Sometimes, games are necessary.

The Pedant’s response to my “Let’s just forget about Sunday” text:

Crap.  I didn’t see these texts until now.  Sunday I’m free the whole day.  If you’re free at all that day, let me know. :S

Am I shrooming or does this sound like he’s planning on keeping that day open just in case I decide to get in touch with him?  Or like he might be mooning around the house all day wishing he’d hear from me?

This message is totally unprecedented; The Pedant always, always gives me the impression that he’s constantly inundated with requests for his time and if I take too long to invite him someplace I’ll lose my chance.  I’ll ask to see him on some particular day and he’ll be like “I think that should work but let me get back to you” or “I’m pretty sure I’ve got nothing going on that day.”  This is literally the first time he’s ever flat-out said “I am free on [day].”

So I’m thinking my cancellation text had the desired effect.

It’s entirely too tempting to take him up on his offer.  I do kinda miss him (and I could really use a massage right now…) and in theory, inviting him over on Sunday after all would be a positive reinforcement thing – rewarding him for sucking up to me and making himself available.  Except I’m pretty sure that’s not actually how it works.  If I relent and invite him over for Sunday after all, he’ll get the impression that I just need to have a little fit of pique and then everything blows over and is normal again.

The thing to do here is probably to basically ignore him until our scheduled get-together on Friday.  Let him miss me a bit.  Let him stew.

Funny how counterintuitive it feels to back off in order to make him want me more.  I know damn well it works on me (as evidenced by how needy I suddenly feel when The Pedant acts like he’s to busy to fit me into his schedule)…so why is my first instinct to coddle him so he won’t get disappointed and give up on me?  Grrrr.


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16 responses to “Sometimes, games are necessary.

  1. Just A Slut

    Seriously?!?! I’m sorry but this is an INTERVENTION. If you are availible as soon as he “definitely has a day off it STILL looks like you will schedual around him. He just doesn’t want you to wriggle off the hook. I know this isn’t what you want to hear but I would honestly let him spend sunday alone. He is in “constant demand” anyways. Let him know you value yourself and your time and he should too. Or he can always value the view he gets when he gets to watch you have a perfectly good time on your own. Giving in now is like letting a kid have allowance for a half cleaned room. He put in HALF the effort so I would say “bad pedent and STILL no biscuit.”

    If you aim to teach him some manners go all the way. Let him have a consequence or like a kid who gets paid for half the effort he will continue to half ass.

    Sorry if this is rude. Its only meant to be honest.

    -Just A Slut

    • I figured as much. It helps to hear it from someone else.

      I never even responded to his text, by the way. And I don’t plan to talk to him whatsoever until, I dunno, sometime after Sunday. At which time I’ll ask him to solidify/confirm our Friday plans and if he’s vague I’ll drop the hammer on that, too.

      Or do I also claim that “something came up” on Friday and I can’t hang out?

      I want a Pedant who’s eager to see me, initiates plans, and makes those plans solid right away instead of making me wait around for confirmation. How do I achieve this? What’s the exact right balance of backing off but still stringing him along so he doesn’t give up? I have no idea how to do this shit.

      • I think you should stick to your original plan of having expectations/boundaries by ignoring him until Friday because it sounds like your message has been received and understood. However, claiming that “something came up on Friday” would be crossing over into playing games, IMHO. Keep it simple and straightforward and he’ll figure out the pattern 🙂 And yeah, scarcity is usually equated with value, so keep those spaces in between and resist the urge to coddle!

  2. Just A Slut

    I would be honest. I am not good at games. I would just tell him outright that he missed the chance of a hell of a good time while he was hem hawing and you assumed he was “busy and just trying to be polite”. Let him know that you ARE NOT intrested in pressuring him or always persuing him. Tell him that he needs to make definite plans ahead of time or you may be busy.

    This is the truth. I work as a personal assistant and rule number one is Time is money. ESPECIALLY for a model. So you can’t afford to have yours wasted. I work for someone who walks if you can’t get to the point quickly.

