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Playing the Game


Liaka
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“Playing the game”. Do you like it, do you hate it?

 

Personally I hate it with a passion. I bring this up because of my situation and the advice I have been receiving from my friend. I posted before about my whole situation, and I have been simply playing it by ear and have not totally acted on anything yet. But basically my friend (who is a guy) has told me to basically play the game with this guy. Not answering phone calls, not calling him, and when I do talk to him act like I’m too busy to talk to him… making him wonder, etc… Do these things actually really work? And if they do, at what point do you stop doing these things? Is it better to be totally upfront or be aloof? He keeps telling me to be as aloof as possible... but its driving me crazy, and I just want to flat out ask him whats going on between us (and I feel like if I dont show interest, neither will he). I know it drives me crazy when I actually like someone, so how do you know when to keep playing, or when to stop… or even to play in the first place? Seems to me guys would hate this and much rather you to be upfront… but I’m hearing this FROM a guy… what do you all think?

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i hate it... but its such a necessary piece of the puzzle in my life..... and its horrible... I'm pretty much a slave to it....

 

I used to play the game all the time.. and it made me feel good I'm not going to lie... well.. finally I met this girl, and i really thought this was the ONE!! I never was going to lie to her, or try to play any games, i just wanted to be really upfront about it..... of course I played small games in the beginning to get her initially interested in me.... which she apparently was... was talking to her friends about me.. was seeing her almost every other day.... so i finally went for it, throwing myself out there and thought "This feels so right!!! no lies, no games.. just honesty!! I'm growing up!!!"

 

Ya, that took me no where.. her interest in me died down in the following months and now I never even talk to her.... (despite us being close for about a year previosly: on and off during school, and very on during the summer)

 

i never will stop the game, because its the only thing that gives me results

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I agree that at the VERY initial stages of a relationship it can be a little fun... waiting for the other person to call or getting excited over a text message you didn’t expect... all that jazz. But I tire of that very quickly... as soon as I know I like the guy, I want it all to stop. I find more excitement in finding out you share common feelings... Maybe it’s also the fact that I'm ready for something serious in my life? Eh... who knows... My friend who is giving me this advice is a good 4 years younger than I am… so it could be. But I am curious to see how many people actually enjoy it. Obviously my friend does… he believes it causes the other person to fall harder for you… anyone agree?

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So, you took a risk by putting your heart out there, and it failed. All that means is that you and that particular girl didn't work out, not that you shouldn't put yourself out there at all.

 

Yeah, rejection hurts, but it's part of life. If you get someone to fall in love with a fake version of you though, they're just going to dump you when they find out what your personality is really like. I say this because "playing the game" is really just creating a positive image for yourself in the other person's mind: delaying calls to make yourself seem busy or less interested, only scheduling dates days in advance instead of that night for the same reasons. It just seems so pointless to me. The real you should be good enough for your partner; otherwise, they're not the right person for you.

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So, you took a risk by putting your heart out there, and it failed. All that means is that you and that particular girl didn't work out, not that you shouldn't put yourself out there at all.

 

Yeah, rejection hurts, but it's part of life. If you get someone to fall in love with a fake version of you though, they're just going to dump you when they find out what your personality is really like. I say this because "playing the game" is really just creating a positive image for yourself in the other person's mind: delaying calls to make yourself seem busy or less interested, only scheduling dates days in advance instead of that night for the same reasons. It just seems so pointless to me. The real you should be good enough for your partner; otherwise, they're not the right person for you.

 

It's not pointless, it's super fun. Women are complicated. They're like cats and only act when interested. Being too direct is just won't get you anywhere.

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Women are like cats......?

 

No comment.... Well... I have a few but I'll keep them to myself.

 

Anyways... I would say that 9 times out of 10 if the guy would be direct, I would probably respond better than anything else he could do. Given that he isnt telling me he loves me on the first date of course (its happened and its SCARY). But if its obvious I like him... why not be direct?

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Haha... If women are like cats, then men are like dogs... (I totally love these analogies!!!) it doesn’t take much to gain their attention and keep it... like how my puppy follows me around the house... its soooo cute! She gets excited with the slightest glance in her general direction, and generally obeys my command. Although I kinda disagree with both analogies. Yeah I'll give men a little more credit, although I have met some equivalent to dogs, and I have met just as many women with the attention span of a cat... But in general I will give both sexes more credit. And in my experience with my cat, she prefers me to be fairly direct and doesn’t appreciate games… like the ‘PUT THE FOOD IN THE DISH ALREADY LADY’ look.

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I don't play games. In the beginning stages I refuse to put my life and heart on hold for someone because I don't really know the person. So, when I say I am busy it means I am busy - and if he calls me last minute for a Saturday night date I am either busy with friends, already going on another date - or busy doing something or nothing on my own because my time is too precious to spend it with someone who sees me as an afterthought.

 

I respond to phone calls promptly in the beginning if it concerns planning or confirming another date - if he starts calling a lot but we don't have another date planned (and he is in town, available, etc), I start responding less promptly - not to play games but because it is a waste of my time to chat endlessly with someone who is not seriously interested in seeing me.

 

And yes it works. Particularly when I am very interested and insecure, it gives me a guideline where my heart is saying "call him call him and tell him how you feel, now, right now!!" - to do that would be selfish. It's selfish because early on, spilling your guts and reacting to insecurities can overwhelm the other person who's trying to get to know you at a reasonable pace, it can seem needy and clingy even though normally you aren't like that, etc.

