Why it’s time to put the fun back into the dating game


There are plenty of ‘games’ that we play when it comes to dating. There’s the ‘hard to get’ game, where we don’t call back right away or make ourselves seem less available. The ‘you’re not the only fish in the sea’ game, where we flirt with lots of people at once to keep our options open or make someone jealous – perhaps to test them. And then there’s the ‘teasing’ game, where we make lots of promises but never really deliver. There are countless others, no doubt, some we probably don’t even realise we’re playing… or being played.

These games, whether engaged in consciously or subconsciously, turn dating into a game of strategy instead of a game of fun. In fact, that’s what I first think of when I think of playing games: enjoyment, pleasure, and connecting with people. Winning or losing (where, in the dating world at least, someone ends up getting hurt) isn’t the point – it’s just a byproduct.

So when does dating become more about strategy than having fun?

When we begin treating it like a game with rules and defensive tactics, and the focus is more on protecting our hearts than being open and welcoming the chance to meet someone new.

We spend more time and energy scheming with friends about how to play the game (in other words, how to get what you want without getting hurt), and plotting out what the next steps should be to reach our goal.

Here’s the reality: all of this strategising isn’t helpful in the dating arena. If anything, we’re merely playing mind games with ourselves. If we aren’t careful we’ll allow our minds to create rich fantasies or doubts that guide us in pursuing either a defensive or offensive strategy when meeting a potential partner.

So let’s all stop with the games and be the authentic people we know we can be. Let’s push the winning and losing to the side, and focus on the fun part of dating. Then we might find a partner instead of an opponent to play with us.

Do you agree that it’s time to put stop playing games? Or maybe you think games are all part of the dating experience? Tell us why.  

About the Author:

Joy Lin is a life coach at Sigma Your Life and the co-founder of Simple Love Advice, advice cards which provide practical, sincere and loving advice. Supported by a community of life coaches, holistic healers and counselors, Joy helps individuals find their inner guidance and wisdom in relationships.


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