Overcoming stupid relationship rules and games


There are rules that everyone, both men and women, must follow. Sure, there are the obvious obligations in career and finances and everyday stuff like that. But in relationships – everything from long-term to short-term – there are rules from who you talk with to what time you call after a date. But really, in the end, all of these rules are nothing but insecure controlling attempts on any relationship any of us have with the opposite sex, and must end immediately.

I am perpetually unlucky (where unlucky really means lazy and annoyed with any available men) in my romantic life, but the situation would be far more bleak if I employed the usual games that generally accompany relationships at any stage in life. These rules and games ruin the chance for a healthy bond with anyone, from high school sweethearts to the most casual friends with benefits. Read on for a look at the usual lame “rules” that everyone uses to appear calm and controlled in relationships, and why it’s important to eliminate them from your own.

Labels and communication

I never thought that the gossip and communication techniques used religiously by 12-year-olds would translate to adult relationships, but I was unfortunately mistaken. The lines of communication are so garbled, to the point that if two people are in a relationship together, it’s discussed in more detail among their friends rather than between the two individuals. This stems from the central problem connected to these games: the need to appear that you don’t even care – have never cared, really – about this relationship and what it could be defined as. This sort of self-delusion works perfectly until, of course, you’re inevitably waiting by the phone alone and drinking tequila.

Here’s an idea: talk to the love interest in question one on one, rather than through your gleeful, half-informed friends. I know it sounds crazy and too simplistic for the post-modern world, but it actually works. Once you let go of this immature mentality that revealing your feelings and ideas is a fate worse than death, you can let go of some of the games and stupidity in your relationships.

The classic game

Most people would rather die than show their interest in someone that they have only just met or started dating, which leads to playing “hard to get,” a concept that is practically prehistoric and should be abandoned in all relationships. Playing hard to get makes each side feel just so clever; as if one is pulling off some great trick. Whoever is playing the game is seemingly thrilled with his or her own brilliance, but guess what: the person you’re playing knows exactly what is going on. So why don’t we all just accept defeat and stop playing hard to get? Just stop making the same mistakes: Women use it by doing everything from rejecting men’s calls to feigning a busy lifestyle (especially if a guy calls the night before with an idea for a date; the idea dictates that women should never appear that eager). Men are hardly exempt from making stupid moves in this way, either – our sports editor just told me that he waits three days after getting a woman’s number to give her a call. It’s a relief to know that men are just as stupid as women, if not more so.

Lauren Robeson can be reached at lauren.robeson.79@csun.edu.