My friend Alice is a master of ‘The Game’- a set of unwritten dating rules one should follow to ensure successful romantic pursuits. I can see merit in her approach by comparing her dating history (long term relationship with great dude) to mine (A Series of Unfortunate Events), but there are certain rules I am completely incapable of following. Here are the top 5.
Treat them mean, keep them keen
Essentially, don’t let the other person know how much you like them or they’ll lose interest. It makes some sense- when was the last time you fell for someone that was too available and obsessed with you? That would be, uh, never! But intuitively, this is the exact opposite of what I want to do when I like you. You are officially the Best Person Ever. Let me bake you banana cake and give you all my time!
The guy should always pay
I’m certain this ‘rule’ is a hangover from the Stone Age, when Caveman hunted food to impress Cavewoman. It baffles me that I should expect someone to spend their hard earned cash on me. It seems especially unfair if it’s the first date and they’re blissfully unaware of how mental I really am. Plus, how am I meant to sing along convincingly to ‘Independent Woman’ if a guy pays every time we go out? IT WOULD ALL BE LIES.
Wait a certain number of dates before having sex
I appreciate the value of creating suspense- sex is infinitely better when you’ve had to impatiently wait for it. I just don’t get setting an arbitrary figure to quantify exactly when genitals should come into play. Sometimes 3 hours of suspense is more than enough, thank you very much. Don’t tell me I should wait a few more dates! My libido will kill you!
Don’t have one night stands
Every time I read any kind of relationship column, there’s always a ‘one night stands will make you feel worthless and shitty’ line in there. Sure, they’re not everyone’s thing but this is definitely not universally true. After a Messy Break Up or a long dry spell or for no reason at all, excellent sex with an excellent looking stranger can make you feel rather excellent.
Marriage and babies are your ultimate goal
My biggest issue with The Game is that the end goal is a big wedding, cute babies and happy families. But what if this isn’t your idea of a happy ending? To me, commitment means buying matching bikes and maybe, MAYBE, adopting a tea cup pig. Someone teach me The Game to get there and this girl will happily be your padawan learner.