I started this post as a column, and then I never finished it. It didn’t make the cut . . .
I didn’t think of myself as a person with a lot of Game in the dating world until years ago, when a friend approached me about the potential for being in his documentary, aptly titled “Game,” that would feature men and women in Chicago who were known for their sixth senses in dating. I couldn’t resist, so I participated in a roundtable conversation with several people – mostly men – who had great grasp of the opposite sex and tactics to reach their end goals. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), the documentary never went farther than an initial conversation, but it got me thinking about Game. What IS Game, exactly? And is it a good thing? Or is having Game another way of saying that you’re a dating menace?
Even after attending and participating vividly in the discussion, I was still leery about my level of Game.
The first issue was that men didn’t find me to be so attractive. For most of my adult life and formative dating years, I’ve been a dating columnist. The irony is that nothing turns men off faster than the possibility of being analyzed and exposed in front of a large audience. My entire package usually wasn’t appealing enough to take the risk. There were very nice men who wouldn’t have touched me if they were paid large sums to do so. And then there were the doozies who wanted to date me just so that they could be featured in the column. Those were men to be avoided.
Second, I wasn’t necessarily a “boyfriend person.” I knew serial monogamists who seemed to easily move from man to man. Not me. I’ve always had a vibrant social life and lots of fun friends, which enabled me to effortlessly go long stretches of time in between serious relationships. There were many men that I was attracted to, so I dated the ones who weren’t scared off to indulge myself, stay current and to generate content for the column, but I was all about having a good time – which didn’t include waiting for a man to call.
Also? I knew women with what I perceived to be Game. Those were the women who were showered with gifts and financial rewards for their efforts. I was certainly not in that camp – and I began to think that if I really had game? I had taken a wrong turn somewhere.
I couldn’t figure it out, so I decided to ask another male friend if he thought I had Game. He pondered, and then told me that I have Game in the sense that I’m analytical and aloof. I recognized Game, didn’t fall for Game, and didn’t seem to care if anyone was running Game because my emotions were beyond reach.
His theory didn’t make sense initially, but I eventually saw his point and determined that Game – or the manipulation of another’s behavior to suit your purposes – is born from a place of apathy. If you’re running game on someone, you simply don’t care much about them. Likewise if someone’s running game on you, you need to be aware of their intentions.
Somehow, it made me feel better that I wasn’t someone who had game, as much as I was a person who can deflect game. I think.