Rules of Engagement

I heard about the Game recently. I know what some of you might be thinking…..the game? Exactly the same expression I had on when Dotun was advising me on how to keep my man when I eventually meet him.  “You see Deola, you need to know about the rules of engagement AKA the game” Apparently when the game is being played, it is not to be played against each other, it is to be played to keep each other interested. The game is to be played at the initial stage of a relationship when boy meets girl or vice versa. What is wrong in me calling if I want to speak to him four times in a day? What is wrong if I pick his calls every time?  Is there anything wrong in making time to go on dates with him? What is wrong if I make a quick trip abroad and I decide to buy him something? After all, he knew I travelled and it would be cruel of me not to at least buy a bottle of the latest fragrance. “Never, Never, Never!” Dotun screamed as though I had just failed the most important course in life. “Why would you want to do that? You are only pushing him away from you. Believe me, I am a man!” The look on my face was that of utter shock and perplexity. But I have a bottle of perfume in the car I intend to give Dare – a guy who I recently met. “Use it” he exclaimed. “Well, I can’t use it because it’s for men” rolling my eyes at him, why must I follow his silly rules anyways. I learnt a lot from Dotun that day and as the word says – “iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”. To show my appreciation, I left the bottle of perfume on the dining table and a note saying “thank you”.

Question is; should we really be playing games at this age and stage of life?  A colleague of mine was recently relating a story of how her sister met a guy a week ago and they had already gone on 3 dates and on the way to the 4th. The guys in the office busted out laughing and one of them asked, “Four dates in one week! Why is she making herself so readily available?” I dropped everything I was doing and listened rapidly – this was exactly what Dotun had earlier said to me. So these rules of engagement actually exist and people knew about them. Interestingly, I remember the book called The Rules written by two female authors who outlined rules women should follow if they wanted to keep their men. The book created a lot of buzz back then and got both the female and male populace angry because though the men believed women should conduct themselves the way The Rules suggested, they just didn’t like to know their women were following an instruction manual and the women on the other hand were intimidated and overwhelmed by their own inability to live up to what seemed to be difficult standards. Pheew!!

“Even though it’s what you feel, is it necessary to tell him that on the first date?”Great words by Oprah; I couldn’t agree with her more. Remember, the game is to keep both of you interested and wanting to see more of each other. As much as you would like to speak to him every second, control yourself please. Men like a bit of space, keeps the chase a tad adventurous. Allow him to discover you slowly. “What do I do then if I’m not talking to him? How do I know if he had lunch/breakfast?” Get a life! For goodness sake, why are you asking if he had breakfast or not? Let’s imagine you work in a corporate environment – would you leave your job, go home and cook for him? Obviously not! You are only asking because you want him to think you care. He hasn’t even asked you out, let alone marry you and you are acting like a Mother Hen.  No! You don’t have to be all apologetic for missing his calls when you honestly were not available to answer it.  If he really wants to talk to you, he would call back. Men are made to be hunters and not to be hunted down. It is their genetic disposition to chase you simply because it excites and gratifies them so in all your getting, please get wisdom.

And you know I can’t end this without drawing strength from the spiritual. Life and everything in it is spiritual. Whilst you are waiting for that guy to hunt you down, get busy with purpose. Don’t be idle, men like women who are doing something. They don’t need a burden or a liability. Discover your purpose and run with it. You’d be surprised at how quickly everything falls in place. So when next you feel the urge to be a bug a boo – remember the rules of engagement.

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13 Responses to Rules of Engagement

  1. OMO says:

    Thanks for this lovely piece. God bless You.

  2. SBO says:

    Hmmm. I’ll be back to give my 2 cents…

  3. lovely write up. Can’t wait for more.

  4. SisKwy says:

    He that findeth a wife….
    If it’s readily available, he will not need to look for it.
    Great piece, if only it was easy to implement. Women have nuturing tendencies which can be hard to curb. In displaying such, they give men the perception that they have been ‘found’. Men then lose interest. If there’s nothing to hunt for or look for,well…

    • temiville says:

      Your comment intrigues me.

      So when does he no longer need to hunt? When the lady says ‘I like you too’, when she agrees to be his fiance, when she becomes his wife?

      Wisdom is profitable to direct. Some ladies are readily available to nurture and care for their men and these men are in no way losing interest. A man that will lose interest will lose interest.

      Let God lead us because these rules, though they work wonders in some relationships, are not universal laws. Only the Word of God is.

  5. Bunmi says:

    lovely write up.. well said

  6. BOW says:

    If you are getting to know someone and the both of u just really seem to click and somehow u find urselves spending lots of time 2geda, doesn’t necessarily mean ur being ‘too available’. Calling someone every hour on the hour however is just stalking.
    But 4 dates in a week? What kind of dates? Lunch/dinner? Maybe they work close to each other and just decide to share their lunch breaks with one another. But if its dinner date 4 times in a week — mehn they have problems.
    With lunch, it could just be seeking pleasant company while eating as oppossed to having to seat with co-workers. Even the guy that’s willing to take a babe out 4 times in a week is highly suspicious — I’d just run.
    After all is said n done, there’s no hard n fast rule to these things — some desperate psychos will deserve each other, while others will seek out some sanity thru their relationships.
    Some get so caught up in ‘the rule’ they become mumu’s in said relationships, with no direction whatsoever. They feel if they ask questions, it’ll make him run away, I’ll seem too desperate blah blah blah. How else do u really get to know someone if u don’t communicate? Then they eventually get married and seem surprised — I didn’t know he was like this, I didn’t know he was like that —
    Truth is, u never knew him at all — all u had was sex n food, sorry all u still have is sex n food!
    In the end my friends — the only way na God. Not trying to get all religious oo but just pray n fast about it:-)

  7. temiville says:

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.xoxo

    Please why did you go on such an extended break? I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! Please dont ever take such a break again o. See blogging as a service…lol.

