Playing Around Touchy-Feely Stuff or How to Apply Hearthstone Lessons IRL

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The dating app conversation started well enough: He said I looked good (I’d paid a good photographer), I said he looked good (he did, from most angles), and soon we were talking about meeting up. More photos were exchanged to mutual satisfaction.

The he told me he was a virgin and asked me if that changed anything. I told him it didn’t and wrote a minor treatise on how I thought it was kind of endearing and we didn’t have to force anything he wasn’t comfortable with and I’d be perfectly fine with just making out if that was the extent of it. Okay, so it was like seven or eight lines but in dating app land that _is_ a treatise. No response and next day I couldn’t see his profile anymore. Missing, presumed blocked.

I didn’t write anything inappropriate or offensive or downright bad. And I’m not even sure it was anything I said that made him block me. Maybe it’s just the modus operandi of someone who’s not out and still a virgin. Cold feet, delete, block, erase. Start over again in a couple of days.

The reason this is on a games blog is because I realised that the only reproach I had for myself felt so much like that sinking feeling of having filled a board with 2-3s as you hand turn 7 over to a mage. You don’t know if your opponent has it but you should probably not play into it. I had overcommitted to the board and this was the dating equivalent of a flamestrike.

If you’re in touch with your emotions and have a lot of empathy, you tend to think of showing consideration for the feelings of others as a good card. You can play it and it can win the game for you, especially in a world where people’s feelings are trampled as a perfectly boring matter of course.

But it requires insight in to your opponent, play style, knowledge of their deck (i.e. preferences, experiences, identities etc.) Not everybody wants to be feely-touchied when they disclose personal stuff. Some people do, some people don’t. You feel them out and get to know what is a good play and what isn’t. At least my guy didn’t respond with a Doomsayer.

Seizing what I saw as an opening to reassure, talking excessively on the meaning of this guy’s virginity after having ‘met’ him two hours ago, represents a kind of tempo-empathy play (tempathy?). At a time where I still didn’t really know anything of his deck, I was making a grab to dictate the play. I could have laid back, controlled it with a simple ‘no not at all’ plus smiley face and waited for the conversation to move on and safer win conditions to appear.

(This metaphor is getting the better of me. Does fatigue work as a win strategy in dating? Probably not. Mill? Uhm, I don’t wanna know what that would be.)

I guess it boils down to this: Where’s the Twisting Nether + Tree of Life play for the dating scene when you need it? Or should that be Kel’Thuzad? Nah, that’s just creepy.

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