Ask LH: How Can I Get My Girlfriend To Stop Playing Pokemon GO?

Ask LH: How Can I Get My Girlfriend To Stop Playing Pokemon GO?

Dear Lifehacker, my girlfriend is a Pokemon GO player. I’m not. Over the past fortnight she has been playing the game 24/7 and it’s starting to affect our relationship. When she’s not hunting Pokemon, she’s tweeting about it or researching tips on her phone — even while we’re in bed together. (And don’t get me started on our “romantic” walks!) I’m starting to feel seriously neglected! Do you have any intervention tips for Pokemon GO addicts? Thanks, Pokemon GO AWAY

Dear PGA,

It’s official: Pokemon GO is better than sex! Maybe you should try dressing up as Pickachu? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

This is an interesting pickle. On the one hand, trying to dictate what your girlfriend does for entertainment is not how relationships work. You don’t own her and she’s free to do whatever she wants. (Plus, it sounds like she’s simply enjoying herself and getting some exercise into the bargain. Surely this is a good thing?)

On the other hand, engaging in a prolonged solo activity in front of your partner is definitely a bit rude; especially when it’s something she knows you don’t enjoy.

This is an ongoing problem that isn’t just isolated to Pokemon GO. We all have that one friend who’s face is constantly buried in their phone during all social settings. It’s inconsiderate, whether you’re firing off tweets, browsing the web or hunting for pocket monsters.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to make these people see the error of their ways and self-modify their behavior. More often than not the person instantly gets defensive which just leads to an argument.

Instead, my advice is to find a mobile game that’s more your speed and play alongside her. Here are some suggestions to get you started. You should also keep an eye on our Free Game Friday page for new and discounted freebies.

If that doesn’t work, you might require the services of Kotaku’s agony aunt columnist Dr Nerdlove, who specialises in this sort of thing. You can contact him here.

We also want to hear what readers think. Should Pokemon GO players refrain from playing on dates or do people like PGA need to lighten up? Share your advice and opinions in the comments section below!

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • Just a thought OP… play it with her? you know spend time together like go on walks ,etc. are you just pissy cause you’re not getting laid and instead she’s PGOing. You sound very needy OP like she isn’t giving you enough attention? I’m not saying it’s not an issue but everyone needs their own personal time and obviously hers is playing PGO. If it’s seriously an issue and she is doing nothing else but playing then you should I dunno TALK TO HER ABOUT IT. Is this your first relationship OP?

  • I’ve encountered this problem before – friends or girlfriends being on their phone all the time, or for ridiculous amounts of time. The way I generally deal with it is just be like “hey I know you enjoy doing this thing but when we’re hanging out and you pull your phone out and spend significant amounts of time on it it makes me feel like you’re uninterested in spending time with me. I don’t want to feel like that and I’m sure you’re not trying to make me feel like that, so can we fix it?”. Don’t be antagonistic about it, don’t blame the other person, just be honest about how it makes you feel. If your girlfriend cares about you (tip: she probably does) then she’ll want to help out with not making you feel bad, and you’re all good. If not, then your relationship has bigger problems than Pokemon GO and you’ll have to deal with those. Good luck friend.

    • This is the same advice I would give.

      The only thing I would add is that it also makes me take a look at myself and my relationship with the other person.

      If I am not interesting/engaging enough to have them pop their head up from their phone to talk to me in real life, I feel like there’s some work to be done on my side as well.

  • there is a public service announcement on Bra$$ers on this very thing. If you dunno what that is. dont search for it at work NSFW

  • Just wait. Even if it’s not just a fad and she’s one of the rare players who goes on after the initial rush, she’ll get past the obsessive phase and it’ll become just one of the things she’s into that you aren’t.

  • Install Ingress, play that instead of pokemon, much more fun. Much more strategy and planning too.

  • “engaging in a prolonged solo activity in front of your partner is definitely a bit rude…”
    Don’t think we didn’t see what you did there! 😉

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