Stop All the Games!


Almost everyone has been a victim of dating someone for too long when you know you deserve better.

It's not that you're desperate; it's just a bit easier than finding someone new. You might already feel comfortable with this person; you might like his or her wit. You might not end the relationship because you fear there's no one out there who's better. You're just happy to have someone there or someone calling that even if he or she is stringing you along – and only phoning when it's convenient for them – you've told yourself you're okay with that. You call her and she waits four days to call you back, or sometimes, he calls you at 7 p.m. to go out the same night – as if you're a last resort.

Why settle for behavior that doesn't make you feel stellar?

End it! Don't let anyone make you feel like a string; you deserve to be on a pedestal! That goes for men, too. You deserve to be happy and appreciated.

Everybody Loves Raymond? 
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was strung along for longer than I'd like to admit. Let's call the puller Raymond. He and I totally hit it off at first. At the end of the night, he gave me his card.

What's with that? That would have been fine if he got my number as well, but he was putting the work on me. I didn't call or e-mail Raymond, but I ran into him again a few weeks later at a bar. We talked more and found out how much we had in common. This time, he got my number. We made plans to meet up the next night, and we did. He went out of his way to come to the bar where I was with my friends, and we both had a great time. It seemed like he was going to ask me out that week, since at the end of the night he kissed me good-night and said he'd call.

And he did, three days later. But he never really asked me out; he told me what he was doing that night, and said, "Of course, you can come if you want."

He said he'd call me later in the evening, but when he finally did – at 10 p.m. on a weekday – he'd decided he wasn't staying out any longer, and I shouldn't bother meeting up with him. I hadn't really planned on going anyway; it was too late, and if he wasn't going to specifically make a date, I didn't see the point of "meeting up" with his friends.

Raymond phoned a few more times, each time waiting a few days, and still never made any specific plans. I didn't ask him out because if he wanted to date me, then he'd do the asking. The entire weekend went by, and I didn't hear from him. I was a little upset; I liked him and thought there was some potential, but at that point, I figured he wouldn't call again. I was so over it – but then he called again on Sunday.

He wanted to see how my weekend went, and we wound up talking for more than 20 minutes. But why would he call at the end of the weekend to see how it all went? Wouldn't he want to be involved in my weekend?

I wasn't sure why he kept calling and not asking me out, so I finally said, "Are we going to go out, or are you just going to keep calling me?" He wanted to go out. We made plans for the following Thursday, but he didn't call until 9 p.m., and by then, I'd made other plans.

Raymond called a few more times that month, still pulling the same nonsense. Finally, I just stopped picking up the phone.

Yes, he made somewhat of a dent since I'm still talking about him. But really, I was upset and confused, even though a short time later, I'd already moved on.

If Raymond wanted to date me, he would clearly have asked me out formally. If he was too hesitant or scared to do so, then frankly, I wouldn't want to date him anyway.

I like men who are confident and forward, but not pretentious, or too busy dating lots of women. I like men who aren't afraid to tell me how they feel, to tell me that they are interested. I don't mind if he plays the "game" a little bit in the beginning. I understand he's probably going on other first dates, as am I.

Raymond waited too many days to call, and he wasn't direct about what he wanted. He acted like most guys I've dated – playing too much of "the game."

Unfortunately, for him, I just don't play hardball.



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