There's a Reason Why It's Called "The Dating Game"
It's All About Attitude
If you want to succeed in the game of love you need to place yourself on the winning team, which means... you've got to develop a winning attitude! Having the right attitude is essential for anyone who wants to experience true success in dating. The same premise applies in sports--- if you want to win, you must not only play the game well but you must see yourself as a winner from the onset.
Any woman, at any time, can decide that she is the one "carrying the ball" and therefore has the right and the responsibility to "run with it."
A common error that women make in dating is to place themelves in a defensive position rather than an offensive position. For example, in football or soccer, the defensive team has to exert more energy to chase the ball down while the offensive team has the greater chance of making the goal due to having already acquired the advantage.
Likewise, in dating, women are better off assuming from the very beginning, that they are in charge of the game---but only because they understand how to play an excellent offense. As they say in sports: The best defense is a good offense. In fact, this truth applies to all aspects of life, of which dating is only one example.
Although dating has some features of sportsmanship, it need not be treated as a competition. We need not date with the idea that one person suffers a loss while the other one wins. Dating should nor be a thing of chalking up points and "smashing" the opponent. Rather, the goal is to have two wins rather than one. In the final analysis, winning in the game of love means that two people claim success, not just one.
The Fear of "Players"
The primary fear that many ladies have is that most men are "players." In truth, the desire to play does not necessarily make men the bad guys; it just makes them guys. Now, if a man plays dirty, that's another story and he deserves to be written off as a bad player. The woman's responsibility is to determine whether or not the man she dates is willing to play the game with integrity. Furthermore, the woman has every right to call a foul. Not only is the woman carrying the ball, she must also appoint herself the official, the umpire, and the referee. In other words, she has the responsibility to call each play. Frankly, the man is free to do the very same if a woman disregards all rules of fair play.
“Well,” you may say, “I’m not going to play any games.” Many people assume this stance, thinking it is probably commendable of them to have such "high standards." However, the "No Game philosophy" is unrealistic, not to mention riddled with pre-conceived notions about what is fair and what is not. In reality, both men and women who say they refuse to "play games" are actually asserting their belief that it is correct to play fair, and so prefer to assume that the other guy wants to do the same. This is where we run into trouble. You can never assume the other person has as much integrity as you do. That assumption is way too magnanimous and frankly, very naïve.
Think seriously about this: Since when has life ever been completely fair? How many people do you know who have been wounded by a broken heart? While some generous souls didn’t deserve what they got, there were plenty of others who simply walked right into a losing game. In fact, they chose to play defense, with blindfolds on. Sadly, these well meaning romantics keep playing without seeing---over and over again! And they wonder, "Why does this always happen to me? Why am I always left with a broken heart?"
Never Play Blindfolded
Can you imagine any professional football or basketball player running around the field or court wearing blindfolds and flatly refusing to see what's going on around him? Of course not. The idea is beyond absurd. Yet that is what too many daters do. If you refuse to recognize his plays, you’re going to get hurt every single time. Unfortunately, some women (and men as well), assume that "being in the game" means we are somehow doing something wrong, immoral, or unfair. Consequently, they feel justified in refusing to play. What they don't realize is that if they are dating, they're already in the game. So....you may as well play well.
Frankly, this "See no evil, Hear no evil" foolishness does not never serves anybody well. Sometimes you have to get your fingernails a little dirty and come down off of that Ivory Tower where everything and everybody is supposedly fair and reasonable. You would be better off allowing yourself to experience the sweat and tears of a real game. Consequently, whether you come out the “victor” or not, you will ultimately feel a certain thrill and even thankfulness for having had the opportunity to play well, thereby having gained valuable experience and greater confidence for the next go at a relationship. Furthermore, having become better at understanding the strategy of dating, you will have gained the skill to quite possibly accomplish your goal of finding love in the future. In other words, you are still a winner in the game of love.
Well, the rules are pretty much anything you want them to be. The rules have to do with your personal needs and values. Know what they are; have some flexibility, but do not change your values for the sake of his convenience. Not ever. That doesn't happen in sports, nor should it happen in dating. Just know that a good man will respect your parameters and values, while a non-committed man will not.
