The Dating Games Are Over, Folks

Name: J
Comment: Hey Moxie,

I think I already know your thoughts on the subject, but I’ve been having a rather heated debate with friends recently and it seems we’re largely undecided when all opinions are weighed.  Since we can’t come to an agreement, I thought I’d pass the topic on to you for consideration.

Here’s the issue: Early on in a relationship, it seems you have a choice to either be “available and interested” or “reserved and coy” (people are obviously capable of falling anywhere in between but we’ll pretend they’re not for the sake of discussion).  Conventional wisdom tells you that you need to move “slowly” and not let people into your life so easily to avoid getting hurt, but myself (and a few of my friends) reject that wisdom in the name of good faith toward good people.  We believe that all relationships should start out on equal footing, and deliberately making yourself unavailable (by waiting to respond to txts/calls/emails or artificially filling your calendar) is a terrible way to achieve any kind of a meaningful partnership.  We tend toward doing the opposite in fact: breaking plans to make way for the new person, readily corresponding, and including them in our interests.

I consider all of my friends to be “good people” so from that small sample size, it appears that people worth dating live in both camps.  We’ve agreed to disagree on which method is “better” but one thing we can both agree on is this: it’s tragically frustrating when you meet someone (for dating) who’s in the opposite camp.  The values clash like titans on the battlefield and at least one person almost always ends up terribly confused (if not hurt).

So, what’s the method-of-choice?
Age: 28
City: Seattle
State: WA

 

As I’ve said many times now, the dating process has become more intensified. Ten years ago people could get away with saying they didn’t get a voicemail or haven’t had the time to reply to an email. Two to three days between phone calls was plausible. Now? Nope. Not having it. If someone allows for 24 hours to go by before responding to any email, they are not available or not interested. Game over.

Meeting people and forming connections has become too easy now. People no longer have to go out to get dates. All of it can be done while lying in bed and scrolling through various social media apps on your phone.

The days of waiting three days to call or not answering the first time someone rings you up are gone. In fact, all the staple dating rules that people yammer on and on about on the Interwebs are a thing of the past. Honest to God, my eyes gloss over every time I see a new blog post about how long a woman should wait to have sex or how a guy can “create mystery” or use “charisma” to meet women. All of it is dreck, written by people who haven’t a freakin’ clue what it’s actually like to date in today’s digital world. I read chat transcripts and blog posts and honestly feel like I’m sitting around a lunch table in the cafeteria in my high school. You have a bunch of women trying to out do each other in terms of how much attention they get from men and you have a bunch of feeble white knight-ish guys telling these women how awesome they are. It’s all awful and should be ignored, blocked, muted and avoided.

If you’re interested in somebody, you need to communicate that. Pronto. You needn’t be anxious or aggressive about it. All you need to do is state your intentions. No more multiple days worth of email messages. No more counting dates until you reach some imaginary number that will spare you the “slut” label. Now is the time to just act on your feelings while practicing common sense and critical thinking. Be smart, but be proactive. We are all replaceable, more so now than ever before. We are functioning in a semi-detached society. Not replying to an email on Match.com is the norm. People break up via text message. I hate to say this so bluntly, as it makes it sound somewhat hopeless, but we just can’t get as invested in all of this as easily and quickly as we used to.

Anybody who makes you wait for a response in some way simply isn’t interested enough to make it worth your effort. While it’s always prudent to give someone breathing room, a person needs to make their interest known as quickly as they can. If someone feels like they have to wait or delay the process, consider them questionable. I don’t believe this excuse that people do this to protect themselves. I believe people who use this excuse are just ambivalent about dating in general or seeking attention. The men or women who genuinely want to meet someone will react in kind and return the effort. It’s that simple.

There’s no such thing as “taking it slow” anymore. Any time a person says they need to “take it slow” they’re either communicating that they’re not that interested or not capable of having a relationship at that point. “Take it slow” is an acceptable way to say, “I need you to complete a series of tests before I will return the effort or interest.” That’s it. It’s a ruse.

No more over-thinking everything. Now is the time to act. No response from them?  Move on.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share
, , , , , , , , ,

19 Responses to “The Dating Games Are Over, Folks”

  1. Speedy Says:

    I’m inclined to agree.