 

On a second date with a guy once, he acted very insecure about "us." The next day he called me at noon while I was on the other line and I told him I would call him back. We didn't yet have another plan as he was leaving town and he had just called to say hello. 1.5 hours later he called again and left a voice mail sounding anxious that I had not yet called him back. That behavior plus his insecurities the night before ended things for me. I had been considering seeing him again, but when he wouldn't give me time to call him back it was a big turn off and it concerned me - if he is that needy now, I wonder what it would be like if we were actually involved?

 

So, yes had he not been selfish and given me the time and space to get back to him later that afternoon I might have seen him again. Would it have been playing a game not to call me when he felt like calling? I don't think so - it's called not being self-absorbed and controlling/needy and understanding that the other person might have things to do and can't give you instant gratification just because you want reassurance.

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I agree that games are stupid and can mess with people’s emotions in very negative ways. But I’m talking about the more simple games we play. My friend seems to think that if I don’t call him, don’t answer his calls, it will make him want me more. It's wanting what you can't have and It’s the thrill of the chase! Now from my perspective, if a guy did that to me it would work, but only for a very short period of time. I would feel like I should back off because he’s not interested after a couple days. But my situation is also very different than a normal situation. I posted a huge post not to long ago about it, but basically distance is involved. We really don’t talk that often to begin with… every couple days with a few texts in between. But the thing is I already trust him (for the most part) and he has no reason to distrust me… even with the distance. My friend once again tells me this is a mistake and I shouldn’t let him feel that comfortable yet. As a joke, I started this thing with sending him the most random picture messages I can (about every couple days) and he says he loves them, and never gets tired of them. So I have sort of backed off on even doing that… but I personally think it will all lead to his disinterests. My friend also tells me that he probably feels in total control of what’s going on in the relationship, while I sit around and wonder… which is why I need to “play the game” to turn the tables… I guess he thinks I need to change the balance of power, and lets face it, of course that would be nice… but I just feel like if I play games he will end up not interested at all. We haven’t put a title on us yet, and that’s just due to our really messed up situation… which also makes me nervous because I would prefer to have one and seal the deal.

 

I suppose games have their place in certain situations… and they aren’t for everyone… I guess I’m just looking for a way to change the balance of power slightly… I don’t need to be in total control of what’s going on (because what’s the fun in that!). I would just like to ease my mind while keeping him on his toes a little more. But ultimately I just want to be with him and have us both feeling secure…

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I am opposed to playing games. I am in favor of having reasonable self esteem and knowing what you are worth - so that if it becomes one sided, you react accordingly - and not by playing games. Sometimes when interest level is high - particularly in a long distance relationship where the feelings are largely based on fantasy images of the other person - you have to check in with yourself to make sure you're not getting carried away with your need for reassurance.

 

Of course he likes the funny emails - that is a different issue than whether he is interested in you as a romantic prospect.

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I wouldn't say anything is one sided... I just kind of feel like the ball is more in his court. Which is fine. But that’s why my friend suggested playing these games, so I could get it more into my court and feel more in control. Part of me thinks that he is just telling me this to protect me from getting myself hurt. I think games are a form of protection against heartbreak in a way. When we are together everything is fantastic and I have a better grasp on what he’s feelings towards me are, but the distance makes it harder to feel secure. I am a very loyal person and he knows it, so he has nothing to fear from me, so why shouldn’t he feel secure? That’s where I guess the games come in... To knock him off balance. But I think it’s a bad idea and I totally agree with you. I would rather be upfront and honest and if it turns out it back fires, then he can just be honest with me in return. At least I’ll know!

 

As far as the picture messages go.. its kind of a cheesy dorky way to make each other smile through out the day. Since we can't be together seeing the same things we send stupid pictures of what we are doing or what’s going on... But thanks for all the advise! Looks like I will be throwing the games out the window (which is what my gut was already telling me!). Glad I got some reassurance. I think I should go slap my friend upside the head...

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The problem with playing games is that no one understands the rules of the game - because there are no rules.

 

If you start playing the sort of games you describe he may be more interested in pursuing you. Or he may just think you are uninterested in him and look for someone who is.

 

Or he may recognise what is happening, think it is silly and childish and look for someone who doesn't play games but wants an adult relationship.

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It's not pointless, it's super fun. Women are complicated. They're like cats and only act when interested. Being too direct is just won't get you anywhere.

 

 

 

I am a woman. I find games annoying and futile. I can be good at them, but what's the point? Unless we are talking about casual dating.

 

I will never go for someone who is co-dependent and has no life - hence is on the phone with me all the time. But at the same time, aloofness/games/playing it cool turns me off. Some of that is needed in the beginning, I guess. But once you are in a relationship - DITCH that crap.

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I hate games... but I've always noticed that when I quit calling or don't pay attention, the boys are like little puppies..and ( even if I've been dating the guys for a few months) if I say something that indicates I like him or of I call him they run away uninterested..

however I think games only work when there may not be that much of an attraction anyway..if two people really like each other then they shouldn't have to play games..

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I think sometimes, even in an established relationship where there is a strong friendship and healthy chemistry, it's good to be somewhat self-aware if you're feeling particularly needy or fragile that you don't subject your partner too much or for too long to your neediness or fragility. Similarly, if your partner seems distant sometimes it's better just to back off - not completely and not in a manipulative or angry way - but be in tune with his body language and attitude and give him a little space - even if you really feel like seeing or being with him. It's about being other-centered and in tune so that even if you "feel" clingy you back off so that your partner, who may be acting jerky or distant, can get the space he needs and be refreshed and reinvigorated to come back to you.

 

Judith Sills describes this "dance of intimacy" well in her book A Fine Romance.

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