bored games

Article by Pravin Nair
Photos are taken from Subway Hands Via Instagram
All rights copyrighted by Hannah La Follette Ryan, NYC.

Somehow, as  modern society, we have come to collectively accept that raw feelings and emotions are a sign of weakness. I don’t know which cold hearted being hurt the half of us all at once, to have the heart to tell the other half of humanity that we should always be on our feet and tip toe around our new dates. This is so apparent even though we as a generation are so obsessed with finding “The One”. Admittedly, I do believe, we put ourselves through senseless hookups, flings and dates to narrow down the right person and to let them into our lives. We jump from one relationship to another and we keep trying again and again until we are stumped, either from being too burnt out, to trying to date emotionally unavailable people or even a bad break up that went so wrong it would make you falling face flat in front of a crowd of people look like a walk in the park.

When it comes to me, I have realized that I tend to attract a lot of emotionally unavailable men. Being a queer kid in a city like KL not only limits your dating pool to a select few due to the fact that you might get a fine and/or go to jail for living your life, but also the casual racism that exists within the gay community. But that’s another story for another time.. I’m here to talk about the games we play when meeting a prospective date, hooking up with someone or even while being in a relationship. I always have my friends tell me to never text men first and put all of myself out there at the risk of getting hurt. Or even have them tell me to always be coy and never wear my heart on my sleeve with men because all they do is rip it from you and crush it to bits.

This got me to thinking. Have we as a society been burnt badly to a point where we can’t even be vulnerable to our potential partners? And  has commitment truly driven out the idea of being in a relationship until we have resorted to cheap thrills by engaging in complex games? Do we find the idea of such games a comfort in order to break new grounds since blatantly expressing one’s feelings to another has become a thing of the past?

As innocent as animals are when it comes to mating, we as humans are not. We are more self-aware of our doings, especially when playing mind games. But what is it about us that loves the thrill of the game? “

In the animal kingdom, animals of all kinds play games when trying to find their perfect mate. They dance, whistle, sing, fight with other opponents and show off their colors to their female counterparts to entice and keep them in a trance long enough so they get to procreate. As innocent as animals are when it comes to mating, we as humans are not. We are more self-aware of our doings, especially when playing mind games. But what is it about us that loves the thrill of the game?

To those on the receiving end of the game, deep down we know it’s all psychological but were we coaxed down into this rabbit hole, into a game that we can’t ever seem to win while never being able to give it up? The idea that we have been conditioned to believe that games are the only way to win one’s heart have left us alone and looking like fools. We become complacent and their pawns in a big chess game of love.

With all this talk of games, one might begin to wonder as to what they are and I am here to let you all know. 

The list of said games include:

  1. Late replies to keep them waiting on you. Some people think the longer they keep the other person waiting, the more they’ll want them. And as much as I love emotional edge play, it does not do so well for the next person.
  2. Ghosting….. truly something I can’t get behind. If you’re busy and still manage to read my texts, let me know you’ll buzz me later! It ain’t that hard!!
  3. Dancing and teasing with one’s emotions when you or your partner aren’t ready for anything serious

The idea of games and how we play them may seem enticing to some or emotionally tasking to the next but why do we do this when we can instead let our guard down and explore ourselves romantically? Past break ups and trysts may have left us burnt to a crisp ash but at the prospect of a great romance, I think we need to step back and evaluate our choices at playing such games to avoid a truly great missed opportunity.

In a world where we are ruled by dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Scruff and the likes, we are given an endless number of bodies to swipe, tap, chat or buzz with. But does that entail us finally settling down and finding the right partner? I am a faithful and a firm believer in finding the one. Be it on a night out at the park looking at the stars with a date or a quickie at a hookup’s place, I believe that there is someone out there for me and for you. I am a hypocrite when it comes to admitting my admiration for my current lover to avoid looking like a fool, but that’s who I am. A deep romantic at heart, and I think you should be one too.

Life is too short to be having a game of smoke and mirrors and building walls around someone who’s giving it all to you. Consider my advice. You might just find your next great romance down the block, not too far around from you.

And to those who have become a pawn in a terrible game to find love, I offer you this advice. Stand your ground, strong and bold and drop these silly fools. One must always remind themselves that once you close a window, a whole door with endless possibilities opens up for you.