Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Playing Games (Breaking all the Rules)

As little kids, we loved playing games: hide and go seek, Chinese manhunt, spin the bottle (maybe loved that one a little too much), freeze tag, etc. As we became older, we found other ways to enjoy ourselves, yet, even so, we never learned to let go of the game-playing.

Take for instance the infamous 3-day call-back rule. Heaven forbid that a guy should call a girl he likes BEFORE the 3 day waiting period! He’d be called “obsessed,” “desperate,” or other unkind words that I will not state here. While this rule may work for guys who are not altogether interested - allowing time for whatever they said to gradually be forgotten, thus making it easier for them to sink back into oblivion - girls have not fared so well. Not only do we have 3 excruitiating days of anxiety when faced with the prospect that we’ll never be hearing from our latest prospect again, but our sick imaginations are allowed to run wild: “He lost my number,” “My cell phone must have gone out of service when he called,” “He just didn’t want to leave a message,” etc. Who are we kidding anyway? This in itself also leads girls to do stupid things like start up a national MANHUNT so they can find out exactly what went wrong. "Maybe I shouldn't have signed up for the Do Not Call Registry... what was I thinking?" Poor things.

Has "He's Just Not That Into You" helped our situation or worsened it by reinforcing these self perpetuating myths?

Interested guys are also the victim of this self-imposed torture, which causes girls to think that if the guy doesn’t DISOBEY the rule it means they aren’t interested. And there are even guys out there (Dare I say it?) that think if a girl doesn't call THEM it means they don't want them to call either! This, in turn, can lead them to forgo calling, which brings us back full circle to one party or the other behaving badly. If he calls too soon, he likes us too much. If he doesn't call soon, he doesn't like us enough. If we never hear from him again, he clearly is searching to the ends of the earth to find our misplaced number or it is time for us to change phone companies because Verizon CLEARLY is conspiring against us! So no matter what a guy does, he is basically wrong, right?

Who started this nonsense anyway? I’d like for someone to give me THAT person's number!

Yet, while we all know about the immaturity and stupidity surrounding the 3-day call-back rule, have we abandoned it?? In my case, we’ve embraced the NEVER call-back rule, which may make me unfit to even be writing (or ranting) about this!!! Maybe it’s something that makes us feel younger, you know? A 30 year old might feel youthful and carefree playing these games; it may show him that he’s still got his stuff. ((SWOON)) I’m so impressed…

If there’s one thing I’m tired of right now it is traditional GAME playing. If I wanted to play a game, I would go in the closet and take one down... not prey upon some poor, unsuspecting, and otherwise na├»ve male and draw him into this web of contradictory relationship rules where he ultimately loses. Why are we all so keen to just accept these rules without questioning? (We didn't even accept the rules in our childhood games!) So much for adult non-conformity!

Aw well, I guess that makes me a rebel. I’m just breaking all the rules, aren't I? ;)…


Anonymous said...

Here's a question...if women didn't play the "hide your interest" or "play hard to get" games, would men play the 3-day call back game? I think that the 3-day call back is a sort of protective measure for men, since most guys have to approach women to have any chance, and there is at least a 50/50 shot of getting shot down on any given approach. For some, the ratio is much worse. Quite a dent to the ego, no? And, if guys like me decide that they're not going to approach women, and that they will not relinquish control of their lives and/or relationship, women dub them as being arrogant, aloof, cold, etc. So, breaking the rules provides a negative stereotype. Thus, the 3-day rule is propogated by both sexes, as you point out...but, here's the rub...if a man gives you his number, what does that signal? Most people who I've talked to of the female gender suggest that it means he's either got a huge ego, or he's disinterested. And, most women would never call. So, where does that leave us? You're breaking the rules, and so am I, so I guess we can just hope that most people follow suit!

Posted by Patrick on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 1:23 PM

Anonymous said...

you write well.

if i had the guts to ask a girl for her number, i'd relate more. :) haha!

Posted by JonnyUps™ on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 1:24 PM

Anonymous said...

i would be the guy that calls too soon.. haha.. im sorry guys are giving you trouble.. i really dont see how you would have that problem as beautiful as you are and it seems you have quite the personality.. hmm i dont get it... I hope he calls and good luck finding a descent guy


Anonymous said...

Break the rules, if you like the girl call her up that night, the next day...right after you leave just to say hello...I don't like the suspense...if you don't call back within 24 hours...why did you get the number in the first place? If you like them so much CALL!