    The only notes I have are:
    (1) OP is 28. Most women and some men can get away with murder in their 20s, its just the way of the world. In your 30s you can’t get away with that stuff anyway so its off the table whatever your philosophy. Its not that there is a particular problem for women getting older as much as nobody can. Its just part of the baggage of being older, people are less patient in being messed around. Its called knowing what you want and its largely a good thing anyway. A few older women do think they can play games like this, mostly to prove something pointless to themselves, and it doesn’t really ever work out as they’d like. Ironically, the most unpleasant kind of ‘player’ actually seems to gravitate towards it while it repels everyone else. Any huckster or confidence man will tell you why that is, nobody is easier to con than someone who thinks they are conning you.

    (2) I suppose it does depend what you mean by ‘letting someone into your life’. Women generally have more complicated emotional lives to be let into. My friends don’t really care if they meet a girlfriend or not, they don’t care if its the same one or a different one the next time either. Your mileage may vary.

    (3) Agree about ‘good faith’ though. I think dating done in ‘bad faith’, however you rationalise it, is just pointless anyway. If you aren’t meeting good people, what the hell are you doing anyway? This is my major objection to many dating blogs where whatever ‘snark’ they have for their victims, you’ve got to wonder what fucked up stuff is in the writer’s mind in the first place. FWIW I’ve never had more than two or three dates with anyone I don’t still think, however it ended, were great people I was lucky to meet.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

    Reply

  2. novelty Says:

    I wish I could give Moxie a HUGE hug for her answer. I’ve tried to explain to family and friends about how that playing coy only works in the movies.

    Life is too short and there are too many options to date like a 80’s teen flick.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    Reply

  3. Phoenix Ember Says:

    “Take it slow” is an acceptable way to say, ‘I need you to complete a series of tests before I will return the effort or interest.” That’s it. It’s a ruse.

    But Moxie! If women stop testing men, how will they be able to separate the drug dealers from the losers?

    I think you do your readers a disservice by not mentioning your advice here really applies only to women. The men they actually want to date have no reason to tolerate any game-playing; these men have plenty of options already. The remaining men, if they have any dating experience at all, know nothing turns a woman off like being up-front about their availability and interest in her. They have to take an oblique approach.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10

    Reply

    • J Says:

      I think you do your readers a disservice by not mentioning your advice here really applies only to women.

      I don’t see why it doesn’t work for both genders. Sure, it’s more likely in today’s world that a man will initiate things with a woman, but regardless of who talks to who first it’s still a two-way street from thereon out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

      Reply

      • Phoenix Ember Says:

        I don’t see why it doesn’t work for both genders.

        Yes, and that’s why I think it’s irresponsible for Moxie to not be qualifying her advice. Some naïve guy could stumble upon this article and waste months of his life sending hey-I-like-you-let’s-meet-up messages to women, then wondering why the only ones who bother to turn up for dates are string-along artists.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

        Reply

        • J Says:

          Well, I suppose I’m just confused by what you mean by the application of said advice. In any case, per your example of sending “hey-i-like-you-let’s-meet-up” messages, I don’t see why that would be a waste of time at all if the match is right. I mean, you’re never going to win over anyone in the dating department if you don’t meet their standards…

          I think that has less to do with battling “games” (behaviors that get in the way of an otherwise good match) and more to do with having reasonable expectations and self-awareness. I don’t think anyone should ever have any reason to tolerate game-playing (male/female, objectively attractive/unattractive, rich/poor)

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

          Reply

          • Phoenix Ember Says:

            I don’t see why that would be a waste of time at all if the match is right.

            Of course in that case it isn’t, but really you’ve laid the whole thing out right there, haven’t you? If the woman already finds the man attractive then he can say any reasonable thing at all and develop a relationship from there.

            But what I think you’re missing is that the ability to play these games, to tease and dissemble and above all to resist a woman’s attempts at seizing control, is a large part of what makes a man attractive in the first place. Flaunting an inability or unwillingness to play these games—or worse, an ignorance of them altogether—is social suicide for a man.

            But not for a woman. Which is how you can reconcile Moxie’s advice and your own feelings on the subject with what I am saying here.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

            Reply

            • J Says:

              But not for a woman.

              You’ve lost me. I don’t understand how it’s different. I’ve turned down many women who were upfront (which I appreciated) because I was unattracted to them. I’ve also started dating women who played games, broke up with them, and then found them to be upset and confused as to why I broke up with them. Those very same things have happened to me for the same reasons (when I was younger).

              Seems equally applicable from my standpoint.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

              Reply

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                . He’s not interested in having an actual dialogue. He’s here to whine. Please stop encouraging him to believe that what he’s saying is anybody’s reality but his own.

                Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

                Reply

              • Phoenix Ember Says:

                Well. We were having an actual dialogue, before being so rudely interrupted.

