Head to any self-help section of your local bookshop and it will (sadly) be clogged with dating advice books. Notable mentions include the relentlessly popular The Rules, and the controversial The Game, which, amongst other things, encourages men to put down women they’re attracted to, to ultimately ruin their confidence and gain the upper hand – a practice called ‘negging’. Total ick. I am anti-these books, and if ‘negging’ isn’t enough of a reason, it’s because most of them advocate manipulation; editing oneself, and time-wasting. Take the most common dating advice book inclusions; waiting three days after the first date to make contact; waiting a few hours before responding to a text; tips to keep your partner on their toes, and not saying yes to every invitation. You get the point. And I’d like to suggest that the point is crap.
Firstly, please let me clarify that if you date me I’m not going to clog up your phone with “I wuv U baby” text messages; casually hang outside your home (i.e. stalking), or buy a wedding dress after our second date. I’m not about that (i.e being desperate). What I don’t understand though is if you’ve got a person in front of you, who you like, why go out of your way to not show them? Why play stupid games?
Because I’m all about helping a brotha/sista out, I have identified the top 5 dating time waster types (can be both male and female) following conversations with my girlfriends/reflections on my own sad pathetic life extensive scientific research. You’re welcome.
For your own sanity, it is my recommendation that you avoid the following types (and Two and a Half Men) like the plague:
The Relationship Denier: Just as silly as their climate change denying cousins, these people do not have the testicles or female equivalent to admit the truth. For example, take this introduction: “Hi Rebecca, this is Jackie…,” sans the “my girlfriend” part, when no doubt, Jackie has heard him poo; seen his privates, and is called ‘cutie-pie’ behind closed doors (or some other sickening love name that we all give our partners).
The Stupid Meanie: Advocates of the ‘treat em mean, keep em keen’ dating philosophy. I was once seeing a guy (hindsight; total knob) who declared an hour and a half after the time he was supposed to turn up for a date, that he actually wasn’t going to, then, spent the whole of that evening texting me with how much he missed me/likes me/wants to be with me. Lame.
The Facebook Flirt: Those who flirt relentlessly with others over Facebook (posting suggestive messages on walls; hinting at plans to ‘catch up’; signing off with winks and kisses) and the like, to keep their love interest ‘on their toes’. Firstly – very obvious, and secondly – yawn.
The Fisherpeople: This species constantly tries to ‘bait’ their love interests for reactions. For example, they will blatantly perve on others; flirt with wait staff and their partner’s friends, and/or will mention a “very attractive person they saw today” in general conversation. (Hint: When it’s obvious you’re attention seeking, you’re not doing a very good job.)
Mr/Miss Delay: Those who sit around and wait 3 hours plus to respond to a text message/call to make it look like they’re super busy/unavailable/just-having-so-much-fun-and-aren’t-even-thinking-about-you. Um, really? Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a conversation with the person you like, rather than counting down the minutes?
To me, ALL of these types are comparable to those boys back in primary school (Michael – you) who relentlessly teased the girls they liked, to show them that they liked them. Stupid; because the message is delivered in a convoluted and hurtful way, whilst delaying the possibility of love. Ball-up people!
Yes, putting your feelings out there significantly increases your vulnerability. I get that. But if the recipient shoots you down in flames, then they do (and if they do it meanly you know you’ve ridden yourself of a jerk). And then you hurt and ‘ugly cry’ for a bit. And then you eat tonnes of ice-cream (anything with caramel and chocolate usually works). And then you watch a lot of Pride and Prejudice (well Colin Firth, let’s be honest). And then you get out of your 12-day-old pyjamas. And then you move on. And then you find someone who appreciates your love (hopefully someone like Colin Firth). And then you’re happy. (‘You’ in this paragraph may or may not be ‘Rebecca McGuire’).
Because I clearly like to talk about myself, a lot, I’ll share with you this personal anecdote to support my argument for not playing games. For taking risks. Straight after my first date with now-Boyfriend, he messaged me to say “thank you”, and I messaged back to say same. No delay. And, we texted the next day too (we’re Gen Y, texting is what we do). None of that 3 day rubbish. Now, we’ve progressed, and the L-bomb (I love you) has been dropped. Sometimes, we even say it in French. Because we’re just so creative.
‘Life’s too short’ is a cliché oft-bandied around, but that’s because it’s true. We are not here forever. Be open; leave the games on the field.
Do you know any of these people? Played any of these games yourself?