How to spot mind games in the dating world

It is a sad fact of life that there is plenty of game playing that goes on in the dating world. The very early stages of meeting and getting to know each other is a common time to encounter mind games because neither of you are sure yet where the relationship is heading.

Let’s face it, the dating world can be a confusing landscape to navigate at the best of times, even when you both have the best intentions. When you’ve only just met and it’s too early to gauge where the relationship is going, it is not unusual to hold back elements of the real you as you suss out where you are going. It may be as a result of worrying that you are coming on too strong, or an attempt to dull your shine in a bid to adapt to be whoever you think the person you are dating wants you to be.

However, genuine game playing in dating often tips over into real dishonesty, causing plenty of confusion for the person who is on the receiving end of the manipulative behaviour. People who play games in dating are intentionally not being transparent and authentic with the person they are seeing. Some may actually perceive the act of dating as a game to be mastered and won, enjoying the challenge of winning somebody over rather than having genuine intentions of forming a relationship in a natural way. To them, it’s about working to keep you interested without providing the commitment or respect you deserve.

What to watch out for

If you’ve got an inkling somebody is playing mind games with you, you’ll be on the lookout for solid evidence that they are indeed a player.

Tell-tale signs of game playing can include feeling like you are on an emotional rollercoaster – one minute they are really into you, then they disappear for days or weeks at a time. Their words are not followed by the appropriate actions – they may break plans at the last minute, or suggest they want a relationship while their behaviour screams anything but commitment.

Somebody who is playing games is extremely unpredictable, bombarding you with mixed messages and leaving you confused, making the whole dating experience seem distinctly one-sided.

Communication is erratic at best and the waiting game is no fun for anybody. Instead of creating an air of mystery, somebody who takes days or weeks to reply to your message just causes frustration and anger. Alarm bells should also ring if you never hear from them out of the blue or outside of work hours and you’re doing all the work by sending the first message every time.

They may toy with your emotions by trying to make you jealous, insinuating they are seeing other people or flirting with others in front of you. Or they hold back from introducing you to their friends and family, keeping you at arm’s length instead of drawing you closer and including you in their life.

How to deal with a player

The list of different games used to toy with your emotions is sadly a long one but the sorts of behaviour we’ve touched upon are well worth watching out for to ensure you can recognise and call out somebody who is playing games with you. Be under no illusions – any bad behaviour in the dating world is a major red flag and it pays to be wary of the signs.

You can tackle a game player head on and ask them about their motives in the relationship to save yourself from getting tied up in knots with endless worry and frustration about their true intentions. Their response will tell you a lot about whether there’s any relationship potential with this person. Sometimes the game playing is not glaringly obvious, and you may worry about accusing somebody just in case there is a valid excuse for their strange behaviour. However, you might find you need to stick with your gut feeling when you suspect somebody is a playing games, if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t – once you know where you stand you need to decide whether it’s time to move on and ultimately whether you’d be better off without them.

Be assured that the right person will make a relationship seem effortless, rather than leading you to constantly question the other person’s motives and feelings. An authentic person who values open and honest communication does not need games to earn your affection. So, be wary of the players in the dating world and instead concentrate on those whose behaviour and genuine nature show they have plenty of potential for an enjoyable and long-lasting relationship.

Are you looking for somebody who is the real deal? Our matchmaking team are experts at understanding what you want in a relationship and matching you with amazing people who are really worth getting to know better. Give us a call today and find out how we can help you achieve your goal of a lasting, long-term relationship.

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