"Your best bet is to move on. Who wants a guy who plays games?"A friend said that to me about Mr. Ding-a-Ling. He was away immediately following our first date. That plus a, you know, small natural disaster, has left our second date in the to be determined category. I truly didn't want to bother him while he was on vacation, figuring I wouldn't want to be bothered, so why would I do that to him? Not only that, but if I didn't hear back from him, I'd be left wondering if he was ignoring me, or just too involved in his trip to respond.
Best to wait - and we all know how I'm so good at waiting...
The conversation got me thinking about the phrase "playing games." We throw it around a lot when it comes to dating and relationships - usually to describe actions we don't like. He didn't text her back? He's playing games. She let his call go to voice mail? That's her game. He waited three days before calling? Classic dating game.
But when we do something....somehow it's not a game. Case in point...I wasn't texting him while he was on vacation, even though I was hoping to hear from him. Some might call that a game. But I had a reason, which I just explained. The truth is, I didn't want to be left hanging, and I knew there was a pretty good chance I would be. But, I also sincerely didn't want to bother the guy while he was away. That's not a game - it's courtesy.
A perfect example of having a legitimate reason for doing something that could be considered a game.
I know someone who has dated a guy who says he truly, honestly loves her...and then disappears for several days. When he reappears, there's always a "reason" for his absence. Does she like what he's doing? I don't think so. Does it mean he's playing games? I don't think that's the case, either. I think the guy truly has too much stuff going on, and he's the type who can only manage what's right in front of him. His priorities are different than hers, and he doesn't handle communication the same way.
That doesn't mean he's not sincere, or a player. It means they don't agree. That might make them incompatible as a couple...but it doesn't make him a jerk, and it doesn't mean he's playing games.
I'm not saying my friend is wrong about Mr. Ding-a-Ling. In fact, I even said to her, "You're probably right."
I'm also not suggesting he isn't playing games. Truthfully, I don't know the guy well enough to be sure.
What I am saying is that if I want to be successful at this whole communication, better, stronger, healthier relationships thing - I should probably not label every action I don't like as a "game." I should stop leaping to conclusions and assuming the worst. If I want to know something - I should probably just ask. I should continue treating people the way I think they want to be treated, and letting them know (within reason) what I am thinking.
Behaving any other way is just a game.