The phone rings it’s my good friend Robert. Me- “Whats up Rob!” Rob- “Maaan bro, Im through! Im done! I’m never dating again. F*#k this shit” Me – “why what happened?” Rob – “Saturday, me, my brother and some friends went to Xen lounge in Pasadena for his birthday and guess who I see. Angie!, and some dude alone at a booth. I was like WTF! I couldn’t believe it.” Me – “Whaa!, What did you do?” Rob – “I just flashed her look and walked away. She calls me the next day and says she has something to tell me. I’m like save it girl. She goes, you don’t understand, the guy you saw me with is Brian, my ex, He’s back from his tour, we’re getting back together, I still love him. I was floored, in 3 months she hasn’t mentioned him once. And all of a sudden this! Everything was going so good. They’re all liars’ man, I don’t trust anyone anymore.” Me – “Yea I know bro, it’s a cold game.”
Scenes like this one are a daily occurrence. Visit any coffee house or cocktail lounge and you can overhear two discontented women discussing their boyfriend’s latest indiscretions. The culture of courting between men and women is evolving to nothing more than a manipulative mating power struggle with aspirations of procurement, convenience, and indulgence over communion and love. Bringing me to the cliché that rings profoundly in my head, “All’s fair in Love and war.” Hmm. What I ponder is; Can The Dating Game be fixed? Or are we just bound to accept things the way they are?
Fact, Dating is a game. Like it or not. Listen in; “Being too eager is a turn off! Not acting interested is sometimes the best way to spark interest.” –Serena Kang, socialite, Facebook post. “Unfortunately this is true. What sucks is if you actually are into the person but you have to play “the game” and act all standoffish. Dumb. Should just be able to keep it real!” –Amber Phillips, actress Facebook response to post. For whatever reason we are wired that way. If something comes too easily we assume it must have low value. Our interest needs to be sparked, sex appeal stimulated, our spirit engaged. And this is what a measure of “The Game” accomplishes. It’s simple human nature. But, somewhere along the way it went too far and sincerity became the opponent.
The genius mind, Albert Einstein was once quoted saying, “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Granted he wasn’t referring to keeping company but think about it, every game has rules right? Learn the rules then you can play. Wherein lays the issue. There are no rules in dating anymore. Very few follow some. The same as not having any. In countless conversations with singles, male and female, I hear the same dating predicaments over and over.
Admittedly, dating and relationship hurdles are nothing new. You can see it in literature and music going centuries back. From Shakepeare, to Ella Fitzgerald, to the Rat Pack. They entertained with lyrics about the same courtship quandaries we deal with now. But it’s our modern approach and handling of these dilemma’s that has snowballed everything. Here’s lyrics from a popular R&B song describing the condition of young love these days “We live in a generation of, not being in love, and not being together But we sure make it feel like we’re together Because we’re scared to see each other with somebody else” – Drake, ‘Doing It Wrong’
A very candid and honest assessment if you ask me. That’s why not rushing in is still a smart move. “Taking it slow lets it unravel and keeps it fluid” –RJC. For the most part people are swept up into an ideology; approaching dating and their relationships like the bad business model that is so prevalent. The win/lose paradigm. If someone is winning then someone’s got to be losing. It’s a mentality of scarcity and greed. Bump that! When two people are inspired to collaborate life journeys, the joy is in finding ways to make it mutually beneficial. If you’re compatible that should be easy to do. I’ve seen lots of people enter the dating realm treating the opposite gender as the enemy. Swords drawn, doomed from the onset.
“I feel like if a guy thinks he’s playing me, he’s not playing me, he’s playing himself, cus I’m a keeper.” -Sheila, bachelorette. Play win/win. Think with a win/win mentality. It’s more work because it involves taking our big fat ego out of the equation! Our ego doesn’t get so greedily stroked, like it often begs to be. With our big fat ego out of the way, we see a lot clearer and receive a much deeper fulfillment. It’s easy to get caught up in the fast lane whirlwind and lose your footing. The glitz and glamour of the big city is enticing. Recall the smart advice your folks gave you, everything that glitters isn’t gold. Beware, that scene is infested with the most charismatic snakes and opportunists. Know what you are looking for and know it when you meet it, not just by looks and words, but more importantly by acts. Some find reassurance in the wisdom of mentors and seasoned veterans. In any case, stand up for yourself and your values regardless of which way your support group of friends sway. First and foremost find Yourself! Find your own sense of identity and hold to it. Discover what integrity feels like within you. Being your own man/woman is way more sexy anyway sense a lot people are just clones, dying to fit in. Always remember one thing, not anyone could ever beat you at doing you!
