Friday, March 1, 2024
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Find Your Player 2: I don’t fancy anyone BUT fictional characters – is that okay?

As LGBTQ+ people, our relationships and identities often don’t fit in the same mould as the ones we’re surrounded by, and seemingly “easy” questions can be deep and complicated. At the same time, sometimes you just need an impartial ear to ask: If neither of us are doing gender roles, why is nobody doing the dishes either?

Whether you’ve been out for years, are newly questioning, or just think Gayming Magazine is the best place for games – Find Your Player 2 is here for you!

This week we discuss if it’s okay to not want a relationship at all, and what to do when one person hates losing at games.

Is it okay to fancy fictional characters and not real people? I have a different situation to the questioning bisexual person who wrote in before. I happily fancy fictional characters, read (and write) explicit fanfiction, and I watch a healthy amount of porn. But none of this crosses over to my real life, though. I look around me and feel like I should be missing out on something because my friends are all in serious relationships or married, but I’m not interested – with anyone, of any gender. *Am* I missing something?

– Fictional Lover

Is it okay to have a rich inner life, and not be personally interested in real life romance? Of course it is, 100%. These things are in no way mutually exclusive, and it’s not something you’re doing ‘wrong’.

If you feel like you should be missing out on something – but you don’t actually feel its absence – all you’re doing is noticing a difference between your life and that of the people around you. It’s easy to feel this way, particularly when people around you are following life paths that feel like ones you’ve been encouraged to go down. Your own path is just as fine.

Maybe you get nudges about being lonely – maybe you wonder if you are! If you want to do a self-check on that front, you could ask yourself: Do you feel connected to your friends? Do you feel part of a community (be it your local community, a community of other content creators, or any other network of people you share ground with)? Do you have an emotional support network that you can both provide for and lean on? It might not be that the answers to all of these are ‘yes’, but if there’s a gap you identify, it may give you a pointer on where to go next. (And if it needs saying – a partner is not a substitute for these aspects even for people who are interested in that!)

You might find other people who feel similarly to you in asexual communities. Asexuality encompasses a diverse array of experiences, and that might include language and a community that you find helpful – or it might not, and that’s okay!

Most importantly – there are plenty of people who happily live ‘non traditional’ lives. Regardless of the gender someone is attracted to, coupling up and especially getting married isn’t just “it” for many people. If you’re happy and supported doing your own thing, continue your own thing!

My boyfriend and I both play games together, but he really dislikes losing. It fully stops being fun for him when he loses, and it stops being fun for me when he gets so upset. (Like ‘hurt feelings’ upset, nothing mean or aggressive). Gaming is one of the big things we have in common, and I want us to do it together, but it’s becoming an ordeal. What do I do?

– A Worried Gamer

While I do have some thoughts about how you can enjoy games with someone who hates to lose, I think it’s worth picking up on that this is your boyfriend’s problem first, and not yours.

It isn’t always fun to lose, for sure! Depending on the game you’re playing, losing can represent a massive loss of investment of time, or in-game resources. It can definitely be frustrating – but if your boyfriend gets as upset at losing quick rounds of party games as he does a boss battle in Dark Souls, there’s no winning for anybody there.

Obviously, you can still play games together that don’t have a ‘lose’ state, but I’d also suggest hanging out around games. As in, “I’m gonna play Dragon Age, do you want to play with my hair and talk about how great Dorian is while I do that?” And of course – return the favour! Be the hair-player/shoulder-rubber/popcorn-maker for his own single-player game time. And play multiplayer games with other people, who handle losing more comfortably.

If your boyfriend asks, I recommend being direct, but keeping it centred around what you do want, because telling someone their feelings are bad is a conversation ender. “I don’t really want to play [game] with you anymore, because when you lose and get upset, I also feel bummed out. I’d rather spend time our time together doing nice things, like [eating popcorn about how good Dorian is].”

Ultimately, your boyfriend’s feelings are his own to manage. They don’t inherently make him a bad person (nobody’s thoughts or feelings do), but it’s still fair to sidestep a situation causing needless bad feelings for both of you. I hope gaming can go back to being a thing both of you enjoy, if in a slightly different flavour!

Find Your Player 2 is Gayming Magazine’s fortnightly love and relationship advice column! Send your questions to advicecolumn@gaymingmag.com.

Ruth Cassidy

Ruth Cassidy is a writer and self-described velcro cyborg who can often be found being emotional over musicals, mountains, and pictures of cats on the internet.