How do guys get you to fall in love? It's all about making the right moves.
I'm no psychologist, but let me tell you one thing about you (and the boys you like) that I know for certain: you all like chess. That's right, CHESS. The game. Some people even call it a sport. You might shake your head and stop reading this article completely, but wait! Just hear me out.
The thing about chess is that it's all about strategy. It's about the moves that you and your opponent make. It's about the right pieces doing exactly the right thing at precisely the right time to get desired results. Sounds familiar? Of course it does! I've just described the majority of social interactions between guys and gals who like each other. So if you play this game, imagine how it must be for guys—particularly one who has fallen for your charms and would like to make you feel the same way about him.
Guys have mastered the art of sneaky moves. Unbeknownst to you, he will be laying the groundwork to win your heart and say, "Checkmate!" Now, we give you the lowdown on which sneaky moves guys favor and help you figure out what to do in those situations.
His Move: He doesn't immediately get close to you or talk to you that much. He lets his friends do it. If this move is in play, you'll be seeing his close friends more often than you'll actually see him. You'll hear about him a lot, though. These guys will very subtly talk him up to you. They won't say anything fancy or over-the-top-they'll just casually mention how shiny his first honor medal was or how the back of his jersey looked after he schooled everyone on the basketball court. Naturally, these guys are also interested in what you're into so expect a lot of questions. Know that whatever you tell them will be relayed to him so he can plan his next move.
Your Move: If you sense that this is going on, it's important not to treat these guys as spies. They're not. The fact that they hang with you for extended periods of time means a) you're fun and cool, and b) they LIKE being with you. I got to know some of my best female friends from hanging out with them a lot, initially to get to know them for friends of mine who were crushing on them.
Conversely, if you find yourself not having an iota of fun with his friends, chances are you won't have any fun with him either. Your friends are a reflection of who you are, and his friends will be a great indicator of what kind of personality he has as well.
His Move: The rook, which was formerly called the castle, will go out of his way to bring you home in a special move called "castling." It doesn't matter where he lives. As a matter of fact, he won't even mention that he lives on the other side of Metro Manila. He'll just casually offer to give you a ride. This move is employed in order to spend more time with you. The ride home actually provides many choice moments to stealthily get to know you better in a (for now) purely platonic setting. It might even give him a chance to impress you with his choice of car tunes. Plus, in a metaphorical way, it proves that he'll definitely go out of his way for you.
Your Move: The key is to just keep your cool. Don't get overly excited, anxious, or awkward. If he's playing the stealth game, you can, too. The worst thing that could happen here is that he feels you're uncomfortable and you both shut down. Awkward car rides are on my list of Top 10 Things to Avoid in a Getting-to-Know-You Situation. Trust me, once that happens, time slows to a crawl and for some reason traffic gets worse. It's like the universe has a sensor for moments like that.
His Move: Who says chivalry is dead? Not the guy who chooses to employ this move. All the classics apply here: opening doors for you, the trusty old "Ladies First," and picking up the tab every time you guys go out. Each move is probably cheesier than the last, but hey, you can never go wrong with the old-fashioned. I must confess a certain affinity for this move, because it's my personal belief that every girl wants (and deserves!) to be treated like a princess. This may not seem so sneaky-but that's the beauty of it! Despite these overt gestures, the guy will act like it's not a big deal. Like that's how it's supposed to be. You hear this and accept it. And when other guys don't spoil you like he does, you'll think, "Why can't they all be gentlemen like (insert guy's name here)?"
Your Move: Just enjoy it. That's really all there is to this strategy. Don't think about it too much! You're being pampered; enjoy the ride. Always keep in mind, however, that you should never abuse his generosity. That's not cool at all.
His Move: The operative syllable in "The Bishop" move is...
SHOP. He will go shopping with you. In my humble experience, I've noticed that girls are generally more themselves while shopping. There's just something about the entire shopping experience in particular, or the frame of mind that is required to enjoy it, that allows females to express themselves more. I've learned more about my girl friends and romantic interests from accompanying them on their shopping trips than probably any other experience. He also gets plus points for being the guy who's willing to hang out with you and give you an opinion about the stuff you're scoping out. Guys employ this move because it's low-key and a great way to spend quality time with you. Even if they're often left holding all the shopping bags.
Your Move: He's accompanying you as a friend, not as your personal assistant. While it may be fine to ask him to grab you a different size of something while you're in the fitting room, it is not okay to treat him like your yaya. Involve him in the joy of your shopping trip. Ask for his opinions, allow him to rest every now and then, and don't just leave him sitting there while you tear up the racks of your local department store. Make him a part of the experience. You'll both have a better time.
Every guy is different, just as every game of chess is different. While a bunch of aspects about chess and romance are similar, there is a very distinct difference: Chess is a competition; there is a winner and a loser. But in romance-if done right-everybody wins.
Sorry, touch move!
A short list of moves that don't usually work the way guys want them to.
1. Not Sharing. I don't mean going solo on French fries; what I mean is when he's not sharing himself. Some guys think that focusing solely on a girl in a conversation is a good thing, when in fact, it just turns into a one-way street. In the same way that guys want to get to know you, I'm fairly certain you'd like to get to know him as well. A conversation that exclusively features you isn't the best way to do that.
2. Name Dropping. There's just something about it that sends the wrong message. To me it says, "I don't believe I'm awesome enough; let me augment that by adding someone else's awesomeness and relating him/her to me!" It's kind of an indicator of where his confidence meter is at.
3. Bragging. When he starts enumerating his achievements, he may think you'll be impressed. But chances are, you'll think he's just full of hot air. See also: humblebragging, which probably merits another article.
This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Candy Magazine.