There's a Reason Why It's Called the "Dating Game"

Updated on August 30, 2019
savvydating profile image

Yves mission is to help women attract positive relationships by establishing personal parameters and greater self-worth.

Playing a good game.
Playing a good 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 themselves in a defensive position rather than an offensive position. For example, in football or soccer, the defensive team must 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 oversee 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 not 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; he deserves to be written off as a bad player. The woman's responsibility is to determine whether 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. Both men and women who say they refuse to "play games" are 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, quite 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?"

Playing blindfolded.
Playing blindfolded. | Source

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. may as well play well.

Frankly, this "See no evil, hear no evil" foolishness does not serve anybody well. Sometimes you must get your fingernails a little dirty and come down off 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 because you played a good game.

What Are the Rules?

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."
  • Rule #3 "There is something about her that excites me. I'm going to try to win her over.

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 similar. 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.

Know your rules.
Know your rules. | Source

Useful Guidelines

In the beginning stages of dating, try to keep an open mind. Don't decide you only have "one type." You might discover otherwise.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Try to stop yourself from wondering whether this man is “The One.” Only time will tell.
  4. Believe in your worth as a woman, but also have some humility.
  5. Never indicate that your sexuality is your best asset. That is playing defense and making yourself look desperate and foolish.
  6. If you are the type of woman who gets attached easily, do not have sex with him right away. Waiting to have sex for a time is the best way to find out if he cares about you. If he cares, he will wait until you are ready.
  7. Never make excuses for his bad behavior. Remember, you are the referee. Call him out when necessary. Remind him of your parameters.
  8. Listen carefully to the things he has to say. Men will tell you who they are if you listen well.
  9. Do not "interview" him on first dates. Keep the conversation relatively light; be observant.
  10. After the date, does he call you within a reasonable time frame? If he waits 5 to 7 days to call, he's not into you. But if he calls back soon, there may be potential. You’ll have to wait and see.
  11. Remind yourself that getting to know someone takes time.
  12. Stick with your principles. Always.

A good play.
A good play. | Source

A Few More Helpful Hints

  1. Date with the attitude of having fun, of learning something new and of gaining experience.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Never worry about calling a man out on bad behavior. A worthwhile man appreciates a woman who will challenge him.
  5. 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.
  6. Take your sweet time in deciding which man you happen to be dating is the right man for you.
  7. 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."

Happy loving...… Yves

Above all, relax and have fun.
Above all, relax and have fun. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Yves


Submit a Comment
  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    7 months ago

    Hello RubyRed..... From what I hear, casual sex is the norm for college students and even high school students, within approved groups for teens who are not in college.

    I believe smartphones have had a part in contributing to the demise of formal dating. As humans, we tend to take the "easy way out." Consequently, if a guy can text a girl and get a positive response, then why would he choose to put more effort into getting a girl's interest if he doesn't have to. As always, it is up to the woman to "lift up the man." This has always been the case throughout the history of the world.

    You mentioned that you have girlfriends who "don't care." It could be they really don't, at least, for the time being. But there will come a day when she will care that she lowered her standards.

    Men used to put women on a pedestal because she belonged there. Now, girls have become like boys. Frankly, as sexist as that seems, it isn't attractive to the make species. But, I am speaking of a deeper matter and going out on a tangent.

    To better understand, you might want to read this article:

    I will write more on your other observations as time permits.

  • profile image


    7 months ago

    I was raised in the UK until I was ten then moved to the states (Ohio). I'm currently in Florida.

    I don't see much difference, it's more common for women in the UK to initiate and dating in the USA is more of a formal thing, hook ups are the normal these days for both.

    I think it's because most young people are poor, men simply can't afford to date, I read that the average man spends close to $200,000 dating in his lifetime. Netflix and chill is the new dating.

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    8 months ago

    I appreciate your criticism, RubyRed. Where are you from? The reason I ask is because I hear things are especially bad in the UK and Australia. I know young women in the United States alone. My methods work for them. Are you an American?

  • profile image


    8 months ago

    I like reading your articles Yves, but please take this as constructive criticism, I think your perspective is out of sync with my generation.

    The boys aren't playing the game, they took the ball threw it away and went home to play Xbox.

    Not all, but enough good men to cause problems. Most of my friends act like they don't care and can be happy being single or fighting over the few guys who just want to have FWB.

    I used to have this dream list of the guy I wanted to marry, now I'm just hoping for a bf before I turn thirty and the few guys still dating start ignoring me altogether.

  • De Greek profile image

    De Greek 

    10 months ago from UK

    Hay Kid,

    You have a nice logical sequence here, but it all boils down to your excellent phrase

    “Rather, the goal is to have two wins rather than one.”


    If you girls only knew, you girls always have the advantage – until you fall in love. And then you are done for. A woman in love is putty in a man’s hands and will do anything for him.

    Also, to an experienced man, you have so many “tells” it’s like shooting geese in a bird case.

    It’s incredible how you girls manage to survive in this game. But you do because most are

    inexperienced idiots who simply cannot actually read ‘woman sign’.


  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago

    Live To Write....Did I forget to respond to you? Not sure. Anyway, my bad. If I need a secretary, you'll be the first guy I'll call. I appreciate your spirit. Not to mention, you've got good game. Probably too good!! Lol.

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago

    Hahaha. You're funny, Terrielynn1. I do my best to assuage the fear of dating, but it doesn't always work. Luckily, you don't have to think about it. Thanks for commenting!

  • Terrielynn1 profile image

    Terrie Lynn 

    3 years ago from Canada

    I love the sports comparison. I haven't been in the game in a very long time. I wouldn't even know what the rules are. It's probably a good thing I am not. I don't like games. Interesting read. Thank you.

