Dating Games

Sometimes I wonder why there are still people who “enjoy” the rules of dating. There are people who follow a strict set of rules when dating and actually expect others to obediently play this game as well. “Wait x number of days before calling after a first date”, “Kiss after x number date”, “Don’t talk about any ex’s”, “Don’t say anything too personal on a first date” –And so on and so on. Maybe this is why I keep hearing how “real” I am compared to other dates. I’m often told that it’s refreshing I’m so open. Aren’t the rest of you “real” too?! Why isn’t everyone else just being themselves? Why can’t they just go with the flow? Why do they have to follow some strict dating regiment, rather than just being the beautifully flawed human beings they are? Who are they trying to fool -A potential partner, just at first? Are their dates really hoping to see someone who will only appeal to them at the beginning? Are they getting more out of their closed-off, limited information, “perfect” first impression dates? Isn’t it all kind of a waste of time to act in any other way than what would come naturally to you in any other situation? Is a first date just some sort of formality that they don’t really count as part of getting to know each other?

Most people I know meet someone they like, develop some sort of crush on them, date them, and over time kind of settle into things and the feeling fades. I kind of work in the opposite way where I meet someone who seems like they may have potential for me to like them, I date them, and after a few months I eventually develop some sort of crush on them. This is a problem because usually at the point I start to have feelings for someone, they’ve already grown tired of me and are about to end the relationship. This requires a search for not only someone with potential for me, but also who’s patient enough to stick with me, though I can’t guarantee I’ll ever like them. They’re rare –But they do exist! From what I’ve found, they’re usually the better kind of dates too. They’re the loyal types who will believe in you.

The first three to five dates or so are always tough for me. I’m never nervous about how I come off or how the date is going when I’m on it, as I mentioned I’ve always been myself for better or for worse. A kind of “this is me, I have nothing to hide, I have flaws, but if you put up with them you’ll get to see the awesome side of me too” approach. -But there’s a constant fear of the guy making some sort of move –especially if it’s going well, as the odds of it happening are usually a little higher. A little voice saying, “please don’t try to kiss me” will be going off in my head every time they’re close to me -and I know I’m not part of the majority in this if it’s going well, but I need some extra time at this stage. I also have to hope they’re the kind of guy who’s cool with me expressing my thoughts and feelings on this. I’ve never had trouble explaining precisely how I feel, but I’ve had trouble finding guys who appreciate this. I take some extra time to grow comfortable around someone new -and I need comfort to really enjoy a date. Each date generally means some more progress should be made and you move forward. I guess you could say I like to take things slow –But so slow I like it to kind of pause around the second date for a while. I start dreading the next date knowing the guy will be expecting things to move along, and I’m hoping to kind of dock them where they are for a bit.

My preference in dating seems to be an extremely gradual build up to everything. A move too early and at it kind of puts a damper on the whole thing. It’s even more nerve racking when I have a good feeling about the guy. It could all be so easily ruined oh so soon. Of course there is a balance. If too much time goes by that awkward friend-zone line could be passed. And the hardest part is knowing most girls aren’t like me at all. Most guys know they’ve blown it if the girl expected a kiss goodnight and didn’t get it. Most guys are probably expecting me to be like most girls and figure I want to be treated in the same way. How is a guy (or a girl) to know what’s part of a game, what’s too soon, too late, or just right with each and every girl (or guy)? If only most girls and most guys would stray from these dating games we could all go into our dates totally with a clean slate. No assumptions. No expectations. Just totally clueless as we all honestly are anyway. Then maybe we would all be a lot more clear in what we wanted and avoid all of this uneasy confusion. In the meantime, before my public service announcement on dating games gets any global reach, I suppose I’ll stick to vocalizing what I want on dates -and maybe even getting myself to make a first move when I want it to be made.
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7 thoughts on “Dating Games

  1. As far as I can tell the whole “Rules of Dating” thing seems to very a very American concept. I’ve certainly never heard any serious discussion of such arbitrary rules over here (Northern Ireland., so I can confidently speak for experience of the UK and Ireland on this one).

    It’s always struck me as a very unusual why to handle romantic affairs which are very heavily governed by what you feel and are how comfortable you are with someone rather than a checklist of what you’ve already done and what you still have left to do.

    I suppose one of the most famous ones is about not sleeping with someone before the 3rd date. Why? If you’re both ready to get down and dirty on the first date then go for it, likewise, if one or both of you aren’t ready until the 10th date then that’s groovy too. It’s a relationship, not a race and quite frankly it’s nobody elses business anyway!

    • Ha, maybe I’m living in the wrong country. That’s interesting, though. I guess if someone sleeps with someone else early on, some people will take that as being too easy, slutty, only interested in that aspect of the relationship & so on…But I think if it’s what both people want it shouldn’t have to be looked down upon.

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