It's Best not to Win Every Time in Dating
Games people play.
I’m not talking about waiting 3 days to call someone you like after first meeting them. Or, the 3-date rule. Don’t feign that you don’t know it. I’m talking about actual games. Board games. Sports. Cards. Gamers. RPGs. Pokémon. Real “game-games.”
There’s a new genre of cooperative board games oriented toward forming friendships verses competing. It sounds a bit like the coddled, enabled generation raised with participation medals. Read about it in this Stanford study.
Many singles have long lists about what they want in a bae.
But there are things, like how someone travels or how they play a game, that are kinda important to pre-flight, when dating, before going all-in. It’s a valuable view of how they handle competition in romantic relationships. And, whether or not they are good sports.
You may see their instinctive, involuntary reactions. It’s invaluable information.
Once, I got sent home early from a getaway with a guy I’d been dating for 3 months. Asshole. One guy I was dating punched me – hard – during a game. More about that in a bit.
I’m a native Californian. The weather is pretty mild here. I’ve never lived in cold weather for prolonged periods of time. I imagine that people stay indoors more elsewhere during the winter. I’m hypothesizing that people who live in colder areas play more games.
I was just in Tahoe after Christmas. It was so cold, even my dog didn’t want to go outside, at first. Bentley looked at me, like, “Am I nuts? You go outside. I can hold it!”
I actually felt a little guilty after posting my resolution blog about hoofing it 20K steps a day. It was a real challenge doing any steps in that weather. I was freezing, even in all my Michelin Woman Winter gear. It was so icy, too. I kept sliding and I have pretty good hiking boots. Even Bentley was sliding on all 4 paws. Now, that was pretty cute. In his little jacket.
I do know people who live in parts of the Country where it regularly snows. Some even have game rooms (most homes are larger) with pinball machines, pool tables, air hockey, & foosball. How fun is that? Even though I pretty much suck, you can find me at all hours of the night pretending I’m hot shit at pool while whiffing the ball.
Why does pool always seem so sexy?
Maybe it’s all the things you can possibly do with a pool stick. Or, that pool sticks are phallic. Is it that you rub chalk on the stick & blow? Or, that you play with balls?
Brooke and Reid are bf and gf. Early 20s. They’re really bright. Great jobs. Thin, fit, tall, good looking, etc. etc. During a rainout over their Christmas vacation, Reid wanted to play Monopoly. Turns out, it’s one of his “things.” It’s what he likes to do on Christmas Day. Who am I to talk? I like to play Scrabble at Tahoe.
The only times Brooke ever played was Monopoly Junior with her cousins at her Grandparent’s house when she was a kid. She said they’d never even finished the game.
Reid is really into it. He plays so aggressively that no one in his family will play with him any more.
Reid had moves I’ve never heard of, although I’m no Monopoly aficionado. They played with another couple of Brooke’s relatives. Reid wasn’t fun. Brooke didn’t appreciate it at all. They played for 3 hours, til Reid crushed them and won the game.
Later, Reid & Brooke played Connect 4. Now, I thought that WAS a kid’s game. I’ve never played it. I thought you just drop the little disk down some kind of a maze. But, apparently, there’s math involved.
Reid was totally down for playing. He’s an economist & thinks he’s good at math. Well, following the Monopoly incident, Brooke was royally pissed.
As I said, Brooke is smart. Like, really smart. Let’s put it this way. I think she may have missed a couple of points on the SAT. Maybe, not even. Bitch. lol. Brooke whooped his ass at Connect 4. 9 times. She took no prisoners.
Some people like to win. They always like to win. And, they don’t like it when you win. They are poor losers. Not everyone is nice.
Clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, PhD says, “You go from being on the same team, to wanting them to lose."
This is not good. How sad?
Some people make fun of you when you make a bad move. Perhaps, even put you down. More than once. “You throw like a girl.” It stings. Fuck you.
I played Scrabble at Tahoe with a guy I was dating. Let’s call him “Dick.” Dick had gone to Princeton and Booth. UChicago. We were playing with my brother and my dad.
Dick kept playing stupid 2-letter, 2-point words. Like “it.” I thought, “Poor guy. I guess he has shitty letters.” After the 3rd or 4th “is,” I asked if I could see his letters. I thought I might be able to help him. I like fiddling around with the letters. What’s with that, anyway?
