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I like playing games as much as the next person. At my fifth birthday party, I remember begging to play yet another game of musical bumps. By fifteen, Truth or Dare seemed a more fitting choice. By fifty, it may be that Pictionary is more up my street. I doubt I will ever stop playing games. After all, they are fun, right?
A good game always has rules.
We have all been fed rules about how to act in the big bad world of love and dating. Some are logical, common sense, like “Don’t make yourself too available”- after all people are instantly more attractive when their life does not revolve around you. Any rule that stops you bringing out the inner-crazy, leaving thirty missed calls because you “wanted to hear the sound of his voice”, is probably worth listening to.
On the other hand, some “rules” are bordering on the ridiculous. I was flicking through a magazine the other day and came across this “pearl of wisdom”: “If you’ve been together more than a year and he hasn’t proposed, start dating others. Do you really have another year to waste?” Sure, a good game has rules, but please know when it is time to disregard the rulebook!
A good game will always have a winner.
I can remember a time when a big argument broke out between me and my boyfriend. Being mature, well adjusted adults, we chose to ignore eachother for days. The one who caved first and appoligised- well they were weak! They lost! The other could triumph as being the more stubborn.
I caved first, by the way. I lost… but since the “game” wasn’t fun to begin with, it was the best thing to do. Funnily enough, since we have swallowed our pride and focused more on “taking part” than “winning”, it’s been a happier relationship.
A good game can be ruined by a cheat.
If people choose to view love as a game, are they making it more okay to cheat? People cheat at games all the time… there is even a game called Cheat! In football, if you cheat, you get a red card. Disqualified. Unfortunately many people in love seem to have a bottomless supply of yellow cards… always one more before “Game Over”. A game is more enjoyable for players and spectators alike when kept clean. Why should love be any different?
To summarise, there are two big things that instantly suck the fun out of games: people who care more about winning than taking part and those who cheat
When the game in question is ‘musical bumps’, these inevitable things will cause sulking, temper tantrums and maybe a few tears. When the game is love? Let’s just say the hurt will last long after the candles are blown out and the cake is served.
Love can be fun and enjoyable, just like a game. But don’t ever forget the reason you started playing. Make up your own rulebook, play a clean game, and accept that there will be no winner and no loser. After all, winning means the game is over.