Hump Day Crush: Playing Toward and Endgame

Just about everyone gets into a relationship because they’re looking for something.

What that “something” is can and does vary widely from person to person. These oh-so-varied things are the endgame–the reason for throwing your chips into the relationship pool, in most cases, into the dating game.

People play this game in different ways. Some are all about the physical conquests. Others about gaining new experiences. Needless to say, some people play more nicely than others and some do so in a more healthy fashion for everyone involved.

Even people with the same endgame can go about it in different ways. The main thing is they all have a goal that they’re heading for and a set of personal rules they’re willing to follow, bend or break depending on the importance of that goal.

An endgame like having sex with someone is pretty standard and pretty straight-forward. There are tried and true methods for getting into people’s pants. Shelves of books have been written about the various methods that work often enough. The same can be said about the endgame of getting married… this is the sort of thing some online dating sites focus on.

But what if your endgame is something a bit more amorphus? What if it’s something like getting to know yourself better? That’s the endgame of the Grown Up Crush and, more often than not, at least a side-effect of being in a relationship.

It doesn’t work so well as the main goal of getting into a relationship. In fact, it can be downright bad for the other person (or people) involved if the whole of the relationship is just an exercise in self-exploration. (Unless that’s stated right up front and everyone is genuinely OK with it.)

What if your main goal in a relationship is to see the other person happy? How does that play out when it turns out you’re not the best one to make that happen? (I can tell you for a fact that it all depends on how comfortable you are with change and how dedicated you are to genuinely obtaining your own happiness from the happiness of others.)

If you have a non-standard endgame, getting into a romantic relationship often becomes problematic. Part of that is because people tend to expect the more standard endgames and will read into any of your actions things that you probably don’t intend to be there. My most common example is saying “I want to spend more time with you” and that being interpreted as “I want to have sex with you.” While one may follow the other, the first is not predicated on the second in all cases.

As someone who is very comfortable (and quite happy) being single, I have a great deal of trouble justifying getting into a romantic relationship except under very odd or specific circumstances. Why? Because all of my endgames are served perfectly well by working the Grown Up Crush path.

There is very little impetus to make the leap into a relationship when, at any given time, either yourself or the other person are not important to the endgame.

How often have you pursued a relationship for very specific reasons? What’s your typical motivating endgame?

  • natasha

    Hmm… I think I really love being in love 🙂 I also love physical contact, in all of its forms. I am a very touchy-feely affectionate person, but there is only so long you can hold hands with your friends (i.e., they are not always around).

    I also love conversations late into the night. I love the whole process of realizing how much you have in common with this new person, the anticipation of all the wonderful thinks that will happen. It can be so addictive!

    I guess someone who only sees more common endgames would say the first point means I’m a sex-addict and the second means I’m lonely or something. Although I may feel that both of those can be true sometimes, I would not agree that they are the whole story.

  • natasha

    Hmm… I think I really love being in love 🙂 I also love physical contact, in all of its forms. I am a very touchy-feely affectionate person, but there is only so long you can hold hands with your friends (i.e., they are not always around).

    I also love conversations late into the night. I love the whole process of realizing how much you have in common with this new person, the anticipation of all the wonderful thinks that will happen. It can be so addictive!

    I guess someone who only sees more common endgames would say the first point means I’m a sex-addict and the second means I’m lonely or something. Although I may feel that both of those can be true sometimes, I would not agree that they are the whole story.

  • fiferjanis

    Hmm… I’ve always had problems identifying “goals.” As my boss (the one in charge of my career path) says, “You don’t usually have a vacation by jumping in the car without a destination – you make plans.” Well… see… I don’t make plans. I AM the one who jumps in the car and just picks a direction and drives. And I make sure to stop along the way when ANYTHING looks interesting. Some of the best “vacations” I’ve had were along these lines. Very relaxed, very fun, very interesting, and no expectations on when I have to arrive somewhere and missing the roses when I could be stopping to smell them.

    I suppose the only outcome/goal/end to my vacation is whenever I have to be back home and my “time is up.” I guess that’s kind of how I see relationships. I’ll go and go and keep stopping along the way to appreciate different things and see what I see, and maybe change roads along the way or pick a new direction, but the only real destination/completion point is when I can’t continue (i.e. death?)

    Then again, maybe because I don’t have a goal or “endgame” that’s why I find myself in relationships that never really… “end.” Usually it’s a change in some sort of life-circumstances that takes one of us away, or we want to explore somewhere else. I’ve never really “broken up” with anybody per se. If we define it as such, it’s only to release each other from a (up until then) understood contract of sorts between the us (in terms of monogamy, roommate status, cosigner status, etc.) But I never treat it as a finite “end” to the relationship – just a change in it, indicating our roles in each others lives have changed. And yet… it doesn’t. I’ll always be there for them as a friend, as someone with a deeper bond (than most) whom they can talk to, etc.

    So… I’m not really sure end-games always apply.

  • fiferjanis

    Hmm… I’ve always had problems identifying “goals.” As my boss (the one in charge of my career path) says, “You don’t usually have a vacation by jumping in the car without a destination – you make plans.” Well… see… I don’t make plans. I AM the one who jumps in the car and just picks a direction and drives. And I make sure to stop along the way when ANYTHING looks interesting. Some of the best “vacations” I’ve had were along these lines. Very relaxed, very fun, very interesting, and no expectations on when I have to arrive somewhere and missing the roses when I could be stopping to smell them.

    I suppose the only outcome/goal/end to my vacation is whenever I have to be back home and my “time is up.” I guess that’s kind of how I see relationships. I’ll go and go and keep stopping along the way to appreciate different things and see what I see, and maybe change roads along the way or pick a new direction, but the only real destination/completion point is when I can’t continue (i.e. death?)

    Then again, maybe because I don’t have a goal or “endgame” that’s why I find myself in relationships that never really… “end.” Usually it’s a change in some sort of life-circumstances that takes one of us away, or we want to explore somewhere else. I’ve never really “broken up” with anybody per se. If we define it as such, it’s only to release each other from a (up until then) understood contract of sorts between the us (in terms of monogamy, roommate status, cosigner status, etc.) But I never treat it as a finite “end” to the relationship – just a change in it, indicating our roles in each others lives have changed. And yet… it doesn’t. I’ll always be there for them as a friend, as someone with a deeper bond (than most) whom they can talk to, etc.

    So… I’m not really sure end-games always apply.

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