Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Don't hate the playa, hate the game

I do. I really hate the game.

I have girlfriends who swear by game playing. You gotta rope guys in by playing cat-and-mouse. Don't be too available. Don't show that you care as much as you do, but do flirt enough so that they know that there is an underlying interest. Because it will give them enough motivation to go on to stay with you but not enough to feel secure - that way you'll always have the upperhand.

And then there are the guys. Don't show emotion. Don't tell how you feel - don't even admit it to yourself. Always choose friends and other things over her - because she can not know how important to you she is. Because that gives her an advantage over you. And you might lose face.

And I have to say that I think it's bullshit. It's annoying and it's frustrating. Because for those of us who don't like to play games - well, it's just too bad. If you don't play games and the other person does, you'll always feel like they're not really interested. You feel insecure about the relationship and can sometimes get suckered into playing the games right back. It's an ongoing cycle and it's so annoying.

Some people play games without even knowing it; that's how natural game playing is in the dating world. They play games to the point that they begin to believe that it's the real way that relationships work.

Some people seem like they're playing games when they're really not. They're just different about the way they handle relationships than you are - which makes you think they're playing some game because everyone thinks that they have the right ideas about the way relationships should be.

Personally, I go back and forth. I hate playing games, but I do play them sometimes. I admit it. I think that they are SO stupid. And I try my hardest not to play - but it's easy to get sucked in.

Well. OK, it's different if you just want to hook up with someone - or date them casually. Then you flirt the whole time and it's a different type of game playing. It's fun and just flirtatious. That's it. It's not like you're trying to get the upperhand or anything because you're not that serious about the person.

But if you could see yourself really with a person, why play games? To save face? To keep your pride? To avoid the hurt of rejection? Come on. Think about it. Speaking with the Celebutante yesterday, on the way home from work, she made a very valid point. If you play games with someone you're just delaying the inevitable. You're either going to be with them, or your not. They either want to be with you, or they don't.

Think I'm wrong? Well how's this for an example:

Maybe by playing the 'unavailable game' someone will think they want you because they can't have you. But in the end, when those feelings settle, you'll be left facing their real feelings - which may be different than the feelings that you provoked by being unavailable in the first place.

So what? You can just continue playing games of unavailability to keep them interested? Fine. But then you better resign to the fact that the person you're playing with may never fall for the real you. How can someone care about the real you if they only ever get to know the fa├žade of a person under which you play games? Can you ever really be happy knowing that someone's with you because of who they think you are instead of who you really are?


At 12:07 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Sara, were you a philosophy or a psych major? ;)

I'm beginning to think that I'm getting to old for games...

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Happy and Jaded said...

I hate games too. When I spilled the beans to my man after only a week of dating that I was falling for him (drunken, wine-induced moment of course) and he didn't freak out (instead, responded the same back) I knew I was lucky enough to have found a guy who hates games as much as I do. Nice post. Nice blog.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger I-66 said...

You're absolutely right.

As this goes, a movie scene I reference often is from Swingers when Mike is talking to the boys, after getting the girl's phone number, about when he should call.. and the subsequent train wreck of a scene where Mikey calls the girl a ton of times -- I can't watch that part, by the way, it makes me ill. It's an excellent example of the games we play.. when do we call? Don't wanna give the idea that I'm too into her, don't want to seem desperate... What about her? Now she's waiting and thinking you're not interested and moving on to something else. It's idiotic. Now, I'm not saying call like Mikey, but a simple next-day call is sufficient.

So she gave you her phone number when you asked. She knows your interested. Why pretend not to be?
So you gave him your phone number. He knows your interested. Why let his call go to voicemail purposefully and call back later?
I've only recently reached the point where I've had it with little games. Things would be a helluva lot easier if we just came out and said what we were thinking.. but unfortunately for some reason it's easier not to.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Adam said...

You know what? I refuse to watch that same scene too. I HATE IT too painful to watch. My sophomore year of college, I watched Swingers every night for the first semester just before I went to bed and I always, always fast-forwarded thru it. I still do today...

At 1:15 PM, Blogger roosh said...

if a girl says "i dont play games", she plays a lot of games

if a girl says "i play games sometimes", she plays the game ALL THE TIME.


At 1:33 PM, Blogger Dan said...

I have no idea how to really handle meeting a girl that I like and then figuring out how early I need to call and how often to call back after the first date. I've always been told that I need to breathe and take time so that I don't come across as desperate. So is that a game or just an attempt to fit into the other person's perception? I think we all fall into this trap. If I call you the day after the date to try to set up another one, read it as interest in you, not desperation or some other negative crap.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Sara said...

adam, how'd you know? jk actually i was a PR major...

haj - i'm happy for you to have found someone like that. thanks for the nice comments

1-66, i completely agree with you. if i gave my number to a boy and he called me the next day instead of waiting the obligatory three days, i would love it. and he'd have a way better chance of getting to know me further.

dcb, see... everyone gets jaded based on what games people have played in the past... all i'm saying is that those games are stupid and we should not play them!

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous rcr said...

Here's my game:

Do you like me?


But seriously, honesty begets honesty. If you stop the game, your "opponent" likely will as well.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger I-66 said...

Maybe? I only have "yes" and "no" on my little card. Not being critical, after all, you're the one with the SO.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger DCDietDiva said...

I agree! Games are for elementary school, not relationships. Whether you want something long term, or just a hook up buddy it's better to be honest that way (hypothetically) no one gets hurt (or at least the chances of getting hurt are decreased).

At 3:21 PM, Blogger DCSportsChick said...

Playing games is pointless- no one wins, despite the short-lived ego boost. Just draws bad karma. It doesn't work.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playing games is part of dating unfortunately. I personally HATE playing games and I refuse be sucked in.
If a guy likes me he will show it...if I like a guy I will show it. Simple.
Personally, I think people play games because they are unsure of themselves.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

Wow Sara, at first, I thought this was going to be you talking about how you didn't like poker, and that would have been sad.

How do I add to all this philosophy here? I'm actually not going to try, I've been out of the game for awhile, and any game(s) I had would be too rusty.

So instead let me ask...have you considered the bet I've proposed?

At 4:46 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

Oops sorry, didn't see your response in the other thread. Cheerfully withdrawn.

Besides, I-66 owes you a drink. Hell, I'll buy you one if you have to spend the whole night in sunglasses. That's two drinks, almost enough to make the night worthwhile.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger DC Cookie said...

Part of making a relationship successful is being vulnerable and having the man accept that and support you. If you're playing games, you will never get close to the man. That's such a kitten tactic. Women don't eff around.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Elvis said...

I think DC Cookie is one of those Poker players who go "all in" when she gets pocket Jacks. I can tell. She won't even wait for the flop. I like it; The riverboat gambler.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

If D.C. Cookie is a player, we may be onto something. We may need to get a blogger poker tournament together. At least then, I can see what my competition in the area is like. Just came in second place in an on-line one tonight.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger DCLastCall said...

Is there a rule book in existence for dating games?


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