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How To Play Relationship Poker

Updated on November 24, 2012

Playing for One's Happiness is Serious Business.

There are a lot of risks. You could be hurt in a number of ways. The sting of being hurt often triggers survival instincts that cause one to shut one's self off from further hurt. It is true, however, that those who focus on what they might lose inevitably do lose keep losing. This isn't to say that positive thinking always yields victories but if you know what you want eventually you will get it. That is the point, isn't it?

I am a cautious man. I always have been and always will be. I decided long ago, however that caution merely means that methodical method needs to be created and maintained for success. When I was young I learned how to read people over a chess board. It isn't a bad skill to have but it makes you cynical after a while. I found that watching someone lose in their own eyes was almost as fun as watching myself win. Brilliant people have twisted past times, so sue me.

I am not the sort of person anyone marries lightly. While I try not to let Asperger's Syndrome or Bipolar Disorder rule my life, I must, in all of my relationships and situations make allowances for the certain evils of my conditions. I, therefore, in search of assessing my eligibility as a mate, adopted a philosophy in order succeed where others in my situation would fail. Method is established one step at a time.

The twisted past time that started with chess and moved to risk left a lasting impression that carried on to how I formed attachments. By the time this occurred, most of my rancor and malice towards the human race had cooled. One cannot maintain such negative feelings and learn to love and trust.

The game I invented to deal with learning to trust another intimately started when I became interested in someone. I likened the game to poker. I did so because play seemed to follow a "show me yours and I will show you mine" pattern except for in reverse. Anyone who understands human nature in tense circumstances, realizes that the one with the weaker stance or the most honest of intentions should go first in such an exchange.

I turned my first card up in relationships first. Maybe that was a matter of cowardice but I admit that I always felt like I had the weaker hand. In my mind, my first card was the fact that I was interested in the other person. It doesn't seem like much but in the business of the heart we are not always as clear in our intentions as we think we are. I had spent a long time in learning to hide my feelings for other reasons so I knew myself well enough that if there was a she that I wanted to get close to, I would more likely then not show more then I thought I felt in order to get the right emotion across.

It then became my necessity to wait to see if "she" acknowledged the play. The next play then belonged to the other person to show interest in return. It was imperative that I wait for that moment before making my next move. Patience is a big part of this game. In my experience, there is nothing gained by laying two cards. Usually this either expects too much of the other person or makes you appear desperate.

The table in this game is any place and time where two people meet. It is beneficial if the table is where both parties have an equal standing and hopefully an equal shot at staying in the game. Home court advantage may seem comfortable but doesn't always result in the kind of victory you desire. Most men and women of the world must agree to the location of the table. In my mind this is why it is eminently dangerous to a relationship to try to move in together before enough cards are laid down. In my mind if one forms the table in such close quarters the end result causes too much pressure on both sides.

The table should be placed where both parties are on neutral ground. It helps ifsome distance is maintained. Distance gives agency or freedom to both parties to withdraw between rounds. The worst thing that can happen in this game is for proximity to become a point of contention that could end the game. It should become a card or a rather large chip. In my mind it should be one cherished on both sides. Returning to my feelings about home court advantage, if two do move in, they should quit their current residences and choose a place together where they both have emotional and verbal claim on the place of the new table. It is not favorable, up front to get into a situation that does not require both parties to make an equal contribution. If you want to make things simple, you don't move in together until the ring is on the table but who in this world cares about simplifying things these days?

As you may have noticed the cards represent parts of one's soul. In judging a card placed by another or a card you consider laying down, they should be indicators of ones character. In this game, cards are acts that show the other person parts of you. It is, therefore, permissible to wait until the other person responds by laying a card down of equal value to you as the one you placed on the table previously. The only way this game works is when complete honesty is the goal. Any gambler will tell you that if you show your cards at the wrong place or manner in the game the other person can either fold when it is their turn and walk away ending the game immediately.

Impatience on the part of your partner may tell you that the card you laid down demands more of them then they are willing to give themselves. It also may tell you that you didn't lay down the card they were hoping you would because they have something less then a permanent situation on their mind. Remember, every card you lay down is important and you must play for keeps. Like any game, the end objective only occurs when the rules are maintained. You can play as you like I suppose but this is my method so.... I would suggest only playing with someone with the same number of cards. If you don't, you may have to give more then you are comfortable giving in exchange for the few cards that they have. Such a situation hardly seems fair or satisfying but that would be for you to judge. .

In poker, of course there are chips. In this game, chips and cards are not the same thing. Chips are monetary or time investments. While chips may hint at cards in your hand or your partner's hand, they don't have to. A lot of time and money can be put into any project before the motives of the people involved become evident. The tokens can get bigger as the natural synergism of the game compels both sides to make larger bets. Chips are more or less only as limited as one's schedules or means. Sometimes means can be substituted with a little ingenuity, imagination, or creativity. Chips are placed on the table in turns and should be subject to the other person matching the bet that one sets down. Again, playing at a table where you have fewer or more chips then the other person opens the door for trouble. I have heard of people getting around this problem with prenuptial agreements. To each their own.

This game can go on for as long as you wish but in my mind, the final objective is to gain a relationship you can trust. You should keep the game alive until the end of one’s ability to place chips on the table or until one or both refuse to show any more cards. Fear and pride will kill this game as cards that are most lethal. These cards are not unconquerable but they must be discarded on both sides for the game to get much further.

Good or bad, if both sides have favorable cards then the point is to keep the other person at the table as long as possible. This should continue until you know whether you can live with staying at the table with your loved one this is, what I call, going all in. I hope that eventually love and respect will set in and you can quit the game portion of your relationship and start living together. Remember, this game is only meant to allow both players to feel in control even if that control is an illusion..

Remember, According to my model, winning and losing should not be about who has the chip lead or the best cards but rather the process of creating mutual attachment to the pot at the center. This being said, it is only rational to warn that it is not wise to go all in until both players have shown all their cards. The reverse should also be said. Do not show all your cards until the other player has gone all in. I hope that if you can do it right, the last card for you and your significant other has a ring on it that is offered and accepted.


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    • Jaggedfrost profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      The question in most relationships is whether you are only interested in winning or getting her to fully commit or if this is truly a balanced, healthy relationship that actually is meant to allow for causion while providing a conduit towards both going all in.

    • hillrider profile image


      5 years ago from Mid-west United States

      JFrost...hadn't seen this hub prior to now...found it interesting. The analogy/metaphor is clear and yet I am curious what one does about "bluffing" ...smiles

    • Jaggedfrost profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      lol and playing is even more interesting. I have found that men and women play differently but, for the purpose of this game, I had no desire to complicate this subject more then it already is. Maybe I may follow this up with another hub about winning strategies.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting analogies, and they make sense. Table, cards, chips . . . Thanks


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