Game Over

By Rachel

There comes a point in your life when the chase and the games are just too much. Finding a companion shouldn’t be like walking through a labyrinth- weaving your way through facades, lies, mixed signals, and useless rules of engagement.

I’m almost 30, single, have one child, am a working professional, and soon to be graduate student. Do I seem like a person who has time for games or to entertain you while you decide if you want to date me or just roll around naked with me for a night followed by an awkward morning?

Look, guys (AND GIRLS! You are NOT off the hook here!). Relationships are hard. It is no big secret. They take a lot of work, patience, and compromise. But starting them off is tougher than the Olympic Trials and it shouldn’t be. Why do we put undue pressure on ourselves and stress for the sake of trying to find a person that we can enjoy sharing our time with?

We spend the first few dates acting fake, trying to impress the person next to us and to say and do all of the right things, giving them a false sense of who we are. In return, they do the same thing. After about ten dates, the real you starts to emerge. The imperfect being that you are rears its ugly  head and the cute, honeymoon period dissipates faster than it took you  to change your Facebook status to “In a Relationship.”

You told all of your friends how perfect this guy was and now all of his obnoxious tendencies surface: he constantly cracks his knuckles. He sings annoying song lyrics at random. He clears his throat like he just smoked a pack of Luckies every five minutes. He texts you “What’s up?” and then ignores you for three hours. He makes weird noises when he chews his food. He picks off of your plate. He talks in cliches during movies. “Oh, dude! That’s gonna leave a mark!” *Burying my head in my hands.*

So what do you do? Because at this point, it is likely that you subconsciously and tirelessly biting your lip, tapping your foot, fiddling with your necklace charm, crinkling your nose when you  are annoyed, and the fact that you snort when you laugh have not escaped his attention.

At this point you start mentally picking apart this person. What of these habits are deal breakers? What can you continue to live with? What about each trait is endearing or like nails on a chalkboard?

One thing that I have learned and done consistently for the past few years when entering a new relationship or a first date scenario is simply be myself. I don’t hide who I am. I’m not over the top crazy, but I don’t blow smoke up a person’s ass and rave about how great I am. If you want the chance and I wish to further pursue getting to know you, then I will reveal myself more and more  as we get to know one another, but only if you meet me half way.

I’m at the point in my life when I want you to know the real me and appreciate the real me. I don’t want to waste time and energy giving you a false sense of who I am and what I want and what I’m about and I’d appreciate men doing the same for me.

I don’t need flowers and poetry and unicorns. I just want some honesty and someone being straightforward. It shouldn’t be all this back and forth with the rules about how long you wait to text/call or using the DENNIS system. Why can’t a guy just say, “Hey.  I think you’re pretty cool and I’d like to get to know you better” and be done with it? Same with women. Just be up front and if the person isn’t into it, then move on. You just saved yourself nights laying awake, jumping every time your phone makes a sound wondering if it is him and now you have an opportunity to move on and find someone better, without the messy breakup and awkwardness.

The other horrible thing about dating and relationships in present day is social media. If I am seriously dating someone, chances are I won’t even change my FB status. You won’t really hear a whole lot about the guy. Social Media has made relationships harder than necessary since Myspace. Your business is EVERYWHERE!

Yes, I blog and Tweet a lot about my life. But when it comes to a boyfriend, I keep it tight. If we are fighting, I won’t do passive aggressive status updates. I won’t constantly throw in everyone’s face what love birds we are. It’s just too much. Relationships work much better when they are me and the person, not me, the person and 300 of our closest friends.

In addition, constantly trolling your beau’s page and getting frantic over every single female that “Likes” his status or talks to him is not my thing. You’re allowed to have female friends because news flash: most of my close friends are dudes. Get used to it. Insecurity is just as unattractive as dishonesty. As long as you have confidence  and trust, things work out much better.

If you can’t be yourself and want to play immature games, go waste someone else’s time.

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