THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY I have not dated since 2003 because I was in a long term relationship (aka marriage) but I am seeing that the rules have changed somehow. Men today are afraid of commitment (women too) and somehow like to play games with the emotions of their interests. CASE 1 Let’s talk about my friend Mindy*. She and her husband, Gary* struggled for years to conceive until finally they had beautiful twin boys. There was a break up shortly after the twin was born but they reconciled after a few months and things were great. Six years later, he comes to her and says he would love to have another baby and would she consider it. Since Gary was the love of her life, she said yes. However, this pregnancy was very risky and at three months along she had to have surgery to keep the babies in (I am a little vague on the details that this surgery would involve). As she arrives home from the hospital, stitches and all, she is putting away some bags and finds a receipt for a fruit basket dated two weeks ago. However, she never got one. On confronting him, it turns out that he sent it to his ex-girlfriend. In anger she told him to get out of her sight and he left. After calming down, she calls him and asks him to return, but he refuses, unless she agrees that they can live as roommates and she can’t question him on when and where he goes. CASE 2 My other friend, Maritsa* is going through a divorce and after it became clear that the marriage was over, she started talking to a close male friend, (we will call him Aiden), with whom she had no romantic interest in. Except the conversations became highly sexually charged. Maritsa was thinking maybe a discreet fling would be interesting with Aiden and she sent him subtle hints that she was very interested in getting to know him better on every level. They discussed likes, dislikes and various things in between. There were Skype calls and video chats, Whatsapp messages, and Facebook messages every single day for hours on end. They went on a few “dates” and everything seemed to be going well. Maybe it was the attention but she started to have lustful feelings for him and he admitted a few times that he also had lustful feelings for her. No problem, right? Wrong! Aiden decided that he didn’t want to get involved in a messy divorce and essentially told her that whatever he was feeling was just because his hormones were raging. Maritsa, very confused (and blind-sided) realized that she was alone in her lustful thoughts (or so Aiden wanted her to believe) and avoided him altogether. She wondered whether the signals she was getting from him were in her imagination – like when he spoke about how he would make love to her and then he sent her soft porn movies to get her opinion on, what was that about. He also said that he underestimated the effect these things would have on her *eyebrows raised*! I think both cases are different but I wanted to bring them out because, well, I promised my two *fake named friends and it got me thinking, why is dating or rather getting to know someone so difficult? Why can’t you just tell someone from the get go that you don’t want them and just want to be friends. If you don’t want your partner, why string them along? Why get her pregnant then dump her for someone else and blame the wife by telling her that she is the one who said to leave? Why give mixed signals about what you want, then when you check the reality of the situation, pretend like you were never interested! Guess what? Game player! I have no specific examples of women who play games because, my female friends are either married or in long term relationships but I know of women who string men along with promises of love and romance. These men then spend money on the women only to be turned down and laughed at. People today have no time for games. Just be straight with your potential interest and say “hey I really just want to be friends!” Poor Mindy is now thinking how she is going to raise these three kids on her own since she can’t work! I feel her pain, but somehow I know she will get through it.