Video Games: The Dilemma

Video Games: The Dilemma Video games come in numerous formats: Nintendo, Play Station, and X-Box. There are also PC and cell phone games as well. These games are usually played online today with fellow players from all around the world. Such games usually have no end and just build level by level, round by round. Many are “shoot ‘em up games”, others are more strategy oriented. Most cater to boys and men, although many girls and women play them too. However, on average women usually spend more time on social media versus video games. Therefore, for purposes of this article, video games will be described as an activity for men and how that activity relates to dating and relationships with women.

Why Video Games Are Popular with Men:

When video games were first introduced in the late 1970s and 1980s, the games existed as big tower games at a formal arcade that cost a quarter/game. You always started at the beginning level of the game and it was only meant to last a few minutes. Home video game consoles appeared too but were very primitive with poor graphics. These new systems included Atari, Intellivision, Nintendo, and others. These home game systems also were structured the same as the arcade games, which starting at a beginning level and were also only meant to last a few minutes. In short, early video games rarely were played for long periods of time.

Today, video games are very different. Most are played at home, online, have tremendous graphics, and can last as many hours as a person wants to play. These modern games are highly stimulating, exciting, and involve high competition in a quest for success and superiority. Therefore, most games act as more than powerful fun and an escape for boys and men today. They also serve to help get our male aggression out and to feel successful, competent, and significant. This is even more true when a man is struggling in his real everyday life to achieve these goals. Hence, video games can play multiple important roles in a man’s life. Within reason, video game playing is fairly harmless. In excess, however, they can be addictive and get in the way of fulfilling important responsible focuses like schooling, career, and yes, relationships. Everything in moderation.

When it comes to women and relationships, what do men prefer more: a woman in their life or their video games? Well, that depends on the man. If a man would rather play video games than date a woman and have a relationship, he is obviously not ready for that relationship. Most single men who play video games do want and prefer a relationship with a woman, but perhaps the video games are acting as a temporary relationship substitute before that relationship comes along. When you come along, a man will most often prefer a relationship but will also usually still want to play his video games as an escape to blow off stream from his usual responsibilities. How the relationship and the video game habit are navigated will go a long way to determine if the relationship lasts and is mutually happy and satisfying.

Navigating Video Games in a Relationship:

The problems with this subject will come in the extremes. If the woman in the relationship works to cut off or greatly limit his video game use, he will often push back or be passive aggressive. Resentment will build as he feels controlled and that she is taking away his fun and his outlet. On the other hand, if he plays his video games excessively to where she is feeling unimportant and neglected, she will feel resentful. Therefore, usually the best approach is for the couple to negotiate some kind of workable compromise that both can honestly live with.

Exactly what compromise a couple comes up with together on this subject is up to them. In general, a good compromise with video games somehow will balance her getting enough regular time and attention with him and her feeling like a priority, together with him getting enough regular video game time as the outlet he needs to recharge and reconnect. When BOTH sides honestly are ok with their arrangement, it is a good arrangement. The specifics are up to the two involved. Whatever the arrangement, I have noticed that when the guy is playing his video games, it is usually tolerated much better by the woman if she also plans some fun during that same time, whether by herself or with her girlfriends or family. Otherwise if she is just staying away while he plays his games, resentment might occur even with a good compromise. When both are enjoying their time away from each other, the agreement will usually be easier to follow through with.

For more ideas for creating a workable compromise, see this article:

Final Thoughts:

Video games are here to stay and will not be going away any time soon. In many ways, the convenience and stimulation of video games have largely taken the place of other more traditional lower tech activities that we men have done previously: hunting, fishing, watching or playing sports, etc. How a couple navigates and negotiates video game playing will go a long way to determine whether a relationship is happy/satisfactory or not. Work together and figure it out.
Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”

Dr. G
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2020-06-15 Randy Gilchrist Understanding men, Healthy relationships

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to