfriend carrying her bags around.

Super Janice
Guest
Super Janice

Relationships are successful when the two people involve share common beliefs, attitudes, and personalities. But we need polarity!

Robin
Guest
Robin

What is this bullshit article?! I’m a female, 31, and I play a lot of video games. I’m in a loving, fantastic relationship, and to me, this article is absolute trash. No wonder there’s such a stigma against men playing video games in relationships. You women, who I’m embarrassed to share ovaries with, perpetuate this garbage mindset. We don’t play video games to feel accomplished or successful, we do it to enjoy great stories. If the LW is so boohoo he ignores me, let me tell you something, miss, get a life. You’re clearly too bored out of your skull… Read more »

Max H
Guest
Max H

There is no “feminine”. There is no “masculine”. Do some fucking research- you’re oppressing the rest of us women (who don’t care about attracting a man, being a mother, going dress shopping). It’s made up, and you continue to perpetuate that stereotype.

Renee Wade
Guest

Welcome to go to a blog where you don’t feel oppressed.

Bighorner
Guest
Bighorner

1. Yes, there is such a thing as “masculine” and “feminine”. How is this something you can even question? You see it every day.
2. Using the word “fucking” is not rebelling against femininity. It’s just tacky.
3. You don’t care about a man? Hmm….are you lesbian or do you just use that line because men don’t find you attractive?
4. I’ll give you that – she perpetuates the idea what women are schoolgirls who love shopping and drinking Starbucks. Women can be feminine and not be anything like you’d see in chick flicks.

Aveles
Guest
Aveles

I gave up dating and relationships completely 14 years ago after my last break up. I’d rather just play video games. Women are boring. I get home and it’s straight to the PS3. No meaningless social interaction with a shallow, mindless bimbo. At least the video game makes me feel like the time I spent on it wasn’t wasted time I’ll never get back. That’s what doing things for women makes me feel like. Like I could’ve played video games instead and should have. I’ll never date again.

Shooter
Guest
Shooter

Thank you for this post. My fiancé constantly changes his interests, and just when I’m trying to show an interest, so we can get some connection back, he changes what he’s doing altogether. I feel like I’m being pushed away when I’m only looking for the gaze he used to give me. I’ve turned into a housewife and feel so unappreciated when he can’t even take a 30 sec pause to clean up the tea he spilled on the carpet I had just steam cleaned. He touches his phone (including ‘like’ buttons on an infinite number of naked models on… Read more »

Shefali O'Hara
Guest
Shefali O'Hara

I don’t think you should marry this guy. Honestly, it’s not going to get better after you get married. If this is how he treats you during the engagement…

Tia Lynn
Guest
Tia Lynn

My boyfriend loves videogames. I enjoy them as well. I just can’t play more than an hour unless its a game with a well written story. But I watch him play, but at any point I want or need him he smiles tells me “let me get to a point to save” and he puts the controller down. Sometimes I pick it up and playfully say “My Turn” there are rules in our relationship that we follow such as honesty and communication with open-minded non judgement. After all if you can’t express fantasies, feelings, worries, or anything else that could… Read more »

Eliot
Guest
Eliot

Hi Everybody! Something really awful happened between me and my boyfriend a couple of days ago. He is not working and spends the whole day playing videogames. One month ago I lost my passport as well as any other piece of ID I had and I am not living in my home country so I had to go the police, file a report, the embassy, contact the department of Immigration and ask for a new passport to be resubmitted. After work hours, I went to do the groceries for both and the embassy emailed me to send them a document… Read more »

Shefali O'Hara
Guest
Shefali O'Hara

This is insane. What a controlling SOB. NO, this is not normal and it’s not OK. For him to be that bad tempered and mean when you have never had a conflict with him before about his video games… he is an addict. This is the way an addict behaves. Get the heck out of this relationship NOW.

Dara Crawley
Guest
Dara Crawley

…this is the biggest piece of nonsense. I’m a woman…and you see that man in my pic. He’s my beau. I’m a feminine woman who loves video games and for you to say that “women” just see games as shallow and meaningless is offensive and elitest. I get feeling ignored by a boyfriend’s hobby and yes that includes gaming. But here’s the thing this man has asked this woman to try one of his hobbies and she can’t be bothered with it. That’s not good. I paint. My boyfriend likes to see my work though he’s not an artist. My… Read more »

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Hey! Girl here..im probably going to be the only one here like me. I play video games! Yayy. I read the article and would like to address a couple things I thought were just a tad off.. Imho.. 1st: it all depends on what video game he is playing! If he is playing skyrim, (pronounced sky-rim) then ultimately, he just wants to be transported to another Universe and interact in a story line full of old-tyme-majik and whatever. He wants to slay dragons, find treasure, and kill the idiot next door. By himself. It’s a 1 player game. Now, if… Read more »

James Smyth
Guest

Video games are awesome but obviously there are some issues with constantly playing video games. Take a look at the link in my name for a *ver* good article on the effects of playing video games.

