Playing proactive versus playing hard to get Part 1

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Finally, finally, I am able to address this issue which I find unspeakably frustrating!
It’s like this. As a person, as a woman I have made up my mind that I am never going to play hard to get – never ever ever! All this actually means is in practice is that if someone asks me out, and I like him, I am going to be straightforward and just say it as it is, just as I am on this blog.
“Would you like to go out with me Tosin?” “I’d love to!”

On the other hand, if I don’t like him, or feel as if he could be my husband, similarly, I will just say it straight out – trying to be kind of course.
“I think that you are a great guy but I don’t think I could ever be attracted to you….”

It is just about being straightforward. So here is my question: why is everyone not like this?!
If you would be in any way attracted to me, then you need to know this about me. I am sure that I am quite as able to play these games as anyone else. I am also aware of the reason why people (and women especially) choose to play games like this. However it is not the style that I have chosen for myself and my life.

This is why you need to know this about me – when the right guy comes along, I will eagerly agree and try to express my own interest. However, for me, most guys are emphatically not right – and never will be. When I say I am not interested, please believe me that that is exactly what I mean. I am not trying to encourage you to persist in some elaborate game of conquest. Nothing, but nothing annoys me more than when I have indicated or said no outright – and a guy persists. I find this so frustratingly annoying. While I can be quite blunt on my blogs, in person I am almost always unfailingly polite. This behaviour from a guy brings me to the point of almost wanting to be rude to him, straight to his face, so that he will unmistakably get the point. And yet I know that women on the whole often do act like this – sadly! So I can understand why a guy might not get it. When I say that I don’t want to go out with him, he might think that I am just acting like many women do. This is why it frustrates me that many other women do behave like this – because it distorts the way guys then expect to behave with all of us women.

At this point, I am going to blush and completely undermine my own point by admitting that there might be a guy who kinda…you know…smiled at me….and erm, I was not “feeling” it. Actually, internally I was practically glaring and mentally composing an angry blog post to think that he of all the men in the world…!!!! And then, to my surprise, I saw some aspects to him which were unexpected, frankly and erm….I have had cause to look again. Because of the depth to which I have thought about marriage I tend to be quite confident in my opinions and in the way I evaluate people. However in this case my initial analysis proved to be totally off. Although he and I have never discussed it, I know he reads this blog. I don’t know whether I would ever have the courage to say this to his face, or whether it would ever be appropriate, but I (now) think that he is a cutie! In fact, an adorable cutie – but not a Christian.  (Yeah, like we’ve never been there before!)* All the same, the point remains that I was not playing games when I was initially unresponsive! Because I don’t play games like this. I am too busy. I am too ambitious. This is probably quite haughty/arrogant, but often I can’t help thinking that playing hard to get is the sign of people who are insecure about their own worth or people who don’t really have any dreams in life or people who don’t really have any standards about their future spouse, as long as they marry someone. Apologies to anyone whom I just offended. This probably includes some people whom I respect quite highly.

Why I say this:
Low self-worth: When people have low self-esteem, then I imagine that this could be expressed in two opposite ways regarding “playing hard to get”. Firstly, they could do the opposite of playing hard to get by simply throwing themselves around on just any potential partner, desperate for someone, anyone to acknowledge them romantically, or they could also accept any romantic offer that comes their way. Secondly, they could do the opposite, and play hard to get, in the hope that getting someone to chase them will somehow prove that they are worth chasing. High self-esteem means that you already know what you are worth. You don’t need to get someone to chase around to prove that to yourself or anyone else. Hello?!

People who don’t have any dreams in life OR people who don’t have any standards about their future spouse:
I am going to work backwards here to get to my point. I am someone who does cultivate many dreams in life – and God by His grace has empowered me to not merely just sit around and dream, but also to roll my sleeves up, and get working to see those dreams become real. Because of those dreams, and because of who I want to be, I have to be so specific about my future spouse. There is a LONG list of criteria for him, which grows ever longer as I think of more and more things. Most guys who would express an interest in me I can dismiss out of hand (although we have already seen that that does not always work!) The flip side of this is that when the right guy does show up, trust me, because he is so rare, I simply cannot afford to put him off by pretending to not be interested.

“Tosin, would you like to go out with…”
My response, before he has even finished speaking:

“Yes, damnit, yes yes yes yes yes! Let’s get married tomorrow!”

OK, it might not exactly be like this – but this is not far from what I would be thinking in my mind. From this, to me it follows that when someone does have the leisure to “play hard to get”, it must be because they can afford to possibly put off a potential spouse, most likely because there are (or they feel that there are) lots of other potential spouses for them. To me this indicates that they are not very fussy about their spouses or that their dreams for their future are not sufficient to make them fussy about their spouses.

The future marriage
This is the real reason why I made up my mind a very long time ago that I would not play hard to get. Because, by the grace of God, I want a marriage where openness and honesty and candour reign. If I want A, then I am going to ask for A. If I am angry about B, then I am not going to pretend that I am not angry. I am not going to say “It’s fine!” No, it is definitely not fine! I am angry! Can’t you see I’m angry?!!! In fact, I am livid! – I am going to say it as it is. People deny what I am just about to say, but from my observations of certain married couples, I don’t believe them: I believe that when you start off playing games, then you continue playing games – even into marriage. You can never come right out and say what you want or show that you are vulnerable, because that would give your partner an edge that they could exploit against you. You always have to pretend to be cool, calm, and collected, and say “It’s fine!” even though you are internally seething with rage. That is not the kind of marriage I want. If I need to cry in front of my husband, even if his own actions have driven me to tears, then I want to be able to cry in front of him and not need to hide away that part of myself.

I have also seen a situation where a wife wanted to speak to her husband (in another country) but refused to call him so that he “would not think that she wanted him or that she needed him”, or that he “had that power over her”. Hello?! To me this seems like “playing hard to get” even within marriage. If I have married him, then I hope he can take it for granted that I both want him and need him – and very badly too. If he does not want me then I hope he will have the sense to not come near me, much less marry me! If I want him to hug me, then trust me I will say it. If then I want to speak to my husband, even if he was on the moon, then trust me I will call him and keep calling him – until he finally gets fed up and automatically routes my number to voicemail!

So it is working backwards from this type of marriage that I want that I have made up my mind that I will not play hard to get before the marriage. I will start as I mean to go on – with openness, straightforwardness, honesty, frankness. I will say “Yes” when I mean “Yes”, and I will be precise about what I mean.

*Update July 2014:
Just to make it clear the guy in question is now happily in a relationship with someone else!

Bible Verses:
Matthew 5v37:
37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Continued
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PHOTO CREDITS
Heart picture by George Hodan at http://publicdomainpictures.net
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