This keeps coming up. When we speak to each other. When we speak to our friends. Guys. Girls. No one seems to get it. The games people play. Or the games we think they’re playing. Or the games we play when we think we’re in a game even though we might not actually be in a game we think we might be in. Or something. Ugh.
When I found myself single for the first time in a long time 18 months ago, my big Sis told me to Play it cool. “Play it cool, you have to play it cool, don’t act too keen PLAY IT COOL”
I did not agree though, surely if you like someone then it’s ok to show it. Why play games, just put it out there and if they like you back then BINGO!
So I marched into the dating world with my new philosophy of no game playing and well I got fucked (NOT LITERALLY) I’d go on a date it would go really well so I’d text or email first and then nothing, they ran away like I was dripping with genital warts (I WASN’T) I’d call my Sis and once again she would offer me her wise words “Play it cool you over keen tart” (or something like that)
So I did, I would back off and you know what it worked, but then I’d show interest again and they’d fuck off and OH OH OH It was fucking exhausting. When does this stop, I didn’t get it. I came to the conclusion that in order to be a PLAYER you had to be a cold bitch and really not give a shit about the person you were perusing but then WHAT’S THE POINT???
So I decided I was not a player even after all the heartbreak and making a tit of myself I was no different. I hadn’t become some jilted Miss Haversham type cold fish. I still believed that if the right person came along you wouldn’t need to play games. You just had to like each other exactly the same amount and above all else you had to be brave.
So I carried on with my one woman crusade to find someone as spazzy and open with their feelings as me, and I found him. It was at this point though, you know when I met someone who was clearly into me as much as I was them, someone who was ruddy bloody lovely and clearly was NOT a fucktard, that I decided to play it cool.
Sporadically though, like a game of BuckerRoo when you don’t know when it’s gonna kick off. I’d have these massive panics that I was being too keen so I wouldn’t text back for ages or I’d say Oh I can’t call you tonight now because I’ve got shit loads of work to do. Then I’d sit there miserable all night because all I wanted to do was talk to him.
I think this was the shock of not having to play games that set me off into some sort of mad frenzy. Thankfully after my spacky incidences I’d fess up and explain my mental and even more thankfully he got it. So after a while if I slipped and spazzed out he’d call anyway and tell me to stop being a dick.
I guess it comes down to what you’re looking for, the thrill of the chase never really took my fancy. I’m far too lazy for that. If I was a lion I’d demand fresh zebra be bought to my door step every morning. I’d be a morbidly obese Lion obviously.
Playing it cool, playing the game, being a PLAYER MUTHA FUDGER! What’s it all mean? What’s the prize? A bloke you only got because you appeared disinterested. How long do you have to keep that up for?
If you like someone go in guns blazing (Not Glen Close guns blazing but you get what I mean) If you wanna call them then bloody call them and if they like you back then they’ll be glad you did. Be brave with your feelings because the right one will be just as brave back and then you get to go off and fight the world together!**
** Stay in bed eating trifle and watching Spartacus.
I’m not sporty. I’m not really competitive. Or good at games in general. The 12 people currently beating me at Words With Friends will happily vouch for that, I’m sure. I like stuff to be easy and for people to know all the stuff. Which might be why I never keep my mouth shut and tell everyone everything (I’m good with YOUR secrets, just so you know, just not with my own).
Boys, girls, people in relationships, single folks and everyone in between – a whole bunch of these people at some point or another have said SOMETHING ‘helpful’ to me at some point about ‘playing the game’ when it comes to the opposite sex.
But it’s not a GAME, is it? Games indicate winners, losers, rules… sets of cards with complicated instructions and dares on them… and a tiny hourglass timer that gets lost or stepped on. And one of those little red Monopoly houses that always seem to end up in the boxes of other games.
Whatever level of involvement you have with someone of the opposite sex, there’s always a bit of a game, isn’t there? Even if you don’t LIKE ‘games’ or understand them or believe in them or aaaaany of that bullshit denial – there’s always something going on. For girls, at least. OK – for ME, at least. And the couple of people I spoke to when writing this. And the person who asked me about it in the first place who told me I should write this (thanks). They’re completely subconscious, on the most part, but they’re there. When you haven’t heard from someone for a while, but decide you’ll keep leaving it and not be the first to cave. Or instinctively saying you’re busy on the first day someone asks to see you to make them have to ‘work for it a bit’.
Playing hard to get. Is that a thing? Does it work? Is it just a thing from films? I’m completely incapable of pulling this off. I’ve barely tried it, really. My belief, as regular readers will know, is that boys, quite frankly, are a little bit daft, and things need to be quite easy and explained for them and so on. So, playing some sort of “I’m not going to text him until he texts me first” game doesn’t really work, in my brain. If you want to hear from someone, get in touch with them. If you want to see someone, ask them. You’re not proving anything to yourself or anyone by waiting or ‘playing’ hard to get. If you ARE hard to get – what does that even mean? You’re not all that interested? You’re unavailable? I know boys like a bit of sport, the conquest, the chase… but they’re not COMPLETE idiots, either. If you act not interested, that’s exactly how you’ll appear. If that spurs someone on to pursue you – doesn’t that actually end up feeling a bit creepy and forceful or desperate? I’m conscious of appearing confused and contradictory – but that’s sort of the point I think. Do boys even know about this? Have girls just made it all up in our brains and now we drive OURSELVES mental about it whilst the real reason he’s not texting is because the thoughts of you are just innocently floating around at way lower priority levels than the thoughts about food and football and other girls’ boobs and beer and work? Hmm. I don’t know the rules. I’ve never known the rules. I’ve never properly tried ‘playing hard to get’. I’ve given it a go but get bored after, like, 4 hours, and just get in touch and say “Hello. I thought it would be nice to hear from you. But I hadn’t heard from you. So you’re hearing from me first. Hi”.
Which is probably why I’m writing this sitting in my pyjamas, on my own, with a stuffed toy cat on my lap.