11 Dating Games You Didn’t Know You Were Playing 

You know you shouldn’t play games when you’re dating, so why do you? Before you insist that you don’t, think about all the small things you do to seem cooler. Whether it’s not responding to texts immediately or pretending to be busy, you play games all the time. We all do! Here are 11 behaviors you probably didn’t even realize you’re guilty of.

  1. Dating A Bunch Of People At Once You might not think there’s anything wrong with casually dating several people at once. After all, you’re not exclusive with any of them. What should it matter, right? It matters because you’re playing games. You’re dating multiple people to see which one you like enough to date exclusively. You’re testing them, and that’s not cool.
  2. Acting Like You Love Being Single Do you really like being single? If you do, go ahead and shout it from the rooftops. But if you want to find your partner, don’t pretend like you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with being single, but acting like you love it gives off the wrong impression. People might not pursue you if they think you’d rather be alone than in a relationship.
  3. Breadcrumbing Ever heard of it? It’s when you’re not interested in someone but you feed them little “crumbs” so they stay hooked on you just in case you want them one day. Rude! How many times have you been led on by someone? Don’t do the same to another person. If you want them, cool. If you don’t, let them go so they can find their person.
  4. Investigating Instead Of Asking You’re not a detective (no matter how skilled you are). You shouldn’t be spending hours online researching a potential suitor. You should be asking them questions. Are you curious about their last past relationships? Ask them! Don’t stalk their Instagram and jump to false conclusions. Doing so adds unnecessary drama to your life!
  5. Reading Into Texts Most people mean what they say. Instead of assuming they’re lying, assume they’re being 100% honest all of the time. When they text you something like, “I hope you have a great day,” take that to mean they want you to have a great day. Don’t assume they’re pissed off because they didn’t add a smiley face emoji at the end.
  6. Sending Texts You Didn’t Write Stop sending texts your friends wrote. I get it, you go to your friends for advice and maybe they’re more conversational than you. That doesn’t mean you should take what they say and send it off. Your messages need to be your own words. If one day you’re Ashley, then the next you’re Kelsey, you’ll give the person whiplash.
  7. Making People Jealous Do you post scantily clad Instagram stories of yourself at a bar surrounded by good-looking strangers? You’re trying to make them jealous by making it seem like you’re in high demand. Don’t get me wrong, it could work. Still, you don’t want to start a relationship off with manipulation.
  8. Holding Out On Sex It’s your body and your choice on who you share it with. That said, sex isn’t a game. Holding out on sex to force someone to commit isn’t a good idea. When people see a challenge, that’s sometimes all they see. If you say “I won’t sleep with you until we’re exclusive,” chances are, they’ll make it exclusive, get what they want, and then dip. Sex is for connecting with someone. Don’t use it as a prize.
  9. Keeping Your Personal Life A Secret Maybe you have walls up, or maybe you don’t think they deserve to know that much about you (yet.) The problem with both options is that you’re purposely under sharing. Doing that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for people to know who you really are.
  10. Pretending To Be Uninterested You wait a few extra minutes to respond to their texts. You only like every other picture they post on Instagram. You never answer their call on the first ring. Sound familiar? There are a ton of ways we try to seem uninterested. While you don’t want to appear obsessed, it’s never a good idea to make someone think you don’t like them when you do.
  11. Acting Cool With Their Games. Pretending like you’re okay with their games is just as big as a game. Do they take hours to respond to your texts? Are you always having to initiate plans? They’re not uninterested, they’re making you chase them. And you’re letting it happen! Instead of being a good sport, call them out on it and let them know you’re not interested in being toyed with.
Jordan White is a writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona with more than 8 years of experience. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Rhetoric and Creative Writing in 2015 and while there, she wrote for The Daily Wildcat. She has since written for sites including FanBread, and, of course, Bolde. You can find about more her on Facebook. She has a passion for giving her audience something to laugh about and despises the heat more than anything.