(Not So) Fun & Games (The Student)

Some wise words from the Blog’s youngest Dater, as she investigates some of the games people play in relationships … and their repercussions.

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

Unfortunately I am not talking about all the games in the bedroom, but those tactics and rules that the dating world is steeped in.

I’m normally firmly against playing games to try and wrap a guy around my little finger, or playing hard to get to keep him wanting more. I’m straight up when it comes to dating.  If I like a guy I make it happen and if it doesn’t work out, at least I’ve been honest and been myself the whole time. Plus, I’m a terrible game player. Never play poker with me if you like any sort of challenge!

You can’t escape the game players when navigating the single world; we even call it ‘the dating game’ because it’s so rife!!!

But it’s horrible, it causes everyone to be on their guard or play a game themselves, just to protect their own feelings. So it’s a catch-22. I hate it; it makes everyone paranoid and often leads to disastrous results where everyone ends up getting hurt anyway. As Robert Burns said, ‘the best laid schemes of Mice and Men gang aft aley’!! That’s Scottish for the more familiar phrase: the best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry!

But are game ok sometimes? Are they actually sometimes necessary to spare people’s feelings?

Over the past few months I’ve watched my housemate trying to navigate the single world as an adult for the first time.  He had been in a relationship with the same girl from fifteen to twenty-one – the dating game was completely unknown to him. For months we watched in despair as time after time he was convinced that he had all the control and had this week’s flavour desperate for him.

Good God was he mistaken!

He had a knack for finding girls on the rebound who were really just looking for a guy to make their ex jealous. There were three occasions where he would go for a coffee or drinks date with a girl and score a bit of fondling (in our living room, much to the anguish of the other occupants!) Each time he was endlessly pleased with himself, determined that date number two was on the cards and he’d mastered aloofness and sexiness. Only to find a few days or weeks later that she had returned to her ex. Despite his cockiness, I ended up just feeling sorry for him and his naiveté. These girls had no intention of pursuing him, they were just waiting for their ex to come running back at the sight of competition.  Not a nice game.

Another friend of mine wound up playing a bit of a game with a guy she didn’t fancy, in order to try and place him in the friend zone. This is where I find the lines blur, and I begin to understand a need for game playing every now and again.

My friend agreed to go for coffee with this guy because she didn’t want to be presumptuous that it was a date.  They were doing the same course at uni, so it could well be that he just wanted to make a few friends on his course. So she agreed, but decided to tell him that she had a boyfriend. Out of necessity, the guy that she had been vaguely dating got upgraded to boyfriend status.

She told a white lie for fear of having to reject a guy she didn’t fancy. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings if his intentions were romantic, so decided it was best to put herself off the market in his eyes.

This is the sort of game playing that I can understand. No one wants to bluntly reject someone else. The truth hurts sometimes and she didn’t want to hurt him.

We can’t deny that the dating world is cruel and tricky, and that you can’t always trust things at face value.

Games and game players are always going to exist but I firmly believe that when you find someone that fits right you won’t want to play games and neither will they.

If you want to make a relationship work, honesty is always the best policy, right from the start.

The Student

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