Girlfriends and Games – Part One: Getting the Girl

Gamers are people. They have lives outside of their digital domain. Every now and again these lives are even shared with another individual, be it a girlfriend, wife, gender non-specific life-partner or Japanese love pillow.

If their lives don’t include someone special than you can bet they’re at least hopeful they will in the future. Let’s be honest gentlemen. While your Blood Elf mage may have curves in all the right places, she’s not going to cook you dinner.

With Valentine’s Day just past I am sure there are many male gamers out there who didn’t have a beautiful girl to gives roses to. More importantly I’m guessing those gamers didn’t get the subsequent reward that comes with showing an ounce of romance. You know what I’m talking about (doing the ironing right?).

Because iron builds muscles

The fact is that even if you are in a relationship you know that gaming and girlfriends (wives, gender non-specific life-partners and Japanese love pillows) simply don’t get along. Unless of course you have a gamer girlfriend, in which case you should grab her and never, ever, ever let go… ever.

Originally, I was going to write an article about maintaining a harmonious relationship with your girlfriend. But then I decided to step back a little and take the whole meeting and dating a girl into consideration. The result was too huge and so I am going to break my guide into a three part saga.

The first part, that you’re about to read, will be dedicated to getting that first date. The second part will focus on getting a second date and bringing that special girl home (to your parents place). The final part will then discuss how to maintain that harmonious relationship once it has been established, and to keep your gaming independence.

During these articles I am going to make certain assumptions, vigorously apply stereotypes and relate my information to the lowest common denominator (well not quite, sorry Sheriff Dan, you’re a hopeless cause). While I hope there is no-one on this planet who doesn’t at least know half of what I’m going to share, I can guarantee you that all the advice I shall provide has been ignored or simply been unknown by friends and acquaintances of mine, let alone the hordes of single gamers out there. So if you’re looking for love read on. Or even if you have a girlfriend, she will definitely appreciate you cleaning up your act a little.

I am not what one would consider a ladies’ man. I’m not muscular, I don’t play a guitar and I’m not rich. Furthermore I play computer games, read fantasy novels and have an embarrassingly large collection of miniatures, none of which I’ve ever tried to conceal. I wear glasses. I have strong controversial conservative views which clash with the peace loving socialist ideals of my eye rolling-ly leftist peer group.

Dirty liberals

Yet with all of these hindrances I still manages to do decently for myself in the female department. I have since found the girl I want to hear complaining about my nerd ways for the rest of my life and so I bought her a big shiny ring.

There are a number of fundamental reasons I was able to convince girls to look past the hordes of plastic soldiers covering my shelves and the dual screened, external hard drive sprouting monstrosity on my desk. If you follow the next four steps you are on your way to getting a date with a girl who you’re not even paying (directly anyway…).

Step One – Personal Hygiene

I’m not sure why but for some reason gamers (especially wargamers) have this natural aversion to cleanliness. You don’t need a map to find the local hobby store; you can usually just follow your nose. There is nothing more off putting than the stench of the socially awkward. Step one is the easiest and probably the most important.

It may hurt the first time

Unless your dream girl is a dreadlock-adorned troglodyte or from France, she’s going to appreciate a decent level of personal hygiene. First stop is the shower. Use soap. Use shampoo. Hell, if we’re going to get crazy throw some conditioner into the mix. Next let’s have a look at your face. Facial hair is tolerable only if trimmed and maintained (but only in a few circumstances; moustaches and stylised goatee things are out).

Get your hands on some tweezers (ask your Mum or Sister) and get rid of that monobrow, contrary to popular belief tweezers don’t make you fruity. Acne can be mostly fixed by a strong dose of antibiotics obtained from your doctor. It’s not that hard, people.

Let’s move down the body. Not too far though! We’re keeping it PG here people, or at least M15+. If your back is covered with a thick mat of man hair, it’s time to discover hair removal techniques. Wax, hair removal cream, even a razor will get the job done.

Get inventive. The second you stop looking like an ape is the second you stop feeling like one. At this point you might also notice a strange smell coming from your underarms, somehow overpowering the prison grade soap you’ve just scrubbed yourself down with. This is called Body Odour and while you usually can’t smell it, that hot blonde scrunching up her face at you can.

Use deodorant. Every day. Sometimes twice a day. But use only enough. Too much deodorant creates the exact same effect you’re trying to mask. And just quickly, LYNX is not a magical chick magnet as the television will have you believe (realising your best non-biological friend is lying to you can be hard).

These women are actually coming to kick his ass for wearing LYNX (AXE)

It’ll make you smell like a fourteen year old (if you’re fourteen then by all means, go nuts!). Yet I see guys making this mistake over and over again. Buy something a little more subtle. For those special occasions you could even get yourself some cologne. Attraction has been proven to be linked to smell and girls will be quick to compliment you if you’re rocking a sophisticated scent.

Step Two – Appearance

Ok so if you’re following my advice you’re smelling and looking at least half presentable. But wait, you’re not wearing any clothes. While this is the eventual goal, one must take one step back to go two steps forward. Not getting the metaphor?

Put some pants on. But not just any pants! And certainly not those tracksuit pants that have been sitting under that pile of pizza boxes for the last month. You’re going to need a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a good pair of shoes.

This is going to set you back about $300. But think of this as an investment. You’re better than that Hawaiian shirt you keep wearing out. While shorts and a t-shirt are fine for everyday wear, if you’re going to take a girl out on a date you’re going to want to spruce up.

