Can you ever win 'the dating game'?

It doesn't matter what game you are playing - tennis, darts, chess, snakes & ladders - every game has a winner.  And the dating game is no different.

It doesn't matter how many books or articles I read which claim to be a comprehensive guide to successfully playing a role in the dating game, I never seem to come out on top.

To read, the rules seem simple enough:

  • Be the best version of you
  • Always let a guy make the first move
  • Find out the need-to-know information
  • Try keep yourself busy
  • Look good without overdoing it
  • Smell good
  • Don't tell him your life story
  • Keep any weird habits to yourself
  • Don't kiss on the first date
  • Never sleep with him on the first date
  • Work out if he is your kind of guy
  • Don't reply to text messages straight away and never double text
  • Don't use Whatsapp
  • Never add him first on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
  • Don't be too available
  • Don't let him stay over
  • Don't date a guy who plays games

I could go on, but it will only remind me how terrible I am at following these 'rules'.

In principle, these rules are a simple, easy-to-follow guide.  But, to put into practice, they are actually very difficult.  When you are faced with someone that, you know, is a serial womaniser or has a terrible reputation, it doesn't matter how many self-help books or dating guides you read - you will still end up falling for their charms and, probably, getting hurt.

I, like most females, have a habit of falling for the wrong people - the 'bad boy' or the 'man slag' that you think you can change, the commitment-phobe, the player...  After too many wasted tears on these losers, I have learnt to keep my cards close to my chest and hide my emotions.

Whilst this isn't a tip in any of the books or articles I have read, it's the one I have found to work.  If I like someone, there is absolutely no point telling me to play it cool and not text them first, or not to accept a Saturday date after a Wednesday because, every time, I do the typical female thing and lose all control of my senses and what the correct protocol is to follow.

Whether the person is a serial cheater, a lothario, or a ladies man with more notches on his bed post than he's had hot dinners, they'll find a way to charm themselves into your emotions, and your bed, no matter how much you try and fight it.  That's why they will have the reputation that they do.

Despite what they may have you believe, men are very clever.  They know how to read women, how to charm us when we are pissed off and, most importantly, they know how to play us.

I will still keep buying and reading these books as they are released in the hope that, one day, they might have some advice which can actually be put into practice.  Until then, though, I will continue to play in a game that I have no idea how to be successful at in the hope that one day, it will just click.