According to some people, love is a game. The rise of dating apps and dating websites has made it a lot easier to play it. All you need to do is to swipe left or right on the profiles, and you get to hook up with like-minded people.
Even though this seems like the trend nowadays, is it really okay to play the love game? It's up to you to decide.
Making it a game invites the idea of winners, losers, with people as prizes to be won. Sure, it does fire up anyone's natural competitive streak.
The root idea of the "love game" is to find a companion. Not an opponent that you need to outsmart every step of the way.
Signs That They're Playing The Love Game
Regardless of how many people think about this idea, more people like to play the love game. We even encounter them sometimes. In fact, perhaps you've had an experience with one that you can't get out of your mind. You're probably thinking about how you should have spotted a player from a mile away.
If you're ready to put the players out of the game, here are some tell-tell signs that indicate he's only playing the love game with you.
They're Hot And They're Cold
If they like to initiate conversations with you, which, after you reply, they're going to pretend to forget about it is a red flag. They're likely just doing this to keep you on your toes.
Or perhaps they come on to you strong at the beginning and then ignore you for long periods after. This is not a very healthy way to start a relationship. No matter how much chemistry you have whenever you meet up in person, playing with you this way is not good.
Nor is making you wait by the phone for weeks before they finally deem it appropriate to contact you again. It's like they're training you.
They Negging You
Negging means giving someone a backhanded compliment. These are insults that are delivered like a compliment. It is an especially effective weapon on people who barely have any self-confidence or self-esteem.
It could only mean one thing if someone does this to you- they're out to play you. If they were serious about you, they would compliment you properly without any negativity. If they do this in public with the sole purpose of putting you down, it's definitely a red flag.
They Hide Their Phone
Trust is a big thing in any relationship. If, for some reason, you can't trust your partner, you probably never will. One sign of missing or broken trust would be their suspicious behavior whenever they're on their phones.
This includes hiding the screen from you whenever they're texting or being extra protective of their phones by having locks on the device, as well as locks on the apps themselves. You don't even try to sneak a peek whenever this happens because you didn't want to be that person.
They Flirt With Other People In Front Of You
If they're a master at flirting and do it in front of you, that is also another sign that they're players. Even when they react defensively and tell you that they're only being friendly, you should be on your guard. There's being friendly, and then there's flirting. It's not the same.
Also, if they do it in front of you, they probably don't even care about how you'd feel. They just carry on with their regularly scheduled flirtations.
They Refuse To Introduce You To Anyone
We generally don't want to introduce just anyone to our family and friends. Especially if we're casually dating or if we're certain it won't last. However, it is only natural to want to assume that they'll introduce you to someone after a while.
If they still don't and want to hide with you all the time in your place or anywhere else, it's probably because they has no intention of ever letting anyone know about you. He's most likely not serious about you or your relationship. He's playing the game, and it looks like he's winning.
They Play The Waiting Game
No matter where you turn to for advice, you're always going to encounter one about how a woman should always wait for the guy to call after a date. Or how a guy should wait 2-3 days before calling you after a date to get the upper hand.
These are just some of the most common waiting game rules that players follow. The truth is, it is okay to not be available all the time. Sure, you like that person. But that doesn't mean that you'll be at his beck and call. You have a life of your own, after all.
However, if they play the waiting game just to get the upper hand, or play hard to get, then this is a huge sign that they are playing the love game.
They Don't Want To Show You Off
If they hide you from the world and refuse to date you out in public, they're probably only playing the love game. Perhaps you've been wondering why they haven't ever brought you out to a nice restaurant for dinner or brought you over to meet their parents or friends.
Instead, you've probably been sneaking around at odd times to meet at your place. You haven't even been to their place- not once. They also refused to post pictures with you on social media. When asked, they gave you the usual "I want to stay low-key" excuse.
But you have to ask yourself what they are hiding from. Or better yet, from whom?
They Don't Care About You
You've probably wanted to talk to them about your day, and they brushed you off without even attempting to listen. If they refuse to lend an ear or show the slightest bit of interest in you, it's probably because they only care about themselves.
Don't settle for someone who doesn't care about you or about knowing everything there is to know about you. Let go of the players and try to find someone who isn't playing instead.
They're Never There
One of the good things about proper relationships is that you get to rely on someone you absolutely need, especially for emotional support. People are, after all, social animals. They like to need and to feel needed.
However, if they're never there when you need them, then they're just playing you. If they were truly serious, they'd be there to celebrate your wins, commiserate your losses, and live your low-key life with.
They Never Sleepover
If you've rolled around the sheets a few times, and they haven't ever slept over. In that case, it's also another warning sign. Cuddling and sleeping together after sex is a deeper level of intimacy that they're probably afraid of or worked very hard to ignore.
It could also be that they're hiding something- like a husband/wife and children in the suburbs. Or perhaps they're really just that afraid of commitments. So if they leave right after sex, there is a good chance they are playing the love game.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.