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago

    I won't ask even about your "economics" comment. Suffice it to say, I disagree. It's all about playing fair and not rolling over and playing dead. That, specifically, is what this article is all about.

    Thanks for stopping by, Stephen.

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    People who play the game don't know their value and are testing to find it. Otherwise, there is no game. Economics is not a game. Applying this game mentality to real life is how you develop a manipulative deceptive outlook on relationships.

  • Laurinzo Scott profile image

    LJ Scott 

    3 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

    Very well said and I very much like your comparing it to sports; because like sports, healthy dating does require much effort... I love your suggestion to "date with a attitude of having fun and gaining experience"

    However... as to the idea that all men want to bed a woman is a little sexist... or are my fellow male creatures, really that shallow??? WOW

    I enjoyed this hub as I do everything I have read of yours... I really think you ought to think of a book maybe... and if you need a secretary I'm always available to lend a hand LOL

    Anyway, thanks for reading my hubs and keep on writing lovin' it!!!!

  • intimateasking profile image


    4 years ago

    I would disagree greatly

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Very good n true to read.....

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago

    Hi DDE. A pleasure to see you here. Thank you for commenting.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    So true the more experienced they become the more they at it

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago

    Hi DDE,

    The good news is that just like players in sports, those who date have the opportunity to become more experienced and hopefully, wiser - even if the outcome wasn't the one they had hoped for.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Great hub, love is a game we all play sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago

    Hi Nell Rose. Lol. I hadn't heard that one. Hopefully, I can convince some women to begin turning that scenario around, so that she can have the winning play! Thank you for visiting and commenting!!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    6 years ago from England

    I always remember the analogy, what does football and sex have in common? both involve a man running towards you, tackles, shoots then runs in the other direction! lol! great read savvy!

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago

    Hello Frank Atanacio,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the sports analogy. I thought it was fun and hopefully, somewhat helpful for those in need of some dating "strategies." ;)

    Thank you for visiting. I truly appreciate it.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    6 years ago from Shelton

    What a wonderful read and from a fresh prescpective.. I like the whole sports analogy or the sports frame of mind, but nonetheless it was a treat to read :) bless you

  • savvydating profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago

    Well hello Moonfroth. I do so appreciate your having commented on Value #1. Sometimes I let political correctness get the better of me. However, women can now read for themselves, from a man who knows men (and women), that indeed men are always focused on sex, but that women still retain the ability to engage a man's loftier sentiments, that is, if she plays the game well. I love that you expounded upon the #1 essential point so beautifully! Speaking of thankfulness, please know that I am delighted with your kind words regarding my "careful, but natural" way, and too, your excellent points on how I might have improved my article (not to mention the typos).

    I am not surprised in the least that women came up to you in that social setting you spoke of - even though you supposedly did next to nothing to attract attention. A lot of the guidelines I give to women are also applicable for men, and frankly, there is something very sexy about an individual, be it woman or man, who knows how to bide their time in social situations. It gives one a certain savoir-faire, if you will.

    You have posed an excellent question. My answer is that I do approve of a woman who seeks out the man. I have done it myself, but this must be done properly. Gushing is never allowed. All of a woman's actions should create a bit of mystique, and yes, intelligence. The act of approaching a man is not a defensive strategy necessarily, although it may appear that a woman is "handing over the ball." But in fact, depending upon how she handles the encounter, she can definitely control the play. Having given him the ball, she takes it back almost immediately. In so doing, she catches him off guard, and makes him long to get the ball back. In other words, she gives him a taste of who she is, and then might very well walk away. After all, she knows others in the room who require or desire her attention. Surely, he can not expect to have her full attention so easily. Or can he? Let the games begin!

  • moonfroth profile image

    Clark Cook 

    6 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

    Before I forget--you've got a WHOPPING typo in the penultimate sentence just above the photo of the two soccer players. You'll want to fix it.

    When I started reading this, I thought "OK, here goes Savvy--I'll give it a couple of sentences." Then that wonderfully lean prose of yours kicked in and I was hooked. You write very well--light, humorous, careful, but natural and easy--and when your consistently relevant and interesting sports analogy took hold, it' was difficult to stop reading . I'm a VERY demanding reader, and your style hooked me, as it has in the past.

    .Your common-sense non-formulaic formula is perhaps a little detailed for most women to follow; at the same time, it's sufficiently broad in scope for the reader to select points that seem particularly workable for her, and let some of the lesser points slide

    It's been so long since I "dated" that you'd think I would be quite lost in this article. Uh-uh. And you're spot on about men's INITIAL values when they first date a woman they find attractive. What you might have stressed a bit more is that Value #1 does NOT go away. 100,000 years of conditioning keep it at the forefront. A smart woman realizes that and, as you advise, entices him with HER values until he becomes intrigued enuff to permit his carnal desires to become refined....and delayed and made part of larger emotions that he probably didn't see coming, at all. A real man comes to want a whole woman, not just the parts he doesn't have himself.

    When I was a young stud, I seemed to enjoy the most success with women in gatherings (parties, events, etc.) when I found a comfortable spot, sipped a drink, and did absolutely nothing. My friends were all whinnying around the field, tongues hanging out, snorting fire, and (figuratively, of course) pole-vaulting among the ladies. After a while, one or more women would come over to me to chat, and.......... What about that? Invariably, the women who came over to chat were outgoing and INTERESTING. Would you consider a woman who sought a man out under those kinds of circumstances in a Defensive or Offensive strategy? And would you approve/

    Ah, memories, memories...........!..


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