Our society loves to play games. Whether it’s Lobo basketball, beer pong or Disney Scene-It, everyone loves to play a game. And if there is one thing we love more than playing games, it’s winning them.
For example, in just a few days we will watch the most anticipated game of the year — the Super Bowl.
But do games have a place in relationships?
“This guy just sent me another nothing text. Should I respond?” Collette asked me last week.
She was referring to an attractive guy she had just matched with on Tinder.
“Yesterday he was so excited to be texting and he invited me out to dinner, and then today he sends nothing texts so I just stopped responding,” Collette continued.
Dating has become nothing but one big version of the Super Bowl. Instead of a sporting event however, we have small challenges that test whether or not someone is right for us.
To name a few, these include, but are not limited to: delaying texting responses, sending nothing texts, ignoring the other person, purposely posting pictures on social media to make someone jealous and testing the limits of intimacy on dates.
I, like Collette, usually just stop talking to boys who send “nothing texts.” A nothing text is a message that does not continue the conversation. Some of the most common include:
Why do men send these messages? Can they be considered a foul? If texting has become such a game, who is the referee to call-out fouls like these?
“It’s like they are little tests,” I told Maggie one night in her bed. “I think he sent this to see how much I like him. If I respond, then he is in the position of control because he knows that I want to keep talking to him. But if I don’t respond, then I’m alone and he might not talk to me anymore.”
And why do we feel the need to play these games? Because everyone does.
“I’m a grown-ass woman. I refuse to play these games with boys!” Collette said. “Maybe that’s why I’m an unsuccessful dater — I don’t play the games correctly. I don’t like the rules.”
It was interesting that Collette was having that problem this week because I was experiencing something quite different with my Tinder matches.
I woke up to a notification that I had not only matched with someone on Tinder, but they had also messaged me first. Side note: there is literally nothing better than seeing that on your phone.
The message said, “Josh, I have a confession to make. You are my very first Tinder match!”
After I proudly pointed out that I took his Tinder virginity, the guy continued with more questions about my life. The conversation flowed back and forth with instant responses and even explanations for messages that were not sent until later.
Then my Tinder match said that he really liked talking to me and kindly requested my phone number so that we could text instead. He continued to compliment me and keep a healthy conversation.
“I just don’t even know how to handle this,” I said to my friends the next day before class. “I have never texted someone who is so upfront and honest about his thoughts and feelings. I am so used to guys who play “hard to get” by ignoring messages or responding back after days. What am I supposed to do?”
“It is so refreshing to talk to someone who is that honest,” Ashley said. “Chase was immediately a great texter and he would say nice things to me all the time. He would even apologize the next day if he fell asleep while we were texting.”
When we were young, we were told that honesty is the best policy. So at what point in our life did we decide that this rule no longer applied to love?
“The whole point of a relationship is for two people to come together and share their lives,” Ashley continued. “If they can’t be honest from the beginning, then there is no point.”
It seems that there came a time when we decided that we would rather wait for a guy to text us before we would text them. Or we would send them a nothing response to see how badly they wanted to keep talking with us.
“It gets even weirder,” I said to my friends. “I matched with another guy on Tinder and this was his first message to me: ‘Hey Josh. How are you doing? I must say that I think you are extremely attractive. I hope I can get to find out more about your personality.’”
In all of my years of dating, I have never seen someone lay out all of their honest feelings in a first message to someone.
And the most amazing part about this honesty that guys share with me — I love it! I return their honesty with my own and we have a great time communicating with one another and going out on dates together. I have even kept a flirtationship with one guy for two weeks now, which has to be some kind of record.
There are no games and there is no stress. I have finally met other men who have depth and are looking for a meaningful relationship without games. And texting them is one of the best feelings I have had in a long time.
“We could start a dating revolution,” I said to my friends. “What if the next time we match with someone that we like, we send them a message right away and tell them something funny? And then once we talk to them, why don’t we tell them that we like them and would like to meet them? What if we just stopped stressing over our texting conversations and were only honest with people?”
I have never enjoyed Tinder or texting so much before. And the reason is because for the first time in forever (yes, please sing the song from Frozen) no games are being played.
We as a society love to play games. We love to watch them and we especially love to win them. But can we call a time-out from them in relationships? Can we instead be true to ourselves and be honest? Not only would it save time, but it could actually make us happier. Will dating always be about games, or is it possible to have our own Super Bowl of dating and #JustBeHonest?
Current Relationship Statuses:
Josh: “Frozen” Sing-a-long with Maggie for date night
Ashley: Getting serious with the leg press machine
Alice: Adapting to life without Bill
Collette: Too busy to play any games with boys
Aurora: In a passionate relationship with her Vitamix blender
Maggie: The cold never bothered her anyway