How “The Game” Can Affect Your Dating Life

In our world today, we have so many options of where to turn for dating advice.  Whether you purchase a new book on how to attract potential mates, or read dating blogs such as this one, it seems there are many different approaches to finding that special somebody.  When you search on for dating advice, they list 1,479 books available on dating advice!  Although there are some that are based on more straight-forward and genuine ways of meeting new potential dates, there are some that treat it as somewhat of a game, and give you tips and tricks that will land you a date. 

Books like The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists or Player’s Handbook: The Nice Guy’s Guide to Getting Girls are prime examples of books targeted for men that are a type of guidebook to picking up women.  Women’s books like Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching a Man and How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You: The Fail-Proof, Fool-Proof Method offer women advice on how to attract men more efficiently.  But in reality, can these types of books really affect your dating life?

Recent research by Parker and colleagues at the University of Manitoba examined how the titles of these “game-playing” books can influence how open or avoidant a person will be towards the opposite sex on a date.  When exposed to book titles targeted for their own gender, men reported feeling more motivated to approach and be open with their dates, but women were not affected by book titles written for them.  So even just seeing the titles of these books would motivate men to feel like they would be more open with their date!  It could be that the books written for men are intended more as a guide to approach women and successfully land a date, whereas books for women are meant as a guide to understanding men’s intentions in their approaches or how to successfully lure men rather than tips in pursuing men.

However, for both men and women, exposure to book titles geared towards the opposite gender would actually increase avoidance towards dates.  But why?  Imagine you are on a date, and you end up going to this person’s house.  They offer you something to drink and head to the kitchen.  While you’re left alone in the living room, you see one of the previously mentioned books on their coffee table.  How would that make you feel?  It could be that you might feel the victim of a manipulation rather than a real connection, and this might in turn make you not feel as willing to share intimate details of your life with this person.

Although there are many different types of dating advice out there, it seems exposure to even just the titles of these “game-playing” dating books can influence how you will act around a potential partner – and how they will act around you.  Try to keep this in mind the next time you are in a coffee shop reading about picking up women or luring men, and be sure to hide the cover!


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