Does your boyfriend talk more about his new “toon” in World of Warcraft or how much he hates Furries on Second Life than he does about what’s going on with his friends, work, or family?
According to one (somewhat dated) study by MyVoucherCodes, one in five women have dumped a man over his web or gaming habits. How do you know if it’s really worth your time and trouble to keep arguing over how many hours he spends online?
Hey Claire, My man of 19 months has retreated into Second Life (virtual fantasy world online). He spends all night there and sleeps all day. Previously he has had some serious sexual and emotional connections with women he ‘hangs out’ with there. I tell him it hurts to hear he is spending his time this way and not calling or talking to me. Am I overreacting? – Delaney
Wow, I just had a major flashback.
Back in my corporate days, I actually hired this guy (or you know, one like him). It was a short-term super-geeky position – handling some 3D animation work – and he was incredibly smart, proficient, and quite creative. He was also single, attractive, and had a wicked-funny sense of humor. I remember thinking it was a bit odd that he wasn’t dating at the time – a guy with so many obvious charms.
It only took about three weeks to discover the problem. He stayed up all night playing World of Warcraft, and couldn’t get to work on time. We were in a high corporate environment, where the CEO valued 7 am start times, and this guy was consistently unable to show up before 11 am or noon. Sure, he might stay late, but the rest of the team was already halfway through the workday by the time he showed up bleary-eyed and barely able to function. And his desire to brag about his WoW accomplishments made it pretty clear what his priorities were.
He may have made it a few weeks more before we had to let him go. I’m not even sure he noticed – he probably had enough of a paycheck to buy another few months’ worth of Ramen noodles to eat in front of his computer screen; presumably he had a roommate taking care of the rent…
Here’s the bottom line: if a video game or other online habit is regularly pushing you out of his top 3 priorities, he’s not worth a serious investment of your emotional energy.
Can a guy hold a job, maintain his health, have a great dating life AND play video games 10 hours a day? Not likely. He might fool you (or his boss, or even himself) for a little while, but if his habit is serious, the truth will become plain.
Delaney – I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like your boyfriend is in love with his screen, and if I were you, I’d be dating other guys. I’m betting you’re not looking to take on a rescue project or a charity case, and it sounds like that’s what you would be doing if you stick with him. If you tie yourself to a sandbag like that it will only drag you down.
And get ready for a potential emotional hit, because it’s possible he may not even notice if you stop returning his messages (assuming he sends any) or calling him. Don’t let that add more heartbreak. Just turn forward and move on toward your awesome life.
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