Is He Playing Mind Games With You? 10 Signs He’s Messing With Your Head

It can be really hard to tell when someone is being genuine with you. This is especially true in the digital age when behind every text there lurks a person hiding behind the screen with a different agenda altogether, and even more so when you’re actually interested in that person. That said, there are ways of figuring out if a guy is playing mind games with you or if he’s just wasting your time. Read on to find out.

  1. He makes the effort with you. He’s always clean and polished and neatly dressed. I know the bar is on the floor, but it’s always appreciated. As much as this guy confuses you, boy does he have style. You’d think this is the opposite of proof that he’s playing mind games, but not when combined with the following…
  2. He’s the king of mixed messages. It’s pretty much his alma mater to send out mixed messages. Just as soon as you think you’ve cracked him, he does something unexpectedly sweet or goes off the grid altogether. When will we learn?
  3. He hangs out with loads of girls. It’s not like you’re exclusive or anything, but boy does he flaunt his social life. It’s like he can’t do something without telling everyone about it. This starts to feel like you’ve fallen for a player. He knows exactly what he’s doing, but still, you hang around in his thrall. He’s a professional at showing you what you’re missing out on.
  4. He’s a social media maverick. While he pretends to not care about Instagram, he nonetheless has a thousand followers and a very strictly regimented posting schedule. You always know where he is, but he’ll never text you to hang out. It’s very curated and you know his life isn’t that cool, but shit dude – paragliding on a Tuesday night?
  5. He sends you good morning texts. Despite all of the well-documented red flags, this guy still sends “good morning” and “good night” texts. He knows how to trap us with just the right kernel of attention to string us along for more. Most guys would take months of hints to get to this stage, but he knows this is important to lots of women. The shame is, he’s doubtlessly performing this attentiveness. He won’t mean it; he’s playing mind games.
  6. He sends you memes. This is harder to dismiss. While he’s trash and acts like a frat bro on his Finsta, the fact that he sends you memes is really intimate. You get to see a different side of him. It’s fun and relaxed. For a moment, laughing over dopey dogs, you forget all the other stuff.
  7. He ignores you for days. No matter how cute the dogs are, this stage still comes around. Proof, if one was needed, that he’s a player. There’s nothing that cuts quite so deep as the person you like ignoring you. He will be active on Instagram, make no bones about that. But he will want you to know that. It’s manipulative.
  8. He sends “u up?” texts. After radio silence for a week, he’ll shamelessly booty call you. Fair enough if you agree and invite him over – we’re all only human. But it makes you feel a bit crappy afterward when he left in the middle of the night and you wake up alone. He’s a bit of a teenager her and throws people around just because he can.
  9. He’ll never text first. He wants to feel validated and have people chasing him. That’s why he constructs so many elaborate set-pieces. To make sure you can always reach him, but you will never get him. He’s pimping himself out as the best thing since sliced bread, but at the end of the day, he’s emotionally unavailable and can’t give you what you need. It’ll take a while for you to realize that with all the mind games, though.
  10. He manipulates you. At the end of the day, he’s toxic. The chase makes you feel bad and unwanted, even if he really likes you. He won’t commit. He will deprive himself of true human connections by playing this game. You will be sacrificed in the name of his insecurity. Love isn’t a game that you fight it out and win or lose. It just isn’t.

So, next time you’re swept up in the skater boy from across the street and his strange texting habits, stop and think. What is he giving you, other than stress and inconstant affection? You deserve better than a player.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.