You left the middle school playground behind years ago, so why are you still dealing with guys who play mind games? If you’re currently talking to or dating a dude who’s doing your head in, you don’t have to put up with it. In fact, you really shouldn’t. Short of kicking him to the curb immediately, here’s how to get him to get his act together.
- Communicate your desires clearly. Make what you want out of your time with him explicitly clear. Are you hoping to be dating? Are you looking for something serious? Are you just wanting to be friends with benefits? You’re going to need to be honest about what you want before you can expect the same from him.
- Prepare to lose him. There are only two options in these scenarios: either he wants what you want or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, are you prepared to walk away? If not, you may need to re-evaluate what you want because if a guy doesn’t want that and you make it clear you’re not going to put up with it, the only option is to leave… unless you want to continue the game-playing cycle.
- Don’t play games with him. Sounds obvious, I know, but make sure to examine your behavior closely. Are you waiting a long time to text him back? Posting things on social media to try and get his attention or make him jealous? Really think about your motives and why you’re doing the things you do, then cut back on the ones you realize aren’t exactly mature behavior. (Yes, driving by his house in your friend’s car counts.)
- Be busy. Note: there’s a difference in playing hard to get (acting busy) and actually being busy. Make sure you’re doing the latter and not the former. Your goal is to make him think you’re busy with all kinds of fun stuff going on. So what should you do? Get busy with all kinds of fun stuff going on! Schedule dinners with your friends. Get a mani-pedi. Take that class you’ve been wanting to take. Go for a hike with a friend. Give into your coworker who’s been bugging you to go to see a movie. Get out there and do stuff! When he asks you to hang out, definitely hang out if you’re free. If you’re not, don’t you dare cancel your plans for him! He can wait until a day when you are free. After all, he doesn’t cancel his plans for you, does he?
- Don’t wait around for him. If he can’t give you an answer on whether or not he wants to see you on Friday, make other plans. If he calls and asks when he should come over, let him know you’re really sorry and you’d still love to see him (some other time) but since you didn’t hear back, you assumed he was busy and made other plans. Oh, and don’t lie. Actually make other plans and follow through on them! He’ll see quickly you’re not the type of girl that’s going to wait around for him and if he likes you, he’ll start to make plans in advance. His game-playing will stop quickly when he realizes you aren’t just going to be at his beck and call.
- Don’t make him a priority when he considers you an option. Make sure you’re dating other people and considering all your options, especially if you know he’s seeing other girls. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, when he’s putting his in multiple baskets. (See what I did there?)
- Set boundaries for yourself and for him. And stick to them. If you don’t want to sleep with him until you’re exclusive, don’t. If you don’t want to text him constantly, stop. Ask a friend to help hold yourself accountable. Remember what your boundaries are (sometimes it helps to write them down) and then stick to them. He’ll respect you for sticking to them if he’s a good guy.
- Cut him loose. Finally, if none of the above works, it may be time to just cut him loose. I’m sure he’s really attractive and a great guy (or maybe not?), but he’s not the guy for you, at least not right now. It’s time for you to let him go and focus on someone who isn’t going to play games with your heart.