Playing hard to get, or hard to like?

Some of my blogs are merely real-life stories that you, the reader, may be able to learn something from, so I’m willing to share, even if I don’t come out of the story looking good. This story is about the time I took a date on a holiday to Thailand, only to be repaid with capriciousness and distain, oddly. In equal amounts, she seemed to also be into me. Very confusing, but I’m pretty good at reading the signs, and I think the moral is this story is ‘how hard should one play to get’?

It’s probably somewhere between this girl, who I affectionately refer to as Stalin, and someone who is just a little aloof. I think its human nature to want some things left to the imagination.

So here goes my story.

We met briefly in Bali and exchanged numbers. We retreated back to our corresponding countries and began texting and sending voice messages, with the occasional video call, but her English wasn’t great so texting and voice mail was the medium of choice (strangely she loved sending voice messages, which I found cute).

In the space of two months we organised a trip to Thailand and Cambodia, two destinations of her choice, I paid. She seemed sweet and this was to be a romantic adventure (in my naive mind). In the first 24 hours, she showed signs of stubbornness, insisting that we eat frogs at a local Thai restaurant. When I resisted, she insisted! I found that odd given we had only just arrived in Bangkok and again I was paying.

Leaving the restaurant, she saw a street vendor and asked me to buy her a bracelet. It was only $5, so no problem. This was the first of a long list of items that she demanded me to buy, including but not limited to: more bracelets (at least 10), shampoo and conditioner, clothes, a hat, beauty products, Dolce & Gabana shoes, lobster, gifts for her parents, flights to Angkor Wot, medication, and pretty much everything and anything that she wanted and/or needed. I did not buy the shoes or the lobster, everything else I pretty much succumbed to.

Now, what won’t come across in this blog is the manner in which she asked and the petulant fallout as a result of me saying no to certain things. Her behaviour was akin to a 4-year-old child who had just been told NO to having a third ice-cream. Now, between these avaricious episodes (which increased in intensity as the holiday went on), we were getting somewhat physical. We held hands and exchanged a few kisses (only when I bought her a gift), but if I tried to get too close or kiss too much she would push me away and scold me, complete with a look of disdain and anger on her face.

There were multiple points where I thought she must hate me (playing hard to get?). That sweet girl from Bali had turned into a greedy monster who wasn’t there to see me, but there to mark off some type of bucket list. There was a turning point though. During one particular melt-down where she again lamented with a tantrum about the quality of breakfast, where I boiled over. I wrote her a text and used Google translate to make sure nothing was missed in the delivery. I slid my phone across the breakfast table, she picked it up and here’s what she read “this holiday was a terrible mistake, you are a horrible person, I am leaving you when we get to Phuket, you are greedy and you treat me poorly”. That’s paraphrased for brevity, but its damn close.

She scoffed a little and carried on eating, admitting that breakfast wasn’t that bad. When we walked away from the cafe, she again grabbed my hand. “What are you doing??” I said. She confirmed her attraction for me and continued this little game. Among the cat and mouse games I was forced into, were several other episodes of poor behaviour that left me feeling like she hated me. I took hundreds of photos of her posing at every location, when she saw the photos, without fail, she would stamp her feet, become aggressive, and tell me I was a fool for taking such bad pictures.

I genuinely thought she loathed me, until one day, mid-way through the holiday, she became intimate with me. Who was this person? What does she want? In the wrap up, and the very moral of this story, is that she treated me so poorly that no intimacy was going to correct her course. When I returned home, she texted me, admitting she was capricious and moody and she asked where we were going to next! I took great pleasure in answering that question. So, if you like someone, and you want to employ the old ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ tactics, just make sure you don’t go overboard. There is definitely a point of no return, be respectful above all. No matter how much a person says they will be better in the future, sometimes it’s just too difficult to gloss over the memories of her calling you a rat for touching her belongings (for example), or a moron for not being able to take a good photo. Playing hard to get is ok, playing hard to like will not work.

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