I like to think that I have mad game when it comes to dating.
I know how to play it cool. I know when to text back. I know when to let things fizzle and how to keep them going. I can sense when someone is getting tired of things, and I know how to back off to the perfect degree. I know how to maintain a healthy text ratio and, more importantly, I know how to draft a text without consulting everyone I know.
There is one giant, glaring problem here: I have this “mad game” only when I have no feelings for the other person.
I have no problem making all the right moves with all the wrong people. But the minute I actually like someone, all my chill goes to sh*t. It’s like my brain goes on autopilot, and f*cking weird sh*t starts happening.
I've wanted to blame this on some sort of undiagnosed mental disorder I must have contracted along the way. But then I realized something: It’s literally impossible to have any kind of game when you're with the right person.
And here's why.
Because you feel TOO comfortable with him.
When you like someone this much, the feeling is often instantaneous. As soon as you meet him, you feel like you've known him forever.
The problem, of course, is that you actually have not known him forever. This person is a virtual stranger. But this fact doesn’t stop you from divulging way, way, way too much information way, way, way too early in the game -- in other words, from getting too comfortable.
Comfort is the only force strong enough to push your guard down. And your guard happens to be the only thing making you so damn good at playing games. When you have no more guard, you have no more game.
Because you creepily smile at your screen every time he texts you.
The “lol” to the guy you actually like isn’t a pity “lol” that's meant to be flirtatious and stroke his ego. It’s not the awkward “lol” you text because you literally have no idea what else to say.
No, this “lol” is genuine. It means you're actually, legitimately laughing out loud at the sight of his not-THAT-funny joke on your screen.
It’s the “lol” you type while you think to yourself, “Have I turned into those people I hate? Is this love?”
Because your gauge on his feelings goes right to sh*t.
When you’re not that into someone, it becomes BLATANTLY clear how into you that person is -- mostly because it sort of creeps you out, and that creeped-out feeling leads to a visceral nausea that cannot be ignored. But you also feel sort of cool, since YOU are the goddess in this situation. Ball is totally and completely in your court.
This is not quite the case when you are into someone else. Even if it is OBVIOUSLY clear that he likes you back, you still find yourself needing the confirmation of 20 of your closest friends and your Uber driver.
You've been on the other side. You know what it’s like to be so disgusted by the creep who’s way more into you. And being the creep in this situation is your worst fear.
Because you're too excited to have any game.
Waiting double his response time to respond becomes literally impossible because you just thought of the best, most hilarious response ever, and you need to send it NOW before you forget.
You can’t hold off on texting first because you know that, OMG, he would LOVE this song! You just know he would. You gotta send it to him right now!
You can’t even let a conversation fizzle naturally because you find yourself needing to respond to all of his texts. Even “k” merits a “cool sounds good” from you because you just simply MUST talk to him as much as possible.
Because you find yourself blurting out how you feel at the most inappropriate time.
It’s easy to hold your feelings back when there aren’t any feelings to confess in the first place. Your apathy is what gives you the sexy, mysterious enigma that all of the creeps fawned over.
Unfortunately, that air of mystery is difficult to maintain when you need it most. It’s like your feelings for this guy are a growing balloon inside of your mouth that's just waiting to burst at the most inopportune moment.
Because you lose all chill by psychotically reading into every move he makes.
When you don’t like someone that much, you don’t read into everything he does because, well, you don’t care. Who cares if he doesn’t respond to your text? He’s IRRELEVANT.
But who IS relevant? The guy you actually do have strong feelings for. Suddenly you’re back to sending screenshots to your friends and parents to decipher what he REALLY meant by “haha lol.”
Because instead of ghosting him unintentionally, you feel a pit in your stomach at the thought of being ghosted.
The thing about people you don’t like is that you can make this last only so long. You get bored and just sort of let it fizzle out. Even stringing them along seems like too much effort.
And by “just sort of let it fizzle out,” I obviously mean you flat-out ignore him until he gets the picture. This isn't an active decision you make; you just care about literally anything else more than texting him back.
Things shift to the other end of the spectrum when we’re talking to someone we actually do have feelings for. We suddenly find ourselves living in a constant state of dread while we wait for him to get bored and ignore us until we get the picture.
**cue gut-wrenching pit in stomach**
Because at the end of the day, if he really is the right person, you know your lack of game won't matter.
That's the bottom line here. If he really is right for you, he won't mind your lack of game, because he'll be feeling the exact same way.
So go ahead. Unleash your crazy. Lose all your chill. It's like that Dr. Seuess quote: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
If he really matters, he'll embrace you for the lovable lunatic you really are.