There comes a certain point where childish shenanigans and immature actions in your romantic life feel dumb to do and have done to you. For some who mature quickly, that point is middle school. For others, the game extends beyond high school, into college and beyond. They may even continue to treat their love life like an arcade well into their adult years, because that’s just how some people are. All you can do is recognize when someone is playing games with you, then you can decide for yourself whether you’re interested in participating or not. These are the terrible tomfooleries you’ll potentially run into if you date enough these days.
Deciphering if they're playing hard to get or if they're just uninterested
They look similar, but are complete opposites. People play hard to get, but it's almost impossible to tell if they're playing hard to get or if they're flat out uninterested. This is a game that’s usually played solo, and involves a great deal of driving yourself crazy trying to carefully analyze every last bit of interaction.
Showing interest without being creepy
The key to this game is first learning if the other person is interested, because that’s really the only difference between your actions being embraced and your actions being screencapped and shamed. Whether sliding into someone’s DMs or mentioning that you remember a detail about them, you must tread lightly if you aren’t fairly certain how they feel about you.
The "purposefully taking longer to text back to mask interest" game
Yes, sometimes when daters do nothing, they’re doing something. Texting is done so strategically these days and people aren’t above intentionally waiting to see if you’ll text first, or purposefully taking longer to respond to mask interest. It’s all silly, but “I’m gonna wait for her/him to text me first” is a phrase people frequently think and speak.
Searching for a label through the foggy vagueness
Many daters try to avoid the “What are we?” conversation, which can often lead to confusion on precisely what the relationship is. People don’t know what the level of commitment is, and after all these years, people still don’t know what “we’re talking” truly means. The uncertainty makes for a heck of a time searching for something definitive.