It's totally romantic to think about the "old days" when dating someone was clearly labeled "going steady" and wearing a pin was a great way to indicate if someone was in a relationship or not.
Today, there is so much gray area that dating has become a more complicated obstacle course than what our parents and grandparents had to navigate.
It might be tempting to play games, like lead someone on, play hard to get or alter your social media to represent a certain image, to name a few.
But it's called "playing games" for a reason. You're toying with another person or manipulating the situation for a specific outcome.
The problem with this kind of behavior is it can get a little muddy and go all "Inception" on you.
By manifesting one facade, you might find that you have to maintain a lie, creating a confusing web of communication and false expectations. Keeping track of all those false appearances is exhausting, man.
Likely, one or both of you will be left wondering what the hell is actually going on.
Here's how playing games is stopping you from finding true love.
You're focused on "winning" instead of getting to know each other.
Do you ever find yourself keeping track of who texted who first? This kind of habit is completely symptomatic of playing games and puts your true intentions (aka getting to know each other) on the back burner.
While you're busy trying to appear like the more desirable half of the equation, you're missing out on opportunities to actually ENJOY one another's company.
Try to remember your end game (GET IT?!) is to connect, not string one another along.
You're hiding your true selves.
So often, TV, movies and magazines will tell us "X Great Tips For Landing A Man" or "How To Make a Guy Fall In Love With You," when this is the truth: True love comes from natural compatibility, NOT pretending to be someone other than who you are.
True love comes from natural compatibility, NOT pretending to be someone other than who you are.
By following a third party's advice, you are taking on someone else's idea of how courting in a relationship should go, and blurring where your real feelings, attitudes and opinions end and where the person you are pretending to be begins.
Be yourself. Be yourself. Be yourself.
Your real soulmate will love you for you.
You're overcomplicating the situation.
Does this conversation sound familiar?
Person 1: we should get drinks sometime Person 2: sure Person 1: cool Person 2: when? Person 1: whenever works for you Person 2: did you have something in mind? Person 1: not really Person 2: ok Person 1: cool
Like, what just happened? Wouldn't it be seriously beautiful if that conversation looked more like this:
Person 1: Hey, would you want to get drinks together this weekend? Person 2: sure! when? Person 1: Friday at 7 sound good? I'll pick a place Person 2: great see you then
The point is... GET TO THE POINT. The more clear you are about your wants and needs, the faster you will learn if you are on the same page and can move forward accordingly.
It manifests doubt and insecurity.
A common mistake lots of people make is thinking by "playing hard to get" or "playing it cool," they're preventing themselves from coming across as too needy or possessive. In reality, this often actually looks like you're being an aloof, uninvested or rude person.
A classic example of this is the conversation listed above. It leaves Person 1 wondering why Person 2 messaged them in the first place.
Playing games is a surefire way to avoid commitment or show your cards, creating lots of room for doubt. And doubt completely derails true love from forming.
Your best bet is to be straightforward and clear with your intentions. If you enjoy someone's company and want to spend more time with them, simply say, "Had a great time hanging out with you the other night. Would love to do it again."
Best-case scenario? They say, "Great!" Worst-case scenario? They say "no" or give you a vague response. But even if the response is vague, now you know where you stand.
Be brave. Be honest. Beyoncé.