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MX Columns

mX Column: Dating Games

Out with a group of girlfriends the other night, one sidled up to me when we were touching up our gloss in the bathroom.

“I just sent a text to my ex,” she confided.

“Do you think that was a mistake?”

Not just once. It turns out she had sent him two messages. Once to say “I’m at such-and-such bar.” Then again to say, “Sorry, sent that to the wrong person.”

Are we sick of playing games yet?

Of course she hadn’t actually sent it to the wrong person. She just wanted him to know where she was but didn’t want him to know that she wanted him to know where she was.

Make sense?

Well it worked. He turned up and they went home together that night.

I shamefully confess that I have played a similar game.

I once got all dressed up on a Friday night, sure that this particular guy that I’d been seeing for awhile would call me for a drink or to hang out.

I didn’t want to be caught unawares so I went through the hair/make-up/outfit process only to find my phone silent.

So of course I did what any self-respecting girl would do. I rang him and trilled nonchalantly that a friend had stood me up last minute and I was quite literally all dressed up with nowhere to go.

We ended up catching up that night (score one, Team Emma!)

And he was oblivious to my little game.

Of course men say they hate women who play games, and yet have their own set of tricks.

It’s no wonder girls keep playing the games – we’re not supposed to call, we’re not supposed to chase, we’re not supposed to come on too strong.

Of course textual manipulation is just one of the ways around this.

There’s make-him-jealous moves, the silent treatment and the play-hard-to-get-tactic – all of which can blow up in a girl’s face.

But what’s really behind it? Are these little games the only way we can bait men without fear of outright rejection?

And is it at the expense of our own sanity? Surely no sane and balanced woman wants to feel like a crazy, manipulative witch?

The fact is, all that game playing can get downright exhausting – because, in fact, you’re driving yourself crazy.

Girls will self-destructively mull for hours over what a guy is possibly playing at. But guys are usually unaware they’re playing (or being played) at all.

It’s not that they all sit around thinking about footy scores but they’re certainly not dissecting every character in an SMS to find out “what it really means”.

Is it time to throw in the bat and ball and be adults, or are games still the only way to win?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

One comment for “mX Column: Dating Games”

  1. Posted by Bra Queen | April 20, 2010, 1:45 pm

    HAHA! That is funny.
    I hate games but I don’t see that as playing a game I see it as a way to put yourself out there without putting yourslef out there.

    I’ve never been the type of girl to go up to a guy or really call for that matter, purely from fear of rejection however I was never that clever to think of something like that. That and mobiles weren’t around the last time I was single haha.

    Interesting read Emma :)

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