This is the second part to this post. The first is available here
This is what playing hard to get looks like:
Regardless of relationships, something else I generally hate in life is the idea of saying “I am not sure” to mean “No”. When I think “No”, then I am going to say “No”, regardless of the context. I am going to leave “I am not sure” for situations when I genuinely am not sure. So anyway, this is what playing hard to get looks like to me. Please believe me about this: people who achieve things in life: business people, successful athletes – none of these people play hard to get in their business dealings, if they want to stay at the top. Because they simply don’t have time to be dilly-dallying around with important issues. They might say it nicely, with utmost diplomacy, but ultimately yes will be yes and no will be no. (Erm, isn’t there a Guy in the Bible who advises us in these exact words?! Matthew 5 verse 37) Where people do behave like this – with football signings etc, I can only think of it as a sign of inexperience. (I speak of football signings for this reason: I am not a football fan, and I don’t pursue any great knowledge of this game, but to me it seems as if football players are always being coy about transfers, whether they want to leave or be signed by other clubs. Many of these players will only achieve success in football, and that possibly short-lived. I think that if you want to have ongoing, phenomenal success in life, translated across different areas of your life, then you will eventually realise that you have to be open and straightforward.)
So anyway, back then to what playing hard to get looks like.
This is the mental image that comes to mind as I write this. A guy and a girl in a restaurant. Guy asks hopefully, tentatively: “So would you like to meet up sometime next week?” Girl smiles downwards, twirling a strand of hair with her fingers “I’m not sure… OK, let me check my diary.” She then proceeds to make a big play of getting out her diary, looks at the required date, which is quite visibly empty, even to the guy sitting across the table. “Oh, I’m busy!” And then I guess the hope would be that he would persevere. “Please… you are so beautiful, special, (fill in necessary adjectives)..I really want to be with you….please?” At which point, after much posturing, she could eventually allow herself to relent. “OK. I guess I could squeeze you in. What day was it again? OK, but not too early!” So the impression that you give him is that you don’t really like him all that much, but you are just deciding to give him a chance. I’m thinking that this is so insincere to start with – if you don’t really like someone, then why would you go even agree to go out with them? That said, I guess some people just want to be in a relationship at all costs, and the question of “liking” their partners is almost secondary.
This is how I would handle this – if I liked him. If I did not like him, then I would just come out and tell him that he is a great guy, and I’ve had a great time, but I don’t see the relationship progressing. So if I did like him, I would probably be forward enough to actually suggest a follow up meeting myself. (Note to self, I must wait for the guy to go first – must must must! ) However, let us assume that I have managed to prevent myself from jumping in first and I have actually given the guy a chance to ask me out for a further time.
So the guy asks hopefully, tentatively: “So (Tosin) would you like to meet up sometime next week?” Me: “Yes, I would love that! Which day?” …(Checking diary) “… As it happens I am busy that day. However, I am free the whole of the previous day or the next day” – smiling at him as I talk.
However, because I am so open and direct he does not have to be optimistic, or tentative – I will already have given him enough encouragement so that he can be quite confident as he asks that I will agree to meet up with him. And that leads on to my big headache.
How does proactivity fit into this?
Now this is where my own particular headache really kicks in. You know how, in theory girls are “not supposed” or “not allowed” to ask guys out? Erm, I may or may not have completely disregarded this rule at previous points in my life! Then again, I was born to break all the rules, though I do say so myself! (Not divine rules actually imposed by God of course though – because that would just be plain stoo-pid! Or perhaps, playing stupid – ha ha ha!) However, none of that is what the headache is.
This is what the headache is: Where there is romantic awkwardness between a guy and me it just seems to make so much sense for me to open my mouth and say something. I know that I am quite confident and I also know that many guys are scared or shy…I have been very shy too, but somehow I have managed to overcome my shyness…so often it just seems to make sense that I will be the one to speak. Or let’s say that I do not come right out and ask a guy out, still by my enthusiasm and my encouragement surely he can only be too aware that I like him and I would be interested in a relationship with him.
