Quit Playing Games with My Heart

So I went on a date the other day…a second date, to be exact…and we were sitting on the patio at Benvenuti’s. (10 points to my date, who we’ll call “Hunter,” for choosing one of Norman’s most fabulous restaurants.)   Conversation was flowing freely, as was the wine, and we were laughing and having one of those great second dates where everything you say to each other just seems to click.

But something was bugging me.  After our first date, which was about 5 days before date number 2, I left Starbucks feeling like I’d just met someone who I really wanted to get to know.  And I assumed he felt the same way, so I went home with that giggly, moronic feeling of utopia that always comes after coffee with a cute boy.

And I waited expectantly to hear from him again.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And granted, by “waited and waited” I mean I waited until the next day and then became perturbed, but in this age of texting, Facebook and phone calls (because apparently those still exist), the three day rule has become the three hour rule…and Hunter had broken it.

Obviously I did hear from him again (at precisely 7pm the next night), and thus we proceeded to date 2.

But as I picked at my plate of pesto ravioli, I became increasingly curious as to why this smart, nice guy, who seemed quite mature and therefore above dating games, would engage me in a round of Hard to Get.

So I asked him.

“Why didn’t you text me sooner?” I asked.  (I blame my total lack of tact on the sauvignon blanc.)

Hunter paused, and looked at me inquisitively.  “Hmm?”  He said, seemingly amused by my brazen approach.

“Why did you wait so long to text me after our first date?  You waited a really long time.”

Hunter shook his head and smiled.  “So you don’t like games?”  He said calmly.




“Yeah…okay,” he said, and took a very slow and intentional sip of his wine.

“What?  I don’t like games!”  I could tell by Hunter’s tone that he didn’t believe me, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s being thought a liar.

“Okay, I got it.  But are you sure you’re not one of those girls who says she doesn’t like games, but then gets mad when she doesn’t get to play them?”

And though I assured him that I was not one of those girls…that I was too old, too tired, too cynical to endure the charades…what he said got me thinking.

How many of us think we hate the games, but don’t know how to date without them?

Case and point.

I recently dated a guy who I really, really liked.  Therefore, every time he texted me I waited at least 20 minutes before texting him back.

Before that I dated a guy who messaged me a lot on Facebook.  I really liked him too, so each time I heard from him I’d wait twice as long to respond as it took him to respond to me.

And before that I liked this guy who loved to talk politics.  And regardless of the fact that I have no interest in or understanding of the subject, I played like a politico so that he’d want to go out with me.

So even though I really wanted to scoff at Hunter’s skepticism, I had to admit he made a good point.  People these days are trained to play games.  We act coy when we want to flirt, we don’t call when we’d really like to, we say we’re busy when we’re home alone with a tub of Rocky Road, and we tell people we love Sting even though we can’t name a single one of his songs.

And after 10 years of these shenanigans, I’m beginning to wonder:  what are we lying for?

Perhaps it’s time for us to stop the madness.  Maybe instead of trying to say and do and be what makes us look best, we should let down our guards and just be ourselves.  Bite the bullet.  Try honesty on for size.

I can’t say for certain whether this approach works, because Hunter and I are only on date number 4.  But I can tell you this:  I don’t regret a single thing I’ve said or done around the guy.  I don’t feel like I misplayed this or that, and I don’t question whether I should’ve texted him first or called him so soon or smiled so much when he held my hand.  I’m just being what I am- neurotic, impatient, and overly cynical for someone my age.  And though I don’t know if Hunter appreciates my new take on dating, I’m enjoying every second of it.

Because when you’re not playing games, you can’t feel like you’re losing.

Much love.

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No Comments on "Quit Playing Games with My Heart"

  1. Cassafrass
    05/10/2009 at 8:07 am Permalink

    “Maybe instead of trying to say and do and be what makes us look best, we should let down our guards and just be ourselves. Bite the bullet. Try honesty on for size.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Keep fighten’ the good fight, Abigail. We will not sacrifice our integrity for anyone.

  2. Marisa
    05/10/2009 at 10:48 am Permalink

    Nice blog. Games are for “playas” and chodes that can’t go an hour without WOW.

    I also say this as a girl who hates games, but has played them in the past.

  3. Cheryl
    05/10/2009 at 11:44 am Permalink

    It is a nice blog in theory. However I have been married 25 years and games are necessary. Some of them are instinctive. The purpose of dating, in its most primitive term, is to mate. Through out the animal kingdom their are mating rituals, GAMES, played between the sexes. Games do not have to be destructive, but they have to be exciting. If you know everything about a person, that person becomes boring. Everyone likes scary movies because it gets your heart pumping, board games, puzzles, video games, are popular because it keeps your mind guessing. Mario was a really great game, does anyone play it any more, NO because you learned everything there was to know and conquered every realm several times and now it is boring. There must be from time to time some element of surprise, just when I think I have my husband figured out, surprise, he will do something completely out of character and change before my eyes. Most of the time its good, not always, but its never boring. So join the “game of life”. You can not know happiness and fulfillment if you don’t know sadness and disappointment.

  4. Sunshine
    05/10/2009 at 11:45 am Permalink

    Such refreshing honesty! Love your writing style, too!

