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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Do I Have to Play the Game?

It’s the oldest question of all. Do I HAVE to play the game?

I mean really. How else do I deal with the “I’m only hot for you as long as you’re not too hot for me” game guys play? How do I get a guy to stop playing the game long enough to admit he’s interested? Do I have to play along?----Miss Honesty

To see E. JEAN's answer


No. You can cause a lad to roll on the linoleum in a lather . . . without tricks, shams, cons, gimmicks, falsies, snares, traps or games. (One of those sleek little black Zac Posen numbers, however, would help -- see FabSugar.) Just follow these 3 steps:

  1. Live your life with purpose. (And that purpose should not be trying to “outplay” chumps, dillweeds, and twitballs.)
  2. Do not give a big flying fig-cockle what men think.
  3. Stop taking guys seriously.

You see, Miss Honesty, when you don’t care if a chap lives or dies, that chap will totally kick the ass of any man who stands in his way of attaining you. Of course, only a superhuman woman without a heart (uterus, or brain) could perform the above 3 steps.

Therefore, here is the E.Jean/Arthur Schopenhauer Plan: (That crazy philosopher had love-games dead on when he said: “The final aim of all love intrigues, be they comic or tragic, is really of more importance than all other ends in human life. What it all turns upon is nothing less than the composition of the next generation. It’s not the weal and woe of any one individual, but that of the human race to come, which is here at stake.”)

  1. Be yourself.
  2. Maintain an enchanting resistance to the chap’s advances.
  3. Sustain a subtle interest in other chaps.
  4. ALWAYS hold out longer than he does.

And, that, Miss Honesty, is how you get a guy to stop playing games.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

Join The Conversation
missmaddie missmaddie 9 years
I love it! I think the key here is to make HIM play by YOUR rules, and not the other way around. Am I a worthy apprentice, oh Goddess of Wisdom?
KristaLynn KristaLynn 9 years
When is the E. Jean dictionary coming out? You have the funnest vocabulary I've ever heard! Dillweeds, and twitballs---Hilarious.
clarapl clarapl 9 years
So in other words, the answer is...yes??
cocodevou cocodevou 9 years
hah! sounds like a game to me still
Cleopatra2U Cleopatra2U 9 years
I enjoyed reading this, but I think lily314/#5 ("How are steps 2-4 not just a subtler version of the game?") and junebrug/#12 ("saying this is a guide to not playing games is total BS, it's a guide to playing the game correctly") are right. As for me, I've been avoiding anything more than friendship like the plague for quite some time. I figure if/when I meet Mr. Right, I won't have to worry about "the game" because things will simply fall into place.
onesong onesong 9 years
i always loved the game-playing aspect of was exciting and fun! but i found that when you meet the right person, there just aren't any games and all your tactics and tricks just aren't necessary. good luck!
junebrug junebrug 9 years
E. Jean is absolutely right (as usual), however saying this is a guide to not playing games is total BS, it's a guide to playing the game correctly. The first set of steps is more of a "healthy you" approach, learning to be active in your life and not depend on someone else for happiness is not only a good way to find a guy, it's as close to a guarantee of happiness as it gets. However, and this is a stereotype, women tend to get attached way faster than men do, so trying to keep up appearances of not really caring when you do is nothing more than playing a game. But it's true for some inexplicable reason: if you act interested in a guy, he runs away, if you act like you can't stand him, he'll be all over you. Of course it's better to be genuinely hesitant to get in a relationship with any guy because you're busy, you want to play the field, you don't know him very well yet, you think he may not be good enough for you, there may be somebody cuter around the corner (i.e.: the way men think). But if you don't feel that way genuinely, that's where playing pretend comes in.
cassandry cassandry 9 years
I totally agree with lily. How are #2, 3, & 4 not game playing in and of themselves? I don't get that.
amandaaa amandaaa 9 years
"chumps, dillweeds, and twitballs", "big flying fig-cock" HAHAHA
alltherage alltherage 9 years
Wow this was great. I am like in the middle of one of these situations and neeeded to hear it and so is one of my girl friends... fowarded it to her! dang good stuff!
JRStudenroth JRStudenroth 9 years
I couldn't have read this advice at a better time! Thank you, Auntie E, for your sheer brilliance.
Lizzard214 Lizzard214 9 years
I say just find a good guy. Good guys don't play games.
fab4 fab4 9 years
lily314 lily314 9 years
How are steps 2-4 not just a subtler version of the game?
Marci Marci 9 years
I'm with E. Jean on this one. If you don't play games, he'll either stop or go away and then you don't have to deal with it. I just hate the whole game aspect of dating.
partysugar partysugar 9 years
I love when you quote famous old chaps, E. Jean!
Stella10 Stella10 9 years
OMIGOD this is too funny!!! I have been asking my friends this question all week long. Last week I posted on Group Therapy: I kissed the Neighbour! And things have been going really wel with us I was there agian Saturday night and stayed until 6a.m. on sunday and then went home. (no I didn't have sex with him) LOL I didn't call on sunday because I wanted to give some space on Monday I called because I had left something there and wanted to come and pick it up he called me at like 10:15p.m. so I went next door and picked it up but he was a little slow on the take and I was tired to I just picked up my stuff and left rather quickly instead of loitering like I usually do. Tuesday I felt bad about monday so I called to see if he wanted to watch a movie but he ended up meeting up with his sister so I just went to bed. Wednesday I wasn't happy with his behaviour all week so I found another date and he took me to the movies today I'm thinking i've totally left him hanging long enough so maybe I'll give him a call at like 10 and see whats going on!!! It's such a freaking game and I hate it but I have held out and gotten another date and now I'm thinking it's totally time to reel him back in.
SassAndBide SassAndBide 9 years
e.jean u are so right :) and ugh i hate the game too lol
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