The Luv Doc: Pause the Game
The Luv Doc loves a good metaphor
Dear Luv Doc,
I am a bit confused about my girlfriend's behavior. We got in a fight Saturday night because I was on the Xbox and she was trying to talk to me and it was messing up my game and I got irritated with her because she made me lose my concentration. We had a brief argument about it and then she went into the bedroom and sulked about it but then she seemed OK when I apologized for snapping at her later that night. Apparently, she's not, because I work with a friend of hers and she said my girlfriend told her I was being a dick on Saturday night. Maybe not my girlfriend's words, exactly, but it still makes me mad that she's discussing our personal life with her friends. What is your take? Is this normal?
Totally normal. My bet is she was trying to talk to you about something important to her and you put up your emotional deflector shield. (GODDAMMIT, I love a good metaphor.) She kept firing words at you and eventually those words wore down your shield, made you vulnerable, and ... bam! You had to rely on your backup emotional deflector shield of anger (OK, maybe just mild annoyance) and you fired off a volley of emotionally charged verbiage that seriously wounded your girlfriend – so badly, in fact, that she had to go to her safe zone.
OK, I admit it. I don't know a fucking thing about Halo. You want to talk about Asteroids or Galaga? I'm down. In fact, I bet my initials are still up on the Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga machine at JuiceLand on 45th – even though they might say "DPJ" because the joystick is a little wonky. I know Halo is a bit more complicated, but I have found that if you add that dollar shot of CBD oil to your smoothie, you can stay relaxed and focused enough to blast through a fuckton of 2D, hostile alien spacecraft. That is, until your sweaty palms and hyperreactive stick-jerking put you in a coffin corner you can't shoot your way out of.
I'm sure there are similar pressures and challenges in Halo and it has to be annoying when someone – even someone you're banging – breaks through the fourth wall of your fantasy world to tell you about some actual shit that happened to her. I know I personally wanted to box the ears of a relatively innocent toddler just the other day because he fucked up an amazing 2D killing spree, but I stayed my hand. Maybe I was feeling chill from the CBD oil ... I don't know. All I am saying is that I am not a saint. I get it.
However, one thing the Xbox has that a beat-up old Galaga machine doesn't is the ability to pause the game (yeah, that's right, I Google shit sometimes), so let me do a quick pommel twist in the saddle of my high horse and say that's where you fucked up. Dude. All you had to do was pause the fucking game. Pause the fucking game, turn around, and listen. Maybe for 10 minutes, maybe for 10 hours. That's part of being in a relationship.
Now, as for your girlfriend sharing the embarrassing secret that you were being a dick, well, feel free to talk to her about that as well, but remember: For her to have your back, she's going to need to feel like you've got hers and that means listening to her when she has something to say. Otherwise, it's perfectly natural for her to discuss her problems with her friends or her insanely expensive therapist. So my advice? Pause the fucking game.