The number one issue gay guys talk about when they mention dating is guys being "fake" or guys "playing games". Shocker, I know. So here are some life lessons from your resident gay blogger to help avoid being that person yourself. Be the change you want to be. Change begins at home. So here we go:
1. When a guy texts you, unless you're under some sort of duress--don't text and drive, if you're in the hospital getting emergency appendectomy surgery he'll forgive the delay--DON'T whatever you do purposely ignore the text for an hour or two or a day or seven days in an attempt to play hard to get It's not playing hard to get, it's rude. Treat a text message the same as if someone walked up to you and said what they texted you. Worst case scenario "hey I'm in a meeting, chat later..." It's not that difficult to have some manners when texting. We all know you look at your phone thirty times a minute. It's just plain rude to keep someone waiting.
2. Along the same lines as the previous point, let's talk about disappearing DURING a string of text messages. Again the same rule applies, treat texting like you do a face-to-face discussion. You guys were chatting back and forth for an hour and then you say something like "ok so what time do you need me to pick you up from your mom's?" or whatever you happen to say--the sort of thing that doesn't assume the end of a stream of consciousness and does assume an answer is necessary. And then what? He disappears for two hours. So you sit there. And wait. And wait. I mean he needed a ride after all. You don't want to seem like an unprepared guy. He finally gets back to you and then the shocker... he got delayed and won't need a ride for another four hours.
Basically, don't do this. And if they do it to you, then don't bother with them. They've clearly got enough going on in their life that they don't have time for anything potentially serious with you. Move on.
3. Following the last two points let's talk about playing hard to get. Aloof isn't sexy. It's disrespectful. If you feel strongly about someone, let them know. If you don't know, let them know that. If you don't want to be with them, let them know that too. Guys think they have to play hard to get to keep a guy around. This isn't true. If he wants to stay around, he will, whether you play hard to get or not. You're more likely to piss off a good guy who now thinks you aren't interested than to actually get him to stick around.
4. Be yourself. Don't pretend to be someone else for someone because you think they like that personality you're trying to convey. You know what, he's a super masculine guy and you think he only likes super masculine guys? Well, he's in bed with you right, and you're kind of middle of the road. Maybe that's what he wants? Even if it isn't though, pretending to be someone you're not will only leave you miserable in the long run. You will not be happy in a relationship if you're not being yourself.
5. Grindr. You went out on a really nice date with a really sweet guy and all signs point major potential. So you go home afterward, get bored, and go straight to your Grindr app. You're just bored though; it's not like you're actually looking for a hookup... you're still buzzing about this guy after all. But then hey, what's this, HE is back on Grindr too! WTF?? *Shoots laser beams out of your eyes and your head explodes* The jealous part of you feels like shit because clearly he's no better than all the rest. Clearly the date didn't mean that much to him. You know what, fuck him; he's not worth my time. Right? Yet you were online too. And he's probably online checking to see if you're online too just like you're doing. So now you're both feeling shitty and think that the other doesn't really see potential with them, or worse, were lying about the potential they claimed to see.
Life lesson, give it a rest! We're all guilty of this. Just put the app down. Give him a text tomorrow and be your adorable self. Don't expect him to do the same. It's better you don't know if he's online anyways. It's not like you're dating yet or anything. You went on one date. It's still casual. You don't have the right to think he wouldn't be talking to other guys still. For your own sake, don't look him up on Grindr or other dating apps. Take him at his word. If he's interested he will stick around. If he's not, live, learn, and move on.
6. Communication. We all know it's key but we frequently forget how important it really is. If you don't like something, say something. Be reasonable and kind. If it's something you like. Say something just the same! Tell him what you like and don't like. The worst thing that can happen is you both realize that you're incompatible. It's best to find out earlier than later. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run.
7. Fear. All the games that everyone plays (and yes we ALL do it to some extent) are played in an attempt to keep the guy around. We want him to stick around so we play hard to get. We want him to stick around so we ignore how much we hate that he drinks too much or treats you poorly. We want him to stick around because we're afraid of being without him to varying degrees. Humans are social creatures, we want to find someone to connect with on a deep level. It's natural. Don't fight it. But, at the same time you have to be careful about how you're coming across when trying to find that special someone. We get it in our heads that if we act a certain way, say (or don't say) certain things, that we'll keep him around longer. And that's the operative word. Longer. If you need to play games then you realize on some level that he's not going to stick around and you think logically that it's better to have him for a while than not have him at all.
If he doesn't like you for who you are, LET HIM GO. He's not the one for you. The longer you stay with him, the longer you're not going to find the right one for you. So, don't play games. If he sticks around then maybe he's the one for you. If he pushes you away, then go find someone else who will be a better match.
And for the love of your sanity, don't beg him to stay. Don't bargain with him. And don't play with his emotions. Be respectful and you will find the right guy. Play games and all you will find is eventual disappointment.