    Now to this issue, I wrote on The Rules a while back and my sister, I do not believe in them…anymore. Prayerfully going with the flow is much more rewarding. What works for one relationship might stifle the next to death.

    I know some guys need to be given space if not, they shall take you for granted but some others need to be shown that you care…they need to know the way you feel. No amout of Game playing can make a forsaken relationship work. Even if you intrigue him like crazy, if he’s not into you, he’s not into you…

    I think you should study the person you are with. There is no hard and fast rule. Ask the Holy spirit for guidance and wisdom.

    Personally, I play no games.

  8. Welcome back! It’s good to see you writing again.

    Personally, I don’t believe in games or rules. I think if a relationship is meant to be, then the two parties involved would know how to behave towards each other. I feel it’s too much of a hassle to be second guessing what the other person is thinking or doing every time. Relationships should be straightforward and peaceful, but playing games complicate everything. When you meet someone, pray about it and follow your instincts – different people behave differently so there are no hard and fast rules for things like this.

  9. Oluwatoyin says:

    Well, I’m a guy and I’d say Temiville and Bow are on course in their thinking from my perspective….

    the only Rules we should ever judiciously apply are GOD’s rules.

    Now to put things in perspective, I myself know guys who’d drop a girl in a second if she broke any of those rules you mentioned. Back in the day a friend of mine could spend the whole night trying to chat up a girl, but if she tried to get his number without him asking he’d give her a dud number.

    The rules definitely apply, but its wise to prayerfully ask one’s self “what character do I want my spouse to have?”. The better a person can know and love his or herself, then the more likely they can candidly answer that question. And not characteristics to ‘balance’, but to compliment instead. The difference may be subtle but its also the line between peace and strife.

    If you’re looking for a GOD fearing man, those rules of engagement will make it more difficult than need be for any true respect and intimacy to develop in the ensuing relationship. The very name implies its a war, when this sort of relationship should be a haven. Combat is the way of strife, not peace. Please don’t try building a peaceful relationship by ‘clever’ manipulation!

    As for personal experience I’m 28 now and thank GOD I know better now. Even from an emotional perspective (I only got saved in 2010) the last time I thought it was worth playing with anyone’s emotions like this was when I was 17. I remember the relationship and how much of a roller coaster it was. Not a fun ride, a nerve-wracking one. One of us was pretty much always upset with the other. It was truly foolish behavior. Always fighting each other for the upper hand of one sort or another. It showed how unready I was to be a man to a woman. Which is a very far cry from being a male to a female or a boy to a girl even.

    If my girlfriend had tried playing the game with me, I’d be happily single or in a relationship with someone else, either was not with her. It’s a deal breaker. And I can’t imagine any of my mature born again male friends having fun with those rules. Not to say maturing men cannot reach that stage later in life but everybody should be wise with where they put their hope. Besides, like I said, first ask yourself what you want in partner, then you may find it easy to understand the nature often (not always) associated with those characteristics.

    If a man wants a woman to believe he respects her, then its surely not silly for her to expect him to respect her emotions. And vice versa. Nothing speaks of the truth like actions… That’s why even GOD speaks of dead faith.

    But again like Temiville and Bow have said. Start with GOD, do you think HE wants you in a to design your most intimate relationship outside of the one you have with HIM with the ‘rules of engagement’…?

  10. Thank you all very much for the comments.
    @temiville, oluwatoyin and favoured girl – Interesting point of view! I understand you perfectly. Maybe the word ‘Game’ is the confusion here. But lets take a look at this scenario. You are married and your husband does something terribly wrong and on a normal day, you would be very upset and say all sort of things deemed possible. But instead, you are quiet and you don’t say anything. You don’t give any reaction and even your husband is surprised. Infact, he comes to beg you and ask you to say something and you just act as though everything is fine.

    I will confidently tell you that the man in question will be very remorse and will ask for your forgiveness knowing what he has done is wrong. Now, what you have just done is to apply godly wisdom. You are not being manipulative or necessarily being stupid. You have just stooped to conquer. It’s not as easy as it sounds but you know it is what you have to do. Now imagine, if you had reacted – God knows what would have happened. People will not even look at what he did anymore, what they would be telling you is – you shouldn’t have acted that way, you shouldn’t have said that etc……and then you become the one who is at fault.

    Are you playing a game? Technically yes but as a Christian, i would like to call it – applying godly wisdom.

  11. OK… I can say I understand where the article is coming from. I think the rule of engagement as you have mentioned is different from godly wisdom. With God you do it his way. But rules of engagement is one society has cooked up which might work for a while and not.

    But sha, I still think as a woman I would keep a sane distance between us until I know our friendship has gone to the next level. And from what I understand this rules of engagement applies to the very first time of meeting a Lady or a Guy. During the friendship, it should be treated strictly as friends this has nothing to do with rules or whatever. FRIENDS BE FRIENDS and don’t lie to yourself, If he does not make effort to proceed, jam your hype, like u said BE BUSY FULFILLING PURPOSE.

    So, Yes I get your point if it is relating to two people that have feelings for each other but are on a friendship level.

    I don’t follow rules but I apply wisdom which is personal rule for each person. I will say experiences has taught me to keep a balance and a distance until he makes his feelings known and intentions then u will see me praying HARD.. LOL..

  12. that was a pretty long time to stay away from your blog.. What made you come back?

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