While women in our society are often encouraged to speak freely about their feelings and emotions many men do not have the luxury of this kind of support. Because of this problem in our society, many men will do and say things that have a very different meaning from the point they actually hope to get across. This misinterpretation cannot necessarily be blamed on the individual person as it is often executed without their awareness.
Without the ability to express one’s feelings properly a person may often send out the wrong signals and while this trait is in no way exclusively held by the male population, many of them have been forced to learn how to hide their feelings and may suffer this result as a consequence. Because every individual has their own way of showing how they feel about another person it can be difficult to interpret a particular meaning behind an action; especially if that action is coupled with a poor manor of expression. While it may not be possible to determine the nature of every look, signal or phrase many of the mixed signals can be at least narrowed down to a specific cause and through this a person might be able to achieve some understanding of the true message. The basic meaning here being that while some men are deliberate, even cruel with the games that they play; some actions are not intended to result in the actions that they do and a little patience must always be exercised if dealing with a man who has had difficulty in expressing himself.
While this idea may cover some of the mixed signals that men send out, it in no way covers the more commonly complained about games that are often seen during dating. Many women feel as if they are forced to act defensively, as if dating were some game of cat and mouse; in some ways that is precisely how both sexes feel about dating and this can make for some very dangerous situations where feelings are concerned. The standard belief that most men are purely after sex is in many (but certainly not all,) cases true; however one must keep in mind that the reasons for this single minded train of thought are often more complex than simple instinct.
A man may begin his life by seeking out only physical interaction, but many eventually long for something more, whether or not they feel that they are allowed to admit it to their male friends. Because our society has placed a standard on the average male many feel that the pressure to appear aloof when it comes to relationships is the only acceptable way to act. Fortunately as individuality also becomes a more popular idea, so will the concept that a man can seek out however casual or committed a relationship he feels the need to enter.
However much our society can hope for growth amongst the singles of the world there are still many that choose to treat dating as if it were a game; more importantly a game where there is a victor and naturally a loser. Understanding some of the most common tricks of the trade is not only an excellent way to navigate dating pitfalls, but also to identify those men who are not yet ready for a serious relationship and would rather continue making a game of dating.
- The Cut Down: One common enough practice men use on women is to undermine their self esteem; therefore forcing them to feel grateful that the man would choose to be interested in them. This can be accomplished within the first few minutes of dating easily by making a random, yet guised, insult that is intended to throw off the subject of interest. The reaction is usually that the subject becomes either embarrassed or challenged and reacts accordingly; both serve in getting the attention of the subject. To combat this tactic one must simply be aware of such comments and if presented with it reacts as they feel necessary. Certainly most singles would agree that an insulting a person is no way to win their heart; however once in a social atmosphere it can be easy to forget to keep your guard up against such an approach.
- Defining Intentions: While some men are very confidant and fully capable of explaining how they feel about and where they hope to go in a relationship others are far less capable of being forthcoming about their feelings. This is particularly frustrating to many singles because it does not clearly mean that the man is, or isn’t interested; it simply means that he has difficulty expressing those feelings. If uncertain of exactly how a man feels it can be helpful to simple ask outright; if done in a gentle and non-threatening manor this may help to make his feelings clear. Because some men have no interest in a long-term relationship, but find that without leaving the possibility open they may have difficulty find physical partners, some men attempt to leave that question of commitment undefined. By doing this they avoid having to verbally commit to the relationship while at the same time allow the other person to believe it could be possible.
The man may be fully aware that this “possibility” is the only reason that the person allows themselves to become physically intimate, though he knows that if his true feelings were revealed they would surely feel differently. Because this problem is common enough, a good rule to follow might be: do not allow your partner (or date,) to leave questions unanswered if those answers clearly define what level of intimacy you are prepared to reach. It is often unwise to guess at your partner’s feelings unless you have received some very strong signals and making an assumption that can lead you into doing things that you may later regret can be very hurtful.
- Physical Indications: There are some men who would lead their dates to believe that if the physical relationship reaches a certain level they will develop strong feelings about their partner. For this reason many singles find themselves believing that if they share a physical intimacy with a person that person must care for them. This again, is not exclusively an act put on by men and should be looked for by any single on the dating scene who desires more than just a physical relationship. If a person hopes to find a strong relationship it might be wise to be sure of the other person’s feelings before entering into a more intimate physical scenario rather than hoping that those feelings develop afterward.
- Intimidation: Though we have seen many changes in recent years men are still typically larger and stronger than women in general and for this reason were for many years the dominant party during courting. Though many things have changed in our society a great many women still find this dominance exciting; note the classic attraction to the “bad boy” and how this attraction seemingly makes little sense to anything other than physical stimulation. Because the instinct is still present despite the changes that have taken place, many men will still use it to their advantage. Acting in a forceful or domineering way even in the first few minutes of meeting another person they will seek to present their strength and by doing so attract a person. This can be accomplished through words or entering a proximity to another person which is much closer than one our society usually dictates; even the right look from a man can be sending this signal if executed properly.
While these actions are often a result more of instinct than intention and in many cases to not serve to indicate any problem in the development of the relationship there a certain aspects of these actions which may prove to be warning signs of a particular personality. A man who is particularly fond of making their date feel intimidated, for example, may be more likely to be making a game of dating rather than looking for a relationship. Any sign that this behavior is leans in the direction of cruelty is also a great warning sign that the man may have some other goal on his mind than a serious romantic interest. In these circumstances it is often best to pay attention to how a man makes you feel; if you find that there are moments when you feel uncomfortable it might be best to end the interaction and move on.
- Win-win Gamble: Though this tactic may not be a harmful one it is often a good indication that the man, for whatever reason, lacks the ability to be forthcoming about his feelings. The scenario is very simply: a man will make a bet with another person who he find attractive, the loser of the bet must pay for a social event (dinner, movie, etc,) at which both people will be present. The idea being simply that win or lose the man has just assured that he will be going out with his interest. While this tactic is seemingly innocent it is still an indication of a lack of truthfulness and while the cause may simply be that the man is too shy to ask out a person it is often worth paying attention to because honesty is so vital to a healthy relationship.
A good way to combat this scenario is simply to either allow the game to continue and be mindful of any other indications which raise alarm; or allow the man to know that you understand what he is doing so that he becomes aware that you do not approve of games. Either may still result in a date because the nature of the game is often flattering rather than insulting; but how the relationship advances is up to you.
However you choose to react to the games that are played when dating, or perhaps even play a few of your own, try to remember that nearly every action has a consequence and a meaning; be sure that you are sending a message to those singles who you find interesting that best reflects the intentions that you have or hope to achieve. While it can be difficult to remove yourself completely from the games played when dating knowing how to best arm yourself against those that would have a negative result on your life is an excellent way to avoid disaster.
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