They are a growing breed, and they seem to be getting hotter (at least when they apply themselves and manage to take a shower) in a way that Seth Rogen or Jason Segel can be hot. They take the form of a middle management executive or a graduate student who is adorable and funny; a strategic thinker with excellent hand-eye coordination. Yes, I am talking about the new league of gamers – connoisseurs of mysterious quests, modern warfare against terror, and unabashed murder in virtual platforms.

Despite portrayals on TV and film that typecast gamers as unaffected zombie-types whose passions are reserved for upgrading weapons, unlocking achievements, and gaining experience points, in real life they can be sweet and caring partners – the kind that surprises you with lunch picnics at the park and sticks love notes on your car windshield. Realistically speaking, though, this lot can get pretty absorbed in their hobby, so much so that they can be disconnected from the real world to the chagrin of a broken-hearted significant other.

In an effort to give these guys a fair break, here is an unscientific guide for assessing how wise dating a gamer is:

1.       Give gaming time, take ‘Me’ time (+4)

Sometimes, having that extra hour to scour the racks a second time is all it takes to find that perfect dress for the winter wedding you have to attend. That extra hour is what you will have if you let your beau enjoy an afternoon with ‘The Cave’ (development: Double Fine Productions; digital distribution: Sega), a platform adventure game that explores a magical cave where three characters are chosen to solve a series of puzzles, often requiring their use in tandem.

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2.       Gaming as new bonding activity (+10)

Finding your inner gamer can be an exciting time for you and gamer partner, since a shared interest in video games means that you can hang out more without one of you constantly checking the clock and praying that it’s time to do something else. Furthermore, your effort to take interest will definitely score high in the ‘being an open-minded and accepting partner’ scale. Try learning a complicated game like ‘Devil May Cry 5’ (development: Ninja Theory; distribution: Capcom), a beat-em-up game about Dante, a young man with supernatural powers being chased by demons. Apply yourself, try your hardest to kill a demon or two, and watch him swoon.

3.       Ignores you while playing (-50)

You’re on your way home from an afternoon at the mall when you remembered that the frozen chicken must be thawed in time for dinner prep. After several calls to the boyfriend – whom you left at home to his new video game – have gone straight to voicemail also offered by RingCentral, you are fuming. The second you get home, he excitedly shows you his level at ‘Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’, an anime-style role-playing game reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli movie (which is a collaboration between the famous animated film house and game developer Level 5). Of course you don’t care because all you care about is that the chicken is hard as rock.

We all need our little diversions in life, something to take our minds off things that trouble us and give us some time to focus on the good things and the reasons why we’re soldiering on in the first place. We can all understand this need. However, the line gets drawn right before this little diversion becomes the center of one’s world, with everything else falling at a distant second place. I am quite sure there can be a sweet, caring person inside that gamer, but I will refuse to be a part of a relationship where I’m a runner up to a gaming console.