The headache is that once I have opened my mouth and spoken, then guys seem to be only too willing to put the onus and the burden of dealing with the thing – on me. Somehow it becomes my responsibility to always indicate interest, to always say: “Yes I’d love to meet up again”, to be the one that is driving forward the friendship. It is as if they think that I don’t realise that playing hard to get is what girls are “supposed” or expected to do – and they rush to capitalise on my “ignorance”. Because I don’t play hard to get, then it is almost as if that gives them licence to play hard to get. And then I have to be constantly asking: “Are you interested, are you in, are you not interested?” And then, because I want to be utterly sure of what I am hearing, if they do not respond quickly then I will not be sure whether they heard my question, so to err on the side of caution, I will ask again, until I am perfectly sure that a. they have heard and b. they have answered. And obviously the guys in question will each have a field day – messing me around, ignoring my time-consuming efforts as they wish – while I am the one who does all the work.
OK, when I have definitely decided that this is what the guy is doing, ie playing games, then it is quite straightforward for me to break off the “friendship”. (Before then, I will give him the benefit of the doubt – and it is this period that he will take advantage of). I don’t want to be “playing hard to get in my marriage” myself, and I am not immensely excited by the thought that my husband would be playing this way.
So then, I will eventually ditch a guy who acts like this. However this is all so time-consuming, frustratingly so. The big question is: “How do I avoid putting myself in situations like this in the first place?” Is all of this just because I have not found the right guy yet? Or would “the right guy” himself behave like this in this situation? I know that I should of course wait for the guy to go first, and these days, that is my determination. On the other hand, if an issue arose in my marriage, then I would want to be able to take the initiative to solve it. Yes?! To me it seems so false to sit and wait here like a lemon before marriage, always waiting for the guy to go first in everything. Or maybe it is just because I have not been praying all that much until now. This issue has been driving me to distraction, but I actually think that this is what it boils down to: must pray harder! And how about when a guy does indicate interest but does not quite get to the point of actually asking me out? How do you respond in that situation? Do you sit down and wait for him to actually make that request? In that case, what if the lack of response will discourage him from actually going ahead to ask? Or do I attempt to respond in a way that matches his own interest, but goes no further?
Clearly I need to pray a lot harder than I have been praying. This is why I pray for a guy who knows what he wants. The right guy for me is clearly also someone who appreciates openness and honesty and demonstrates the ability to look forward into marriage to see why this would be a good thing. So hopefully he would be able to admire this characteristic in me and work together with me to develop this, rather than tackily try to use it against me. So I most likely also need to pray for a guy who has made up his mind as I have that he will not play hard to get, either before or during marriage but he will rather say it as it is, whether it is is a yes, or a no. And he will respond to my requests, he will make requests of his own, he will be an active participant in the thing; he will not try to push the responsibility of the relationship over onto me. I know that such a guy is out there, and I plan to find him!
Honestly, even if a guy was right in every other way, but he tried to play hard to get or tried any other such games, I would ditch him in a trice, with a disgusted look on my face (as I have done in the past – ha ha, trust me, I have!) If nothing else my pride revolts against this. Yes, he might be the only guy in the universe that I could reasonably consider, but frankly I would rather remain single than subject myself to such demeaning behaviour. I have been nurturing these dreams of openness and frankness in my marriage for so long. Only a joker would think that I would be so desperate for whatever he is that I would discard these amazing and beautiful dreams in favour of his silly games. Actually, perhaps it is more true to say that this would have been the way I would have thought or acted in the past. Then, as it is, I was not sure of what I was doing, I felt clueless, and then in the face of this to perceive that the guy was playing games with me would make me just want to discard the whole thing. Now I am a lot clearer about what I am doing, and more confident of attaining success, so I have a little more patience to bear with this kind of behaviour if I did in fact encounter it… 😉 That however, is not an invitation to someone to act this way! 😉
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.[a]
Photo of red hearts from Pixabay