Most girls, when asked, will deny playing games when it comes to dating. We complain that guys are players and that we’re the innocent victims. But being more than a few years (and ice cream binges, and drunken cry sessions) into the dating world, I’m beginning to wonder….is dating itself just one big game, and are we all players?
Is there any girl out there who hasn’t waited a strategic amount of time to text back a guy they like? Who hasn’t flirted with someone else in front of him? Who hasn’t refrained from calling/texting/IMing because she didn’t want to seem desperate?
But where do we draw the line between seeming desperate and straight-up showing that you’re interested? It all gets very, very confusing, and that’s why I’m convinced dating is impossible without a little game-playing.
Think about it. When two people start hooking up or embark on a friends-with-benefits situation, neither is gonna blurt out everything on their mind. Those just aren’t the rules of the game. Actions speak louder than words, so we try to show, rather than say, what we feel. We consult their friends. We try to make them jealous. We primp for hours before running into them, only to play aloof and feign disinterest in our conversation. We’re anything but honest with each other, because we don’t want to seem vulnerable and risk getting hurt.
Just like in a real game, both parties want to have the upper-hand…and it gets complicated fast. In the beginning of a relationship, no one wants to ask the important questions about exclusivity and being “official,” so they play a little tug-of-war until one person caves.
I’ve even found that once you’re in a real relationship, the games don’t stop right away. You still play the who-calls-who first game, and the pretending-you’re-too-busy-for-a-date game, and every other game you deem necessary until you’re comfortable enough with each other to lay all your cards on the table.
Until, that is, one of you considers breaking up. Of course, you can’t tell the other party right away, so you play around to gauge their feelings on the situation. And then after the real breakup happens, it’s back to playing mind games every time you see each other.
We all claim to “hate the game,” but that’s just one big game, too. Let’s be real: we’re all just wishing we were better at it.