Posted by Jeff on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 1:48 PM

Anonymous said...

Ok, I normally don't respond to BLOGs, but in this case, I found it sociologically fascinating.

The three day call waiting period is an interesting point. You can't just say fuck the rules however, because you don't know who's playing the game, and even worse, are they a person that plays anyway, and do you want to have to inference that you play games or have played these games in the past?

As the sentence illustrates, the whole point is complicated, and ultimately silly.

How a person plays the game depends on his/her experiences and what's worked or not worked for them.

I think if a guy's confident enough, he can call the next day or the day after if he wants to. He just needs to be willing to take a risk. If she blows him off, then he can seek other females out anyway, and if he's confident enough, there are others in waiting.

Everyone can break the rules if they're willing to lose, get rejected, blown off, etc... But they must be willing to fully take that risk and not give a shit about the consequences.

Posted by Liar_thief_vandal on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 3:50 PM

Anonymous said...

I call the next day. I don't care if I look desperate. If the girl likes me, it doesn't matter.

Posted by Justin on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 4:26 PM

Anonymous said...

I hate women alltogether :D ( no im not gay )

Posted by George on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 6:41 PM

Anonymous said...

Break the rules. Be a rebel! The way I look at it is, if you where given the chance to win a million dollars by making a phone call would you? If someone gives you their number then go for it! How do you know they won't be a winner if you don't call. Wating doesn't do much but waste time and raise dout in the other person. Games should not be part of it. How hard is it? Boy likes girl, girl likes boy. Start you winnings as soon as you can and call the next day. Now in personal excperiance, if you call a couple of times and the person doesn't seem interested then what? Me, I would just let it go and move on. Probally wasn't the winning one any ways right!
Hope the guys you meet are mature enought to take that chance sweetie! Good luck, and remember not every one that comes along will be a winner, but he will eventually come! =)

Posted by Julian on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 7:37 PM

Anonymous said...

Ah, the game. The game is fun only when played with the right people. The same goes for anything having to do with the male/female mating ritual. The key is picking the right game for the right people, because the whole scene is a game. More so chess I feel than any other. Look mister; keep your pawns off me...

Imagine how boring it would be to walk in to a bar and approach the first attractive girl you see. You exchange pleasantries, immediately share your quick thoughts on various topics (religion, politics, etc). Then, if there seems to be a match, mutual attraction not excluded, you delve deeper into each others psyche. After a set amount of time, you plan the next communications session. You leave, then call or meet the person at the precise moment in time previously specified. That doesn’t sound all too bad or uncommon, but imagine if you will, the annoyance of that repetitive behavior every single time. No variation or change.

Hence the games, such as the “3 day call back rule”, and the plethora of others that are hosted at every bar and coffee shop across the world. Makes it interesting, interesting is fun, and fun is good. This ties into my opinion that the most successful of men and women in the dating scene are the one’s who can accurately predict which game for which person. And how does one get good at such a task? Practice, thus the perpetuation of the games. Not only is it fun, but mandatory in the futile attempt at understanding the opposite sex and how to manipulate them.

Sad, but possibly true…

Posted by Tuck on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 8:55 PM

Anonymous said...

*amen* to that tuck.. I believe it all depends on the person your dealing with... if that person is just going through the motions then you should wait... actually the longer the better. There is no challenge and people face it or not always respect a challenge. They don't want some boring routine date..

But then again you have to realize when your dealing with somebody who is unflexible and demanding. if they say "you BETTER call me tommorow" or if you talk about a specific event "dj is playing at club so and so tommorow" then it's best if you call TOMMOROW....

just my opinions.. and what works best for me

Posted by manny on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 1:39 PM

Anonymous said...

And I am debating on taking offence to the “30 year old” comment. :P

Posted by Tuck on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 8:57 PM

Anonymous said...

It's a rule most guy follows. and most girls know about. its funny but thats girls follow that rule too. If they call earlier, they can decide to blow him off. The only way he he can break this cycle or game is that he knows the girl really interested and maybe if the she gave him a clue and say "hey I am free tomorrow, why don't ya give me a call then." I know it is direct but it works. Otherwise he will have no motive or he is in fear of looking desperate. Anyways that how I view it.

Posted by James Dean on Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 12:06 PM

Anonymous said...

