The depressing dream I mentioned the other day, about the high-maintenance woman from my past, has been bugging me too damn much. But I think "Game" has helped me put it to rest.
I never dated this woman; I was just a friend of hers. (I haven't seen her or talked to her for years; last I heard of her she was living in California. But this was 1997, so God knows what's become of her since. I'll call her "A-ko".) I knew this would be the case going in; she'd said she wasn't interested in having a romantic relationship with anyone. That was fine; I like it when the ground rules are explicitly stated in advance, and I had no trouble adhering to them. "I'm in the friendzone? Fine, whatev, I don't really care." Everybody was, anyway. She also seemed to have relatively few female friends; at least I never heard about more than a couple female friends who she routinely associated with, and they were never around when I was.
There isn't anything wrong with a woman having a lot of male friends, though. The problem was, she was always sending signals that she was interested. I talked to her other guy friends and they said the same thing; she would do or say things that sounded like hints to the effect that she was interested in you, romantically. For example, if you were to say, "That's the kind of woman I like!" she might give an example of how she was like that. Individually, each example seemed innocent; but if you hung aroung with her long enough, the hints would accumulate.
If you acted on those signals, though, she'd slap you down. She did this to every guy she knew, as far as I know, who thought too much about what the hints meant. There were several of them while she and I were associating, and she always had to tell me about it. (She never named names, but it's not hard to figure out "who" when So-and-so suddenly stops showing up at gatherings.)
As for me, her behavior always bothered me considerably; I never made any moves because I took her expressions of not wanting to date at face value, but the hints piled up and I couldn't reconcile her expressed wishes with her behavior.
My mistake was assuming she was operating rationally. She wasn't; her stated reasons for not dating at the time were logical but didn't explain the other behavior. She was honest and kind and decent; yet all this crap kept happening. It didn't make sense, and I never did manage to figure out WTF was going on; and just now I realized what was going on lo these many years ago.
A couple weeks ago I started reading Vox Populi and Citizen Renegade, and some of the posts of the former and most of the latter are about "Game". "Game" is not for me--it reeks too much of douchebaggery and it over-objectifies women--but I sure have picked up some useful information from reading about it. It's an interesting form of applied anthropology, and every time I think of a male-female relationship situation from my own past that defies my understanding, its precepts seem to demystify things for which I never found a satisfactory explanation.
I was thinking about all this and suddenly it clicked: it goes to the subconscious; a woman wants to be pursued. She wants to feel attractive, to have males (particularly alpha males) pursuing her, hence the "come on" signals. A-ko's behavior was instinctive female behavior and she might not even have been aware she was doing it. Her ire at her male friends who expressed an interest in dating her indicated that she herself was not aware of the signals she was sending. "Why does this keep happening?"
At the time she wasn't dating people because she was sick of being hurt. (That's what she said; I have no idea what other reasons she may have had, nor do I know she's doing now.) But on some level she must have enjoyed the attention and giving the rejection.
It satisfied her need to be selective: I'm not interested in you! It satisfied her need to be pursued: I'm so attractive, I have all these men hanging around me! And it satisfied her quest for high status: I don't need you; I can reject you!
...all of which is predicted and explained by looking at it from the "Game" perspective.
Yes it makes no sense that she wasn't in a relationship yet was rejecting all potential mates; I didn't say it was logical. It doesn't have to be; this is the subconscious we're talking about. (Worse: it's the subconscious of a woman.)
Consciously she was annoyed that it kept happening; but she kept on sending the signals and guys kept on responding to them.
Every time I had any kind of contretemps in my love life, when I told her about it the first words out of her mouth after "I'm sorry to hear that" would be something about how she wasn't dating and wasn't interested in dating. It invariably pissed me off, too.
First off, I understood it the first time she said it.
Second, I DIDN'T CARE. I didn't care because:
Third, I WAS NEVER INTERESTED IN HER. Look: she said up front she wanted friends, not lovers; I took her at her word. But as time went by I could see where the trail of bread crumbs led just by watching her with other guys and listening to her complaints; I did my best not to respond to her hints because I took her at her word. But it was a game she was playing, and there was no way for the guy to win.
And even though I didn't have the precepts of "Game" to explain her behavior to me, I knew at the time that whoever ended up with her would be utterly miserable because of this behavior of hers. I don't know all the details of her dating history, but judging by what she said to me, she was never happy with any of the guys she dated; and she followed the classic female pattern of going out with a guy, breaking up, and then finding the exact same kind of guy again. (And then whining about it to the guys she'd friendzoned.)
As pretty and intelligent and funny and nice as she was--and she really was a nice person; I honestly think she didn't know what she was doing--I'd rather gnaw off my own leg than be in a romantic relationship with her. It's not her fault she did this, but any woman who does this kind of thing (consciously or not) I avoid like plutonium. It's just easier.
None of that, of course, stops my own subconscious from acting up, though.