If You Play These 10 Dating Games, You Might End Up Alone

Was there ever a time when dating was just two people being their authentic selves from the very beginning, falling in love honestly, and living happily ever after? If there was, those days are long gone. Now, it’s more about strategy and game play than actual chemistry — but that doesn’t mean you have to participate. Believe it or not, some of these games are actually working against you.

Waiting for him to make the first move. There’s nothing wrong with preferring guys who are a little more on the aggressive side, but at the same time, if you really want something, sometimes you just have to take a chance and go after it. By sitting back and expecting him to come to you every time, you’re willingly let a lot of awesome guys slip threw your fingers. Rejection may be scary, but regret is worse.

Making him chase you. Not that you should just give him everything he wants right away or anything, but if it seems like you might be leading him on (as in, any progress he makes with you feels like a one step forward, two steps back type of thing), he’s eventually going to cut his losses. You can give a guy the chance to do the pursuing without making him feel like he’s running on a treadmill to nowhere.

Playing hard to get. There’s a balance to be struck between throwing yourself at him and acting so aloof he wonders if you even know he exists. Neither extremes are going to get you anywhere, so figure out how to make sure he knows you’re interested, but not like you’re desperate for his attention.

Waiting a certain length of time before texting him back. You’ve probably noticed it’s next to impossible to get a conversation going over text when you each send and receive a maximum of two messages per day. Maybe you’re just following his lead in terms of text frequency, but it’s not the end of the world if you next him back within 10 minutes — it might even spark an actual conversation in real time.

Always being too “busy” to be spontaneous. You’ve probably heard plenty of advice about never seeming too available to a guy. You want to seem like you have a life of your own and you aren’t waiting by the phone for him to ask you out. While that’s all good advice, if he asks you out for an impromptu brunch and you’re free, then go! No need to punish him for not thinking far enough ahead to schedule a few precious hours in your presence.

“Testing” him. Everyone says things and does things just to get a reaction sometimes — it’s human nature. But if you’re actually spending time coming up with elaborate schemes to test him, you’re going too far. Your life isn’t an episode of Pretty Little Liars.

Relying heavily ultimatums to get what you want. Most guys don’t respond well to threats, and empty threats are only going to make you look stupid.  He can tell when you’re trying to manipulate him, and even though he lets you get away with it once in awhile, that doesn’t mean he’s impressed by it.

Doing things to make him jealous. Subtly reminding him every so often that you don’t need him around so he doesn’t take you for granted is one thing, but flirting with other guys in front of him and purposely shoving it in his face that you could have any guy you want is unnecessary. Trust is important in a relationship, and jealousy is toxic to building that trust.

Giving him backhanded compliments. Guys aren’t the only ones who know the power of “negging.” Plenty of women try to manipulate guys into staying with them by toying with their self esteem. But if he’s with you just because you’ve erroneously convinced him he can’t do any better, it’s not love, it’s just obligation.

Never taking a break from the hustle. Dating can feel like a full time job at times, and one that you need to be on top of 24/7 if you want to be successful. But if you’re always “on” and constantly on the prowl for the next best thing, you’re probably not giving every guy the chance he deserves.

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