I am proud to say that I am engaged and excited to be married to my beau. He is incredibly intelligent, beautiful, humorous, and loving. I am so fortunate to even know him, let alone be his wife! There’s just one problem: We both love video games.
So what is wrong with that? Nothing, except the woman runs the household when it comes to video game domination.
Before any assumptions are made about my wonderful significant other, I would like to point out that he has accepted his defeat in the video game world. It just took a while to adjust to this ass-whooping scenario; from what he has related to me, he has never had to deal with this level of woman-on-man defeat in the past. It was new to him, and understandably a bit humiliating. It took me a little while to show him it did not matter that I was a bit better at video games (and honestly, there are some games out there he would just own me in).
This is not a situation that is new to me, however. I know for a fact that there are plenty of video-game-talented ladies out there, and they must go through the same thing when it comes to their romantic lives. You meet someone you really like, share interests, he becomes excited you like video games, then you inadvertently teach him that in comparison to you he should stick to titles like Kinectimals and Viva Pinata! The feeling of inadequacy this places on the man actually ends up hurting the relationship. Not only does he fail to share more of his hobbies and interests with you, he suddenly thinks twice about inviting you to outings with his buddies. To make it worse, he loses interest in playing games with you! There are many other symptoms you may experience from him such as frustration, irritation, and coldness.
So how can we show him that he does not need to be threatened by our uber gaming abilities? How can we keep this shared interest a part of the relationship without the extra baggage that comes with it? Why should we have to deal with him being unable to cope?!
Well, one thing we can do is be understanding. This may be hard for us since we at least subconsciously know this issue has to do with the image of women our society has placed on us: Women are not better than men at anything that could be deemed as masculine. It is so unfair and discouraging for us women to even have to explain this to someone who claims to love us, let alone experience the backlash!
Why be understanding, then? Because there are things going on in his mind that also have to do with an image society has placed on him since he was a young boy: If a woman beats you at anything remotely masculine, you’re useless as a man. Is it really his fault that this mindset was practically bred into him and then cemented by his peers? No. However, guys, it is important to recognize when it is time to break the cycle!
Here is my personal survival guide for beating my boyfriend at video games:
- Win gracefully. No one likes someone who wins, then turns to their opponents and rubs it in their faces. We all know a guy that does this and it’s annoying. So when I do win, I like to take into consideration it was a good game for a reason. It doesn’t matter if he was closely trailing me in score or falling way behind. He gave me his time.
- Figure out what makes him discontent with his losing. Does he not like losing to anyone, or just to women? In my case, it was mostly that he felt he was good at games in general before. Some people are poor losers in general. Maybe they win so much it is abnormal to lose and so they cannot cope with it, or maybe they just hate when anyone beats them, period. It may be helpful to figure out what kind of sore loser he is and approach him from that angle before accusing him of being sexist. If he truly cannot stand to lose to women, it sounds like there really is a conversation about sexism to be had.
- If you really are beating him repeatedly, it wouldn’t hurt to let your guard down a little. “Let him win?! That sucks, that’s not fair!” Yeah, yeah, whatever. You don’t have to let him win, but it wouldn’t hurt to give him a CHANCE. Look at it this way. What if your boyfriend was much better at biking than you and you decided to go out with him on your bike? Then, going up a hill, your legs just cannot take the stress like his can. So, him being better and knowing he is so much better at biking, just continues up the hill and leaves you to slowly roll down it in reverse until you slam into a parked minivan. Then, ten minutes later he has lapped you and finally discovers your disheveled body next to the parked minivan and tangled in your bike frame. He then laughs and says, “What, you can’t keep up?! LOL! GET SKILLZ lrn 2 bike noob” Wouldn’t that make him a dick? Absolutely. Personally, when I am in a game like APB (Shooter) and realize I’m outclassing the other team by far, I get bored winning against them. I like to give them a chance at that point. After all, they are being good sports for even continuing the mission against me!
- In a past relationship of mine, I was attempting to learn the mechanics on a new Halo game in a practice multiplayer match. I had played the first Halo in highschool quite a bit, but this newer Halo was a tad different and it had been years for me. I was out of practice by far. My childish, annoying boyfriend at the time teased me, purposely made it hard for me to sniper aim at his avatar even though he told me he would let me get a few shots in to get a feel for the sniper rifle. Instead, he jet-packed around, ducked around corners, and repeatedly killed me in two or three shots; basically, he was playing like he normally would against competitive players. The whole time he snickered and laughed, and his disgusting rotten-toothed grin is still burnt into my memory to this day. He did not even understand why I thought it wasn’t cool. So, if it’s stupid and annoying when someone does this to you, it’s not fair to do it to someone else. Thanks, ex-boyfriend, you literally lost Bungee a game sale due to your small peen syndrome!
- Find a game that is competitive for both of you. For reasons listed above, it simply is not fun to play a game that you are so terribly outclassed in. I would not sign up for a hardcore Starcraft tournament for a reason, so why make your man feel like that is what he has done? Try something that is new to both of you and different from what you normally play. It’s not like you won’t be good at it, don’t kid yourself, so just enjoy the experience. If you still win, it’s also not like he can’t say it wasn’t on him!
- Remind him of things he is better at. In my relationship, he brings home the bacon. I just cook and eat it. I may be better at video games because I’ve spent more time playing them and getting practice, but he has spent more time in post secondary education than I have and it pays off in the real world. This might help lighten the blow in the moment and make him realize that your relationship is a two way street and you are both individuals of differing talents, which brings me to my next point…
- Your relationship is not a competition! It might take a good talk with him to hopefully enlighten him of this. Even if you win in competitive games, your relationship is not classified by who is better at what. If we went by that narrow-minded mentality, someone would always feel oppression and resentment. No good.
- Last but not least, guys, you should be proud your lady is good at games. If she can kick your ass, she can probably kick your buddy’s ass. And seriously, screw that guy. Every time he wins he moons you and shoots you the finger. Let your girlfriend loose on his Paladin playing ass. There are so many reasons to be proud of your woman, and this should be one of them.
While each situation calls for different remedies, I consider these to be the basics because it also has to do with being a graceful winner altogether, and not just the girl who eats men alive at video games.