Being at the start of a new relationship (and I mean relationship in a very loose sense of the word, as obviously there has been no talk of commitment yet), I am rather aware of ‘the game’. He lives 2 hours away from me, so I have to depend on my phone to keep in touch with him. But do I get in touch with him? Or do I wait for him to get in touch with me? Should I call him, or is that too keen?

We have grown up being told that we should play hard to get to capture a man’s attention. Men like challenges, so we should be aloof. But I like challenges too. And if we both play it cool, then neither of us will get in touch. And don’t men like confident girls? And if I want to speak to someone, shouldn’t I just be able to do it without worrying if he’ll still like me because I initiated contact? Do I really want to be with someone anyway if I can’t act myself?

And then we get down to the actual text messaging. Do I reply if he doesn’t ask questions? How can I be funny on a text message? Will he pick up on my sarcastic tone or think I’m being serious? Has he not put kisses on the end because he doesn’t like me, or simply because he doesn’t put kisses on texts?

Something very simple has suddenly become something very complicated. And what is acceptable?

I have lots of girlfriends who treat men badly. Like shit actually. And the result is that they have men falling at their feet. Literally. But does a woman have to be a bitch in order for a guy to like her? I know these girls, and I know that deep down they like the guy, but they aren’t comfortable with showing their emotions, and isn’t that because of pride and the fear of getting hurt?
And what about these obsessed men? Do they truly like the girl for who she is? Or do they just like her because they can’t have her? And isn’t all of this a huge effort to be with someone? Because surely you should be with someone that likes you for who you are, someone who makes you feel comfortable for being you, and who makes your life that little bit more exciting. Or is that just my romantically charged mind idealising relationships?

And I’m really not very good at playing games. Because if someone does something that annoys me, I react. And if someone arranges to meet me and doesn’t, I react. And if I text someone and they don’t reply, I react (in a jokey way and I wait at least a day, I’m not that crazy). And that’s how I treat my friends, so why should a man be any different? However, by reacting, I probably have given the impression that I’m crazy. But why should I tolerate someone treating me badly or making me feel inadequate? Because I want someone to appreciate me, and to realise what they have, and I shouldn’t have to compromise… Or should I? Because thinking about it, I HAVE scared a few guys away, or I’ve lost patience with them and ended it even though I still liked them.

And because I like my new man, and because I want him to like me, I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘the game’ and how I should play things. And I’ve been wondering whether I should wait for him to text me (we’ve all seen the film He’s just not that into you, and if he likes you he will get in touch, right?), or do I just text him (he’s probably trying to play it cool too, and we live in different cities so I don’t want things to fizzle out just because we were both trying to play it cool). And so far, I’m going with the just do what you feel frame of mind. It was ME to suggest he came from the airport to mine, ME to send the message to clear the air after the whole TV presenter fiasco, and ME to invite myself to the seaside. But i don’t mind driving it, because I’m confident, and I can tell that HE likes me. Or does he? Am I just making it too easy? Maybe I should start to reverse the power now.

So I’ve bought a book (I was directed towards the Self-Help section in Waterstones – how demoralising!). It’s called the Complete Book of Rules. Apparently is tells you time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr Right. And what’s more, it’s a multi-million copy bestseller, so apparently I’m not the only girl on the planet to be questioning this.
But why should we have to use games to impress Mr Right? Surely playing games and not being ourselves means we capture the heart of Mr Not-Right?
But I’m going to read it. And I’m going to try it. And you can be certain that I’ll share my discoveries and report my experiences with you, dear readers.

Watch this space!

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