Not only do I disagree but I mostly go against all those rules.
Its more like I will call you the next day. It has worked well for me.
I do not believe in games and most importantly I do not take a number from
someone without letting them know I dont play games with the calls etc...
In fact I make it a point that if I am not getting a response I will not call again.
Lol. I guess as long as you are stern in your ways it really does not matter how soon
you call. Also: you should know if that person is into you. If they seem to not be into you
then I suggest not to give out the number or take the number.

Hope this helps. Keep, keeping it real. This world is fake enough.

Angelo G.

Posted by Italiano-x-Sempre on Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 7:31 PM

Anonymous said...

Oh crap! There are rules!?

Hmm, maybe that's why I am single.

Lol, good blog post. It is too true.

Anonymous said...

You should try publishing this articlel;) You really do write well!

Posted by The Rob on Friday, May 20, 2005 at 11:06 AM

Anonymous said...

I'm with ya, sista! This 3-day rule is overwhelmingly retarded! If there is an intrest in someone, why wait to call? I mean, don't call every hour on the hour - that's called stalking - and the only difference between talking and stalking is 1 letter. Next thing ya know, we're gonna be sending little notes that say *Do you like me? Check yes or no*. We are adults, people. If you don't wanna have a girl worry bout are you gonna call, should I call him, do I need to wait 96 hours and then send a carrier pigeon and follow up with smoke signals, then don't get her phone number unless you have every intention of calling her. If not, then you don't deserve to call a girl or have one call you. Like I've said before, I know you fellas come equipt with some balls, but I think you either need to grow a bigger pair or another set!

Posted by Mary on Monday, May 23, 2005 at 3:02 PM

Anonymous said...

ok so just when the hell am i supposed to call then?!!

Posted by y0 Lorenzo! on Monday, May 23, 2005 at 4:08 PM

Anonymous said...

Um...not to ruin the whole thing, but if i like a girl, and get her number, i call her the next day, or the next time i have a spare moment...usually just to chat, and see what she's like. Is it because i like them too much...not likely. Is it because i am trying to fuck with their preconceived notions about how this is supposed to go...nope.

It's because if i am interested in a girl, or a movie, or a song, or a certain food...i want to investigate further...and i do so at my earliest convenience.

Games are stupid...and if the girls i have dated were playing them...i either lost badly and didn't even know it, or won despite my ignorance. Either way...

i didn't sweat it...and never will.

Any guy who has an "X number of days calling rule" has seen "Swingers" too many times, and should spend some time trying to figure out what it is they really want from life...and how they plan on going about getting it.

That's just my 2 cents...

sorry if it didn't really answer yer question....

Posted by Nived on Friday, May 27, 2005 at 11:02 PM

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of the three-day rule. I enjoy playing the game because everyone's rules are a little different but generally similar enough to let you realize that you're playing a game.
My rules:
1. Once I call, he has to call me next. You have to take turns until you're 'offically dating' or in a relationship. No one wants to look desperate. I'll wait about a week before I make the initial call.
2. If he doesn't call within two weeks I delete the number. If you're interested you would have called back or called period. No drama or hurt feelings, but I don't want to look at the number wondering what could have been.
I guess that's it. Everything else is subjective.

Posted by just danse on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 12:37 AM

Anonymous said...

eah all this call back and girls calling guys, and guys calling girls sounds cool, but what about those of us who cant get a date? consider yourselves fortunate

Posted by drew on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 10:57 PM

meesterjoneser said...

Ah, the things you miss from being out of the dating game for .. ahem .. ahhh.. many moons.

(Adopts Olde Farte accent) In my day, we just went up to the woman at the bar, etc, and said, "Say, are you free for a movie/dinner/airplane ride (my favorite) sometime?"

Eliminated much of the game playing.
If she replied with laughter, you probably struck out. If she paused, gave you the once-over with her eyes, or gnawed her lower lip, you had a chance of getting her number to set up something later.

Or she just said, "Well, no, I'm in a relationship".

But then again, luck is luck, and sometimes you'd get lucky.

Here's something I'm told works though (from a son of mine)

On the internet you can buy fake ATM receipts, on the real paper. They show a balance of $127,350. You pull out something to write down your phone number on , and it's the back of the receipt. Give it to her, appearing not to know it's a receipt.

My bet is 12-1 you'll get a call.
And this ploy should work for either men or women.

I avow all knowlege of this trick, being old and in the way.
(Let me know if it works)

3-day rule? Sheesh, how dumb.