How to Compete and Find Balance with Electronic Entertainment With the growing trend of getting all of our entertainment electronically, it is important to make sure we are never so caught up in electronic “worlds” that we ignore our real life romantic relationship. Have you heard of Dating Simulators? First of all, considering the lack of popularity in the U.S., let’s first explain what a dating simulator is. A dating simulator is a video game in which the object of the game is a romantic one. You get to choose a character for your character to pursue and then you make a game out of getting them to fall in love with you. Right now, this subgenre of video games isn’t particularly popular in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean you won’t come across anyone here that happens to play these types of games. When and if you do encounter a potential mate you’re interested in that plays these types of games it can become stressful to feel as if you are competing with a computer. A lot of people (perhaps, particularly women) already feel this way with the surge of video games and online pornography in American society, but this adds a whole new level of feeling competitive. Now, we’re competing for who can be more romantic on top of it all. Here are some things to consider and ways to cope in a world where you might be competing with a machine:
Can it Be a Good Thing?
For those of you who are single and/or emotionally inept individuals, it is completely possible that a dating simulator game can be used as a helpful tool. With a dating simulator you can learn some skills and gain some confidence that could aid you in meeting potential partners and developing good social skills to help aid in growing a relationship with potential mates. If you enjoy playing games together this could also be a bonding tool for you and your partner. However, be cautious because while it CAN be used as a helpful tool, it can also become damaging…
When it Becomes a Bad Thing:
1)When you become dependent on it
Anyone who has ever played a video game understands that there is always a certain level of control over the players in a game. In real life, this is never the case. If you’re using games like this too heavily it can make you inept when it comes to spontaneous conversation or make you a “control freak” in a relationship. In real life, you cannot pause for a break to think about your next move, you need to be ready to make those next moves quickly. Only real life experience can teach you that.
2) When you use it as a dating replacement
With the rise of video games, we have also seen a rise in people becoming emotionally dependent on games and electronic devices as a whole. Video game addiction sounds like a bad joke, but it really can become a huge problem (especially in relationships). Video games are harmless and fun in and of themselves. However, when you begin using a dating simulator as a substitute (or a replacement) for actual dating and human interaction, you could be developing a serious problem.
3)When the simulation gets in the way of a real person
For those of you who still enjoy these types of games after being in a relationship it can become a problem if you are ignoring your partner for game time. With this type of game, it is extra important to be sure you’re giving your partner enough attention before and after playing. Ignoring your partner to play a game based on romance can make them feel as if you’re taking some of the romance you should be giving to them away and giving it to a fictional character instead. Sure, games are harmless and fun, but when you take that creative energy and put it towards something inanimate instead of your lover, they can end up feeling rejected, hurt, and even as if they’re being replaced by you.
Finding a Balance
As with all things in life, the use of dating simulators is all about balance. Electronics are tools. Video games can be used as a creative outlet, a stress management tactic, perhaps even to fuel fantasies you share with each other, etc. BUT they should never be used to replace real life human interaction. The key is to communicate your needs to your partner and to agree upon a balance in your life together.
If your partner is into games like these consider being open minded and playing a game with them before you judge something they enjoy. Perhaps it will be something you can bond over and enjoy together, or perhaps you will decide to use it as a tool to fuel fantasies in the bedroom. But if you feel as if you’re being replaced by the game it’s also important to communicate this to your partner. They may not care enough about the game to continue hurting your feelings.
With the growing popularity of meeting our needs online, we need to keep in mind the importance of connection with real human beings. The key to healthy relationships is to always be open minded about tools we could be using to improve our relationship, but to still always be open about things that we are not comfortable with or that might hurt our feelings.
Have other suggestions about how to compete and find balance with dating simulators? If so, be sure to add your suggestions in the comments below. And, as always, don’t forget to check out Cupid’s Cronies on Facebook.