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By: Arika Kim
Welcome to A Millennial's Dating Diary series, where we explore real-life interactions and the hurdles of dating in Southeast Asia. The series will feature the dating stories and misadventures of Arika – a 26-year-old, straight female marketing manager with a penchant for over drinking — and fellow millennials.
It sounds bizarre, I know. But my friend and fellow millennial, *Mandy, 28, swears by this trick.
“Guys love the chase, and if you seem too easy, they get bored and lose interest,” she explains.
So what exactly does she do?
“To start, I never save their numbers. Once I start talking to them on WhatsApp, I delete their numbers and mute them individually. I’ll reply only when I happen to be on WhatsApp or when I feel like it. This could range from a few hours to a few days. Doing so keeps them on their toes.”
When I first heard this, I thought Mandy was insane. But, she swears it works, and it’s how she met her boyfriend, *Josh, and determined he was the right person for her.
“I only save the number of guys who bother trying to talk to me for more than three months. Think of it as a three-month trial for your attention. Once the three months are up, and he’s demonstrated that he’s putting in the effort, he’s ‘passed’ the test.”
Balancing the New Normal:
Again, I thought this was a ludicrous concept. Mandy — who is a big fan of dating coach Matthew Hussey — believes that women should only give their attention to guys who show up and match the level of attention and effort given.
While I completely agree that men should match the attention and effort given by women if they’re just as interested, I don’t believe in playing games.
However, as it turns out, Mandy isn’t the only one using these tactics to bag the guys she wants.
On TikTok, there are all these “toxic” dating coaches and advisors dishing out tips on how to get anyone to remain interested in you by either ignoring them occasionally or simply taking a much longer time to respond.
These “toxic” dating coaches encourage the use of manipulation and emotional capacity to get what you want from someone you want to date. Personally, these tricks go against every fibre of my being when it comes to dating.
I’ve always believed that if two people genuinely want to date each other or be together, there’s no need to play such games.
The conversation with Mandy got me thinking about the future of dating and whether such behaviours will ultimately alter the dating scene altogether.
Will everyone get so used to playing games that anyone who replies quickly, seems to give more attention than “normal”, and puts in more effort into conversations would be seen as clingy?
After all, this was exactly how we’ve accepted that ghosting is a completely normal part of dating. And if my last post on ghosting was anything to go by, a lot of the people in the comment section have experienced ghosting in some form or another.
And that’s not healthy.
So, this begs the question: How does dating work for people who refuse to play such games?
Personally, knowing that I’m going to have to play such “games” just to get the attention of someone just doesn’t seem right. I mean, should we really be presenting a different version of ourselves just to make it to the next “stage” of dating someone? What happens when you can no longer pretend to keep someone at bay because you like them so much?
So, what would you do, dear reader? Would you continue playing games to pique the interest of someone you like consistently? Or would you just, be honest and tell them how you’re actually feeling?
*Names have been changed to protect their identity