I thought I would make some history in my first official DCB post: I will write about relationships. Who ever thought they would see a post about *that* around here?
I used to love playing the game. I loved the anticipation of adventure each night out brought. I enjoyed the personal challenge of risking my ego on each approach. I found satisfaction in gaining the interest of attractive women who had been strangers to me just minutes before. And then there are those moments of triumph when everything fell into place and neither one of you wanted the night to end. Man, me and my wings thought this was the life and those guys in the dating world were chumps for buying dinners and presents for their girlfriends who would then spend “girls nights out” in Adams Morgan grinding (and sometimes plenty more) with player dudes on the dance floor.
But funny how time changes things. After what seemed an endless blur of nights out, I started to grow increasingly frustrated with the costs of the game. Mindless conversations with drunk girls who can’t focus on anything for more than 30 seconds. Smoky bars that seem like certain lung cancer incubators. Feeling like I wanted to sleep on the floor of my office due to too many nights out past 2:00 AM per week. And the bane of every player’s existence: the flakes. There were times when I got a phone number from a girl who seemed so interested when she gave it to me that I wanted to notch my belt in advance, only to have her never return my phone call.
Right in the midst of my growing frustration, it happened: I met a girl I really liked. No, not my current girl, but the girl who made everything that happened with my current girlfriend possible. She was fun, shared many of my interests, and treated me very well. Though I kept on going out to bars and clubs for part of the time we dated (she and I had “an understanding” about our lives apart from each other), pretty soon, the drunk girls in bars seemed far less tolerable. Why should I be out in these smoky bars until 2:00 or 3:00 AM talking to girls who I didn’t have any feeling for or any real possibility of forming a connection with? Why wouldn’t I rather being spending my time with a sweet girl who would treat me well and assure me a good time?
After a year it didn’t work out with that particular girl, but I had changed. I wanted a serious girlfriend now. I wanted someone who could make me happy on every level. When I met my current girl and everything between us was perfect in every way, the game didn’t stand a chance. I had found a super smart girl who has her act together, never plays games, and treats me like a king (and she is damn cute too). I stopped going out to bars, committed myself to perfect exclusivity, and never regretted the decision. The symbolic end of my personal player era came one night at club with my girlfriend. We were ordering drinks and I saw two guys approaching two girls just as I and my wings might have in the past. I pointed it out to her and perhaps I seemed wistful, because she asked “Do you miss it?” I thought for a moment and said truthfully, “No, this is better.”
I have heard some say that guys settle down with the first girl they date once they become ready for marriage. I am not so sure that is true, at least not always. I think some guys grow up assuming they will marry the first great girl they meet and never play the game. Other guys have to go through this ‘playing the field’ process until they grow fed up with it. In my case, it was a combination of becoming ready emotionally after playing the field and, through luck and good karma, meeting someone who was ideal for me. If I had not met someone as great as my girlfriend, who knows, I might still be out there searching for that special one.
If you girls out there are searching for Mr. Right, don’t give up on a guy who has a player past, even a recent one. Check first to see how he feels about the game and give him a chance to see you as a better alternative. Giving that type of guy a chance might be the best move you ever made.