Today’s post is not part of the Ronday series. Ronday will return next week. Sorry!

It was just a game.

It was a game about deciding who you could trust and who you couldn’t. Who was with you, who wanted you to fail. We laughed and we talked, we tried to read each other’s faces, suss out each other’s logic and hidden agendas. Sometimes you’d get frustrated because somebody didn’t believe the lie you were trying to sell. Sometimes you were telling the truth and no one believed you anyway.

At the end of the night, I was one of the good guys. Several times, people around me doubted it. I tried to think of ways to convince them I was good without sounding like that person who was perhaps trying a little too hard. “Methinks she doth protest too much.” I reflected that you really can’t convince people to believe anything by sheer desire.

Dating sometimes feels like that same game. Everyone has their game face on and you try to see beneath the mask. I find myself wondering what I can or cannot believe and whom I can trust. That’s a game that’s hard to play.

Sometimes, we can talk ourselves out of things that we know in our gut are true. We see the red flags, we hear the lies, and yet we choose to believe them anyway. Sometimes the lies are just easier to believe. And when good things happen, you wonder if they are real.

In the board game, I discovered I was simply trying to convince the wrong people. Because of that, and other mistakes made along the way, we lost the game.

“i hope you enjoyed the game,” one player said.

It was clear my frustration was showing. But it was more that I talked myself out of my gut. I’ve gotta stop doing that. It doesn’t matter that I lost the board game. It does matter that I’ve forgotten to trust my own instincts. Sometimes you learn more when you lose than when you win.