    Honestly I am not telling you to be mean to him but this game won’t fly with most women and the way you describe him, seriously he sounds like 5 and you sound like an 8 minimal. Trust me you can afford to let him sweat. Let him know this weekend is busted (you need me time in a former post) and he is welcome to try again for next weekend. But also let him know that HE will have to decide what you two do and where you go (I said nothing about expensive or who pays. That’s between you two. Also if this is what YOU say then you are SERIOUSLY obligated to go along with it.) Then when he succeeds give him the biscuit but make sure he knows that you still maintain charge of the bedroom. Lol. That’s how I would do it (am not dominant) and how I would want it done (am very VERY submissive) also it may set a pace that teaches him its ok to make suggestions and insert occassional ideas with you. Maybe he never had that before. You never really know someone’s dating history.

    -Just A Slut

  3. Kind of a side thing, but as a person who also does the ““I think that should work but let me get back to you” or “I’m pretty sure I’ve got nothing going on that day.”” thing, but is not inundated with requests for my time, I wanted to comment on that.

    When I do it, it doesn’t mean that there’s a bunch of other people trying to make plans with me. It means that a) I am really paranoid that I do have something that day and have forgotten about it (even though this is basically never the case), and/or b) I have this anxiety that if I casually make concrete plans with someone, this will in some Murphey’s law way lead to something happening that makes me unable to follow through on those plans, and the thought of then having to explain this is terrifying. Being less concrete can help with this.

    So yeah. Obviously I have no evidence the Pedant is like me, and no matter what the reason is, the important thing is that this is something that upsets you. But wanted to throw this other-side out there.

  4. Personally, I fucking hate game playing and bullshit like what the Pedant seems to be doing. I think you should just be really clear with him. Tell him he missed his chance for Sunday because you’re tired of all his wish-washy crap and you’re annoyed at him. Ask him why he acts like that and see what he says. All the wondering why but not asking, and trying to manipulate him and worrying about being manipulated by him.. fuck it, that kind of crap uses up a lot of energy. Bluntness is where it’s at. …But that’s me, and I’m known to be somewhat abrasive at times.

    Maybe you could have him come over on Sunday, but only if your time together is all about *you*; he can make it up to you by pampering you all evening. Or tell him he can come over, but he has to be your servant for the night or something. That way, you get the time with him that you want, but he’s getting “punished” for being kind of a jerkwad. And it would let you experiment with more overt power exchange and kind of gently test the waters in that arena with him.

    • Being blunt seems like the way to go. Can’t see myself asking him to be my slave for the night – it’s a fun fantasy but the reality is weird to me on a couple of levels (1. he doesn’t appear to think of himself as a submissive; 2. I don’t want to use D/s as a punishment for bad behaviour).

      You’ve given me an interesting idea, though…if he ever acts just a little bit bratty, like in a way that doesn’t actually bother me, that;s when I can suggest D/s…as funishment.

      Honestly it’s a fairly good bet that once I address my peeves with him he’ll suck up to me anyway.

  5. Andy

    Wow, all the assumptions and yeah, game-playing here on *both* sides are making my head hurt.

    Here’s the thing. People do all kinds of really, really bizarre, nonsensical things for really random reasons. Maybe The Pedant phrases his remarks about getting together the way he does for the same reason as code16. Another theory: I’m a very strong introvert. No matter how much I love doing x with people, I’m always at least slightly conflicted about it because part of me keeps saying, “Ah, but you could be home hiding from the world in your bed,” so I’m sometimes non-committal about making plans because that ambivalence accidentally seeps through. I have no idea what his deal is and you don’t either. As for not replying to your first text text, maybe his phone didn’t receive the message right away. Maybe the battery was wearing down and he plugged it in and then had to go to the bathroom and forgot about it (I’ve done this). Maybe his phone rang and your text came in while he was talking on it (my phone sometimes loses notifications when this happens). Or maybe he decided to ignore you. Maybe it’s even possible that you failed one of his invisible tests and he decided not to answer you for 12 hours the way you considered doing in response to Just a Slut. Again, I have NO idea and you don’t either. So why don’t you ASK him what happened?

