The Unwritten Rules Of The Dating Game

The Unwritten Rules Of The Dating Game

Once the chase is gone, so are they.
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I always tell my friends to stop going for the “bad boys,” or the now commonly used term, “f*ckboys, ”the “dogs” of the dating world. But for some reason they just can’t stay away, and unfortunately, neither can I. And then I thought to myself, guys always go after the girls who are emotionally unavailable, too. The bottom line here is that we are fascinated by things that aren’t at our fingertips, the things we can’t have, the things that seem out of reach.

We like the chase, we play the game and we give in to the game. Rules of the dating world these days are immature and, often times, annoying, too. Unfortunately, the “game” of dating isn’t going away anytime soon, so to be a successful “player” in this never-ending game, you must learn how to play the right way. See, a lot of people have mastered this skill set, Unfortunately, I have not. But, I do know how it works; I just like to play by my own rules.

If there's someone I find myself interested in, I’ll usually start off by playing along to the rules of the game: taking a long time to answer texts, making myself seem busy or ignoring them at parties or at the bar, acting like I don’t care.

But then, once I’ve invested my time and efforts into someone, I stop playing by the rules and I think to myself, “You know what? Screw the game. It's not worth it. I’m going to tell this person how I feel, and I’m going to double text, even though I know I shouldn’t.”

Well, let me tell you, it never works out in my favor. And I’m sure some of you are right there with me. I feel your pain. Nine times out of 10, when I reach out and put myself on the chopping block, I always get rejected or the other person loses interest.

And the reason people tend to lose interest when you start showing more of it is because the “chase” is gone, the game of who can act like they don’t care the most has ended and the “talk” you’ve been avoiding now has to be done.

Here's an example.

Think about that gorgeous stranger you saw last week at the bar. They were mysterious and giving you the right amount of attention to intrigue you but not enough that you knew you had it in the bag. You two made eye contact throughout the night, and you even thought about going up to them and buying them a drink, but you held back because you remembered the dating rules. You two “magically” end up right next to each other and conversation strikes. What made this person more attractive to you than the nice guy or girl who was buying you drinks all night, asking about your college major and saying how they’d love to go on a date with you?

It was the thrill, the unknown; it was the chase. You knew you could have the person who cared, you knew they were interested, so you put them on the back burner, saving them for later, perhaps.

I agree, the whole dating games are immature and childish, but they work. They draw the other person in. It's how you know you can dig your hooks into someone and make them think about you and what you might be up to, despite how painful and annoying they are.

Why do girls fall for the guys who are known “players” and show them little interest? Or, why do guys go for the girl who constantly tries to get them jealous with other guys at the bar or posts too many pictures with other guys on Snapchat? It’s because these people seem out of our reach; they keep us on our toes.

You wouldn't value money if it was just handed to you every day, but since you have to work for it, it has more of a value to you. Well, it's the same with people. You don’t know if they’re interested or not, and you have to work toward the goal of getting them where you want them, wherever that might be, and hopefully it’s not just your bedroom!

For women, we want to be the safe haven for this “player.” We want him to be good for only us. We want to change him and have the guy every other girl wishes she had, the one who all our friends told us we were only wasting our time with.

For guys, it’s simple. They’re just naturally competitive (not to say women aren’t), but if you tell a guy he can’t have something or can’t do something, then they automatically will want it and have to prove you wrong. Same goes for dating, so if a girl seems uninterested or unavailable, the guy becomes intrigued, seeing her as a prize, and he has to have her.

So, when does the chase turn into a "relationship" or go to the next step? The success stories here are few and far between, but I’m sure somehow it works out. I mean, it must. Not everyone is single — the relationships had to start somewhere. And no, I’m not saying all relationships stemmed from the infamous game of cat and mouse chases in dating, but they stemmed from something.

But to answer this question, for me, the “game” never turns out successful, especially when I have to do the chasing. And what I realized, and what many other people need to realize, is that if you get ghosted or rejected from someone you’re interested in, it’s not because you’re not an awesome person, it's because you're amazing and deserve someone who knows your worth.

The famous line really is true — it’s not you, it’s them. They’re “not ready” to settle down, or they’re just not worth your time, anyway. If someone ghosts you, it’s their loss, anyway. You obviously cared a lot more about them than the person constantly playing “hard to get."

