It is so funny to see how some social behaviors are exactly the same between France and the US, and others are completely different. Well, this was a big shock to me when I arrived in the US. I understood of course a man and a woman could be interested in each other in a romantic way, let me reassure you.
One of the very obvious difference is the dating game. But I was not aware that accepting to go out to dinner with a man alone gave the signal that I was possibly romantically interested in him.
Unfortunately, those of us who don’t see the benefits that mind games offer tend to use it for devious purposes – specifically, relationships.
On the other hand, real-life dating had so far led me to a former frat boy who got jealous when a homeless man talked to me, a gay guy who was looking for a woman to bear his children, and a 40-something singer in a Rick James cover band who once pooped his pants on . Besides, someone to ice skate alongside in Bryant Park sounded nice. 10 are sleeping, 5 are flying, 4 are playing and 1 is reading this,” one of the first messages read.
So I logged onto Ok Cupid, uploaded some flattering photos, listed a bunch of pretentious favorite books and music, and waited. Within a day, I had received dozens of new communiques.
But I would never do that to my Dad who would be very upset if I did. When I meet a man and I am without my husband, I’ll place within the first minutes of the conversation that “my husband blablabla… That usually is enough to make my state of mind really clear.
I did the same thing as a girl, talking about my boyfriend (actually existing or not) early on in the conversation. And some people are just not faithful, but contrary to popular opinion, it’s not worse in France than anywhere else (and several studies demonstrate it). It’s in our genes and it’s socially accepted in France.
The motivations differ from person to person, but the goal is always the same – to win.
Whatever the prize is, using mind games to acquire it never ends well.
Around this time two years ago, I created an online dating profile. I wasn’t opposed to dating, but I had exhausted the friends of friends category. She advised me that online dating probably wasn’t the path to a relationship, but it would get me out of my dating rut.
I had a busy social life, a job I liked, smart friends, and a general aversion to committed relationships—and no incentive to clear the way for dudes. Then my friend Priscilla—an attractive, normal, and well-socialized young woman—signed up for Ok Cupid.
“It’ll make you stop being such a judgmental bitch,” was how she put it.
“You’ll have to be nice to people.” Online dating was, in my bitchy and judgmental estimation, for women who wanted to get married, stat, and were willing to settle for whatever turned up a few clicks away.
It’s true that both men and women play these games, but each game has it’s consequences.