As for the rules of a man’s game? Pretty much, they're almost always exactly the same. They go something like this:
- Rule #1 "How do I get her into bed? I want her. What strategy can I use to have her?”
- Rule #2 "Love and sex don't necessarily go hand in hand."
End of rules as far as most men are concerned.
Know Your Values
With men, you don’t have to guess. They make it easy. They want to have sex with you. The question is---do they want you for a night, a season, or for a lifetime? This is where things get a little tricky and where the woman’s standards finally come in handy. The woman must ask herself, "How do I recognize if this man is a keeper and how do I know if he truly cares for me?" This is the part is where having "rules" (values) will serve a woman well.
Although men and women seem to have different short term goals, when all is said and done, our long terms goals are exactly the same. We both want love, fidelity, great sex, and (usually) children, in due time. Men and women may have different ways of getting from A to Z, but that doesn't mean we don't have the same long-term vision. Just remember, both sexes have the right to call a foul whenever they need to, thereby ensuring that the game is played with decency.
However, women owe it to themselves to develop an intelligent strategy for dating expertly by developing some rules about what constitutes a good game. How does she do this? It's not that complicated.
In the beginning stages of dating, try to keep an open mind. Don't decide you only have "one type." You might discover otherwise.
- Do not play "defensive." Remember that you are holding the ball. Be a lady, but a subtly sensual one. The subtlety factor is of the utmost importance.
- Never be too eager to please! He is the one who needs to pursue you, contrary to popular belief. It rarely works the other way around.
- Try to stop yourself from wondering whether this man is “The One.” Only time will tell.
- Know that any man would be lucky to have you. In other words, believe in yourself! However, do not hint that he is lucky to be with you because that is really his decision to make.
- Never indicate that your sexuality is your best asset. That is playing defense and making yourself look desperate and foolish.
- If you are the type of woman who gets attached easily, do not have sex with him right away. In truth, waiting to have sex is actually the best way to find out if he cares about you. If he cares, he will wait.
- Never make excuses for his bad behavior. Remember, you are the referee. Always call him out immediately. Men must be reminded that you have values and parameters.
- Listen carefully to the things he has to say. Men will tell you more than you may think, but you must listen well.
- Do not "interview" him on first dates. Keep the conversation relatively light, but be observant. Is he a gentleman? If you're at a restaurant, is he too demanding of the wait staff? If he is rude, time to move on.
- After the date, does he call you within a day or a few hours? If he waits 5 days or a week to call – forget it! He’s not into you. But if he calls back fairly soon, there may be potential. You’ll have to wait and see.
- Remind yourself that getting to know someone takes time. Do not rush anything!
- It is important to think well of yourself, but in a balanced way and with healthy humility.
- Stick with your principles. Always.
Seven More Guidelines
- Date with the attitude of having fun, of learning something new and of gaining experience.
- Even if you mess up, dust yourself off and try to do better the next time. An insightful man might even give you a second chance if you make a clumsy play.
- Always remind yourself that you are on the winning team. Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are "holding the ball. Keep playing defense.
- Never worry about calling a man out on bad behavior. A worthwhile man appreciates a woman who will challenge him.
- Always be classy and sensual, but DO NOT be overtly sexual or hint at all of your physical assets out loud. You'll only come off as self-centered, insecure, or an easy target.
- Take your sweet time in deciding which man you happen to be dating is the right man for you.
- Keep playing the game well and never forget that he is required to play with passion and dedication. You don't need a lackadaisical player in your life.
Once you acquire a positive perspective about the game of love, you will no longer need to concern yourself with whether you might "lose." Instead, you will learn to relish having become an active participant in the game of dating. No longer will you be content to stand on the sidelines waiting for someone to "hand you the ball." Remember, dating is not about conquering---it is about having a healthy, fighting spirit with which to gain love in this wonderful game called life.
And finally, consider this beautiful quote by an Unknown Author: "Love is like playing the piano. First you have to play by the rules, then you can forget the rules and play from your heart."
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Yves