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Right, so, formalities and questionably binding legal agreements aside, here are some thoughts about the modern act of dating:
Most people, I've found, go about dating the same way people with gambling addictions go about trying to strike it rich. They go in with what they think is a good understanding of how the game is played, flaunting what they believe are their best assets in order to get other people to play, and hoping that their poker face is better than the competition's. Success and failure are based largely in how well you can bluff, how good you are at calling someone else on doing the same, and being reasonably cautious of people claiming that it's their 'first time.' Almost everyone who plays goes in with unrealistic hopes and expectations, and almost all of them lose out in the end. But when the winners do win, they tend to win big. And that gets everyone else drunk on possibilities. The hope that maybe just one more hand will do it. You'll throw down your cards, and they'll throw down theirs, and won't you just know it, the two of you'll make a winning hand. Most people aren't lucky, though. They end up losing a lot more than they win. And even when they think they're on a roll, a lot of the time their winning streak ends without warning, and then they're back to where they started, looking confused for some reason. After a while they figure out that most people game the game. The ones that lie and cheat seem like the most successful, and the ones that don't start to get jaded. If they lose bad then they might stay away for a while, but there's still that need, that dream of winning the big one that brings them back every time.
I get that a lot of people get a kick out of it, but there's something about watching a bunch of people piss their lives away playing games. I don't see the appeal. It's not that I know a better way of going about it, I'm just not much of a gambler. I get agitated with the games, and they get frustrated that I don't seem to want to play.