The Ball’s in his Court?
Photo credit by Isobel T; creative commons license.
Iâ€™ve been divorced long enough that few people tell me what to do anymore, or how to do it, or â€“heaven forbidâ€”how to play the game.Â Maybe they grew tired of it.Â Or maybe it was the less willing ear I give them now, accompanied by plenty of eye-rolling if Iâ€™m nice enough to sit through more than 10 seconds of it.
Iâ€™m not a game player.Â Most men tell me they donâ€™t want a game-player, yet theyâ€™re so focused on game-playing and how itâ€™s always been that they donâ€™t know what to make of me.Â They keep asking what the catch is.
There isnâ€™t one.Â If I like you, youâ€™ll know it.Â I donâ€™t hide my feelings, even if that means youâ€™re uncomfortable enough to run away or create a drama you know will cause me to end the relationship in one fell swoop.Â I donâ€™t play games, and I wonâ€™t put up with a man who does.
When I was first divorced and dating again at mid-life, I made a lot of mistakes in the first few years.Â Most of them were because, after a long marriage, Â I lacked the confidence to do what was true to me.Â I listened to friendsâ€™ advice on datingâ€”friends whoâ€™d been married for two decades or longer or hadnâ€™t had a Â date in a dozen years.Â In general, their advice was all about how to play the game so I could pair up again.Â Some would encourage me to make a bold move and then suggest I quickly back off.Â Others would suggest I be subtle and calculated.Â In any case, I was told that I had to wait, then play it cool, pretend not to care, and let the guy make the next move.
â€œBallâ€™s in his court,â€ my friends would warn.
In hindsight, most of those guys never knew there was a ball, much less a court or that the game was on.Â I took my friendsâ€™ advice and kept my opinions and my feelings to myself so I didnâ€™t scare anyone away.
And I didnâ€™t scare anyone away.
I did, however, become a lot happier after I ditched my friends and their expectations and rules and relationship games.Â I also began to enjoy dating a whole lot more and reached a startling perspectiveâ€”most of those people werenâ€™t very happy in their own relationships but they could certainly dish advice on how to be.
The only wayÂ itâ€™s ever worked for me is to be unabashedly who I am, and not the least bit worried what a man thinks.
The ballâ€™s not in any manâ€™s court.Â The balls are all in my courtâ€”crystal balls, snow globes, spinning and sparkly things.Â Theyâ€™re mine to commandâ€¦though Iâ€™m willing to share.