“I was given this world I didn’t make it”, some excuse playing shady as the only way to give themselves a fighting chance, a leg up? Well hey. A word to the wise, whatever course of action you choose, Karma is real, and whatever goes around, comes right back around. That’s universal law. It’s a sad thing to see a good person gone bad. Another member joins the Broken-hearts club. Once bitten twice shy. Carrying around the burden of hate and resentment is rottenness to the bones. Doing that is only going to affect your own happiness not anyone else, it’s “like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” But that’s your prerogative! To love who you wanna love! Some people date to find a trophy mate, some date to find a mate with resources. It’s also in your best interest to understand the inherent challenges that come with your particular style of preference. Sometimes we learn that which we are very attracted to is not so good for us compatibility-wise, turning us into something we are not. “Don’t be a hard rock, when you really are a gem” –Lauryn Hill. There’s nothing more frustrating than repeating the same mistakes.
From my experience, people who consider themselves of real value, don’t play a lot of juvenile games, nor do they give time and energy to something that is not reciprocating it. Their mentality is, meet me halfway. I find that admirable. It’s exhibiting simply that if I bring my effort, you bring your effort. “If you want to be trusted, be honest. If you want to be honest, be true. If you want be true, be yourself.” If your dating strategies are beginning to resemble all the trickery of a championship chess match, you’re doing too much. If dating is breaking you down making you bitter, causing you to lose focus of your priorities, take a break from it. “We want what we want right at the moment we figure out that we want it. We are willingly giving up one of the most important things in life: the waiting period. Having to wait and having to deal with our urges and wants without instantly having them satisfied is what builds character and is what we are now lacking in this fast-paced age.“ Paul Hudson- ‘Why Men Aren’t Really Men Anymore’
I’m a firm believer in timing. A better you will attract a better partner. Be the kind of partner that you’d want. “I’m learning trust is a two-way street. You can’t expect someone to trust you, when you don’t trust them.” -Crystal Orsini, debutante actress. Be honest with yourself and be up front with your prospects. If you lose you lose. I say take it on the chin. I’ve seen individual’s become caught in a pattern of taking steps designed to protect themselves, eventually forming a paradigm that entraps them into their own sub par level of game. Never materializing the results they really seek. “Hate is not the first enemy of love. Fear is. It destroys your ability to trust.” –Jewel Santini, model/actress.
To minimize the roller coaster of dating we have to make sure “we are not getting in our own way”. For example if bad boys, bad girls happen to be your personal preference, don’t be surprised to find out you did not tame your beloved rebel when they start to demonstrate their restless antics. Finding a mate is a balancing act between heart and mind, or should I say desire and reason.
In years of watching relationship dynamics there have only been a handful of couples that I have admired and inspired me. They all had 1 thing in common. They were partners. There was energy of friendship and respect in their relationship. No, they didn’t possess parallel personalities; no they weren’t connected at the hip. It was their comparable perspective and philosophy on life that grounded them. They understood they were both on the same team. They were each other’s #1 Fan. No underhanded tricks, just common courtesies and a solid pact.
I do agree with author Steve Harvey on an aspect, “Don’t hate the player, Change the game!” –Steve Harvey. “The Game” which turns weak people into liars is here to stay. You can’t change or control what the herd does. But you can change your own microcosm world of the game. Do not fear the game, or think you need to avoid any level of risk whatsoever. Living is how you learn, mistakes is how you grow. Just know you don’t have to become a victim or casualty of the game becoming jaded forever. Conducting yourself with confidence and self-respect is all the protection you need. Make it “work” for you. Change how it entreats you, how it affects you, How it immerses you. A personally tailored version just for you. “Respect the game and the game will respect you back.” Maintain your good resolve, character and eventually you will be rewarded.
What are your major concerns about the dating game. Let’s chop it up!
Doo Wop (That Thing)- Lauryn Hill
Maybe I deserve – Tank
Doing Too Much- Paula Deanda
Just like me – Jamie Foxx
When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole
On the run (part II) – Jay Z ft. Beyonce