The Dating Game

Disclaimer: This is drawn from my own experiences in dating. Everyone reacts to situations differently. This is how I react, I’m sure I’m not the only one, however, I’m not saying that this is how every person deals with dating. To each their own and all that jazz.

I hate dating. Dating is hard. Dating is a game. I love games, so you’d think I would enjoy dating at least a little, but I don’t. Dating is not a fun game that anyone really wins. It’s a confusing, sometimes hurtful game that has no clear rules at all. If there were rules to follow maybe I could get on board but even then…

My biggest issue with dating is that it’s so hard to find a person to date who is upfront and honest. I’m not saying that people are dishonest. I think that generally, most people are honest. That’s why dating is so baffling to me. It turns even the most up front people into shady characters. Here’s what I mean when I say “shady character” (or dishonest):

Say you go on a date with someone. You have a good time. The other person has a good time and says so. Then says that the two of you should do it again soon. So you go home feeling optimistic. Days and weeks go by without a peep from the other person. So you start to wonder what’s going on. Chances are they’re just busy and not really that interested in dating you. Because no matter how busy a person is, if they really like you they’ll make an effort to see you again. Logically you know that, but you keep thinking back to the date when they said they had a good time, that they liked you. So there’s a glimmer of hope. Eventually months go by and you wonder if the person has met with some sort of terrible accident. But you don’t want to text/call/email for fear of looking clingy or needy. Eventually the waiting person stops waiting and then feels sad from weeks or months of rejection. It’s hard to get over that and even harder to let go of that little glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe they’ll call…

That is a sad story.  A lot of heartache could have been avoided if people would stop trying to spare everyone’s feelings and be honest at the get go. Let’s take the same story from above, except let’s be up front about things.

You go on a date. You have a good time. The other person says ‘I had a good time too. But I’m really busy right now/I’m just not romantically interested in you/I don’t want a relationship right now/I don’t think we should hang out (whatever the real reason is you put it in here). But thank you for going out with me!’ Then everyone moves on with their life.

Is that a bit harsh? Yeah, it totally is! Do I want to hear that at the end of a date? Not really, but you know what? Hearing that after a date is so much better than wondering for months when we’re getting together again. It’s like ripping off a band aid, if you do it quick it feels better faster. Or to be more dramatic, a quick pin prick is easier to bear than having a knife slowly driven into your body.

Not only does getting the rejection over with quick help with the disappointment but it also doesn’t give bitterness the chance to take root. Waiting is annoying. Waiting for someone you like to contact you again is a hot bed for bitterness to grow. By the time the waiter figures out that the person they like isn’t going to contact them it’s very likely that they’ve started feeling bitter. Because calling someone stupid, an asshole or a jerk helps to soothe our injured egos. It’s an unhealthy way to start to move past that rejection. Whereas, if the person had just been honest from the beginning your ego would most likely just have taken one hit instead of multiple. When you’re waiting for someone you like to get back to you, each day that goes by without any word is a hit. And every attempt at communication that goes ignored is an even bigger hit.

That’s the other part of this whole “game” that sucks. A lot of people may start to feel like a needy, clingy person. No one wants to be that. So many women are called “crazy”, but I wonder are women inherently “crazy” or is it dating that makes us seem that way? There’s nothing more frustrating than giving someone a call or sending them a text and having it ignored. So on top of the growing bitterness there’s the feeling of “crazy” that just makes everything worse. Some of you may be saying ‘Hello! If he doesn’t call you back, he’s just not that into you!’

I’ve heard the ‘he/she’s just not that into you’ spiel many times. I know that in my head. Logically it makes sense. But I guess, when it comes to people I like, I give them the benefit of the doubt. I make excuses for them, I wait and wait and wait to hear from them. I know, intellectually, that if someone likes you they will pursue you. But when I hear the words ‘I like you’ or ‘I want to hang out again’ I can’t help but be optimistic. And honestly, I hate grouping people together like that. Sometimes people really are just super busy, forgetful or flaky. Do you want to date someone who is super busy, forgetful or flaky? Probably not, I’m just saying sometimes it really isn’t you it’s them. Maybe if they said that it would make it better.

See? “The rules” of the dating game are stupid because they’re different for everyone. This is why dating is so frustrating. Dating makes me feel like a crazy lady. (Besides that, I think the words “four year old son” are the most terrifying words to say to a man I’m trying to date).

So how about we stop mucking around? How about, when we go out with people we are honest? Sure, that’s really hard to do. But I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s better than stringing someone along for months, giving hope when there is none. Here’s my new dating game rule, be honest.

What about you? What about dating do you love or hate?

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2 responses to “The Dating Game

  1. After I read your post I saw this, article with a similar point, I particularly liked this philosophy and what it said about, “Become the rejecter not the rejected.” and empowering myself in all my relationships.

    http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes

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