Firstly buy a pair of nice jeans. The right pair of jeans don’t have holes in them, they’re not too tight, not too baggy and they cup your ass snugly. Go to the shops; tell the pretty girl behind the counter what you’re looking for and she’ll sort you out. We’ll have you looking like a civilised member of society in no time.

You bought them like this? Take them back.

Lastly you need some shoes. Nothing too complicated but runners are only for the gym and should never be worn else wise. Similarly thongs should not be worn once the sun has gone down. Leather isn’t a necessity but it won’t hurt either (unless we’re talking about whips, but that’s for my next article).

While you’re there have a look at shirts. Men don’t wear short sleeved shirts. Full Stop. Buy a long sleeve shirt, one with buttons… that you’re going to have to iron. Dark bold colours are an easy purchase and help hide that gut that those afore mentioned pizzas are contributing to. We’re almost there guys. I know this is painful but stick with me.

All we have left now is the accessories. Your hair is a major draw card here. If your hair can be put in a pony tail, get it cut. The 60’s revival was great but 2011 is a judgemental and unforgiving place. On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re going bald and are trying to hang on to what you’ve got left, give up. Shave it. At least then you can convince yourself you look like Bruce Willis.

Get creative with your hair. But not too creative. I’ve always (just came up with it then) said that hair gel is like foreplay. A little bit can go a long way. But too much and she’s going to start thinking you’re compensating for something. You’ll work it out I’m sure. OH! And wear a belt. Just do it. Trust me.

And we’re done! Take a look in the mirror. That handsome fellow in the shirt. That’s you. You’re finally ready to be seen in public.

Step Three – Meeting the Right Girl

You’re looking smart. You’re smelling like someone who works in an office. You’re holding your head high as you walk down the metaphorical street of Single Town (not to be confused with Singleton, which is where dreams go to die. If you’ve accidentally stumbled into Singleton turn around and make haste in any direction you can). All these good looks and new-found confidence now need to be put to the test. To do this we need to find a girl. But where to start? I can tell you where NOT to start.

Contrary to what society and popular media will have you believe, night clubs are not a good place to find a girl, but it can be done. The trick is to hit the bars and strike up a conversation. More on this conversation business later. In my experience conversation is the key.

Nice Try

I can only assume you’re not the kind of guy who’s going to dance up to a girl and convince her to take you home with your fully sick dance moves. So don’t try to be. Grinding against a strange girl will only get you so far. Unless you have a problem… but I hear you can get a nasal spray for that. Moving on.

Mutual friends, house parties, work places, family lunches (Wait! Scrap that last one) and believe it or not, online dating websites are your best chances of finding a nice girl. One that will do more than laugh cruelly while you bust out with the ‘lawn mower’ in the middle of a packed dance floor.

The next trick is to get your level of approach right so as to avoid endless disappointment. The girl who works behind the bar, wears wonderfully revealing clothes and smiles at you as you order a Shirley Temple just isn’t interested in you. Likewise, your hot cousin is being nice to you because you’re family. No cousins, let’s get that straight.

You want to target the girls that are a bit quirky. The one with glasses, or braces. The girl with the slightly lazy eye. She’s wearing stockings and it’s forty degrees outside, perfect. She just spent the last twenty minutes telling you how she’s never had a male figure in her life she could respect, great! She is sobbing violently in the corner and on her fifth shot of tequila! Hmm. Maybe give that one a miss.

Steer Clear

If the girl has some character she is less likely to make you choose between her and your video games at a later date.

Step Four – Conversing with the Fairer Sex

You’re almost there! You can see your success peeping over the horizon. You’ve found the right girl, you’ve found a place where you can talk without too much interruption. Now what do you say? This is where I see guys, especially gamers, having the most trouble.

Girls are not interested in video games. It’s that simple. The 1% that are will still not openly converse about it and won’t be interested in your thoughts on the lacklustre endings of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. At first she might feign interest. But don’t be fooled! The second you let her know how many hours you spent raiding last month, she’ll start thinking about the closest escape route.

Probably involving a train track

Now I’m not going to say lie. Lie is such a strong word. I prefer: The omission of certain details. Or: Realities which are creative and hold very little truth. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, talk about her. Her family. Her friends. Her pets. Her apartment. Her Uni degree. Her job. Her crazy ideas about gender equality. Anything. Keep her talking and she’ll think you care.

If you disagree with anything she’s saying or find it vapid and meaningless - for all that is holy, keep it to yourself. Avoid politics, religion and any other radical ideologies either of you may have. You can have yelling matches about these things in public once she’s trapped (for some reason my fiancé and I always pick airports/planes). Smile. Be agreeable. Stay away from anything mentioned on The Big Bang Theory and you can’t go far wrong.

Did we mention clothes?

One last thing. Laughter is the key to a women’s heart, and other parts of her anatomy. If you can make her laugh you’re set. Even if it’s at you! As long as you’re laughing along with her and not running off in tears. All that remains is to ask her out on a date. When it comes to this last step, just jump in.

Nine times out of ten she’ll think it’s so ‘adorable’ that you’re asking her out on a date and not just trying to get her drunk and into bed that she’ll say yes. Dinner and a movie are clichés for a reason. Give it a shot and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Feel free to let me know of your success/how insulted you are by my broad generalisation of gamers in the comments section below. Alternatively you can contact me personally at Chazz@nonfictiongaming.com.

Stay tuned for part two of my girlfriend gaining saga: Getting a Second Date and Bringing the Girl HomeFor more from Chazz, What Is It About Online Games?