I believe I said this before in the past but I absolutely despise dating. I hate getting to know new people and I hate feeling like I have to bring my often unpredictable personality down from a level 10 to a calm level 4ish in order for the new people I hate having to “get to know” to like me in some way that makes them want to further get to know me. It’s absolutely ridiculous to me and I fast forward through it every chance I get. I’m undecided if slow and steady or a fast track to a relationship brings about better results and I’ve already made a post exploring the pros and cons of both so we won’t go there again.
What I will go into is a conversation I overheard where a guy was trying to pull the old bait and switch with a girl who just didn’t get what was going on. I hate the bait and switch!! The bait and switch is a person who puts their absolute BEST foot forward in the most genuine way possible to ease you into letting your guard down and once you’re ready to have the talk about moving things forward, they switch it up and pull the “but we’re cool just kicking it for right now” card. Mind you, “kicking it” very often involves engaging in casual sex, handcuffing, pre-committing, and a whole bunch of other tricks of the trade in the bait and switch playbook.
Their goal? To say they have a goal is giving them too much credit. They want to milk the cow until it runs dry and then dip out to the next person who will tolerate them for the next few months. Dating and relating isn’t a means to an end for them, it’s a sport they play and they win the championship when they get you wrapped up in the wonderful web of half-truths and commitment phobia. So how exactly do you spot someone who’s just dating for sport and someone who is looking for something more?
“I’m Sorry Babe But I Just Can’t Do A Relationship Right Now” Actually, I’ll be honest. I have said this before but when I said it (and meant it) I broke all ties with the person I said it to. I stopped taking them up on invites on dates, drastically decreased my phone and text conversations with said person, and resisted all urges to keep them around until I felt ready for a relationship. A person who dates for sport knows damn well they are emotionally unavailable but still decide to take you along for the rollercoatser ride. For them, it wasn’t going anywhere serious anyway so it doesn’t matter if you get hurt because they’ll be able to walk away from it without risking the same emotional investment.
“Things Are Good Now, Why Change Them?” This question irks me because unless both parties agree, a static relationship that does not progress is not good. Be honest with yourself, if you fine with this you would have never mentioned anything that would bring about this response. If you want more and are dating someone dating for sport, don’t expect them to give you the more you desire anytime soon.
“Titles Just Ruin Things, Let’s Just Be What We Are” I flirted with the idea of having a relationship without the title. Couldn’t do it because the control freak in me kept wondering about those awkward scenarios that fall under the gray area of open relationships and what would be the outcome is such a scenario was to take place. Another thing about the “just be what we are” argument is what exactly are “we?” If it’s ever defined, the person dating for sport gives just as vague a question as the initial statement. If a title-less relationship is to be pursued, both parties need to discuss that and come to the conclusion together. A person trying their best to stay vague or end the conversation early may just be in it until you can’t take anymore and are forced to leave.
“She’s Just My HomeGirl, You Know You’re My #1 Right?” She may very well be the homegirl, but if the two of you aren’t committed and there’s someone else who seems to always trump your plans, you very well may be “the homegirl” as well. I’m a lot of dudes homegirls (genuinely, as in good friend) and when they have a girl they’re seeing or in a relationship with, our interactions dwindle. Not because they’re afraid the person they’re seeing will mind, but because they’re so wrapped up with them I (and I’m sure other friends) take a backseat. If you’re truly #1 in someone’s life, there is no question about it because you’re treated like you are. Even if the person is severely busy, they will find ways to show you you’re a priority. If they don’t, stop stressing and go after someone who will.
There’s a plethora of other lines and red flags that the bait and switch uses but they all have the same end result: To keep your relationship as noncommittal and static as possible. If you’re fine with this (like really and honestly fine with this) congrats because you were able to find someone on the same page as you and don’t have to worry about another’s expectations (or lack thereof) getting in the way. If you’re not fine with the same noncommittal relationship, end their season on your court and bench them indefinitely.
Like any true sportsmen, they’ll beg and plead to get back in the game but unless they prove they’re on the same page with where you want the relationship to go, why bother giving them a second chance?
About Carla Clunis
You can find more of Carla’s musings on love and relationships at www.theheartmalfunctions.com where she blogs about the ups and downs of dating and relating.
—— By: Carla Clunis