“The Dating Game” as it is often referred is an intricate play of tactical maneuvers, distinct rules, and pre-determined positions between two foreign teams who are brought together to achieve mutual victory.The problem though is that nobody knows the rules, the positions are ever changing and the maneuvers that are learnt in training normally don’t work on the field. I followed all the rules and believed that with practice would come perfection but I never seemed to score a goal. There was the guy who spoke only about his ex-boyfriend for the duration of dinner, the personal trainer who refused to eat anything that wasn’t green and the gorgeous Italian boy whose English skills were much better online. Instead of seeing a date as an interview, where probing questions are exchanged and potential candidates cross-examined, dates should be seen as exciting opportunities to meet new people.

Who knows what other types of non-sexual relationships I may have formed with these men?

Perhaps somewhere down the line a failed date may have even turned into a successful matchmaker for as the saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

If dating is indeed a game then perhaps we should come up with a new strategy for the way we play.

In the end, when we date as if it were a game, nobody wins. To my surprise, after deep analysis, I realised that I was in fact the problem. I would downplay my fabulous fashion sense, talk-up my sporting prowess or exaggerate my interest in certain types of music.

While I don’t claim to be a love professional or a coach, I have certainly been on my fair share of dates and I feel that I have learnt a few lessons along the way. There were three mistakes that I continuously made which could explain why dating was so daunting. As part of my self-reflection I noticed that this form of self-editing was evident to varying degrees throughout most of my dating history. If a relationship is formed on the basis of either one of you not being your true selves then you will have no choice but to keep up the charade until the truth eventually comes out (and it always comes out).

Like many other guys there was a point in my life when I didn’t want to play the game anymore. These mistakes turned into three lessons that have changed my entire perspective on dating. One day he will realise that you are actually hopeless at rugby, wear skinny jeans that are cropped at the bottom and that you would much rather listen to Cheryl Cole than AC/DC.

Firstly, I realised that I was placing too much pressure on the outcome of the date, willing for it to be a ‘happily ever after’ love story before the referee’s whistle had even been blown. Lastly, I noticed that I had a habit of deleting failed dates from my phonebook and from my life.

While I have always considered myself to be an independent person, in retrospect, I went through a stage where I was eager to be in a relationship. ” I shared her pain and translated it into a period of binge-dating where every failed attempt at love seemed to be one step further away from Mr. One should never approach dating or love from a place of such desperation. My second mistake was framing dates as if they were job interviews. While I had shared a meal or an afternoon or an experience with this person, when it didn’t work out I chose to forget about them completely.

I empathised with Charlotte from Sex and the City who in one episode desperately exclaimed, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. But what about those guys with whom I had had fun, shared common interests, laughed and joked around?