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

The game of love.
The game of love.

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.

What I am really saying is that 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. In football or soccer, for example, the defensive team always exerts more energy to try to chase the ball down while the offensive team has the greater chance of making the goal, having already acquired the advantage. Likewise, when 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 area.

Although dating has some features of sportsmanship, it should not be treated as a competition. We must not date with the idea that one person suffers a loss while the other one wins. Dating should never be a thing of chalking up points and "smashing" the opponent. Rather, the goal is to have two wins, not one. In the final analysis, winning in the game of love means that two people have found hapiness together.

Playing by the rules.
Playing by the rules.

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 some 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 can also do the very same whenever a woman disregards all rules of fair play.

“Well,” you may say, “I’m not going to play any games.” Many people assume that decision is commendable. However, the "No game philosophy" is unrealistic, not to mention riddled with pre-conceived notions about what is fair. In reality, both men and women who say they refuse to "play games" are actually asserting their belief in playing 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. Since when has life ever been completely fair? How many people have you known 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. 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. whole ideais 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 never serves anyone 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!

What Are The Rules of Dating?

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. 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 "I will use any strategy I can think of to bed her. All is fair in love and war."

End of rules as far as most men are concerned.

A good play.
A good play. | Source

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.

Dating rules are based upon your values.
Dating rules are based upon your values.

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.

A List of 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.

  • 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 is not 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 would be lucky to have you. That is his decision to make.
  • Never indicate that your sexuality is your best feature; that would be 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 your values are important to you.
  • Listen carefully to the things he has to say. Men will tell you more than you may think, but you have to listen well.
  • Do not interrogate him on first dates. Keep the conversation relatively light, but be very observant. Is he a gentleman? If you're at a restaurant, is he too demanding of the wait staff? If he is rude, then he is not a nice man. 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.
  • Have flexibility about non-important matters, like whether he can match a tie with a jacket. Instead, be grateful he's willing to wear a tie.

Above all, relax and enjoy the date.
Above all, relax and enjoy the date.
  • 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. (He should)
  • Again, 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 man appreciates a woman who will challenge him.
  • Always be an incredibly classy, sensual woman but DO NOT be overtly sexual or describe 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 One.”
  • 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 life. No longer will you be content to stand around, 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 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."

Beautifully said,


Having learned the rules, she is finally free to play from her heart!
Having learned the rules, she is finally free to play from her heart!

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Comments 12 comments

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 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...........!..

savvydating profile image

savvydating 3 years ago Author

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!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 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 image

savvydating 3 years ago Author

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.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 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 image

savvydating 3 years ago Author

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!!

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

savvydating profile image

savvydating 3 years ago Author


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

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

jackie 2 years ago

Very good n true to read.....

intimateasking profile image

intimateasking 9 months ago

I would disagree greatly

Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 6 weeks 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!!!!

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