The Dating Game: 7 Ways to WIN!

Posted Sep 18, 2012 by Freshhh in Dating

Let’s face it: when dating, as much as we all hate to admit it, we play games.. a lot of them. We have been trained to wait a designated amount of time before returning a call or text, pretend to be busier than we are, and play hard-to-get from time to time. Well I have come across an article that gives some tips on how to win the dating game. It de-codes some old habits we may be stuck in, and provides some tricks on how to change these habits into more effective dating move.


Game #1: Waiting to return messages

The old-school rule: Wait at least as long as the person took to get in touch with you to reply. Let’s say you’ve just gotten a new message, text or voicemail from your crush. You know the all-too-common fear: If you reply right away, it’ll look like you’re just sitting around waiting for that person to contact you, so you sit on your hands until you can get back to him or her without looking desperate.

 Winning move to try: If you wait too long, your game-playing becomes obvious, because we all know it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to type a “hey, nice to hear from you” reply or call someone back. “You don’t want to send long emails a dozen times a day, but definitely write the person back within 24 hours or the same day, if possible,” says Jackie Black, Ph.D., author of Meeting Your Match. That guideline applies to phone calls and texts as well; it will prevent you from seeming aloof while keeping you on pace to find out if you’re a real match the only way that you can be reasonably sure — through spending one-on-one time getting to know each other better.

Game #2: Drive-by conversations

The old-school rule: Call your date up for a quick chat while you’re on the go — say, in traffic or waiting for someone at a restaurant.

Winning move to try: True, calling from a busy location proves that you’re an out-and-about kind of person. But it also says that you’re so intimidated by the possibility of having a quality conversation with this person that you prefer to multitask to calm your nerves. That’s an instant turn-off to someone who’s looking for a partner with solid relationship potential. “It really dishonors the other person,” advises Alice. For better results (and to avoid those annoying dropped calls), only bother calling when you’ve got the time and peace of mind to actually talk with your date and give him or her your full attention.

Game #3: Waiting to initiate contact and/or follow up with someone

The old-school rule: Let a predetermined amount of time go by before getting in touch with someone you’re interested in. Most people have their own version of these waiting-game rules — say, three days after getting a prospect’s number; 48 hours after the first date… or never past Wednesday evening for asking someone out on a date that weekend.

Winning move to try: Whatever your current preferred timeframe for making a move happens to be, consider replacing it with this one: contact him or her whenever you want to talk. “Waiting just for the sake of waiting sends the message that you’re a player, insincere, and unable to commit,” says Black. “The people who are attracted by that are the people who match those unattractive qualities.” No, you don’t want to leave a billion voice messages so you seem desperate, but following your instincts will put the real you on the line. Wait too long, and a perfectly great new relationship could simply lose momentum and fizzle out. But if you mix up your callback times — so you’re consistent, but not totally predictable — you’ll still be a bit elusive… just not rude or manipulative.

Dating Game #4: Flaunting your options

The old-school rule: Dropping hints (or worse) about being involved with or pursued by other people. “One thing I see all the time is people purposely bringing dates to a place where they know another person they’re interested in will see them,” says Joy Villaneuva, a server at the Light Nightclub inside the Bellagio in Las Vegas. “It always backfires because one person feels used, one feels insulted, and neither of them wants to spend time with you afterward.”

Winning move to try: Even if you’re not brazen enough to bring competing love interests into the same room with each other, you may think you’re being clever by mentioning them offhandedly so your date knows that you’re a hot property. But “you’re only sabotaging yourself by doing this, because it basically broadcasts that you’re insecure and trying to making the other person jealous,” asserts Alice. So don’t say anything about other people until it’s time to have the exclusivity talk. After all, leaving your date wondering whether you’re seeing anyone else makes you intriguing; letting that person know that you are seeing other people makes you just plain unavailable (and possibly cruel).

Game #5: Acting just a little bit uninterested

The old-school rule: Subtly tease your date in one way or another so that he or she works even harder to win you over.

Winning move to try: When the best-selling book The Game came out in 2005 (followed by a slew of copycats, sequels and at least one reality show on VH1), it introduced millions of readers to the concept of the “neg” — a subtle jab that makes its target feel insecure in your presence (such as, “Great nails — are they real?” or “You’re in great shape for a man your age!”). “Singles do this to build up their self-esteem, but it really makes them seem scared of intimacy,” says Alice. “A far better way to get that self-esteem boost is to make people want to be around you because of your personality.” To that end, make jokes about things you have in common or at your own expense to put others at ease and show your date that you’re both funny and gracious.


Game #6: Acting overly interested

The old-school rule: Tease your target wildly via email, IM or text, but pull back when it comes to flirting, kissing or hugging when you’re actually together.

Winning move to try: Maybe you know one of these types — the super-sultry serial sexter who blushes in person at the slightest flirtation, or the person who sends flirty emails all day but won’t kiss you at the end of the date. Whether consciously playing coy or not, this mixed-messages dater is part of a trend. “It’s so easy to be suggestive when you don’t have to see the other person, but then you meet him or her and have to see if the chemistry’s actually there,” says Alice. Limit your communication between dates, especially when it comes to anything saucy. Then, any in-person flirtation will feel both genuine and exciting — not disappointing.

Game #7: Struggling to fit in enough time for scheduling dates

The old-school rule: Have (or pretend to have) so many plans on your calendar already that it’s nearly impossible to squeeze in a date.

Winning move to try: It takes a lot of courage for someone to ask you out, which is why it can be very off-putting if your response is, “How’s three weeks from next Tuesday?” It’s great to have plenty of things to do — it proves you’ve got a busy, full life, which is super-attractive. But if there’s literally no time for you to date, then you probably shouldn’t dating anyone — especially if you’re hoping to connect with someone whose life is equally busy. So instead of forcing yourself to block out entire evenings for activities you might not even enjoy, allow your date to have access to your already-busy life instead. “Suggest things to do that you enjoy and invite your dating prospect into your life,” advises Black. As an example, you could say: “I’m pretty booked during the week, but I was hoping to get to the new Impressionist exhibition at the museum this weekend — want to check it out?” or “I never miss my Thursday Pilates class — any interest?” Not only will you make time for someone special, you’ll bond in fun, new ways that you’d never get over another hour of “So, where did you go to college?”


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