Why No One Will Ever Win When Playing 'The Game'

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It’s natural to be on your best behavior when you begin dating a new person. You don’t want any of your embarrassing quirks to show, and it definitely helps your chances if you keep the crazy quiet for as long as possible.

On top of putting your best, least crazy foot forward, the fact that our phones are hardly ever more than two feet away from us has a serious impact on how we date.

We know the other person could be reached in a matter of seconds, and the same is true for ourselves. As a result, we aim to seem less accessible.

On the quest to seem normal and assert we are totally not just a text message away at all times, we pretend not to care about the other person. This is where the game comes into play.

Playing the game means you have to wait three days to send a text after a date, or, if you’re a girl, just vowing not to be the one who makes initial contact. The game has become a competition of who gives fewer sh*ts.

Even when you go on a great date and can’t wait to see the person again, you have to pretend like you’re way too busy with your glam life to text the person and say so.

In reality, you’re eating pizza on your couch, 72-weeks-deep on the person in-question's Instagram, scrolling very carefully to make sure you don’t double tap anything.

This isn’t glam at all, and if that’s not enough, here are five more reasons why everyone loses when you play the game:

The rules of the game vary, depending on whom you ask.

So, are you supposed to wait two or three days to send a text after a date? And, how many minutes should you wait before responding? If the other person didn’t ask you to watch the game on Sunday, you should totally NOT ask him or her… right?

Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get a different answer. If there are rules to dating you’re expected to follow, everyone should be on the same page. But, as per usual, things can’t be so simple.

Going on a date is supposed to be the nerve-racking part.

There was a point in time when people worried about saying something stupid on a first date, or whether or not to slip in a kiss before parting ways.

Now, it seems there’s less concern about actual dates. Rather, you stress out about whether or not to send a text, how long you should let a message sit unread before responding, and whether or not it’s a bit too soon to send the one-eyed tongue emoji.

Dating becomes exhausting.

With all the rules to remember and follow, keeping track of who cares less and constantly having to ask friends to help decode simple emoji (yes, it was too soon for the one-eyed tongue face, sorry), who has time to even go on dates?

And, this is just playing the game with one person. Imagine the people who play games on games on games. Just the thought of this makes me want to curl up with Netflix for the rest of my life.

You don’t allow for full disclosure.

To play the game, you have to hold back your true feelings and play it off like you get so many text messages, you can’t possibly reply right away to all of them.

Like I said, holding back some things is good for a budding relationship, but you shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. If you had a great time with someone, what’s the harm in being upfront?

Maybe he or she won’t feel the same, but it’s better to know that and be on to the next one before you waste three days of your life contemplating when and how to get in touch with someone.

No one knows when the game is supposed to end.

Seriously, if there must be rules, someone needs to make an official rulebook. When does this coy game of text tag end? After a few dates? After you sleep together? No one knows until someone is willing to throw in the towel and admit to caring.

Before that happens, you’re stuck in this awkward phase of always second-guessing yourself and your interactions with the other person.

You’re not establishing a solid foundation for a future relationship; you’re just grazing the surface of getting to know each other. Rather than focusing on getting to know the other person, you’re focused on the other person's perception of you.

No one wins in this game, so try to not overthink your dating situation. If you had a good date with someone, text the next day and say so. Maybe you can even try picking up the phone and calling.

Just kidding, that would be too much, too soon. Stick with the text.