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Beginnings

The Dating Game

Being back in the dating scene again in recent months, I’ve been reminded of the delicate dance that occurs upon meeting a...

Amy C Written by Amy C · 2 min read >

Being back in the dating scene again in recent months, I’ve been reminded of the delicate dance that occurs upon meeting a new love interest. The rush of excitement is followed by panic and questions such as: Should I initiate contact first? How many hours/days until I respond? What should the text message say?

The psychoanalyzing of initial communication when trying to decipher if the person likes you or not is something typical of the early stages of dating. Much like a game of chess – constantly positioning and manoeuvring oneself to capture the king.

While this was a challenge I gladly participated in during my early twenties. I’ve grown rather tired of that game – one that is quite silly and pointless if you think about it.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through witnessing friends who are in healthy relationships, it’s that when it’s supposed to work, it happens organically. The dance, the chase, the playing hard to get – all fall by the wayside, making room for a balance of reciprocation of affection. While one may give a little more here and the other a little more there, there is an overall harmony. As a friend of mine put it, like a seesaw, the equal momentum keeps it going. The courtship, even if initiated by one person first, unfolds into a rather natural flow.

I believe that when something doesn’t work out with someone, it’s because it’s meant to work out with someone else in the future. I’ve stopped wasting energy mulling over rejection or pining over men who aren’t that in to me. Before, if a guy wasn’t interested enough to pursue the path of a relationship with me, I would react by increasing my efforts and giving more. I read a quote recently that explains this tendency well:

“Sometimes, when you are not getting the love you want, giving makes you think you will.” – Mitch Albom, from the book The Timekeeper

Giving more doesn’t result in an increase of affection from the apple of your eye. Trying to convince someone that you are worthy of their time and affection is futile. It may work for a moment, but usually no more than that. Because people’s feelings change often, and curiosity can be mistaken for genuine interest, it may be difficult to determine if someone is worth doting over or not. So, how can you tell if someone likes you?

Well, there is definitely no need to exert energy in decoding text messages or Facebook pokes to guess if someone is in to you or not. If someone likes you, it’s quite simple: they will try to spend time with you to get to know you. If they don’t make time to see you, it’s the clearest communication that they are a) not interested enough b) too busy to make getting to know you a priority c) in a time in their life where pursuing a relationship with you is not a focus.

To my fellow single readers out there, I’ll leave you with this. Be open to meeting new people even if the person doesn’t fit the “type” you think you want. If you’re interested in someone romantically, initiate effort to try and see the person. If you initiate and the other person breaks plans or doesn’t reciprocate energy in making time to see you, then take that as a clue that he/she is just not that into you. Don’t try to convince them otherwise. Move on. Because there’s someone else that’s a better fit who is out there waiting for you.

Written by Amy C
Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to healing the heart. Marie Claire calls her "A relationship expert whose work is like that of a scientific Carrie Bradshaw" and her company has been featured across national media including Good Morning America, Vogue, Glamour, Nightline along with the front page of The New York Times. Her book, Breakup Bootcamp - The Science of Rewiring Your Heart, published by Harper Collins, will be released Fall 2020. Profile

8 Replies to “The Dating Game”

  1. Once again Amy, you’ve nailed it!!! Thank you for your bang on insight!!! Well said and much needed to read!!!!

  2. Great article! I know that I have wasted time trying to make it work with the wrong one – it shouldn’t be such hard work… I know there is someone out there just waiting for me…

    Patty x

  3. This is so true! It took me years to figure this out… and frankly I still am. Funny though how many of my girlfriends get so caught up in the “what if?” and “what should I do?” and “how come he?”

    As you stated above… if something is going to work… it’s organic, it just is… and if it isn’t and it’s hard it wasn’t meant to be…

    I’ve spent most of my life chasing the unavailable men because frankly I’ve been unavailable myself… but earlier this year I had a man fall in love with me… like I’ve never had a man fall in love with me before… and it was absolutely no work at all… no questioning if he was going to change his mind about me… it felt good and safe… it didn’t work out… but it was my final lesson… the lesson that is… love and relationships, albeit sometimes challenging, either ARE or AREN’T.

    xo

  4. I love this web post! It’s really really true! If someone will give you their light of day it means so much. I love your blog!

  5. I’ve had my share. No reciprocity after a few trials is a dead signal ahead. Met someone who never broke plans right from the first date and it just became real easy from the start. Of course it take reciprocity back and forth but that’s the fun part because relationships take nurturing and respect. Love this post and great advice!

  6. Hey Amy,

    I’ve been reading your blog casually for the past few months. Your stories and reflections are very well written and thought out; It’s a refreshing and enjoyable read.

    It actually surprises me that your journey in finding the right guy is taking as long as it has. If the effort and sincerity that goes into each of your posts reflects you, surely the right kind of guys must have taken notice. Then again, maybe I don’t know the whole story aside from the glimpses offered by your blog.

    You’ve had your fair share of rises-and-falls from grace and I have a feeling this round of dating will go well for you. He’s out there somewhere but, and this is highly possible, he may be focussed on personal and professional growth that he’s not even registering on the relationship radar.

    Goodluck in the dating game. If you do consider it a game of chess, remember that the Queen can move any amount while the King only moves one square at a time :P.

    Also, thank you for your articles; some of the lessons you’ve shared have helped me better understand, and improve, my long-term relationship with my girlfriend.

    Sincerely,

    Jason

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