Q: I’m having problems in my relationship. My boyfriend plays video games all night and doesn’t spend any time with me. Should I give up and leave him?

A: I recommend you talk with your boyfriend when he is not playing. Explain that you enjoy his company and would like a little alone time with him. Don’t be judgmental. Video games are highly addictive, and if you’ve never played one, can make time disappear. Perhaps you can offer to play a video game with him-you might find yourself looking for excuses to play as well. However, it is more important to spend quality time together-maybe take a cooking or martial arts class, or even a couple’s massage lesson. If you offer suggestions like going out for dinner or having a ‘no games’ night, it might grow into many nights without gaming or at least reduced time.

If he does agree to a compromise, then do not begrudge him the time that he does play. Find something else to keep busy. Have a girl’s night, read, take a class either academic or physical, join a group, or take up a craft. If you make yourself happy, your significant other will wonder what’s going on and often will send them running in your direction.
If he is unwilling to compromise, then you’ll need to decide if the relationship is worth fighting for. It’s much easier to turn and run when something doesn’t go our way. But staying and working through problems takes time, courage, and tenacity but can be the sweetest reward when all the efforts are worth the result.

Only you can make the decision if you are willing to work out this relationship, or leave.

Andrea R. Cooper, author of The Garnet Dagger and Viking Fire