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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