Immersing yourself in a video game is like no other feeling. It's exciting to step into someone else's shoes and live a life full of drama, thrills, and suspense. However, that fun hobby can turn into an addiction when someone begins to lose control over the amount of time they spend gaming, and it negatively impacts their self-care, career/schooling, and relationships.
So when Reddit user u/TheGoddessPluto asked the question, "Women who broke up with someone due to video games, what was your breaking point?" in the r/AskWomen subreddit, it was definitely interesting to see the range of stories, from people prioritizing gaming over their partner to cases of addiction that were sad for everyone involved:
1."I dated a man who never seemed to have a problem with video games until well into the relationship. Eventually, he started choosing video games over being intimate or sleeping next to me. I left shortly after that."
2."Not the sole reason, but definitely started the end of our relationship. We were living with his parents while we waited for an apartment. I would get up, drive an hour to work (just to make no money as a server), come back exhausted, and he would be gaming. (Unemployed obviously. He had stocks.)"
"I literally begged him to just make the bed for a week straight. He would continue to play after I came home, and I tried to show him energy that I didn’t have. He could clock 100 hours in a week without thinking anything was wrong with it. Very happy to be with my current partner."
3."We hadn’t gone on a date in weeks since he was always playing. We finally had a weekend where we were both going to be free. He said to leave my day open because we were going on a date and he was planning it. On the day off, I woke up, and he said he wanted to sleep in. I said, 'fine,' and five minutes later, he said that his friends called him to play a game. In three minutes, he was ready and heading out of the house. He said it would just be a few hours, and he left. It wasn’t a few hours; he didn’t come back until that night."
4."He talked me out of going home for Christmas because it was our first Christmas together. I made dinner, cleaned the house, decorated, dressed up, put on music, and he made me bring him a plate and gamed the whole day. I sat at the table by myself."
5."I’ve had two exes that I felt prioritized video games and Twitch streaming over the relationship. I love video games, too, but it has not gotten in the way of spending IRL time with people or obligations. My first boyfriend wouldn’t talk to me when I had to put my sick dog down because he was too busy playing his game with his friends."
6."My boyfriend would go to work in the late morning or early afternoon, do his job while the boss was there, and then as soon as the boss left, he started playing games and wouldn’t stop. Many, many times I’d call him and tell him that I was going to go ahead and eat dinner, then call him and say I was going to bed, and then around midnight, I’d call and say, 'Please don’t miss the last bus.' He’d wake up in the morning under his desk and try to look presentable when his boss walked in. I finally got fed up and left him."
7."I was never a priority, emergencies were never a priority, and gaming was everything. We didn't talk or do anything together. He didn't even sleep in the same bed because he would be up all night. He didn't do any chores; he made a huge mess, and that's all he talked about."
8."He would play for hours and hours. We’re talking 8–12+ hours per day. I used to be a gamer and even worked at GameStop when I was in my early 20s. He made me hate video games. I tried to play with him, but he’s such a sore loser. He would throw tantrums and constantly complain, calling the game a cheater or saying it was glitched. He would get more upset if my character did better or had a superior class setup, skills, or artifacts compared to his own."
"When it came to intimacy, I would try and initiate. He’s always gaming, so it’s the only time I can initiate. I would wear lingerie, cook a nice dinner, set the ambiance to a romantic mood — nothing. One time, I wore lingerie and came behind him, kissed him, and told him how much I wanted him. He yelled at me and told me he was busy. I tried playing therapist and communicating to him how hurtful it was to feel unwanted or not desired by him. He acknowledged and apologized. Sadly, he never truly changed. The last time I wore lingerie was in October 2020. He saw me, acknowledged me, and told me to wait, saying that he was almost done and just needed to get to a save spot. I waited for over two hours on the couch and then fell asleep. When I woke up, he was still gaming, and I went to my room and cried. Never again."
9."When I started having dreams about destroying his gaming console with an axe, I realized that the scenario was unhealthy for both of us. My current boyfriend plays games but is judicial about the time he spends on it and will absolutely turn it off if I express a desire to do something together."