  5. Janelle Warlick
    05/10/2009 at 2:47 pm Permalink

    2 things:

    1. Honesty is the best policy….but (u knew there had to b one), craftiness I believe is still necessary or rather an essence of playfulness. I think that’s what they want. You don’t want to be too ez (that’s why u wait however long before u contact them back), so the playfulness again is vital. It’s the thrill of the chase. 2. I really like the last sentence of this post!

  6. Andrew DeClue
    06/10/2009 at 1:39 am Permalink

    Abby.. I really enjoyed reading that… good work =)

  7. cassie
    07/10/2009 at 8:42 am Permalink

    In my opinion, playfulness and “games” are TOTALLY different. =)

  8. Dani
    07/10/2009 at 9:02 am Permalink

    When all is said and done, all we have is our TRUTH. Our truth is who we are…if we feel the need to hide that from anyone at all, then we are not happy with ourselves and therefor cannot attain happiness by joining our life with another human…who most likely does not admit their truth either! Misery ensues. For all. Be honest with yourself and then don’t hide the truths you find from those whom you wish to get to know…otherwise, you’re not getting to know anyone, really. Take all those lies you would hold in and write a great novel with them 🙂 lol

  9. BB3
    07/10/2009 at 11:44 am Permalink

    Cheryl…..seriously? Are you currently having an affair? Good lord. I’ve only been married for about a year and a half now and I know pretty much everything there is to know about my wife. I’ve known her for more than 10 years, 8 or 9, spent as friends. There isn’t anything wrong with knowing everything. Trust me…our relationship isn’t boring. Maybe YOU’RE boring. Anyways…..my favorite line of that blog was, “Because when you’re not playing games, you can’t feel like you’re losing.” Abigail….that’s a great way of looking at it. Perhaps everyone should go watch Hitch.

  10. Cheryl
    07/10/2009 at 11:19 pm Permalink

    I find it interesting that you felt the need to atack me, especially since you have only been married a little over 1 year. Your own words state you know “pretty much” everything. The part that bothers me most, is the comment about having an affair. I assume I am much older than you, so I will tell you that I have found thru my years that nearly 99% of the time the “guilty cry the loudest”. No one was talking about affairs that would fall under destructive. If you feel the need to bring it up, maybe you should look at the circumstances in your life. I sincerly hope you are in the 1% and were simply looking for attention with that attack.

  11. BB3
    08/10/2009 at 9:23 am Permalink

    I apologize for the extreme accusation. It was all in jest. Sincerest apologies, though.
    But, I believe men and women have very, very different views and definitions of what games and playfulness are. That’s what gets us all in trouble. I hate games.
    …..And I don’t see myself making much of an argument…most of the people commenting on this blog are ladies! So….agree to disagree….

  12. Clare
    08/10/2009 at 9:40 am Permalink

    Well, I’m just going to throw this out there…but I’m pretty sure that some misinterpreted Abigail’s blog. I have no idea how that’s possible, but..ahem..apparently it is.

    Look, she’s not saying to get rid of the spontaneity in a relationship. Spontaneity is how the mystery in a relationship keeps going when you’ve been able to get to know the person really well.
    What she is saying is, don’t say you love musicals when you really don’t. Or don’t act like you know everything about sports when you don’t really care all that much.
    Those initial “games” when you’re trying so hard to get your new dating partner to like you. to REALLY like you…and you may strrrrretch the truth just a liiiiittle bit.
    You’re avoiding those later confession conversations when you get to say, “Yeahhh, I tend to get insanely bored around the 6th inning….”
    Or..”I’m more of a John Mayer fan and not so much Disturbed…”
    Avoid the games…not the spontaneity.

  13. Michael Bruce
    08/10/2009 at 9:56 pm Permalink

    Ahhh Abby,
    You always make me chuckle. Are you sure you’re not 45? Speaking of Sting, you should probably listen to It’s Probably Me from the album Ten Summoner’s Tales. It’s apropos.

  14. Christi Mitchell
    09/10/2009 at 9:27 am Permalink

    Abby, reading your blogs makes me miss you. Good work.

  15. Lyndsey
    10/10/2009 at 5:07 pm Permalink

    Brava! Well done…and well said…
    I was once on date #3 with a guy who was quite drunk and proceeds to say…”I think you are playing a game with me.”…and I said “No, I can assure you, I am too old to play games and I actually hate them because it is no fun when someone plays them with me.”
    He said, “Well, who ever said that all games are bad?” “I mean, not all games are to win or lose, and I am not implying that this is a bad thing, I just really think that you are playing some sort of game with me, I just don’t really know what kind.”
    At this point I realized that he was never, ever going to make sense and that the words coming out of his mouth were always going to sound bananas to me!….So I went ahead and forfeited the “game” and dropped him like it was hot: )
    Yep. Some of these silly boys just don’t need to talk….ever.

  16. tam
    14/10/2009 at 3:34 pm Permalink

    I agree with Cheryl, you will never know everything about your Spouse. Everyone changes as they grow older, but relationships are a work in progress, and you will do things you don’t like and so will they.

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