A man who refused to let his girlfriend use their home office to complete an important report for work because he wanted to play video games has come under fire online.
In a post shared under the handle u/daranolo on Reddit’s r/AmITheA******, the man said his partner branded him “selfish” after he refused to vacate the office, telling her she had “been in the room all day” and he wanted to game on the desktop computer he keeps in there.
“The work she wanted to do was to finish up a report that had to be done for the next day, she said it was important,” he wrote. “I still don’t see why it has to be done specifically in the office room when it can be done anywhere with a laptop.”
But while some sympathized with his desire to blow off steam by playing games after a stressful week, many felt his partner’s needs should have taken priority in this particular scenario.
Gaming might have once been seen as a pastime to be enjoyed during your formative years but data compiled by Statista in 2022 highlights how adults now make up the majority of those plugging in and playing on a regular basis.
According to gamers aged 18 or younger represent just 24 percent of players in 2022. Instead, most fell into the bracket of 18 to 34 years old (36 percent) followed by 35 to 44 years old (13 percent).
Yet while gaming may be increasingly commonplace in adulthood, it can still prove a source of contention, especially among couples where one person is a gamer and the other is very much not.
That certainly appears to be the scenario at play in this Reddit post. In this instance, however, much of the tension appears to stem from the fact the couple involved have limited living space, having recently moved into a two-bedroom apartment.
According to the Redditor, in the current setup, the couple uses their spare room as an “office/gaming room.” He wrote: “I have a huge desktop computer which I use both for home office once a week, while she hooks up her work laptop to the screens and uses it for home office 2-3x a week.”
The recent issue arose midway through the week when his partner asked if she could use the office one evening to catch up on work. This did not sit well with the man, who explained that he has been busy with work and their recent move into the house.
“Finally I have a little bit of free time again and I haven’t been able to do any gaming for at least 1.5 months,” he said.
Though he insisted it would be “very easy” for his partner to work on her laptop in another room, it would be “a lot of hassle” for him to move the desktop computer.
Ultimately, he refused to back down on the issue, leading to a major argument. He ended up playing video games having deemed it only “fair” that he get use of the space. The couple have been in dispute ever since.
“When any couple faces a situation like this, it is common for them to resort to problem-solving mode and determine what’s ‘fair’ based on some objective factors,” Terri DiMatteo, a licensed professional counselor specializing in couples counseling, told Newsweek. “For example, the woman could argue that her work responsibilities are more serious than his leisure time for gaming making the argument that ‘work trumps leisure.’”
However, in taking this approach, DiMatteo believes many couples miss “an opportunity to connect and get to know and understand each other better.” To her mind, “problem-solving tactics” that might be effective in the workplace are a poor fit when it comes to romantic relationships.
“This couple—or any couple with a practical dilemma like this one—would fare better if they could engage in an emotionally open conversation about their feelings and needs,” DiMatteo said. “If each could demonstrate compassion and empathy regarding their partners’ feelings, the situation could bring them closer rather than push them apart.”
She added: “When couples face dilemmas like the one here, it’s wise not to tackle the problem head-on immediately but rather to sit together and discuss each other’s feelings before problem-solving. By connecting emotionally first, they will likely have an easier time resolving the practical aspect of the dilemma in a way that respects each one’s feelings and needs.”
Though DiMatteo could see both sides, those commenting on social media were less nuanced in their assessment of the situation. Many were critical of the boyfriend’s actions.
“Work comes first and you could just have waited for her to finish before starting your gaming,” a Redditor wrote, with another commenting: “You knew her report had to be done for the next day. That takes priority over your gaming which isn’t time-sensitive nor is it bringing in an income.”
Some did side with the boyfriend, though. One defender commented: “Leisure time is absolutely essential in life. Without it all there would be is work.”
Ultimately, however, the boyfriend took responsibility, returning to the post to acknowledge he had been “unempathetic” in his response to his partner.
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