The Dating Game

In order to understand our advice about texting, you have to first get that dating is a game.

It’s funny, most people are deer-in-the-headlights about a game that’s constantly being played around them. Can you imagine if people were equally clueless about soccer?

You find yourself standing in a grassy field. At your feet, there’s a shiny black and white soccer ball. You can only see two feet in front of you, for some reason. You figure it’s just a foggy day.

You instinctively break into a jog, dribbling the ball in front of you. It feels good. You’re in your comfort zone.

All of a sudden, you get the urge to kick the ball. Pow! Yeah, that felt good too. Except the ball is gone, lost in the foggy distance.

Now why does it suddenly feel so lonely, standing there on that grassy field? It feels like you screwed up somehow. But that’s ridiculous; all you did was kick a ball. What else were you supposed to do, dribble it more?

You think for a little while, but you still can’t explain the loneliness. Kicking is such a mystery!

In the foggy distance, you occasionally hear loud upswells of cheering.

That’s what it feels like to have a game going on around you. Other players are passing and shooting, trying their best to score a goal for their team. But since you have no idea what’s going on, kicking is a mystery.

Compare that to the experience of finding the soccer ball at your feet on a sunny, clear day.

You trap the ball under your foot and look downfield toward the gleaming goal. There are all your teammates, ducking and weaving to get open for your pass.

Pow! You send the ball sailing over a defender’s head and landing right where one of your teammates is about to be open. It’s a beautiful kick.

People think texting is awkward and mysterious when they can’t see how it fits into the larger dating game. We’ll lift the fog to reveal the beautiful possibilities.

The 4 Goals

If dating is a game, like soccer, what are the dating equivalents of scoring a goal?

It turns out that your dating goals fall into 4 categories. These are the 4 dating goals:

  1. COMPANY Spending time with you. Talking with you. Doing activities with you. Being seen with you.

  2. CONNECTION Being your friend. Being vulnerable with you. Getting to know you. Letting you get to know them. Earning your trust. Letting you earn their trust. Becoming family.

  3. COMMITMENT Them not freely dating whoever else they want. Them not freely having sex with whoever else they want. Making time for you. Staying with you. Marriage. Kids.

  4. SEX Not much to add here…

If you’ve already scored a dating goal with someone, then you probably want to keep scoring that goal.

Sometimes this is an obvious point. You might have already had sex with someone, but if you want to have sex with them again, you better play your cards right.

Sometimes it’s not such an obvious point. You might be married to someone, and think that “marriage” is no longer a goal. But you’d be wrong. If you want to stay married, you better play your cards right.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 70 years old, and been happily married to your high school sweetheart for 50 years: As long as you have dating goals, you’re always playing the dating game.

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