Dating is nothing more than a life-sized version of a game of chess. Nothing more than two partners going back and forth attempting to win — well, whatever it is that they want. The woman is vying for a relationship, at least so she thinks. We all know that women love the chase nearly as much as men. If it’s too easy, she may back off and think the guy is too thirsty or lame or whatever disrespectful adjective she’ll use to describe him. The man, on the other hand, is doing nothing more than, well, playing a game. He doesn’t know what he wants until the game switches up the rules, the other party takes the lead and he is left not knowing what to do but make a complete ass of himself.
I was doing my typical 20-something routine and seeing a guy I met at a lounge several months back. Luckily for me, he was normal, nice-looking, intelligent, honest and the protective type. Let’s call him “Bob” just for shits and giggles. Nonetheless, with the dating game, you get used to the patterns. If someone isn’t serious about you, their interest starts to fade anywhere from four to eight weeks after you start seeing one another. Sure enough, after about six weeks, his attention wasn’t as consistent. We weren’t going out on as many dates, not as much quality time was spent. I noticed that it was always me who was starting the text conversations, many times with him responding hours later or even the next day. He’d call me after work but wouldn’t visit because he’d tell me he had other things to do. My birthday rolled around and he hardly remembered the day. I only received a simple text, no call, no video chat, no surprise flowers, so I thought that maybe it was ending its course. He always was very open with me about dating other people, but said that I was the “top on his list.” Whatever that meant, I figured that with his other “priorities” and work that things were starting to die down.
I took a trip out of town for my birthday, and after getting back to New York, I still wasn’t hearing from him. Hardly any contact. Days would go by without hearing from this guy. At first it kind of upset me, but then I just moved on and took care of the other areas of my life. Occasionally, he started to message me, but I really didn’t pay it much attention. After a few weeks, he finally came to visit (again after work for a split second) and acted as if nothing changed. But to me, and every woman in the world who has emotions and isn’t stupid, of course everything changed.
The next week, an old friend of mine came to visit from out of town. We had the whole week planned of things that we wanted to do. While getting dressed for a comedy show one night, I missed a call from “Bob.” I laughed at the irony of his timing until I saw that he called again and left a voice message for me to give him a ring back by the end of the night as if I was obligated to his authority. So, I was in somewhat of a pickle. My friend was in from out of town, I had shit to do, and now this guy wants to pop back in like he didn’t fall off a cliff for about two months.
Debating about what to do, I told my friend about the situation. Literally, within five minutes of this conversation, my doorbell rings. Automatically, I get scared that I have another stalker situation. I didn’t order any food, so it wasn’t Seamless at my door. And I knew that it wasn’t my building super because he would’ve texted me. Frantically, I’m worried that this guy just thought that it was okay to walk down my street and pop in to see if I was home. Seeing my lights on, of course he thought it was okay to pop in on me. (Guys, if it’s never OK for a girl to pop in on you, why would you think it’s OK to pop in on us?) Still debating on what to do, within another five minutes, this guy texts me, “You don’t want to follow up?” Shit. I have a fucking stalker and he knows I’m home and there’s nothing I can do.
Attempting to play the ultimate game of chess, I text “Bob” back after two hours, hoping that my excuse of me being out at a show works for the time being and that I could speak with him later. I get no response until the next morning when he says, “I see that you’ve made your decision but we can speak later if you want.” I would love if someone could please tell me what decision I made because I’m still clueless. I respond asking as such, and “Bob” never replies.
What I found with this situation and many cases that I’m sure women go through is that guys always have the upper hand. They call the shots. They dictate where the relationship is going — if the woman cares about him. As soon as the woman stops giving a damn, she moves every single pawn on the board. Better yet, she stops playing chess altogether and moves on to poker. The guy, however, panics and pulls out all of his moves in desperation. Like this scenario, every man would have been appalled if a woman showed up unannounced to his place. But as soon as he feels her slipping out of the grips of his power, the man loses all control and breaks his own rules and lands into the field of hypocrisy. No one wants to be a hypocrite. And if you ever find your mate being a hypocrite, it would probably be best to re-evalutate your relationship.
Nonetheless, the irony is evident when the power switches parties. It could be either the man or woman. But it definitely happens whenever the more submissive person takes the more dominant role, and it’s not even by choice. For whatever reason, they stop caring, become indifferent. It’s a game that we all have played. Whether or not you’re good at it is up for question, but you always have to realize your role. Understand your part and never take the other party for granted. Or just don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
In the meantime, I will be checking around every corner to make sure Big Brother “Bob” isn’t watching my every move.