10."He wouldn’t answer his phone for HOURS at a time (like three to five hours) because he was on the game. Even in the midst of something important happening. It all came to a head when I was supposed to meet him somewhere; he knew I was on the way, DRIVING FROM AN HOUR AWAY, didn’t have the address where I was meeting him, and he wasn’t responding to any calls or texts because he was on the game! I ended up breaking up with him because I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone I saw as a child. If your main priority seems to be a video game and not the adult human woman in your life, you are a child to me."
11."He came home from work, slightly drunk from his car vodka, after telling me he wasn’t drinking anymore. In the midst of me telling him his drinking was getting out of hand, he turned on his gaming system, put his headphones half on, and had a controller in hand. I just walked out with our kid, served divorce papers, and am finally free of video games. He spent years coming home from work, putting those headphones on, and ignoring our family. Now, he’s unemployed and is about to lose his home in less than a month."
12."I was working full time and in a full-time graduate program. He begged me to drive an hour to his house and spend time with him instead of finishing my research paper. When I arrived, he spent the entire time gaming. After watching him play a game for an hour, I took out my laptop and started working on my paper again."
"It took him another hour to notice I had stopped watching him, but when he finally did notice, he started yelling at me and cussing me out because I neglect him and I’m not supportive enough of him. He said all he wanted was for me to spend the day watching his game, and I was selfish for not focusing on him."
13."He was playing games when he casually told me his mom would be stopping by shortly. Our house was a huge mess because he was a slob, and our landlord let the place sink into decrepitude. I was often too overwhelmed to keep up. I asked him to help me clean so his mom wouldn't be wading through a fucking dump, and he simply refused. Flat out said, 'No, I'm in the middle of this. Don't worry about it, it's fine, she won't care.'"
14."So he would choose to play video games above all the activities, including spending time with me once we got comfortable in our relationship. It started with 'I need my own time,' which I understood, then it became 'it's my passion,' then it turned into 'I don't find anything else interesting,' then it turned into playing on mobile in front of friends and family, avoiding conversations and disrespecting."
"Eventually, I realized that he was an addict and tried to make him understand, but he turned me down by saying I wouldn't understand as I don't have any passion in my life. I am glad that now he gets to play his games 24/7."
15."I had an invasive surgery, and he took two days off to 'help me recover.' He used the time off to game the entire time. I ended up upset and crying, telling him I wished he would do just one thing for me. He did one thing and then asked if he could start gaming again. Definitely was the final straw."
16."It wasn't just the gaming, but the gaming was a big part of it. She would play video games for over eight hours a day, to the point where she was failing most of her classes and neglecting every other responsibility. They weren't even multiplayer games; they were just 'comfort games' that she obsessively replayed, and since they were her comfort games, I wasn't allowed to say anything negative about them."
"She was offended that I didn't want to sit on the couch and watch her play for hours, and every conversation eventually pivoted to her explaining the plot of some game I'd never heard of. I was so bored. She'd whine until I agreed to play Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart with her, even though I have zero interest in gaming, and then proceed to beat my character to a pulp before I even figured out what all of the buttons did. Over and over and over. What part of that was supposed to be fun for me? It was so minor, but I think that was the breaking point. I realized that she lacked the empathy to even notice that I wasn't having fun, and it explained a lot about our relationship."
And finally, this person shared their story about how a fake video game competition led to the discovery of the real problem in their relationship:
17."He ‘couldn’t’ work, so I was the sole provider. I am a high school teacher, and I worked hard, came home exhausted, and he had been playing games all day. I did all the cooking and cleaning while he gamed for 18+ hours every day. He’d be up all night shouting or laughing through the headset and keeping me awake. I’d have to ask repeatedly for him to be quiet so I could sleep."
Have your own experience with video games being the deal-breaker in your relationship? Let me know in the comments.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know is struggling with video game addiction, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.