Best wishes
James

Jason Borkliy
Guest

Hi, I have noticed that occasionally this webpage displays a 404 server error. I thought you would like to know. Best wishes

Ruby
Guest
Ruby

The one time he had been playing games while I was there and I had his attention, I just looked at the game (with the blase look he knows I get when there’s something wrong but I’m not ready to mention it) looked at him and said,”That’s my competition,” with a sly smile and an eye raise. Soon he turned it off, hopefully deciding that I was more fun. Then again, we barely get to see each other so the time that we do get to spend with each other is, well,spent with each other. Don’t be afraid to speak… Read more »

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

I couldn’t but laugh when I read this. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t have any useful information, but the way you try to make video games appear immature and shallow is exactly that. Immature and shallow. My question to you: Is not immature and shallow to waste time and money going on shopping sprees to satifsy your own need for victory? (the victory being feeling beautiful) And on the topic of complimenting men for victories in a game: Do not. This is some of the most awkward advice I have ever read. 9/10 he won’t give a damn… Read more »

Rochelle
Guest
Rochelle

” but the way you try to make video games appear immature and shallow is exactly that. Immature and shallow.” Hi, I appreciate your perspective. As a female gamer who has been into it all her life, made friends that way and has connected with other female gamers across the country, I feel very passionate about several aspects of the hobby. A lot of games are not shallow and not meant for children, which explains how the average console gamer is 30 years old. I feel glad that over the years gaming has received more acceptance and respect, to the… Read more »

Max H
Guest
Max H

Uh- all women love shopping?

Give me a break. You’re all sexist.

Bighorner
Guest
Bighorner

Seriously, stop with the social justice crap. Your constant need to be a victim is annoying.

Jessie
Guest
Jessie

Could the same be applied for a porn compulsion I wonder?

Kid
Guest
Kid

Too much video gaming is a problem no matter how you look at it! The educational value is lost after 16 hours of playing games online… when one forgets to eat or sleep this is a health hazard; I realize this is in extreme cases and I think lots of women (according to online forums)know what i’m talking about!? in excess seems to be addiction and is a problem especially if you are grown with grown person responsibilities: a partner, children, a home to care for, a job etc… you need to participate in real life unless you are a… Read more »

Anais
Guest

That is definitely an extreme case. Too much of anything that takes away from other aspects of your life is a bad thing.  That’s not a concept limited to gaming. Some people have addictive personalities, so the issue with the people who neglect their lives with it is with the individuals, not the games. One could say the same for excessive internet and social media usage, being too involved in one’s work and neglecting a family, drinking too much, too involved in a sports career and neglecting oneself, etc.  These media  aren’t the problem, the people are. I’m glad to… Read more »

Nikolet
Guest
Nikolet

My boyfriend and I have been together for quite a while, we have a babyboy on the way 🙂 … anyways, I play video games with him once in a while but he’s just more attached to them than me. Not trying to get into detail but it has been effecting our sex life bad.. I’ve seen that a healthy couple have sex at least 2-4 times a week.. I’m lucky if we do twice a week. I don’t see any less of him because of it but I don’t want to be rude about it and hurt his feelings.… Read more »

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

Am I the only girly girl that likes video games once in a while?? Even action and shooting games? I don’t game much anymore, but when I did, I could beat any guy and it was fun! Anything in excess is too much and some do use gaming as an escape. It’s very addictive! That said, I have left a guy because he was too addicted to gaming and online games. His problems were more severe and psychological, unfortunately. But usually, I might indulge in a game for 30 minutes, enjoy it and then just mention how I prefer doing… Read more »

Rochelle
Guest
Rochelle

Hi Lady Luck, Overall I’m very feminine in both my appearance and demeanor, yet I particularly love fighting games and I sometimes play in tournaments. lol I mainly see it as any other hobby or passion and disagree with a lot of the negative connotations surrounding gaming. My feminine side also allows male gamers to see certain elements in gaming from a different perspective. However I have many other hobbies and interests as well, such as dancing and travel. In my experience, I find male gamers tend to be better as friends because it seems like whenever they get interested… Read more »

jubilee
Guest
jubilee

Yes! I believe vid games affect the male brain differenty. (heck, what DID THEY ever do BEFORE vid games and remote controls..hmmmm) The same with THC from marijuana. IMO, It makes them less ambitious. Your father could have affected you when conceiving you since it stays in the sperm sack. Remember when the western world was on top with technology and the others couldnt get it? Well, when THC mainstreamed, it made men less capable of being able to support a family and it stays in body longer than alcohol unless one is an alcoholic. Now they want the WOMAN… Read more »