Dick had a Q, a U, an I and a Z, amongst other letters. QUIZ. I mean, really? That can be a zillion point word. If you play it properly, you can manage to hit both a triple letter and triple word score and/or a triple/triple with either the Q or the Z going both ways. He he
I said, teasingly, “Gee, Dick, you are really showing off your Ivy League education.”
He punched me so hard in the arm. I was choking back tears. It really hurt. I was stunned. It was the only time in my life a man ever hit me. I was so surprised, too, that my brother & father didn’t react. They were/are very macho. They were so focused on their letters and I’d kept it in, that they weren’t aware what happened. That may have been for the best. If they had, I think we would have been dealing with a dead body.
Perhaps, you don’t know how to play. Are they willing to teach you? Golf? Tennis? Poker?
I dated a surgeon. All he wanted to do in his free time was gamble in Vegas. Good to know. Not my thing. We definitely weren’t a match. I wouldn’t have known, had we not gone.
Will they invite you to join their game?
What does it mean if they are unwilling?
Should you be concerned that you aren't welcomed?
Are you in the inner circle? Are you included?
I know people who won’t play with someone who they think isn’t as good as they are. It’s somewhat ironic. I mean, most are mediocre athletes and won’t play with prospective dates whom they think are below their level. Really? Do they think that will fuck up their game play? Well, it may not improve their love life.
Jason is an expert skier. He’d take his dates out on runs. They’d have a blast. Occasionally, he miscalculated & took them on too challenging a run. He’d help them find the easy way down. He’d always stay uphill to help them. It showed empathy. It did not make him a shittier skier whatsoever. They’d have a great time.
Biff played #5 for Duke tennis. Biff’s relatives set up a time for him to hit with Serena Williams. They have a place in the same development. I doubt Serena thought that hitting with Biff would screw up her game cause his world ranking wasn’t high enough.
Who knows? Maybe your date might really get into the activity. It could be something you share. Together. Like, co-ed Beach Volleyball. They may end up excelling. You’ve expanded their horizon. This is a very good thing.
We have friends who are in a sports legacy family. They’re incredible innate athletes. One of the guys married a famous woman. She was a national TV anchor. Let’s call her Mary. They were playing golf at a private course in Hawaii.
Mary would do all of her pre-shot routine shenanigans. Practice swings, etc. Eventually, she’d hit the ball. An errant shot. So, she’d take a mulligan. And another.
Her sister-in-law, Katie, would take a sip of her cocktail, walk up and casually hit the shit out of the ball. Katie played briefly on a satellite to the LPGA tour.
Mary was so competitive. She would get so upset and intimidated by Katie. It exposed underlying layers of her true colors: unappealing, bad behavior, poor sport. That side of Mary was reflective of her personality. “I’m Mary. I’m famous. Prominent. Entitled. I should be able to this.”
Mary’s behavior on the golf course contributed to the demise of the marriage.
Lea Rose Emery writes about this in her Bustle article, 7 Signs You & Your Partner Are Competing With Each Other — And How To Stop. “…a little competition can feel sexy and fun, but if you're actual(sic.ly) in competition all the time then it can destroy your relationship.”
Winning in love all the time is a complete buzz kill.
You don’t have to win everything. People like that really are a buzz kill. I understand how frustrating it is not to be as good as someone else. Some of it is natural ability. But, there’s also practice. My ex-husband said what improved his game more than anything was the time he went to the driving range with only a 7-iron and hit 300 balls. When’s the last time you did that?
It’s called “practice.” That’s partly why pros are so good. That’s what they do. They play and train nearly all day, every day. Tiger Woods still has the most hours clocked in at the Stanford Golf Course.
What do you do to prepare for success in love?
Are you physically and emotionally ready for love?
Do you ever stop to think and plan?
Do you read about love and relationships?
Yet, you don’t want to overthink it. Take a breath. Relax. Chill. It’s a balance. Often, things happen serendipitously, but it’s always good to be prepared. Be ready. To Love.
Compete in the Sack, not on the Board…
Stay competitive at your day job, not in your relationship. Be competitive in being a good partner, provider, lover & date.