Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Games People Play

Last night was the fourth and last night of Dating Bootcamp for me and Lostplum.   We’ve had a lot of fun over the last four weeks, sometimes at our hosts’ expense. Serves them right – they invited ME to an event where they were trying to sell the idea of waiting 90 days before having sex with a new guy.

Last night’s theme was built around the premise that you’ve met someone you like and are going out on a date with him.  So kind of, “How to Not Screw Up A 1st Date.”  Some of the advice was helpful enough, “don’t mention therapy” but other things just seemed weird to me, “don’t order sushi”.

The one big thing that I took issue with was their advice in regards to communications with guys.  According to their rules a women should pretty much never call or text a guy, unless it’s to return his call or text, during the first couple of months of a relationship.  They call this man management.  They feel that initiating communication is showing yourself to be too eager and therefore giving up control.

I really don’t like this.  Really.  It just sounds like old-fashioned playing to me.  Girls don’t call boys.  Boys need to be the ones who do the chasing.  Ugh.

But maybe old-fashioned game playing is what works?

What do you think?  Do you think women should call guys during those first couple of months?

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  • No. Men should be allowed to do the chasing. It makes guys happy. (27 votes)
  • Are you kidding? If a woman wants to call she should pick up the phone and call. Or text. Whatever. Rules are stupid. (103 votes)
  • No opinion (6 votes)

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22 to “Games People Play”

  1. Momma Sunshine says:

    I’ve never been into the whole “game playing” thing. If I’m interested in someone, I let them know. I mean, I try to keep myself in check and not come on too strong, but that has nothing to do with being a woman – I would expect any guy I was dating to not smother ME, either….

  2. PiscesInPurple says:

    I think that perhaps you shouldn’t call or text a guy constantly. But never initiate? That’s just stupid. Any guy who would be turned off by hearing from me is a guy I wouldn’t want to waste my time with.

  3. Tokyo Cowgirl says:

    While I agree with your reasoning I have to admit that I wholeheartedly agree with the people’s suggestion at DBC. In my prior experience I have had better success when I’m playing hard to get, when I’m too accessible men just aren’t as interested. So yeah, I will almost never call unless the guy has called me first. It’s old fashioned and antiquated (not to mention really stupid) but it also works almost 100% of the time – at least for me.

  4. starangel82 says:

    Should a woman call or text a guy during the first few months of dating? Sure. There isn’t a thing in the world wrong with it. I usually text a guy the next day after the first date just to let him know I had a good time (if I had a good time, that is). I’ve never had a guy tell me it was stupid or not ask me out again for it.

    Calling or texting obsessively? That’s a turn off. Even if a guy is the one doing the obessive calling/texting.

  5. alfabeta says:

    I am happy for you that you are done with DBC. The 90 day rule alone showed me this was a big load of crap. A girl I am dating told me about a book that she read that mentioned the 90 day rule – we were laughing about it on our first date and had sex after the 3rd, which was within 2 weeks.

    The rule that girls shouldn’t call guys is very old-fashioned. Especially for New York I guess. Everybody calls everybody here and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

    I agree with the “don’t mention therapy” recommendation, you just don’t want to scare off your date even that basically everyone is in therapy anyone.

    But why can’t I order sushi?

  6. wwfchic says:

    I voted on the “no” and just from personal experience – I’m always an “all-in” type of girl and feel like I give too much too fast. So – I try and not initiate calls if at all possible to hold myself back from being “that girl” that is always calling, etc… I know there’s a balance and I’m trying to get to that balanced point. If the relationship was going well and we were dating exclusively – then I’d start calling but in the casual phase – I try and respond rather than initiate.

  7. Hammer86 says:

    I totally appreciate it when a woman shows initiative in the interaction and it definitely prioritizes her up in my list, but in my experience nearly every girl pretty much has a don’t contact him until he contacts you rule, I’ve sort of just accepted it rather than stressing over it. When it comes down to it though, game playing can only hurt a woman’s chances with me and never improves them.

  8. OpinionatedGift says:

    Game playing bad. Moderation and thoughtfulness good.

    As I recall, the women who wrote “The Rules” are both divorced. Avoid dogmatic approaches to anything in life.

  9. Amy S says:

    No way! If I don’t call or text you — it means I do not like you. End of story.

  10. Cute~Ella says:

    What? They’re really saying this crap? Guys like a little enthusiasm and interest…at least the guys I know.

  11. Jennifer-from-NY says:

    I think things like the 90 day rule and not calling/texting are based on one principle: that the woman will care more and become invested and the guy will not. If you have sex right away than if that’s all he wants then there’s no reason to keep dating. Then the woman (who got her hopes up cause sex=love, right?) will be all sad and confused. Same with the texts. If she pursues then she doesn’t know if he’s just answering cause it’s easy or if he cares about her/dating her.
    So it’s basically a test: if he likes her he will text and not mind waiting/keep dating her. Another part is that she’ll get to know if she really likes him or just sees him as the last savior from the deep chasm that is loneliness.

