He loves video games, but you hate them, and you want the man in your life to be chasing after you, not an avatar. Becoming more important than your boyfriend's PS3 requires time, consideration and compromise on several levels. Ultimately, you must examine what bothers you about your boyfriend's PS3. Is it the time that he spends on his PS3 instead of spending time with you, or does the subject matter of his favorite games makes you uncomfortable? Regardless of the reason, your discomfort with your boyfriend's PS3 habit likely stems from other issues in the relationship.
Identify Your Boyfriend's Gaming Style
The first step in deciding how to approach your boyfriend about his video game habit is to identify his gaming style. A 2007 Harris poll found that teen gamers on average spent approximately 13 hours per week, or about two hours per day, playing video games. Using this as a guideline, where does your boyfriend fit in the norm? Is he spending more time on his PS3, less or about the same?
Look at Your Own Hobbies and Behaviors
Gaming is a hobby. Before confronting your boyfriend about his video game habit, examine your own interests and the time you spend on your hobbies. If you allot yourself two to three hours per day to read, dance or hang out with friends, than perhaps your boyfriend's two to three hour video gaming habit isn't really different. Video games have been correlated with positive effects: a study conducted at the University of Utah found that video games were effective in the treatment of patients diagnosed with depression, anxiety, autism and Parkinson's disease. Spending time on individual interests is a healthy aspect of successful relationships.
Examine Your Relationship
What do you hope to gain by being more important to your boyfriend than his PS3? If you'd like to spend more time with him, or have him make decisions based on your needs instead of gaming, then talk to him about how your needs and his video game time conflict. However, if your intention is to ask your boyfriend to completely quit using his PS3, consider how you would feel if he asked you to give up something that you enjoy. Then think about what aspects about your boyfriend make you want to be in a relationship with him. Although compromise is a factor in many relationships, it is unrealistic to ask your partner to change his personality for the sake of you relationship.
Clearly Communicate Your Needs
Be clear and direct with your boyfriend. Instead of placing blame on him or attacking his use of video games, talk to him about positive things that he could do to improve your relationship. Clearly state that you would like to spend more time with him, or that you would like as much attention as he gives to his PS3. Although many men will be receptive to this type of request, don't be surprised if he makes requests of you regarding your own hobbies or behaviors.
Set Time Limits and Compromises
After you've identified how much time your boyfriend plays video games, decide if the amount of time is a problem. Talk to him about the amount of time he spends on his PS3. Agreeing to set times where you both engage in your desired hobbies, while leaving other time to spend as a couple, is one solution. If your boyfriend enjoys playing games with his friends online, consider designating one night for time apart.
Don't Try to Change Him, Join Him!
Instead of viewing your boyfriend's PS3 as a nuisance, join in on the fun. Many video games feature dynamic cinema-style story lines that are as entertaining to watch as they are to play. Peripheral devices such as the PlayStation Move offer more interactive ways to play video games, using your body and a special wand as the controller. If you don't like a particular type of game that he plays, such as first-person shooters, suggest going game shopping for something that you can play together. Playing video games with your boyfriend can strengthen your relationship, giving him the game time that he wants and the interaction that you crave.
- Psychology of Games: The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games
- The University of Utah: Video Games Help Patients and Health Care Providers
- Kotaku: How Diablo III Told Me My Marriage Was Over
- Journal of Family Psychology: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Predicting Dating Relationship Stability from Four Aspects of Commitment
- University of Washington: Indirect and Direct Communication
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images