Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game


There was once a girl who thought I was cute. She initiated the contact, she initiated the conversations, and she started the chase. And then I thought, “man, this cat’s in the bag, I got this”. As it turned out, not only was she incredibly cute, she was an incredible conversationalist as well. She was super popular and coveted too, which sort of added to her attractiveness even though it was a completely extraneous factor. It’s strange how social environments and settings have such a profound on our emotions.

We started to have longer and more meaningful conversations, and suddenly I found myself way more into her than I originally expected. And then a dramatic shift in the balance of power, which is crucial in the realm of attraction, commenced.

I started yearning for her responses to my text messages. Every time my phone buzzed and it wasn’t her, I freaked out. If she didn’t respond for more than a few minutes I started getting really anxious and nervous, and every passing second without her reassurance that she was still into me made me extremely insecure. The more I felt this way, the more I started saying stupid insecure shit like “you’re still into me right?” and “we should hang out like, every day”. The cat in my bag now had my balls in her grips, and the ball was definitely now in her court.

After a few final dispirited conversations that merely dragged on what was inevitably doomed, we just stopped talking. It was as if the cat was done playing with the mouse that she had caught. She was tired of swatting at me, with a bored expression on her face, realizing that there was no longer any necessity to prolong the chase. I was won over and I was obtained. So she moved on.

On the surface I was fine but my ego was semi-shattered. For something that initially didn’t really matter, I sure cared about her a lot. I thought I had it. I thought it was a done deal. But attraction isn’t so simple. You can’t just assume it’s OK to throw yourself onto somebody just because she was the first one to admit that you might be cute. That’s just the beginning. There’s the whole chase, the back and forth feelings, the hotness and coldness, along with the intense intimacies coupled with distance and confusion. It’s a hot mess. At least some like it that way. Me? I didn’t know how to play the game.

So I continued my life and moved on as well, eventually forgetting her and her alluring ways.

Then I had a party at my place.

As the host of the party, it was my duty to work the crowd and move from group to group to make sure that everyone was having a good time. Take a shot here, mingle a little bit over there, and just make sure everybody was having a good time. Then she appeared.

By this time, I didn’t really care about her and I was far too busy to mind her presence. “Oh hey, it’s that unicorn from before. I’d love to talk to her but I really don’t have the time to start the process of getting my heart broken again right now considering someone’s throwing up in my sink”, I thought. So I barely talked to her that night.

The night was fun. We drank and we were merry. To tell you the truth I felt pretty cool because I was able to host a pretty cool party. I guess you could say I was a bit of a star for the night. As everybody were leaving and I was cleaning up the mess that everyone left, I noticed that a bunch of people were in my room trying to get a girl to go home with them. It was the unicorn. For some reason she didn’t want to leave, and kept telling everybody to just go ahead and go home. She was planning on staying over.

Stay over? Who said you could stay over?

What was I thinking? Of course she could stay over.

As she laid in my bed, I considered making a move, but I figured I should be a gentleman and just take care of her and make sure she wasn’t sick in the morning. I thought to myself: “here’s my chance again”, and set my alarm for 6 AM so that I could go to the grocery store to buy eggs, ham, bacon, cheese, and toast so that I could make her breakfast before she woke up.

I was tired as fuck but woke up on the dot to go get those things I needed to make her breakfast in bed after the party I held. I cooked and then I waited for her to wake up. She awoke and stumbled over to my dining table and looked at my homemade breakfast with a disappointed stare.

What? Isn’t this what you wanted? Girls like sweet guys right? How much sweeter could I have been? Did you fucking want ice cream for breakfast?

We both sat down, and I was dumbfounded, confused. She looked at me with a pitying sigh.

“Why did you do all this?” she asked.
“Isn’t this what you girls like?” I replied.
“It gets better and then you do something like this every time.” she sighed again.

What the fuck?

We didn’t rekindle our fires. We did not ignite old flames. I couldn’t understand what had happened that morning or that night prior and why she came and went like a wisp of smoke until many months later.

Most girls will say they want a sweet, nice, charming guy, and I tried to be that guy to my fullest thinking that that was the way to their hearts. Now I know not to believe what they say, but to react to what they feel instead.

In an ideal world, attraction is pure and lust is locked behind closed doors. No one is manipulated, and interest is not lost immediately when one party reciprocates too fast.

But in reality, the art of seduction is a subtle game of power and timing, stopping and going, intense affinity and sometimes despair. All is fair in love and war and in my life they have often been a game one and the same.

If you ever blame me for being too cold or not sweet enough, remember that I learned my lesson the hard way many years before. Don’t hate the player. Hate the game. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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