My wonderful sister-friends continue to be inspired! I'm happy to share the latest inspired piece by my dear friend Jan. She raises some important points about what dating has morphed into--a game essentially--and exposes the inherent problems in the concept, especially for someone who's tired of playing. I encourage you to continue the discussion below. Enjoy and ponder!
I was listening to a radio show this morning when the hosts started talking about “The Game” of dating. The discussion revolved around how men and women should avoid showing too much interest initially in order to ultimately gain the interest of the other party. As a single female who has had my fair share of unsuccessful attempts to develop a relationship with great eligible bachelors, I paid close attention to this discussion because it is a situation with which I am all too familiar.
From my widely varied and extensive dating experience, I’ve always been intrigued by the strong interest that I receive from men to whom I do not reciprocate the interest. Contrarily, the men that I do show interest in do not express the same feelings towards me, or they show interest long after I've become disinterested (like 5 years later).
I perceive The Game as actions--or should I say ‘a lack of actions’--that essentially require one to avoid taking action and to avoid appearing too interested in the other party. Some of the rules of The Game include waiting on the man to make the first call, never contacting him twice in a row without a response to my previous contact attempt, waiting on him to ask me out for both the first and second date before initiating a date, being the one to end conversations on the phone, not being too available, avoiding long text responses, etc. (You get the point)…In order to be a good player, I must do these things despite my innermost desires to do the opposite. Hence, by properly managing my lack of interest, I should be able to keep the man interested long enough to actually get to know me better and not be turned off by my interest in him. It’s funny how being interested in someone is actually a turnoff.
There’s one trick: during my game-restricted and limited time with my potential match, I must establish a connection and attract him. The one assumption is that this man would be otherwise attracted and interested in me if he was not turned off by my expression of interest and availability. All I’m essentially trying to do by playing The Game is buy more time and allow him to judge me for who I am and not perceive me as being desperate, demanding, or lonely. Don’t ask me why breaking any of The Game rules I mentioned above is perceived as desperate, demanding, or lonely because I have no idea. I probably wouldn't be writing this blog if I knew. ;-)
Maybe it is true that withholding my interest initially may be beneficial. After all, I want to be pursued and I wouldn't want my interest to get in the way of his opportunity to show me who he really is and what he wants from me.
Maintaining my attractiveness and attraction to a man while being uninterested and unavailable at the same time is a challenging concept and an act that I have not yet mastered. If I'm acting uninterested and unavailable then it is probably because I'm actually uninterested and I'd rather not be available to spend time with you. I find it difficult to be honest and genuine when I’m putting up a front and playing hard to get. I mean, once I get in a relationship I’ll be breaking all those rules anyway. So why front now? Just so I can be accused of “changing” later? What do you think?