About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

In a similar way, I want this blog to be a space for fun, spirited and light-hearted discussion on issues regarding black females, our bodies, our hair, our men, and our images. But I also want it to be a forum for intelligent and respectful dialogue as well. Like Jill's poem, this blog will tackle some real topics, and they won't always be light-hearted. They will, however, be about lifting each other up. I welcome such discussion, but if you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't participate. Otherwise, join in!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Game

  
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!

~Moka B.

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?

~Jan

4 comments:

  1. I'd like to start here. As someone who's never really been in the game, I'm a little puzzled by this bit: "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." How would showing interest hinder the other party from showing his/her true self? I'm really intrigued to know how that plays out.

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  2. I might be a bit younger than those will respond this but if you don't show interest in me or are receptive to me showing interest, eventually I'm going to give up trying. The last girl I asked out because I thought she was interested. I get where the person is coming from though. We want to put ourselves out there and some times we may worry about how people will view our true selves so we put on this facade and hope that people can overlook our flaws and insecurities. I would hope that a person would just be upfront about their interest in a person and just see what happens. We're all a little too old be playing games, especially when people's feelings and emotions are in play.

    I may not have described what I'm tryin to say in the best way but I hope everyone gets the basic premise.

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  3. I believe dating should not be complicated, particularly when you are an adult (over 25). I'm at the stage where I know what I want, and there should not be a "game" to play. My guy is good at not playing games. I think that's why we connected so fast. He was even reluctant to be clear because he thought he would come across as "aggressive" or "too forward," and these are characteristics others have penned on him for his clarity. I cleared that up for him quickly because I want to know if and how he's interested in me, and I want him to know the same. We have enjoyed getting to know each other better than any other time when I felt I had to stroke egos or play coy.

    I agree with Daniel. When feelings and lives are involved, games are never appropriate. However, I have known guys to only want to be clear about their intentions after I stopped showing any kind of interest. Then they proceed to proclaim to the world that women don't want a "good" man (heteronormatively and generally speaking). No, it's not that I don't want a "good" man. It's that I want a man who knows what he wants and is not afraid to be clear about that and doesn't need to go before the council of homeboys to decide if I'm "bad" (beautiful) enough. (Yes, this happened to me.)

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  4. Happily out of the dating game, but reflecting back, I can say that I could never play "the game" successfully. It was in my nature to be upfront and real about my feelings and intentions.

    If I expressed to a guy I was seeing that I wanted things to be less casual, and he did not have the same sentiments, I promptly shut it down. Why set myself up and expect him to change his mind? I did this with a past love interest/now-husband. He was not keen on the idea of getting serious at the time. I told him "I am giving you this information because I want you to know where I stand." It didn't take him long to realize that he should act fast or risk losing a good thing. Lol

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