                J, if you don’t understand the difference now, I think you will as you get more experience dating. Much of “Game” deals with this sort of thing, if you’re curious. I might add that in the meantime women will take great delight in trying to throw you off the scent, another of the games they like to play, but it seems Moxie has decided to illustrate that for me herself.

                Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

                Reply

                • Joey Giraud Says:

                  Game may be true in that it helps average chumps to get laid more, but for men who aren’t chumps or omegas or smelly hobos, for most regular guys, concentrated game isn’t really required to get a girlfriend.

                  A calm and confident asking-out-on-a-date usually works just fine.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

                  Reply

                  • Joey Giraud Says:

                    Oh yeah, and that “game” is targeted at so-called “hot” girls, young women who are testing their powers of sexual attraction on men and are looking for certain reactions and behaviors from men to prove the value of their feminine assets.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

                    Reply

    • LostSailor Says:

      Well, there’s oblique and there’s oblique. Taking a day or more to respond to someone indeed indicates a lack of interest. Responding within seconds of each email, text message, or voice mail surely signals over-eagerness and a whiff of desperation.

      There’s a happy medium of not being immediately available and being available and interested. You’re right that “Game” generally advocates the basic premise of “not being/appearing needy.” But that’s different from the OP’s proposition of playing it “coy,” which can be the kiss of death. “Taking it slowly” as an affected plan is a losing proposition these days. Definitely take it slow if you’re interested but unsure…but only to a point. If you’re interested, show your interest. If you’re not really interested, don’t play games, just move on. This applies to men and women.

      What most people don’t get about “Game” is that it means having game, not playing games. There’s a difference…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

      Reply

  4. Being honest! Says:

    YOU NAILED IT KID!
    In the words of Henry Blake of M.AS.H. fame, “I’d just like to add that I have nothing more to add.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Reply

  5. Speed Says:

    “Now is the time to just act on your feelings while practicing common sense and critical thinking. Be smart, but be proactive. We are all replaceable, more so now than ever before. We are functioning in a semi-detached society. Not replying to an email on Match.com is the norm. People break up via text message. I hate to say this so bluntly, as it makes it sound somewhat hopeless, but we just can’t get as invested in all of this as easily and quickly as we used to.” –Moxie

    This excerpt is perfect it. That’s all, perfect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  6. CoolDude Says:

    I usually steer clear of girls in their early 20’s for that reason. They still find that sort of behavior acceptable (i.e. the slow fade of not texting someone back). Women in their late 20’s/early 30’s usually have put up with enough BS to know the right way to treat others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Reply

  7. Mary Says:

    Agree!!! If you’re emotionally available and the other person is as well games need not be played.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  8. Mark Says:

    Ya’ know, games are great. I mean that…

    …If you are a kid.

    So cute, as in cutesy, is all well and good. For a six year old.

    But cutesy isn’t very appealing as an adult. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not terribly interested in an adolescent stuck in an adult’s body. No matter how smoking hot or otherwise attractive they may be. Just not into it. I try hard to minimize unneeded drama in my life. Mostly because I neither need it nor do I find it especially entertaining.

    I’m sure you have a friend to two who just seems to have all sorts of wacky crap going on in their daily life. I would venture to guess that a good deal of it was brought on by themselves. Either they induced it or allowed it to happen. It might be entertaining to hear all about it over a craft beer or two at your favorite pub, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want that stuff happening to you.

    Does it?

    So I guess you have to ask yourself: Are you a kid doing kid things or are you an adult doing adult things in a grown up manner?

    That’s not to say you can’t have fun. Far from it. But fun takes many forms. Mental mind games like playing “let’s see how much they really really like me” from the get go is a pretty good way to tag yourself with the label on your forehead that says “clown”, and from what you wrote you don’t seem like the Bozo type.

    In most other areas of our life we try to protect our credibility. Both personally and professionally. Why would dating be different?

    Would disagree with Moxie about the time frame bit. It does depend somewhat on the facts and circumstances. So getting back to someone at the end of the day doesn’t necessarily mean that
    the are being rude, insensitive, or are playing blase games. People do have other things going on in their lives. Although I am inclined to agree about the keeping the text tag back and forth to a minimum to establish interest, comfort and availability.

    Kinda like poker: are you in or are you out? If you are in, please pony up and let’s get on with the program. If you are out, thank you very much and best of luck to you.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    Reply

Leave a Reply

© 2013-2017 And That's Why You're Single All Rights Reserved