10 Things You Understand When Your Boyfriend Is Addicted To Video Games

10 Things You Understand When Your Boyfriend Is Addicted To Video Games

They cancel plans to play.


When my first serious relationship started I loved most things about my significant other, including his hobbies. We had similar interests and that was a major influence on how we got along as a couple. I met my boyfriend online, on an MMO game, Final Fantasy XIV. For the non-gamers out there, MMO stands for "Massively Multiplayer Online." It's essentially a type of video game that has a large number of players participating in it.

I spent a lot of time debating whether his hobby was healthy or not, if it was normal and if I had a right to be concerned about it. If your struggling with a similar situation, take the personally-observed tips below as an indication that there's something more going on with your S/O than a simple gaming hobby.

1. They're attached to one game

It might not seem like a big deal that your partner plays one video game every single time they play. I mean, when you like something you stick with it right? You reread books and re-watch movies all the time, not to mention repeating activities like playing certain sports you like or other hobbies. Well... being excessively attached to a specific game can be a sign that your partner isn't appreciating the act of gaming in general, but engrossed in a particular one they can't stop playing.

2. They cancel plans to play

This can be one of the more annoying signs of an addiction to gaming. As a partner you should be understanding if your boyfriend/girlfriend would rather relax at home than go through with plans. It's understandable if both parties are in agreement with cancelling an event. it's only a negative effect of a gaming addiction when the plans are cancelled or forgotten without considering their obvious or verbalized importance to you.

3. They become overly defensive at the idea of addiction

A person that becomes easily aggravated or uncommunicative towards their partner when a concern is brought up is always a sign that something is off in the situation. A good partner will always listen (or at least try to) when there's a need to communicate a problem or question in the relationship.

4. They think/talk about games constantly

There were times when my partner and I talked about what seemed like every idea or thought that crossed our minds even for a second. Whether they were silly, obsolete or just plain random. As time went on the range of topics we discussed narrowed considerably. Until one day I was conscious of the fact that all we ever talked about was playing video games.

5. Their mood changes when they don't play

It's a common aspect of any addictive behavior. If a person stops the behavior suddenly they tend to face withdrawal or another similarly debilitating episode. They have to adjust to the change, no matter how little. If you repeated an activity for months or years and decided to stop, you would need to accustom to that action's absence in your life.

6. They make excuses to play

Though he spent most of his time playing video games, my boyfriend would come up with little excuses to play for shorter amounts of time between other activities. For instance, if he was studying for a test, he would stop studying every 10-15 minutes to play. I questioned that as a tactic to study effectively and he argued that the material couldn't sink in if he didn't have a break.

7. They play behind your back

I had a weekly work-school schedule that changed every few months. I slowly realized that my boyfriend seemed to be in a better mood when my schedule was more consistent than not because I wasn't home to discourage him from playing. He planned his gaming sessions when I wasn't around and felt more comfortable that way because it gave him a guaranteed amount of time daily to feel satisfied.

8. They have gaming enablers in their life

In the case of my boyfriend, his enabler was his mother. An enabler is essentially someone in a person's life, it doesn't have to be an addict, who encourages negative habits or behaviors. The enabler isn't necessarily someone aware that they're enabling either. For example, my boyfriend's mother was supporting the gaming addiction because she thought it was a way for her son to relieve stress in other areas of his life, like school.

9. They stay up late or have a poor diet

Whenever there was a major event in my boyfriend's favorite game he would 'prep' for it. It reminded me of the dedication someone would display if anticipating the Apocalypse. He would round up a number of 'supplies' such as easy, frozen food he could eat between gaming sessions, a case of water bottles, clean blankets he could throw over himself if cold, and enough energy drinks to sustain him for three straight days without sleep.

10. They don't have friends outside the game

Your not any less of a person if you don't have a lot of friends or aren't considered "popular." Anyone with common sense knows that much. However, if the person your concerned about can only list friends that are online or fellow gamers he's never met face-to-face, it can be an indication that they are relying on satisfying basic social needs through the game.

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Walking Away is Not the Answer: Even in Government

We can't expect to be a strong nation if we cannot even listen to each other.


Recently my friend, Jay, reached out to me asking "opinion on this?" and sent me a video on Del. Nick Freitas. It was an old video, but I watched it anyway.

Freitas stood on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates, expressing his views on gun rights and the attitude of the Democratic party towards the Republican party. At first, I was upset by the language used by Freitas. But as I continue watching I see a different problem; all the Democrats who walk out of the room.

My heart sinks. How are we suppose to ask the other side to sit and listen when we cannot do the same. No matter what party you're affiliated with, or where on the political spectrum you lie, it is upsetting to see people leave a room in a political discussion. Jay considers himself to be conservative and he knows that I'm pretty liberal, but we often ask each other opinions on political things and talk about them, without getting upset.

It can be difficult to listen to something, especially if you don't agree with it on a basic moral level, but don't leave. In romantic relationships, if one person leaves in the middle of an argument, the other feels hurt and unheard. It is impossible for there to be communication when half of the whole is not there. More than four in five people in a guardian survey said poor communication played a role in a previous failed relationship.

If we want our government to work, if we want the relationship between the democratic and republican party to work, then we have to be able to listen to each other. We have to be able to sit across the aisle from someone we don't agree with and continue to sit there as they discuss what they feel.

This plays out on both sides. It is impossible for the one to make a relationship of two, work. We have to be in this together. No matter what. No matter how mad the other side makes us, no matter how much they hurt our feelings. We promised to be there. Through thick and thin. We said from the beginning when we first became a country, that we would stick together. When we went through a tough time when the north was going to split from the south, we stuck together. When wars waged and we had to save our friends, we stuck together. We cannot let anger and fear tear us apart after we have been through so much.

If we are going to make this work; not just for the next two years, not just for the next century, not just until a better country comes along. If we are going to really make it, then we have to be there for each other. Until the end. Till death do us part.

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