Advice from the Trenches: The Mating Game

lionDear C,

I’m so fed up with and pissed off at men right now that I don’t think I’ll ever try again. No matter how nice a guy is in the beginning, after about a month, the honeymoon is over. It’s like there’s this cut off point for attention and affection with them.

I’m the opposite. At first, I hold back, because I don’t want to seem too easy. But if a guy is sweet and persistent, I usually end up going to bed with them. This is when I start feeling like I want to be closer. But if I let a guy know that, it’s also the point where he starts pulling away. What kind of stupid game is this? At first, they’re texting all the time, and sending all this flirtatious BS. Once I give in to their advances, they act annoyed if I even call them.

Fed Up

Dear Fed;

Correct me if I’m off base, but this sounds like your customary scenario: You meet a guy, there’s an attraction and the usual mating ritual begins. The guy pulls every move he has in order to get you into bed. You display the appropriate amount of resistance to show you ain’t a ‘ho, then you end up going to bed with him anyway. Soon after, you find yourself a woman scorned.

Yes, there is a game going on here, but the men are not the only ones playing. You’re just doing a lousy job of it.

Attraction and connection is the number one game for every species on the planet. Watch a National Geographic documentary on the mating rituals of animals and you’ll realize that the hoopla we humans go through pales in comparison. Getting pissed off at guys for playing their mating games is pointless. It’s a natural reflex, not a sinister one, although there are admittedly some predators in those waters. But let’s face facts: In any relationship, at any point, the only thing you can really control is your own behavior. So let’s shift the focus to you.

First, I gotta ask – what exactly is it you are looking for? Sex? Fun? A close relationship? If you just want to get laid, you’ve got a very successful career going for yourself already. But this just seems to be making you miserable, so I suspect what you’re hoping for is a real relationship. The problem is that right now you are sending guys a very mixed message, which is why you are getting such bad results.

Men like to hunt, and it’s no fun going after someone who doesn’t give them a little resistance, so playing hard to get at the beginning is a good way to lure them in. But please understand – your innocent pose is as contrived as their seduction moves. You start with, “I’m unavailable, chase me!” but all it takes is a little extra prodding, and you jump right into bed. If you don’t want to seem easy, this isn’t the way to go about it. To make matters worse, you suddenly start calling them and acting needy. That’s your oxytocin kicking in, girl. You wouldn’t be the first to fall prey to the effects of this hormone that is stimulated after intimacy and makes women want to bond. But if you don’t figure out that these feelings aren’t “real” soon, you are going to keep shooting yourself in the foot over and over. It’s time to use some common sense instead of letting your hormones run the show. Don’t blame the guys, they don’t have a clue. Take charge of your own life.

Do you want to really connect with a man? Then get to know him! Don’t just let him be the chaser while you play the coy maiden. Talk about what’s on your mind, have some adventure together. In your question, you mentioned nothing about what the two of you had in common, or things you enjoyed doing together. You mentioned no stimulating conversations or interesting events. Did anything at all happen aside from the usual mating ritual dance? So what did you expect?

You’re an adult now, Fed, and you’ve been around the block a few times. At this point, it should not be a surprise that when the maiden has been caught and claimed, the hunter usually moves on. That’s the way this particular game is played. If you want something else, it’s up to YOU. Don’t get bitter. Get smarter. Ask a few more questions instead of going with the flow. You have the ability to turn this whole game around.

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