Since I have been single for over two years now, I have had a more than adequate amount of time to observe other people’s relationships. One relational aspect stays consistent in almost every situation, and this is the Game.
The Game involves anything from two to umpteen players, and involves a complex set of rules that must be strictly adhered to by the advancing team. The receiving team may or may not be aware of the situation, but usually follows a completely different set of rules as a form of defense. Most Games occur in a highly predictable fashion, yet with infinite outcomes. Luckily only two outcomes make a real difference to the players. Requited, or Denied.
For example, the Game is currently being played among my friends as a currently unrequited quadrangle. My friend Sara* likes Chris, who likes my friend Heather, who wants Sara’s roommate, Caleb. The rules initially called for strictest secrecy, a whispered word between myself and Sara, passed on the sly to Heather, in order to initiate motion towards the male team. Although communication between those interested was suggested, the idea was rejected as too direct. Rules continued as followed: instead of professing said emotions, Heather should express her disinterest in Chris, in order to give Sara a better chance. Sara would then do her utmost to convince Caleb to consider Heather as a prospect. However, Caleb has been ignoring Heather for weeks, so the plan seems built without foundation. I had hoped she would recognize this disinterest and cut her losses. This seems to be not the case. So the girls have hatched an elaborate plan involving dinner parties and alcohol to convince the boys to talk to them, and possibly make a move.
Confused? God knows I am. I wish it could be simpler, where a girl who likes a guy just skips the game and straight past drama (do not collect $200) to expressing her feelings and accepting the consequences. It would be so much simpler, but I think we’re all so afraid of rejection that we would rather prolong hope rather than be forced to move on. So we continue playing, and hope someone, someday, will break the rules long enough for us to find the happiness we so desperately seek.
*names have been changed to protect the privacy of friends.