Oh no. [Insert monkey-covering-eyes emoji here.] Not another cute pseudonym that gives bad dating behavior a pass in 2018! When I first heard the term "long-gaming," I immediately thought "BS!" As a millennial who is in the final lap of her twenties, my perspective on dating is... seasoned. Au courant terms like "ghosting" and "breadcrumbing" irk me because I feel like when we accept them into the lexicon, we're also accepting the crappy manners they describe. But, in efforts not to become a judgmental fossil, I will actually inquire: what is long-gaming?
I spoke to a colleague of mine at Elite Daily who is more up on the hip new lingo than me — because yes, I just said lingo and I am your mom! She enlightened me on what she defined as long-gaming: "From the conversations I've had with my girlfriends, it's very much something you do to a good friend you're attracted to, who you know would make a great partner some day, just maybe not right now," she explains.
Basically, this is what I gathered from her about long-gaming: there might be someone from college or work or otherwise who you have chemistry with, but aren't dating at the moment. "Maybe you're both just in very different phases of your lives, or maybe they're just waiting until they're a little more stable in their future plans before 'settling down' with someone," she explains.
If, however, you think that you might end up with this person in the future, at least for a bit, "you long-game them," she says. "You keep them close and continue to flirt and help them with their Insta captions and pretend to not be a little jealous every time they tell you about a date they went on or someone they're seeing." So maybe "long-gaming" is less about keeping someone around as back up, and more about timing. I feel that.
My worries? That "long-gaming" keeps women from saying what they want, or having the confidence to tell a partner they really like them. My own experiences have taught me that while timing is a factor in some relationships, more often than not, if someone really wants to be with you, they will make it happen. So if there's someone in your life who you'd like to keep in mind romantically for the future, and you're thinking about "long-gaming" them, here are some rules to follow so as not to be an a-hole.