To be completely honest, I don’t really like "the unknown" or when things are left up in the air. I like knowing what's up, even if it is the painful truth that hey, maybe this person actually doesn't like me at all. And I like some reassurance that things are still going OK.

Because of this, when I have to do the chasing, it usually ends in heartache, a couple bars of chocolate, a lot of tequila and a handful of new vengeful outfits for the weekend out.

Usually, once the game is over and the chase is gone, we get bored, and it’s on to the next one. Once we’ve finally got what we wanted, it’s a 50 percent chance that we will either get bored and start searching for the next thing “out of our reach,” or we will realize that the chase was worth it, and this is the person we’ve been searching for.

The harsh reality of the dating game and playing “hard to get” is that it actually works most of the time. I don’t usually follow my own advice, but my friends do.

When they ask for advice on a guy they’re not sure of, I usually encourage them to wait a while before responding, to not be so available when the guy asks to hangout and to never double text. And when they follow this advice, it’s funny how much harder the guy starts to chase them, and I’m sure it goes vice versa, as well.

Bottom line message here is that dating really sucks. It’s harder than ever, and it shouldn’t be. Not everyone plays these stupid “reindeer games” as one of my cousins calls it, and you’re lucky if you find someone who doesn’t.

The truth of the matter is that we, unfortunately, love a good chase. We like to feel like we worked for something or someone and that we earned it. That’s why we play “hard to get,” and we tend to fall for those who seem unavailable to us or not interested at all. So, hold in there, know the rules of the stupid dating world we’re in and play it smart. Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve, or least start pretending it’s not there. Good luck!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.stocksy.com/795272

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The 7 Stages Of A Breakup, As Told By Netflix's 'Someone Great'

Alexa play "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo, and max volume, please.

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We all know how it feels to get your heart broken by a guy. Whether it be in your teens or in your 30s, everyone experiences it, or already has. After watching the movie “Someone Great" on Netflix, it hit me deep in my feels. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It made me realize all of the stages of going through a rough breakup, and I could not relate to a movie more.

1. When you first breakup and will cry about it to just about anyone

We all know that we do this almost immediately after a break-up. You are just trying to get out of the house so you go to the store, something reminds you of our ex, and next thing you know, you're talking the stranger's ear off in the grocery store for the next 2 hours.

2. When your friends call you and you say you're fine but you really haven't moved from your couch in two days and all you have done is eat two gallons of ice cream and watch "The Notebook" on repeat

"Just come do something with us, or let us come there."

"Nah, I'm okay, I actually have a super busy day today."

Yeah, if you mean busy as in binge-watching every episode of "Pretty Little Liars," then yeah, count me out of all plans so I can rewatch every episode for the next 3 weeks. We all know that feeling of not wanting to move out of bed for as long as you can after a break-up.

3. When that ONE song comes on at the mall, and you suddenly realize it was "your" song

This one hits differently. You're literally just minding your own business, trying to treat yourself to a little bit of a wardrobe change because of how sad you have been all week and BAM, it hits you like a train. Next thing you know you're crying in the dressing room of Forever 21 wondering where it all went wrong.

4. Finally caving in and hanging with your friends, realizing that this is what you needed all along

You never want to leave your bed after a breakup, you seem to cancel or bail out on every plan you try to make, then finally, after you have run out of tears, you actually follow through with a girl's night, and then you suddenly realize that all along, just time spent with the gals is what you needed. Trust me, been there, done that. In most cases, a dance party is also well needed.

5. The morning after your girl’s night, you realize that having these gals is better than the boy 

Having your girls there for you in such a tough time actually helps so much. It helps save the tears, the constant replaying of memories in your head, and saves you the time you could be wasting if you're sinking into a deep sadness over something so dumb. That support system is vital for post-breakup, and even I know that.

6. You let him go one last time

Whether it be writing a letter, throwing away all your old memories with him, or by finally getting all your clothes back from his place that have piled up over the past few months or years. It is a truly bittersweet feeling and might even hurt a little, but it's time. You're going to thrive without him.

7. You truly know how much better you’re doing without him

You have reached the point of no return. You’re finally thriving without him. You’re never going back, and you know how much potential your life has and how much better you are without him. Your heart is whole again.

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