My Dad, god bless him, once gave me this sage piece of dating advice “ Don’t be afraid to call bluff.” I had no idea what this meant or how I was going to apply this tiny nugget to my already (then) complicated love-life.
Dating – according to Papa Mah – is a stealth game of bluff. It’s like being in battle, never show your opponent weakness (by opponent he means date). Never show vulnerability and don’t ever be afraid to loose. Once you’re scared of loosing your partner, you’ve already lost the game. Remain aloof at all times, keep your independence and for gods sake, never be financially dependent on another person.
Whilst I don’t apply (or necessarily agree) with all my Dad’s romantic wisdom I do see some truth in a ‘stealth game of bluff.’
I spent years wanting to experience ‘special love’ – big, tortured, lustful love that could compensate for what I was lacking inside. My ego tricked me into believing that I was alone, that I wasn’t good enough, or that I needed to find my special Prince Charming in order to feel complete.
Coming from a space of lack meant that I experienced more lack. I dated every form of inappropriate, unsuitable and fundamentally flawed man out there and then wondered why I was unhappy or why it didn’t work out? I complained about the supposed ‘man drought’, dating horrors and bullshit Sydney men, but in reality it was my own stupid fault for just accepting them and putting up with rubbish behavior anyway.
I was neurotic and fearful in my relationships. I projected my crazy expectations on would-be-suitors attempting to psycho analyze every text message, eye twitch and their Facebook history…and then I wondered why I was still single?
Completely disillusioned and playing a poor game of bluff, I prayed for faith and release from romantic purgatory. I didn’t want to play the game anymore and was over the emotional highs and eventual lows that came with dating really hopeless men or from me being slightly retardo.
There comes freedom in realizing that everything you ever thought you wanted was completely wrong and mostly delusional. I tore up my Prince Charming tick sheet and threw it in the bin.
Happiness comes when you’re willing to give up the ego’s drama, stop playing games and you’re able to dive head first into vulnerability. My Dads advice wasn’t wrong it was just limited. If you want love, give love. If you want honesty, be honest and if you want commitment, then commit.
Love isn’t a scarce commodity, but you’ll always get what you give.