"Why all the games?" asked a recent poster, who seemed irritated at the idea that interactions between the sexes weren't some sort of "color-by-the-numbers" recipe.
Why the games? Because games are fun.
Most of the time.
There is a card game I used to play during study hall called Mao. For those who know the rules, it is an incredibly fun game. To those that don't, it is incredibly frustrating. A core rule of Mao is that you cannot explain the rules to new players; they must observe and intuit the rules on their own.
In Mao, breaking a rule results in being given a penalty. This penalty is applied regardless of whether or not the player is aware of the rule that was broken. Only by learning from these mistakes and by carefully observing the actions of more experienced players can a rookie begin to make sense of the game. Only after losing many hands can a new player begin to figure out the game. Much trial and error is required before a new player can actually win. Their reward for sticking out the steep learning curve and winning? The victor gets to play with the fabric of the game and invent a new rule. The best part? They don't have to tell anyone else what the new rule is and now they have to try and learn it. At this point the game becomes incredibly fun for the new player.
This should sound familiar.
Like Mao, the dynamics between the sexes is a game that has specific rules. These rules of the game are not immediately obvious; at least to men. Women are like the veteran players of Mao: they know the rules and issue penalties to anyone who breaks the rules. Men are the new player: they weren't taught the rules and must learn for themselves (by making countless mistakes) how the game is played. As they figure out the rules and learn how to avoid penalties, both their confidence and fun grows. Mastering the game and achieving victory yields immense satisfaction. Men, understanding the game clearly, can now begin to play around with the rules and tease the other players.
I played this game at a bible study camping trip. One friend did not know the rules. She became immensely frustrated. So much so that she tore up the cards and stormed off, vowing never to play again.
If you find yourself annoyed with the "game" of sexual dynamics, you are like that friend. Had she stuck with it a few more hands, she would have made enough mistakes to learn the rules and begin to enjoy the game. Stick with it. God designed this, not as a fault, but as amusement. Don't find it amusing? Learn the rules and you will.
Occasionally I find myself in a social setting playing card games. Once in awhile I will encounter another person who knows how to play Mao. Instantly, a connection and bond is formed between us. We both "get it" and know the rules. Women love it when they meet a guy who "gets it" and knows the rules of the game.
Undoubtedly some of you have never heard of Mao and did a quick search online for it. While the rules of Mao are "secret" they are published across the internet for anyone wanting to seek them out. Just as the rules of Mao are listed online, the rules of the game of inter-gender dynamics are found on this sub and many others. Learn them. Try them. Make mistakes and learn from them. Eventually you will learn the game and, better yet, learn to have fun with it.