What to Expect when Cohabitating with a Gamer
When leases get close to ending, it’s very typical for a couple to consider moving in with one another to help alleviate financial stress and easily spend quality time with each other. While this is a HUGE step in any relationship, it is particularly interesting when Gamers and Gamer’s Girls (GGs) decide to cohabitate with each other.
Like any relationship, cohabitation takes some getting used to and in the end, can turn out very successful. If you are a GG, and are considering the “Big Move,” or have moved but are struggling with the change, here are some things to ponder:
“Relationship time” vs “Hobby Time”
Before moving in with one another, a Gamer might find it a simple task to focus on his GG. With the “out of sight, out of mind” mantra, it can be very easy to separate “relationship time” from “hobby (gaming) time.” All the same, a GG might be under the assumption that the “pause button” is an accessible device and will undoubtedly be used every time she is present. Unfortunately, some of the earliest quarrels among GG and Gamer, after they move in together, will revolve around these points. If these tiffs are already happening, first off, stay calm. It doesn’t have to mean the end so soon. Neither of you is used to being around each other so much and “me time” can become hard to define. Each couple is different and does not feel ashamed to set a schedule to help develop a natural rhythm. That doesn’t mean you need a day planner and stopwatch, but setting aside basic chunks of time for you, him/her, job, house, paying bills, housework, date night, etc. can be beneficial. If you notice one “chunk” takes up an abnormal amount of time and disrupts the balance – make some adjustments. Remember, a “normal” amount of time devoted to one thing is different for each couple. Your priorities for each aspect of your life should be discussed ahead of time.
The nesting process can be a challenge for any couple. The extent of the challenge will greatly depend on how much stuff you have and how much space is available. Some couples stuff just go together and have little difficulty deciding what goes in each room. Others simply have different tastes and do not want every nik nac showing.
One tip is to separate, simplify, and moderately merge. For example, I am a casual gamer, but I do not own a zillion plush toys, figurines, and gaming nik nacs. I prefer my home to be old-school homey, comfy, and not embarrassingly crammed with gaming memorabilia. My Gamer, on the other hand, is proud of all his figurines, game boxes, and toys. I certainly was not going to ask him to toss his stuff and he was not about to make the entire place HIS domain. So we compromised and separated. His “me time” is mostly spent in the bedroom with his command station and my “me time” is spent plopping in front of the TV watching old movies. So, I got to decorate common spaces like the family room and he took over the bedroom. He forfeited the kitchen and bathroom because we both believe they should be clean, homey, and not cluttered. So it worked out fine.
Simplifying your space is equally important. Gamer and GG might be in charge of decorating different rooms, but that doesn’t mean either has the right to be lazy and keep it a mess. Simplify your spaces to keep things as organized and clean as possible. Storage is key to successful “gaming stuff” management. A banana hanger for his headphones, cubbies for his controllers, etc. “A place for everything and everything in its place” can certainly apply to a gamer couple’s home. It’s important to make room for new memories.
Lastly, moderately merge. The family room is “my” room, but that doesn’t mean I can’t frame a video game poster and have it work in the space. My Gamer loves the cubby shelf unit in the bedroom to keep his stuff organized. It just so happens to match the curtains and bedspread too (wink, wink).
List of Random Tips:
- Learn to share the TV for program watching and game playing (invest in a DVR if he is a console player)
- Rearranging the family room so people don’t have to walk in front of the TV can prevent “death” and yelling.
- Organize cords with labels and zip lines, then place them behind desks and shelves to keep them out of the way.
- Set a monthly game budget so you do not sacrifice your light bill for a Champions Online account or latest PS3 game.
- Sell back old games to Amazon.com when the box has collected a quarter inch of dust.
- Gamers like their gaming area to be cool, dim, and comfy. Have fun decorating with an extra fan, some cool, low light lamps (or lamps with a dimmer), footrests, and cozy pillows.