How to Play the Love Game

For your amusement, from HitRecord on TV…

This is how I see love: it can be exactly what Nicholas Sparks says and be real and exciting to the point where neither partner can keep his or her hands off the other. It can change your life. It can make you feel like your heart is sinking into the back of a black hole.

But it’s also just a game, especially for people my age. We’re in college, and society has developed enough to where this is the period in our lives when we are able to experience individualism and freedom without any risky consequences.

So we don’t get too involved in relationships and we don’t commit (unless, you are one of the outliers, of whom I am not directing this towards, I guess). That being said, in the end, this is all really just a huge game that people play with different methods to winning. And, when I say “winning”, that phrase is different to different people: find the hottest girl, attract the nicest guy, etc.

But, the problem with this game is that it involves 60% emotion, 30% stupidity, and 10% logic. Sometimes, the categories are even mixed together and that sucks even more. We get drunk to attract people. We come up with excuses to act dumb so we can get attention. However, we never realize how the way we act easily affects (and possibly hurts) the other person or even how we can easily hurt our best friends.

Yet, this is still a game, and this is how you play the game.

And it is EXHAUSTING.

  1. Flirtation Game. Here, you’ve got your basic girl meets boy, girl bats her eyelashes and casually touches boy, boy reciprocates, repeat, repeat, repeat, dating. To be fair, I find that some people are honestly just better at this than others: they’ve got a more welcoming personality, they’re happier, they naturally enjoy talking to people who they mutable-flirtingwould be sexually interested in. It also has a great deal to do with your appearances and how much the other person is attracted to you physically.

AND THAT’S OKAY.

Personally, I have a very dry humor and next to a lot of my friends, I’m the DUFF (I really want to see this movie). DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Now, my self-esteem isn’t so low that I’m ugly or fat (I don’t know…maybe I am? Shrug). It’s that my friends just happen to be a lot nicer, bubbly, and prettier than me.

AND THAT’S OKAY. EMBRACE IT.

This is one game I will play, but when I do, I find myself to be very tired because I end up pretending to be someone I’m not for that 5-minute conversation. But, basically, this is the game of first impressions so it is the one that almost everyone will participate in.

  1. “I’m sorry I can’t read your thoughts” Game. This usually starts when two people start the relationship or have been in it so long that they think they know each other so well that they can read each other’s thoughts (Ha. Yeah right.). I honestly feel, in this situation, terrible for the guys because a lot of girls expect them to pull in some really romantic, sexy gesture that would sweep them off their feet, like in “A Walk to Remember”.

Same.

It’s like they don’t know how guys think. Or how people think. Why should I or him or anyone else have telepathic superpowers and act as your personal slave that becks at your every calling?long-distance-relationship

  1. Long Distance Game. Relationships that involve long distance usually start at the end of a long relationship or after a whimsical summer meeting. Whoo! And there’s no middle: it’s either long or it’s not.

Hint hint: unless you two are thinking about getting married or he or she is “the one”, you should end it. There is no time hole that says “Boyfriend time”. And if there is, please stop making that hole exist.

Anyway, these don’t usually last. So please stop trying unless you’re going to be extremely committed. I always see these fall apart: they meet new people, they don’t feel the same about you later (which is just the nature of time), etc. So…don’t bother.

  1. “I have to Win You Over” Game. I feel like this is more of a game for girls, one that I specifically experienced last semester. You see, when two boys like a girl, those two boys will back away just out of courtesy. However, when two girls like a boy, it’s like there’s this strange tendency to “win” him over.

And that is definitely one game I will not play. I also don’t have a time hole that says, “Fight with my friend for random guy.”

I mean…what happened to the phrase “Chicks before dicks”?

  1. Jealousy Game. This usually involves multiple trust issues in a relationship, as well as the little hint that you haven’t grown past the age of 12. It’s annoying when a boy’s girlfriend gives you the stink eye because she thinks you’re trying to flirt with her man.

032612_0613_WhyAreYoung1I’m sorry…am I not allowed to talk to the opposite sex if he’s taken by another girl?

Or even worse. Here’s something I learned last semester and I found to be extremely dangerous. When a girl cozies up to you because you happen to be her boyfriend’s closest friend, the strategy is to diminish the chances of you stealing her boyfriend away from her because you would feel awful if you did since you guys will be “besties”. So you end up just being fake “besties”.

Yeah…I hate fake people.

But that’s how the game is played, my friends. What do you think? Do you agree?

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7 thoughts on “How to Play the Love Game

  1. I feel this so much…especially in the context of texting and texting back. I wish people would just respond immediately and be more straightforward and I also wish people weren’t so reliant on texting too! I play too many games. It gets exhausting. I think I agree with you that these few points are quite descriptive of how modern-day adolescent attraction plays out. I still have hope though…

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  2. Keep hoping! There’s no reason not to – sometimes, the games can be worth the effort. I feel like Valentine’s Day just reminds me of how exhausting they are…

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  3. You’re very right about this. When I was at university in England, I ran around with my American friend Jen and an Irish guy named Graeme. Jen seemed to think there was a competition between her and myself for Graeme’s attention, but that wasn’t my style. Then Graeme came to see me and basically poured out his heart at my feet, saying all the goofy cheesy things you’d expect, like ‘Your eyes are like twin pools that I just want to drown in.’ He was the sweetest guy and it wasn’t until that moment I realized while I really did like him, I didn’t feel the same way and wasn’t ever likely to. I knew the moment was fraught for him, so I did my best to be kind, to lighten things with a little humor and to make sure he knew I valued him as a friend. I told him it wouldn’t be fair for me to encourage him on a whim or because I was I felt bad for him when I knew I simply didn’t reciprocate his deeply romantic feelings. He took it well and a few days later, he began dating Jen. She gloated mightily to me, saying things like ‘it looks like the best woman won’. I never said a word about what had really happened and that she was in fact his second choice. You’re absolutely right: love is a game loaded with strategic moves and gambits. Sometimes the game draws you in even when you’re not intending to participate.

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    • Smart move – it took a lot of guts to not say anything to Jen. The truth hurts, but, sometimes, it’s better to not say it (part of the girl code) and lift your chin to look the other way.

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      • It was hard to keep my mouth shut but I knew speaking up would humiliate Graeme for no other reason than my own personal satisfaction. Keeping mum wasn’t so much girl code as it was me trying to protect Graeme. I wouldn’t really have been his friend if I’d done otherwise. He also thanked me mightily throughout the year and said if I ever changed my mind, he’d dump Jen in an instant. I made do with keeping that secret information close to my heart and reveling in the ego boost it gave me. They dated for six months or so and then broke up. Graeme is now happily married to someone else and that’s wonderful. The moves of the game are something to behold, especially when you don’t have horse in the race, so to speak.

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      • Ugh. So frustrating that he would do that. I would hate to be somebody’s second choice, but the game is reality, and it sort of sucks.

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  4. I guess Jen was his rebound but she never knew it. I suppose you could say I violated girl code by not telling her the truth so she could make a better informed decision. Tough situation all around.

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