When love strikes, hate the player, not the game

Emily Eaton, Columnist

I’ve always been one for playing games. Softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer I did it all, and not to brag, but I excelled.

But now that my glory days are over, I save my aptitude for game-playing for two specific things: throwing footballs around at tailgates to engage the gaze of all the random drunk men, and the latest one I’ve been practicing: playing hard to get.

I’ve never been awfully accomplished at hiding my excitement. I don’t know what everyone else is doing, but when I’m attracted to somebody in more ways than one, the game’s over for me. I have no motivation to get back on the field.

However, since it hasn’t worked out for me with all the guys I’ve liked before, (and I’ve lost count of that exact number), I thought I’d try my hand in a game I was always too lovey to try, which is being unavailable and hard to get. 

Around two weeks ago, this guy asked me out on a date. Although I was partaking in my newfound unavailable and unattainable attitude, I initially didn’t play it exceedingly cool despite my best efforts. 

For example, he asked how busy I was on Thursday. It turned out I was very busy on Thursday, but not for him. In a momentary lapse of judgment, I cancelled my other plans. 

Towards the end of our whirlwind romance that actually only lasted three hours at a football party, I had begun playing it pretty cool, which wasn’t without difficulty for me. I told myself I would only respond to him every three hours. 

That three-hour routine of mine lasted exactly fifty-four hours until I caved. And then our date never happened. It turns out, if a guy asks you out on a date and tells you what time he’s picking you up, he’s actually unavailable right now, and if he misleads you, he’s “totally sorry.” 

Well, I took my answer and my whirlwind three-hour football party romance and quietly packed it away into a box with the other men who only ever view my snapchat stories. After that week of stretching a muscle for a game I had never played, and never particularly liked, I couldn’t help but wonder if I just wasted a week of my life trying to figure out if a guy liked me when I could’ve just asked him in the first place instead of trying to portray the non-interested, totally cool girl. 

Playing hard to get has its place. Everyone loves games, but especially if you’re not actually taking them too seriously that’s why we play intramural sports. But once you get passionate about a sport (or are serious about relationships), you probably won’t be enjoying it while the scoreboard is still changing. 

Your best bet is to not keep score at all. At the end of the day, being with someone who has the same intentions as you is much more important than outscoring them on the free throw line.