Being a man means playing the game

Us men have a lot to live up to.

For those of us unlikely to reach the state of bulging biceps and roaring machine guns like Terminator or Rambo, we have to figure out how to uphold our manliness without being enough of a douche to make it obvious.

Nice guys know there is a lot of truth to that whole finishing last statement, and cocky a-holes who get pumped at the gym 24/7  somehow manage to get more “ass” than the average dude, defying all forms of traditionalism and logic.

In the 1950s, the goal was blind dates, sock hops and “going steady.” While there has always been a cat and mouse relationship between guys and girls, “the game” has become the societal norm for our generation: and if you don’t know how to play, good luck getting any.

As the dating scene has turned into a mess of hookups, breakups, and friends with benefits, male-female relationships have turned topsy turvy. Girls who once would relish a man asking to take them out for a date, now run scared at the first sign of commitment or potential clinginess from a new guy.

Here are five key steps you should probably swear to when playing “the game.” If you can throw the handbook out the window and still get what you want, please let me know immediately. For everyone else, pay close attention:

Step 1: Don’t call the next day. For whatever dumb reason, girls have decided that we must wait somewhere around three whole days before showering them with a call. This number will vary depending on who you talk to, but three seems to be a pretty solid consensus. This way, when you get a number on a Friday night and want to take her out the next week, she’ll completely forget who you are by Tuesday when you finally make the call.

But don’t lose hope too fast: if you don’t text directly after meeting, there’s only a 48-hour ban on text messages before the flirxting can began.

Step 2:  It’s not a date. But you still have to pay. When you do get together with a girl, after picking the not-too-nice but not-too-casual bar/restaurant, never once should you mention the word “date.” Sure, you’re taking her out. Yes, you’re hanging out. But “getting dinner” has a much stronger connotation than “grabbing drinks,” so be careful not to come on too fast.

Most importantly, remember to never split the bill – no matter how broke you are. That screams “friend zone” or “he doesn’t have money to afford a girlfriend even if I was going to possibly potentially think of maybe considering ever taking on that title with him.”

Step 3: Don’t order anything girly. As I finish up my first year as a 21-year-old, I’m just now feeling like its OK for me to try fruity drinks like a “Sex On The Beach,” “Fuzzy Navel,” or  a pomegranate margarita. And that’s only when I’ve already got the girl.

In the initial stages, don’t dare try anything that might make her question your sexuality. Girls are always concerned we’re going to be too heterosexual or even homosexual, so keep it simple: beer, jack and coke, 7 and 7, or anything with whiskey. Wine is OK, but not always the best idea to risk it. A girl will learn to love a guy who likes wine, but might be concerned with the college-age male who loves a good pinot griggio when she’s in the mood for a Hef.

Step 4: Let her have the last text. Now, this is one I don’t believe in at all, but still has a lot of importance. While its key to have the last word in an argument, a female seems to thrive off feeling like she doesn’t quite have you.

The pursuit seems to be the drive for all of us, man or woman, whether we know it or not.

When someone’s all over you, even if you’re attracted, it becomes one of those “I’m just not that in to you” moments. Unless you win them with that old-fashioned charm of yours, it seems to be a lost cause. No one likes anyone who’s too anything, so always be wary that you’re in pursuit but not stalking.

Which brings us to the final and most complicated step of them all: the online realm.

Step 5: Don’t become Facebook friends too fast. While most girls are okay with the next-day add, make sure you limit the wall conversation to a maximum of two exchanges from each party. If you get carried away, it will appear you’re using social networking as a crutch and don’t have the balls to call her. Let her know you liked meeting and want to hang out, so its clear the online world is only a mediate between a real-world connection.

Now, this set of rules is far from comprehensive and is only just a start to get you on the right page. Books could be written about the ethical rights in wrongs of romantic encounters (and probably have been), but its key to make a firm impression right away so that things don’t fizzle and you don’t fall into the friends trap.

For, once there, you can never get out and will end up punching yourself in the face when you realize you’re in love with your best friend and that she happens to be dating another guy.

2 thoughts on “Being a man means playing the game

  1. Brilliant.
    If there is anything harder than to work with the female mind, it is understanding and reading the female mind too. This of course sounds ridiculous, but the only way to truly succeed when it comes to the opposite sex, we must listen, hear these rules that may not make sense, and as men, just follow them. Well done.

  2. Dan,

    While I do see people behaving this way, I truly think these “rules” only apply to self-conscious, immature dimwits. People who succumb to and follow these bizzarre rituals aren’t worth spending anytime with; that is, why should anyone waste themselves chasing people who are obviously more interested in “the game” than the person? The way I see it, even though its corny, just be true to yourself. If you want to ask someone to dinner, fuck it, do it! If you get rejected, fuck them. If you want to drink appletinis and electric lemonade, by all means, go for it. There’s nothing more irritating than someone who tries to hard, they’re always transparent. In the end, if two people really like each other, the game is the last thing on their minds – trust me.


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