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

When I did an IQ test as a little girl, it turned out that I was actually very talented in the technical area as well as others. I was surprised, because I was very girly and just loved dolls and drawing and dancing. I became a designer which I think is both creative, technical and a lot of other things. I find it SO sad that femininity is so misunderstood. There are ways to be ultra feminine or ultra masculine, regardless of our interests and talents. A lot of that is just cultural programming, which I know is useful in… Read more »

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

Pot also made me less ambitious when I used it in a different life and I am a female. People, please refer to scientific studies when making statements about the difference between the male or female brain. This is the reason why many guys make the typical remarks about how ‘women aren’t logical’, etc. Let’s work on using our excellent female brains! Let’s stop worrying about these guys, our relationships, our shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I am a shoe fetishist myself!!! I am a shoe addict! But… women need to take their own power and start focusing on themselves… Read more »

AJ
Guest
AJ

I am surprised at how explosive this topic is lol. I loved your advice, Renee. I found it very helpful. I don’t play video games myself so I am not aware of all is intricacies, but I don’t mind at all when a grown man loves to play them. Frankly, I love it if my man has interests and hobbies and a purpose BESIDES just me. That just bores me very fast, but like Masaleen, if he would try to get me to love his masculine endeavor as much as he does I would feel a bit stuck. Because I… Read more »

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

Hi Renee, been reading your blog for quite a while now, it’s often excellent, filled with insights that ring true. But this is maybe the first subject where you come across as a bit of an ignoramus — ie. laughing at the notion that games could have depth when you’ve never bothered to find out for yourself. It’s like ridiculing someone’s love of cinema just because you were raised on books and assume movies are nothing but car chases and explosions. For the first time, your tone has become just a bit demeaning to men and dismissive of their interests.… Read more »

David Shen
Admin

Yo Laurence Great comment. However I’m pretty sure Renee was replying to another woman, and helping her understand something about men. (Which by the sound of it, Masaleen got what SHE needed). Communication to a woman can offend men and vice versa. Just to clarify a few things. Renee has nothing against video games at all. I don’t think she’s at all compared video games to romantic movies. In fact, i’m sure that she doesn’t prefer one over the other on any given night of fun. In fact, she would rather play video games than watch another one of those… Read more »

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

I understand Renee was answering a reader’s question. But since this is a public blog entry, not a personal e-mail, it could have been done in a gentler tone, without seeming to put down an industry and its fanbase. Maybe there isn’t much chance of offending gamers on this site, but there definitely are gamer girls out there. I’ve heard podcasts by women complaining about the lack of respect games and gamers have to put up with (ie. that videogames are synonymous with immaturity). If Renee loves games, it didn’t come across in the article. You are right, this is… Read more »

Renee
Guest
Renee

Hi Laurence, have you tried The art of Manliness? They’re not really geared specifically towards relationships, but the guy behind it certainly doesn’t blog about the normal pick up artist stuff….. http://artofmanliness.com/

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

I really liked your reply! This reminded me of something… I actually met one of my ex long term partners in a video game. “The couple that plays together stays together”. Well, not so much for us, but I still agree with this saying. I also agree to being open to entering the other person’s world. For me it’s clear, I am an extremely feminine woman who can see the fun and enjoyment in video games and who has loved playing shooting and action games. For me, it was something I excelled in and that made me feel like the… Read more »

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

Soooo anyways, the more I think about it, the more this subject is an issue of whether gaming is a masculine or feminine thing to do. Oh yes and by “STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL” I mean FEMININE STRENGTH, which is definitely different from MALE STRENGTH. Feminine strength can mean you are very intuitive, emotional, yet strong because deep down you have this strong believe in yourself. It’s confidence and the willingness to challenge yourself, be vulnerable and to explore new places too. I could never be like a man. I feel so grounded in my femininity, that enjoying some of these… Read more »

LadyLuck
Guest
LadyLuck

Also, sometimes we just like to be kids again and perhaps the guys that love video games long for a time when they did not have the stress or the responsibilities of adult life. I think the worst thing you can do is show a guy you are annoyed with his gaming. That’s like acting like his mom who is telling him to go clean up his room. Perhaps some guys just like to share the games they like with their women. It’s an invitation to enjoy the fun. You can also just kick his butt in the game, that… Read more »

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