11 Dating Games You’re Too Old To Be Playing

Games have no place in dating, at least among mature adults. We are far too old to deal with the immature schemes of people who don’t know what they want. At times it can seem impossible to find someone who’s serious and doesn’t put you through the wringer when it comes to a healthy relationship But just in case you need a refresher, these are dating games that you’re way too old to be playing.

  1. Hot and Cold The whole hot and cold, hard-to-get game is so high school. We’re not kids anymore and anyone who wants to play these types of games with you because they’re trying to test your loyalty (or even just because they love the drama) is probably not mature enough for you. A real adult will be upfront with you about how they feel and won’t change their feelings towards you on a dime.
  2. Leaving each other on read/refusing to reach out “I’m not texting until they do” is one of those overplayed dating games that we’re far too old for at this point but that we’re all guilty of playing. I know you don’t want to seem desperate or clingy, but if you have a good time on a date, there’s nothing wrong with texting them to let them know you’re excited to see them again. It’s not going to freak them out if you text or call a normal amount of times and if it does, you can assume they don’t really have the same feelings for you and you can move on.
  3. Love bombing Love bombing is when someone sweeps you off your feet when you first meet them, showering you with gifts, love, affection, and admiration. Then, once they’re pretty certain you’ve fallen for them, they flip the switch and start showcasing toxic behavior. This is a classic tactic of a controlling or abusive partner and it can be very scary. It’s hard to tell in the beginning because many people are genuine with their affection at the beginning of a relationship. However, if you start to notice behavioral changes in them, note the red flags and be aware that they might change on you.
  4. Gaslighting This is another of those toxic dating games (and behaviors in general) that has no place in a healthy, mature relationship. Gaslighting is the act of manipulation where your partner will attempt to place blame on you or make you feel like your emotions are invalidated or nuts. They do this in order to take the focus and responsibility of a problem off of their shoulders and it’s an extremely immature way to behave.
  5. Acting insanely jealous If you don’t have trust with your partner, you can’t expect your relationship to be healthy, mature, and successful. If your partner doesn’t trust you to go places, hang out with people, or do anything without them, that can be a major issue. If your partner insists on going through your phone and knowing your passwords for everything, this is also an issue. We’re not children and if your partner can’t trust you or you can’t trust them, you could be headed towards some major problems.

More dating games you should never play

dating games

provided by iStock

  1. Giving the silent treatment Hello, immature dating games! This is a completely infantile way to behave. If your partner is mad at you or you’re mad at them, giving the silent treatment, also known as the freeze-out, is not only immature but also a completely unproductive way to handle a dispute. How are you supposed to resolve an issue if one of you refuses to communicate with the other?
  2. Being passive-aggressive Almost as bad as the silent treatment is passive-aggressive behavior. Many times when someone is angry, instead of expressing their feelings to their partner, they will instead act cold towards them, shut them out in a way, or just be mean in general but then insist that nothing is wrong when the other person asks. Again, how are you supposed to resolve the problem if you don’t discuss it?
  3. Guilt-tripping Placing guilt on another person when issues arise in a relationship is immature and counter-productive. A majorly immature and problematic tactic is if your partner likes to dredge up the past when you get into an argument. There is no reason to bring up a past mistake that you’ve made when it has no place in the current argument. This is one of the most toxic dating games you could possibly play.
  4. Putting you down Your partner should never put you down in an attempt to control or manipulate you. If you find that your partner makes negative or hurtful comments about your appearance, your job, your personality, your intelligence, or anything else because they want to keep your confidence low or keep you from standing up for yourself, this is a game that we are way too old to be playing and is very toxic.
  5. Ghosting If someone ghosts you, you need to immediately drop them. Ghosting is incredibly immature and we are far too old to play that game. Oftentimes, someone you are seeing or talking to you will fall off the face of the earth and then try to come back around when it’s convenient for them. Forget them and move on. A true adult doesn’t play those games.
  6. Leading on Leading someone on is another very immature dating game that no one wants to play anymore. We’re not in high school anymore. We don’t have time to waste on people who aren’t serious. Everyone you date should be upfront with you from the beginning about what they want, what they’re looking for, and all of that. If someone leads you to believe that they want something with you then start to pull away slowly, take that as a sign to cut your losses, and move on. Anyone who truly likes you and wants something serious with you wouldn’t risk you losing interest because they’re pulling away. The ones who lead you on are just playing games.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.