The concept of conquest is not one at all foreign in the world of dating.
“He just likes the chase”, “play hard to get” and even the “three day rule” are all pieces of dialogue that actively reinforce this culture of quest or attainment.
Never in dating have I really played by the rules. To be frank, I’ve never had to. It’s not because I think i’m some Blake Lively looking goddess (because I definitely more consider myself a petite Kate Upton), or some coyly charming Jennifer Lawrence, but I’ve never really needed to follow tactics, or calculate any moves. Never have I met a guy that’s waited three days to text me, or was turned off when I called the next day.
Perhaps it’s because of the genuinely uncontrived way that I typically approach hookups and dating. Because I’m so straightforward and ~cool~ about it… I haven’t really yet been faced with the age old “don’t text him back yet”, or “definitely don’t stay for breakfast”. I think it’s important to be honest, above all else.
If you’re about it, you’re about it. And if you’re not, you’re not.
But there’s a reason that approach isn’t the one in girl-to-girl guidebooks.
Just as we know men like the chase, that they love-above all else- the attainment of the unattainable girl, we also know they love their egos stroked.
But just how much stroking becomes too much? How much security should be given before what was once subtle encouragement becomes the ego-feeding recipe for disaster?
Recently I was “spending time” with a guy who may or may be the catalyst to this conversation I’m rather unsuccessfully having with myself right now.
A situation that started with him telling me outright that he thought I was out of his league and that I wouldn’t hit him up again in the future, progressed, somehow, to him not texting me back after practically kicking me out the morning after, all in only 6 weeks work.
So how did we get there? From point A to point B?
Because he appeared to have a brain in his head, and was clearly into me, at least initially, I didn’t play any games. There was no strategic neglect or purposeful avoidance. I wasn’t overly available but if he asked me to get a drink, sure, I’d shave my legs and head over. Our conversation and banter was extremely quick and clever. In addition, I’d rate our time not having conversation pretty highly too.
But somewhere in between me being the crazy blonde he thought he’d never go home with, and me being the calmer, more sober girl waking up in his tee-shirts on Sunday mornings, something integral was lost.
Was it the chase? The novelty? It was definitely some combination of the two. So though I’ve always had success being straightforward with my behavior and intentions, I’m now starting to question my modern, no-holds-barred approach.
So how do we keep interest from being lost? In my attempts to show him I was interested after a few weeks of being a stone-cold bitch, I became over-complimentary. Perhaps it was compensation for my hardly lovey-dovey disposition. Perhaps it was a genuine crush. Whatever it was, the balance was thrown off and we had lost the equilibrium between our disinterest and our reciprocally apparent interest.
Take this for what it’s worth, which is not much considering it’s probably the most vague and stream of consciousness piece I’ve done in a while… but maybe next time I’ll spend less time letting down my guard and more time letting down my hair.