Some advice that helped me that might help you.
Online dating has become a norm the past few years and with the quarantine, more people are connecting online even more. Some have found love through dating websites and even in video games.
I started playing Elder Scrolls Online about three years ago, shortly after the Morrowind chapter came out. I didn’t plan on meeting new people since I was playing the game for the storyline, not to connect with anyone. Next thing I knew, I made a few friends and joined their little guild, but I left after being with them for a little less than a year. Thanks to another friend, I joined another guild that was a lot different than the last one. There was no drama and no worrying about hurting others feelings.
This is where I met my boyfriend. He was the guildmaster at the time and welcomed me into the guild with open arms. We played Elder Scrolls Online just about every night after that and we became very good friends. I would send him messages from time to time, reminding him to eat some food, drink some water, get some sleep, or send pictures of his dogs while I was at work. Guild chats weren’t just about things going on in the game, but also what’s going on in real life and letting each other vent. I began to grow feelings for him, but I kept them to myself and made sure he wouldn’t be able to tell. Plus, he lives in Colorado and I live in Texas. I didn’t know his views on long-distance relationships and figured it was something he wasn’t into. This went on for about two years then before New Year’s Eve last year, he sent me a message saying he liked me as more than a friend. On New Year’s Eve, I told him I felt the same way and we became official in January.
Everything was (and still is) going good in our relationship despite a few issues with some now former guildies. We had planned on meeting each other late March to early April while he was visiting some family in Louisiana, but the higher power had different plans for us. The COVID-19 pandemic struck, and he went back to Colorado to be closer to his parents should something happen. Both of us were bummed that our meeting in person would be postponed, but knew it was best to wait it out until it was safer to travel.
Last week, we were able to see each other and it was amazing. There were no awkward moments and the nervousness we both felt went away the moment we saw each other. All the months of wishing we could be together, it finally became a reality. Sure, it was only for a few days, but it has made us think more about what we want for the future.
Okay, enough about me and my relationship. Where is the advice that I said would help? Well, I’m not a relationship expert, and I’m fully aware that my boyfriend and I have only been together for a few months. BUT! I asked a few players that I know that met their partners in a video game. Some are now married, some are still dating long distance, and others have moved in together.
Here’s what I’ve learned and what they had to say…
Don’t go into an MMORPG thinking you’ll meet someone.
This is probably the most obvious piece of advice, but some will start playing an MMORPG to find The One. From what I learned from other successful couples, they started off as online friends who met through mutual friends or from being in the same guild. They would DM each other through apps,exchange numbers, and their relationship gradually moved onto something more. Most, if not all, couples that met in a video game didn’t think they would meet someone. My boyfriend and I have known each other for almost three years and didn’t become a couple until the beginning of the year. It’s like meeting and knowing someone in real life, take things slowly then become comfortable with each other before taking the next big step.
Long distance SUCKS! But a great team can make it through everything.
There’s a strong chance that two players who meet in a video game are living in different states.. To say that it sucks being so far from my boyfriend is an understatement. I wish we could see each other everyday or even every weekend would be nice, but unfortunately, we can’t. However, we both knew what we were getting into when we started our relationship and we continue to make it work. It takes two to make a relationship work and if both people are putting in the same amount of effort into it, it’ll thrive.
Telling family is awkward, but there is a small trick that might help.
If you’re like me and too chicken to tell family right off the bat that you’re in a relationship with someone you met on a video game (or even online!), there is a way to sort of introduce them. An acquaintance of mine, who met her husband in a video game, told me to start mentioning my boyfriend around my family (by his real name of course!). She said to start mentioning him more and more around them until I’m comfortable to tell them the truth and that advice did help me a lot. By the time I told my mom, she was familiar with my boyfriend and had an idea of who he is. With her knowing who he is, telling my dad was nerve wracking, but it wasn’t bad.
Video chat with each other as much as possible.
With all the apps we have today, it’s a lot easier to see someone without them being physically there. Video chatting is great because you’ll be able to see your partner’s face and see their reactions instead of having to wonder how they really react to certain things. It also helps with getting rid of the awkwardness once you and your partner finally meet in person.
Make time to be alone together.
The relationship started online, so make some time to be alone together. Yes, hanging out with guildies/friends is fun, but having some private time is just as fun. Some nights, my boyfriend and I want a movie night instead of playing video games, so we’ll watch a movie on Netflix. While it sucks that we can’t physically sit next to each other, it does have a certain intimacy that almost feels like we are.
Like a relationship in person, maintaining one online is just as much work. It’s tough not being able to see each other in person, but having similar goals and mindsets help make it a lot easier. Love can be found in the most unexpected place. Finding someone you connect with in a video game is just as good as finding love in person. Gaming does have a bad stigma for causing violent behavior, social disorders, or catfishing. However, there are just as many positive stories out there we don’t hear about.