    Now, sure, he could very well lie. That is totally a possibility. Do you think he’s prepared to flat-out lie to you? If you do, all the “training” in the world isn’t going to make him into a better, non-asshole person. Or he could tell you the truth and the truth could be unacceptable to you (For instance, “I was too lazy to answer your text”) in which case you’re still in a position where you can “punish” him, to to speak (“That makes me feel really undervalued and I think I’m going to give you a pass this weekend to spend time doing something that makes me feel special. I do hope you’ll text me again when you’re prepared to put in the effort.”)

    But setting up mini-tests with really random unspoken pass/fail criteria and trying to train a grown adult to adjust to your needs using behaviour modification instead of words is just going to screw both of you up.

    • Eep

      Can only agree with andy. I never have played games and never will as they count as a waste of time and energy to me. Have a problem? Say it, least then he’ll know and can respond to it instead of texting / not texting and expecting / hoping he’ll get the hint from subtle hints or attempts at behaviour modification. Just my thoughts

    • Yeah, I know there could be a million reasons for The Pedant conducting himself the way he did. That’s why, instead of going on some kind of hysterical rant or deciding never to talk to him again, I messaged him indicating that the lack of contact annoyed me so I made other plans.

      (NB: even if he flubbed the planmaking process because he was saving kittens from a burning building or had to have emergency surgery, I would still be pissed off about it. Maybe not pissed off at him, but pissed off at the situation. The feeling of waiting around in limbo is a hotbutton for me, regardless of why it’s happening.)

      I think this specific incident is kind of water under the bridge by now (he said “Crap, I didn’t see your texts” – asking why not seems like overkill)…but as others have suggested, it’s probably best that I have a talk with him regarding my expectations. I’m waiting to do this until I’m a) less hurt and b) less riddled with fuckin’ insane PMS. This is a boy who’s made some pretty big gender essentialist statements in the past and I’m massively self-conscious about sounding “unreasonable” or “hysterical” or whatever when I bring shit up.

  6. Power comes from being honest about what you want and not accepting less than that. It’s easy to say, hard to do.

    Second guessing, game playing, angsting… all that gives HIM the power. Laying your expectations on the table and giving him the opportunity to deliver gives you control.

    No passive aggressive bullshit. Just “When you do blah, I feel like this and I don’t like it. What I would like is for you to do A, B and C. Do you think you can do that for me?” Then you talk about it. You may have to give a little, and he will have to step up.

    You seem awesome. He seems really into you. I suspect he would really like to do his best, but just doesn’t know how to do that. Help him out.

    Try it. It really works. And trust me, it’s *empowering*.

    And if he can’t or won’t step up (from what you have said, this seems really unlikely!), you have to decide whether he is worth your time.


    • Times that I’ve been straightforward with The Pedant, he did seem to appreciate it. I’ve been trying to analyze why it’s so hard to have negotiations with The Pedant, when it was quite easy with Minx…I think the issue is that The Pedant is not my boyfriend. I don’t know what to call him, really. And so in some ways these sorts of negotiation discussions seem like I’m treating our connection like it’s deeper than it is? Or something?

      Also, we don’t usually talk about emotions when we’re together. Especially him; I can’t recall him so much as saying “I had a great day today” or “I had a shitty day and I’m pissed off about it.” We make small talk and then we have sex. So having some big earnest conversation about how he hurt my feelings just feels…weird. Like I’m violating some unwritten law.

      But yes. I’ll lay out exactly what I want. Oooh, perhaps via email, so I feel less vulnerable and can edit the PMS out before I hit “send.”

      I suspect he would really like to do his best, but just doesn’t know how to do that.

      I hope that’s true. Guess we’ll see soon enough. It’s worth noting that our last terrifyingly blunt negotiation was about his chronic lateness, and although he conducted himself wonderfully in that discussion, his behaviour didn’t actually improve afterward. 😦

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