So you’ve braved the murky waters of social interaction, or dabbled with online matchmaking, and you’ve somehow attracted a member of the opposite sex (or same sex, we don’t judge you here at MMGN), managing to score yourself a shiny new girlfriend or boyfriend; go you! But what’s that? They’re not into gaming. Tragic. Or maybe you’re in a long-term relationship, and your partner isn’t all that much into video games, but you want them to take interest.
Rather than proceed straight to splitsville, population them, you should try and include them in the hobby you feel so passionate about. By following these simple steps, you’ll be “pressing start” with your player two in no time at all.
Before you even start to approach the subject of wanting your special friend to play video games with you, you should do your research. If you’re in a committed relationship, ask your partner whether they used to play games while growing up, and if so, which ones. It might be a little awkward, especially if your partner has already expressed a previous disinterest in gaming, but stick with it, kid.
If you’ve only started dating then gauging your potential new boyfriend/girlfriend’s interest in gaming is relatively easier, since you’re both in that great phase of getting to know one another. Casually ask them what activities they did growing up i.e learn music, participate in sports, play video games. If they respond to the whole gaming thing, then you should immediately organise a future date (with their consent) where the two of you play a game you think they’d enjoy, based on something they played as a kid, of course.
Assuming your date and/or partner takes the bait, and an open dialogue about gaming is happening, you can move onto the next step.
Okay, so by now you’ve done your research by talking to your girlfriend/boyfriend and figured out what history they have, if any, with video games. It’s now time to organise a date where the two of you spend time playing together, and the game of choice is considerably important.
Choosing the first game you play with your girlfriend/boyfriend is crucial to any future “play dates”, with the game either playing to their sense of nostalgia – if they played games with siblings growing up – or has a low barrier of entry so to not intimidate them. Being the Nintendo fanboy I am, I’d suggest any of the New Super Mario Bros. games on Wii/Wii U, but of course you’re free to explore anything retro your special friend may be fond of. Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Sonic; it’s so easy to pick up classic games these days, either online via eBay, or through Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo eShop (considering you’re willing to spend the cash, which you should! Cheap arse).
There’s also more recent titles, such as Need for Speed – which is great because it’s just driving and having fun – or Grand Theft Auto – a series people enjoy playing while passing the controller around. Don’t try to get a bug up your arse about the game you end up playing together, just remember to have fun. And this leads us to…
If your girlfriend/boyfriend has decided to sit down and play a game with you, chances are it’s because they care enough about you to take an active interest in what you’re into. Don’t ruin this by becoming competitive, or ignoring them and focusing too much on the game. Remember to remain relaxed and loose, and perhaps most important of all, let them win occasionally.
This may sound like a slightly manipulative thing to do, but remember how you feel when you play against someone who always beats you, it’s not much fun is it? Don’t let them feel this way, or you’ll end up making your girlfriend/boyfriend feel like you care more about the game than them. And that’s bad for everyone involved.
By now it’s probably safe to assume your girlfriend/boyfriend is enjoying playing the occasional game with you, which is a good sign. So when you’re out and about together at a shopping centre, take them to a games store (EB Games or JB Hi-Fi are good, especially the latter for those in their 20s) and pick out games you both could play together.
Aside from potentially winning you some brownie points, it shows you’re actively thinking about them in relation to your personal interests. That goes a long way.
While the prospect of having a girlfriend/boyfriend who is totally into gaming as much as you might seem amazing, it can potentially lead to you feeling like what was once yours is being invaded, as if it’s no longer just for you. If this begins to happen, talk to your partner and let them know you need to spend some time alone playing, or keep some games separate from those you two play together.
One of the beautiful things about relationships is they’re about two people coming together with their own individual interests, and sharing them with one another. If your partner wasn’t a gamer before, chances are that was one of the things you liked about them in the first place. Don’t try to change them. Your goal should be to get them excited by what interests you, and vice versa.
Do you have any dating advice for your fellow gamer? Be sure to share it in the comments below!