    I’m not sure if you can tell but I don’t follow these 😉
    I mean, I get where it’s coming from. I’m totally the easily attached type. And I tend to overlook things if I get physical with a guy (if he’s good that is). But I also think rules are an excuse for not following instincts and for being afraid of trying. If there are rules and I do them and he doesn’t like me than there’s something wrong with him and not me, is the philosophy.
    Sorry ladies, life is one big improv show. At least that’s how I see it. I would much rather try and fail on my own terms than someone else’s. But I get fear. I get that people will want to avoid it and quash it and seduce it with shaman’s tricks. I just also think that the risks are worth it.

    Eh, sorry for the long rambly response.

  12. Veka says:

    Although I voted: “Are you kidding? If a woman wants to call she should pick up the phone and call. Or text. Whatever. Rules are stupid,” I have always been kind of shy about initiating conversation. I guess it’s a complex of mine. I feel like, “If the guy wants to talk to me, he will contact me.” I don’t want to seem annoying or whatever. Maybe you want to call it seeming eager? But whenever I say that to a guy, that I don’t want to be annoying, they’re like, “It’s not being annoying, I want to hear from you.” So there you have it. I’ve thrown out my preconceived notions lately and have been trying to abide by the latter. If I want to talk to someone, I’ll text them. If they don’t want to talk to me they’ll ignore it.

  13. onedatewonder says:

    I don’t know that I’d wait a whole month or anything, but honestly? In the beginning in my experience it’s better to let a man lead. Most men have faster triggers when it comes someone being “too needy” or “clingy” or whatever than a woman will. Plus, whether I like this or not, most men do prefer to chase a bit.

    A month though? Is a wee bit excessive.

    Also, I think that even if a woman is attempting a more laid back, let him contact me approach, that she still has to express interest, be enthusiastic, and make it clear that she wants to hear from the guy again. Otherwise she’s just freezing him out and he WILL go away. As would anyone.

  14. sfsingleguy says:

    I only follow one rule. If I have only gone on one date with a girl, and contact her after that and don’t hear back, that’s it. I don’t call again.

    Yes, there’s a chance her voicemail was accidentally erased, or a crocodile ate her phone, but I’m willing to accept that risk.

  15. sfsingleguy says:

    Actually, I have broken that rule on rare occasions, but always under the guise of an ulterior motive. I used LinkedIn to connect with a girl I went out on a date with, but never heard back from her. She accepted my connection today after a week (we went out 2 months ago), and asked how I was doing. I wrote back, and asked how she was doing. The ball is in her court now.

  16. Simone Grant says:

    You guys (and gals) are awesome.
    Alright, first, welcome to the blog Amy S. I’m glad you joined the conversation.
    I’m not going to try to respond to what everyone said. It’s just of those ‘things’. Everyone kind of acknowledges that these games exist and some people play them. And the people who play them claim they work. But many of us don’t play them and have no interest in getting in the game. I don’t think there’s a right and wrong. More like different types of people choosing to live our lives in different ways.

    Oh and alfabeta,
    They said the sushi rice and seaweed would stick in your teeth (BS and I’ve gone on dozens of sushi dates, never an issue).

  17. MindyMom says:

    I don’t follow any rules or play any games. If a guy took me out for a date and I enjoyed myself and I liked him, I will usually call or send an email and thank him and let him know that I enjoyed myself. I believe in being direct and I know guys appreciate not having to guess whether or not I’m interested. I do tend to take a traditional role when dating, i.e.; the guy asks me out, he pays, etc. I figure I’m paying for a sitter so he can pay for a dinner or drinks, plus I just can’t respect a guy who wants to go dutch. But that’s jsut me. I WILL however, reciprocate with a home cooked meal or bringing him coffee or something.

  18. aguy says:

    I have nothing against girls initiating contact, but double-texting and such is indeed a turnoff. E.g., calling, texting or emailing a second time when I haven’t gotten around to answering the first text/call/email etc. Especially if I haven’t even had 24 hours to answer the first one. Like sometimes I am just busy and not ignoring you. But I also abide by sfsingleguy’s rule, too.

  19. NoBSWoman says:

    Seems to me after reading some of the guys’ perspective posts that some guys are playing by some of the same “hang back” rules. And how do all of these “wait to be chased” rules work with shy guys? Do they tip the tables in favor of aggressive types?

  20. sfsingleguy says:

    @NoBSWoman – I don’t think of it necessarily as “hang back”, more of not wasting my time chasing after girls who aren’t interested.

    Haven’t chased after many women who just weren’t into me, I’ve learned the hard way that if a girl doesn’t respond after one attempts, continued attempts are probably a waste of time. I will make a second attempt in rare situations, but my experience has told me that those second attempts always end up verifying that she wasn’t interested.

  21. Simone Grant says:

    Welcome to the blog. As to your point about these games tipping things in favor of more aggressive guys – YES, I think it does. And I also think it tips things in favor of other game players.

  22. grad student says:

    Here I go again, hitting an old post. This 90 day rule, the no calling, and other things… I think I heard ‘be mean to keep him keen’ before. Look, if you have to play all this crap,then you aren’t getting the real person anyway.
    If you want to call the guy, call him. He will call you if he wants as well. But, if we are in the beginning of a relationship and you NEVER call me… well, you aren’t that into me. Bye.
    And, if these are the games, then some will exploit the game. They will act as you expect, per the rules, get what they want and then move on. Just be real and honest.
    Honest to a point: on first dates, don’t talk about therapy, failed marriages (at least, not details), etc etc.