The Psychological Game

08Oct09

gameOne thing that has always facinated me about the dating world is the games that people play in order to land themselves the object that has caught their eye.   Some people will go to extreme lengths to do this, and manipulate things to stupid levels in order to accomplish it, and in the end succeed.  It’s like the old concept of cat and mouse — the thrill of the hunt is part of the process.

The problem for me is that I am a horrible hunter.  I probably couldn’t catch a rabbit if it was wounded, yet alone if I was starving and needed it for survival purposes.  When thrown into the world of full of games and strategy, I tend to fail.  Miserably.  Which makes me miserable, or at the very least feel somewhat incompetent.

I think part of the problem in this equation is that I don’t understand games because I cannot recognize them.   In some aspects I can spot what’s going on, but for the most part I’m somewhat oblivious to what is going on around me.  I suppose in a sense this makes me easy prey, but then again I don’t think most men would bother to waste their time with such things on me.  My brain doesn’t function on the same level as most girls, so their attempts would likely just go over my head.

I suppose one aspect that would be effective with me is the flattery.  Being obvious to flirtation when the odd occasion occurs that I pick up on a guy doing it I tend to feel warm and fuzzy, plus I generally reciprocate the action.  I think a large part of this is because of my chameleon nature, where I tend to adapt my personality to match that of those around me.  So in a situation where a guy is flirting with me, I just naturally mimick that behaviour.  Which I suppose raises the whole issue of if I even want to be doing it, but that’s likely another issue to discuss at another time.

The most common game I find that men play is the distance one.  There seems to be this concept that exists in which people believe that if you start to disappear from someone’s life then it will make them want/miss you more.   It will make them chase after you and lust after you further.  And while I will agree that it could make you miss the person, I can’t really say that this behaviour really compells me to pursuit them.  I guess I am easily entertained, and for the most part I don’t really care whom I am talking to.  My brain functions on the logic that if someone likes me then they would want to talk to me.  So if they are intentionally avoiding me, they must not like me.  So while the old belief that absence makes the heart grow fonder, it’s not really practical unless you’re actually -with- the person and they aren’t around.  Casual flirtation with periods of disappearance doesn’t make you endearing, it just makes you less memorable.

As I have mentioned on occasion, things with S and I are quite cyclical.   I go through phases where I like him, but then things drift apart and I start to forget about him.  This is where things bottom out with us, and my life returns to normal.  But every time he all but disappears from my consciousness he pops back up, like he can sense my ambivalence to his ways, and then he cranks up the charm and drags me back in.   And once I’m back into a state of crushing, he pulls away again.  In and out, back and forth.  Tiresome.  Right now is the silent period, where I get the impression he’s trying to make me be the one to initiate contact.  And yet I keep holding back; I’m stubborn and I want to win.  It’s like a childish battle of the wills, of whom is going to hold out longer than the other.  Granted I have to always work under the impression that he might actually not want to talk to me, this isn’t a game.  But typically some Saturday one of us breaks down, and then it all begins again.

Now when it comes to i, he’s a master at this game.  He pops in periodically, sends me an email or two, sends me photos of whatever location he happens to find himself that week for work.  We laugh, we flirt, he talks about missing me and how he yearns to feel my skin against his.  With him it’s not holding out like it is with S where you never know when it’s going to happen.  With i, it just always happens.  You can’t sit around waiting for him because he’ll never show up.   It’s so sporatic and unpredictable that you don’t get your hopes up.  And that’s where i fails in this game, because he plays but he’s not dedicated enough to become a master.

And finally Sin …. well I’m not really sure what game that boy is playing.  We still talk on a daily basis, and while the conversations are getting more and more spaced out, they are getting longer and longer again.  He leaves on Wednesday for work and will likely be away for awhile, which makes me wonder if things with him will be more like i than S.  But I’m starting to think that Sin isn’t even playing games, since the same night after our date he contacted me.  Very ungamelike.  Very unnatural.  Very refreshing.

Penny Arcade had a very interesting post about the games men play, and how women have feminine wiles to use to put them on equal ground with the men.  Granted their exchange became a literal shitstorm, but it did raise interesting points.  It also provided me with this particular gem of insight that I think summarizes the entire dating scene in 100 words or less:

“The main reason why assholes get girls is not because girls are just dying to be abused and ignored– although some are for whatever fault of upbringing or genetics– but because women, especially beautiful women, hate the weakness implied when a man bends over backward to impress her. A reactive sign of this is to, um, not bend over to impress her. A proactive sign, a way to signal this in the first few minutes of conversation, is to tease her. “

Ain’t that the truth.  Literally.

“Games are a compromise between intimacy and keeping intimacy away.” — Eric Berne

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