The Dating Game

I’ve said this before, and I will keep saying it.  Dating is one big game with many players.  You need to use strategy, intelligence, trickery and bravery to win it.  But can you win?  Is it one of those games where no one comes out the winner but everyone comes out a loser?  I’m starting to wonder.  It seems that in the midst of the game playing, humanity is lost.  We sometimes forget that the players have emotions, baggage and agendas (us included).  Some play fair, and some don’t.  It is true that you have to be cunning and sometimes manipulative in order to get ahead, but at what cost?  You never win.  I have been playing this game for many years, both before and after my marriage.  Marriage is a different game altogether!  Didn’t end up a winner there either … hmm what am I doing incorrectly?  Is my strategy off?  Am I playing with the wrong set of rules?  Perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.  I don’t know.  Is it me?

I have been reflecting on the past year especially.  I’ve tried being nice with men, I’ve tried being a bitch with men, I’ve tried being assertive, I’ve tried being passive … I’ve been forgiving and not so forgiving.  Still I am not any more ahead in the game than I started.  It’s like one of those board games that you reach a certain square and it tells you to go back to the beginning.  That’s where I am.  I see each square as a stage in dating.  Square one is meeting someone, square two is getting to know them, square three is the first date, square four is the second date … and so on.  However, it seems, that I keep hitting the “go back to the beginning” square each time.  Am I playing with the wrong set of dice?  I wonder.

Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning (thank you) … have you noticed anything wrong with my approach?  Let me think back.  Perhaps I am making the wrong choices in men.  But, I can’t help what I like.  Besides, I married the “nice guy” and look where that got me.  Perhaps I should boycott penises altogether! I don’t know anymore.  I do know that the ending of a relationship is definitely a blessing in many ways because it wasn’t meant to be.  It doesn’t make it easier though.  My heart has been broken so many times it’s a wonder it’s still beating!

Love, dating and relationships are portrayed as magical and attainable while the reality is that people treat it like a game, a game with its own set of rules, a game that only a select few win (if any).  As ABBA sang “The Winner Takes It All” … coincidentally one of my favorite songs of all time!  So when is it my time to win?  Perhaps I need to not play by the rules anymore … something to think about …

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. Buddhists focus on “nonattachment”: the effort belongs to us, but the results belong to the Universe. In that state of mind, the games no longer matter. They are simply another part of the play that is unfolding before us. Nonattachment also negates expectations, and without expectations there is no disappointment.

    Of course, it’s easier said than done. But the less we need to control outcomes, the smoother things seem to go. The best part is that we can control attachment and expectation, whatever games others choose to play.


      • It’s interesting that the Buddhist word is neither detached nor unattached, but nonattached. I think the distinction is intentional to convey the idea that the goal is not to be separate or distinct from the world around us, but vitally engaged and yet not so tied that we get thrown around by the ups and downs of existence.

        Athletes sometimes talk about being in the moment or in the zone, when the only thing that matters is the thing in front of them right now with no consideration of winning or losing. That is akin to what I think of as nonattachment. It is quite the opposite of apathy.


  2. One last thought, and I promise I will stop monopolizing your blog! Most of what causes guys to act strangely or inconsiderately has absolutely nothing to do with you.

    Think of all the baggage guys in the dating pool are carrying. They may be damaged from a prior relationship, have an invisible mental illness, be broke or stressed out at work. Sometimes the thought of a relationship is just too much to handle.

    When a relationship never really gets off the ground, there is no way to tell what derailed it. But the chances are it had nothing to do with who you are or what you did or didn’t do and it isn’t worth a lot of mental energy to agonize over it.


  3. No worries Steve, monopolize all you like 🙂 But thanks for your input. I think you’re correct and both men and women have baggage they bring into relationships. It doesn’t give them the right to disrespect others though.


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