How I Realized Playing Games Didn't Have To Be Part Of Dating

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Yes, I used to play dating games. Who doesn't, honestly? In a world of Tinder, Bumble and every other dating app you can think of, you have the pick of a never-ending bunch.

Dating is not the simple, harmless act is once was. It's a battlefield.

Break one of the "rules of dating" and you are swapped in an instant. Text back too soon, use too many emojis or accidentally reveal how you actually feel toward someone and you are replaced quicker than you can swipe right to the only attractive person you have seen on Tinder all day.

When the act of dating becomes mostly digital, games are too important not to be played. If you're not seeing someone face-to-face, how you text, Snap yourself and update your Twitter is the only way for you to be judged. It has to be done "right."

If your crush takes 15 minutes to reply, then you take 20. If their Twitter updates are always hilarious, then you better make yours even funnier. If they constantly like posey pictures of the opposite sex on Instagram, then you need to up your selfie-game. It's just the rules of digital dating.

Or so you think. Arguably, to actually find someone worth dating you have to do the complete opposite and that's exactly what I have finally grasped. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't take an awful lot of dating games to get to this point.

I guess the point of realization was when it no longer felt like a "game" and my feelings had actually been hurt. It became clear that no matter how good I was at playing the game there was always someone that would be able to play it better.

I grew tired of always pretending; it felt like I had to always try to be something I wasn't. (I can't help it if I want to spend every hour of my day talking to someone I like.)

I got into the bad habit of always comparing myself to the other girls who were playing the game better than I was. (Yes, they were far sassier than I could ever be.) I grew bored of feeling like the person I was "dating" had their mind elsewhere. I couldn't help think that all these games would always abruptly end and never actually lead anywhere.

The trouble with dating games is that they make you guess and then second-guess everything. Could it be that someone has taken two hours to text back because they were in a meeting? Could someone being "busy" be true and not just them playing hard to get? Could someone be appearing uninterested, simply because they are?

Either way, it doesn't matter because you already have insecurities over problems that might not even exist. You are now an expert at the game and the assumption is that everyone else is too. You are prone to think that everything about dating is a "game" and you begin to have a negative perception of it without even realizing.

Take the "game" away and what are you left with? Genuine communication, your real identity being revealed and an understanding of your crushes true intentions. Essentially, you force others to actually like you and not just be impressed by the way you play.

Text someone whenever you want, be honest about how you feel and stop over-analyzing your next move and the craziest thing will happen. You'll show someone your true self and they'll know it.

The result? A genuine relationship that is honest and meaningful. Plus, you eliminate 90 percent of the fuckboys and fuckgirls that you knew you shouldn't have been wasting your time on anyway.