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I don't want to play games. I am not looking for games. I am looking for something real.

How many times have you said these words? Probably many.

Here’s something radical: STOP. Play the game. If you want to attract the ideal person into your life or grow an existing relationship, then you MUST play the game.

Yes, that’s right, play the game. Let me explain why you have to play and what makes this game unique.

You can think about this like a poker hand. If you show all of your cards right away, you lose. To be an effective player, you need to keep the tension strong and reveal your cards slowly. In dating, here’s how this analogy works:

  • Do not give up on yourself. If you are looking for something serious and the person you are dating is not, you should walk away. If you continue dating under these circumstances, you may begin to resent yourself, or worse, convince yourself that the more you date, the more likely it is that a relationship will blossom. This is not true. Generally, it results in the other person taking you for granted or treating you poorly. You deserve better.

  • Stop sacrificing. Do not drive 30 minutes to buy lunch for a person after having been on only one date. Do not buy presents for someone you have just met or started dating. Do not suddenly change your plans and dreams in order to force a relationship. Your dreams make you unique. You undermine yourself when you quickly change them, not to mention the person you’re dating will lose respect for you if they see your dreams are easily malleable.

  • Do not incessantly call or text. While having strong communication with the person you’re dating is crucial, you should avoid frequent calling or texting in the beginning. Keep the mystery of yourself alive by showing that you’re busy. Even if you are not that busy, you should at least give the impression that you have a fulfilling, packed life. You need to give the fire between you and them some time to grow before adding additional wood. Time and patience are the keys when first starting to date, and limiting the frequency of communication will naturally create a “missing effect” with the other person.

  • Go slow. You just started dating, the relationship feels amazing, and you want to spend more time together. That's great. But, remember good things take time. Meeting their family or moving in together shouldn’t happen too fast- even when everything feels amazing. Take your time, enjoy every moment you have together, and learn how to enjoy the time you’re apart. These things by themselves can create more affection between you in the long run.

  • The things you appreciate in life are the things you worked hard to achieve. You want your partner to appreciate you, and you want to appreciate the time you spend with them. In order to do so, you want them to invest time and effort. This can include: scheduling dates in advance, deciding where to go on a date, or making reservations for the date. It is the understanding that in order to spend time with you they need to make an effort because you are valuable. Your time is valuable. Make sure you believe in that before you are asking someone else to believe in it.

The attraction game is one we tend to give up on too fast because we want the fairytale. This game has nothing to do with being cocky, arrogant, or entitled. This game is all about self-focus and appreciation of yourself. When you’re confident in who you are and what your value is, you no longer require outside approval, thereby making you more desirable in the eyes of the other person.

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