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How to deal with your boyfriend's mind games

Mind games. Unfortunately, everyone plays them. While playing the game of chess that is courtship or even once your in a committed and loving relationship, you are bound to get caught up in some kind of mind game with your partner.

Playing these games can be difficult and exhausting, especially since the way men think is essentially alien to women.

With games, there is usually an end goal. Most of the time when you're getting played it's easy to understand how, but it's difficult to understand why. To answer the question of "why" and to try to help women deal with these games, I've listed some mind games men love to play.

It's important to remember that not every man is doing these things out of spite. It's very seldom that your man is thinking like a bond villain who is out to get you.

Hopefully, this article will help you understand why your boyfriend is playing games and will help you decide what to do about it.

  • If he's ghosting… contact the poltergeist

    In recent years, "ghosting" has become one of the most difficult beasts terrorizing our dating lives. Ghosting happens due to our habit of constantly communicating via social media in combination with the social expectation to have a laissez-faire attitude toward dating.

    If you think your man is ghosting, there's a good chance he's not, and you're plagued by the expectation for nonstop communication. When you think about it, you're likely to be in near constant contact with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and Instagram-liking. Any period of silence, no matter how brief, might make you think you're being purposefully ghosted.

    But if he's left you on read… that's a whole different story. He's either doing one of two things: waiting for you to make your move via texting (or your choice social media platform) or he doesn't want to talk to you.

    Guys get nervous sending that first text too, so it's reasonable to expect that sometimes he'll want you to make the first digital move. You shouldn't be shy about messaging him first. Again, I know it's nerve-wracking, but that first text after a solid date might need to come from you and not him!

    Don't play this game of texting-chicken, instead, take control and talk to him! Send him something like "I had fun last night!" or follow up on something you talked about the last time you were together. But adhere to the "two-text rule." If he doesn't respond after you send two texts, it's up to him to send the next one.

    If you're always the one initiating conversation, only to find an unenthused partner on the other end of the DMs, he might be losing interest. Whenever I find myself justifying the silence on the other end of my iMessages, I have to remind myself that if he wants to talk to you, he will.

    And if he doesn't want to talk to you, who cares? Him not being into you should be the most unattractive quality a man could have. Don't chase some guy because you want what you can't have. Let your ghost go on to haunt someone else.

  • If he's hot and cold… try to stabilize his mood

    Whether you've been in a relationship for five seconds or five months, it can feel like your man is feeling a little lukewarm.

    One second he'll be laying on the affection thick, he'll be throwing around the "L-word" in excess, he'll seem like he's on fire for you. But the next day it might feel like he's turned a cold shoulder. This hot and cold behavior is extremely aggravating and one of the most frustrating games for him to play as it can leave you feeling quite chilly.

    Relationships have a natural ebb and flow. Life has a funny way of getting in between couples and distracting them from one another. Don't immediately start questioning your relationship if your guy is acting a little hot and cold. Talk to him. He could be distracted by other issues or consumed by work. In this case, you should help him work through his funk and be supportive.

    However, if you get the vibe that he isn't dealing with anything extraneous and it's strictly a relationship issue you need to confront him. Don't stay with a man who is completely unsure of his feelings for you; it's unfair to you.

  • When Houdini tries to give off the illusion he's single… pull back the curtain

    Many a girl have fallen victim to a magician masquerading as a man.

    This guy is the type to convince you of his feelings for him and act like your soul mate behind closed doors, but as soon as you're in public it's like your relationship disappears!

    He will act like the perfect boyfriend so long as his buddies or other girls aren't around. Why does he act so unaffectionate in public? Because he's afraid to look like he's off the market. He will hide you away in your apartment for movie nights or in restaurants that are miles away from his usual stomping grounds. He will be the model boyfriend when you're alone; he'll lay on the charming compliments, hold your hand, in kiss you in the movie theater. However, as soon as you're in public it's like the romantic history between you two has vanished.

    When I guy does this, he's making it abundantly clear that he's not ready for commitment. Even if you've slapped the fat "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" labels on one another, you'll find he introduces you by name and doesn't bother to preface the introduction with "This is my girlfriend…"

    There's a chance he's oblivious to how he's acting in public, but it's more than likely he's fully aware of the anxiety he feels when you try to hold his hand in public. In any case, you should confront him. If he tries his hardest to correct his behavior and understands how it bothers you, then keep him around. If he makes any kind of excuse, he's not worth it because he's commitment-phobic where he should be proud to have you on his arm at all!

  • When Super-Flirt swoops in… determine if that is his true identity

    Is your man extraordinarily flirty with other women? There are few reasons why he might be getting his flirt on with every female within a 10-mile radius.

    One possibility is that he's craving some attention. It's no secret the jealous is a powerful emotion, and he may be trying to use it to his advantage. While men are considered to be extremely possessive, women are just as likely to be wildly jealous people. By complimenting another girl in front of you, he might be trying to make you feel jealous, so you start lavishing him in attention. He might want you to put your hands all over him to mark your territory, or he might be craving emotional attention. Some guys find this behavior cute, so they'll try to bring it on via complimenting other girls.

    He could be purposefully doing this, or he could be hitting on other girls to fill the void. If you've hit a rut in your relationship, it's not unreasonable to think he might be subconsciously hitting on girls to feel the attention that he's not getting from you. Analyze your recent actions and if you've been distant, correct that. If you haven't, then he might be seeking to achieve something else with his flirting.

    Another possibility is that he's feeling insecure in his appearance and he wants to see if he's still gone it. A lot of guys - and girls - begin to feel less attractive in relationships because a lot of people put on weight when they find a long-term partner. So if your man has put on a couple of pounds that might be why he's hitting on girls.

    Or, he could be a straight up asshole. He could be doing this to get back at you for something or because he fully intends to cheat or is already cheating.

    Think about what his motives are and decide how to deal with him from there.

  • If his evil twin appears… sit down Dr. Jackyl to talk about Mr. Hyde

    Even the most seemingly perfect boyfriend can prove to have a dark side.

    If your guy acts like your dream man when it's just the two of you, but offensive, rude, disagreeable monster of a man comes out around his buddies, you need to talk.

    A lot of times guys try to put on a tough front around their guy friends as to not appear completely pussy-whipped. This is a huge problem when it comes to hyper-masculine guys who surround themselves with men with similarly high testosterone levels. If your man is picking on you and making jokes at your expense in front of his bros, it might not mean that he's a bully but just has lower self-esteem than you might expect.

    This is an example of a mind game where it is 100% likely that he has no idea he's acting like an idiot. So, in this case sitting down and talking to him might yield some pretty good results. Best case scenario, he corrects his behavior in front of his bros, and you can go on happily dating one another.

    However, insecurities are powerful things. So if this dude is cripplingly insecure, he might not respond well to you calling him out. If that's the case, you need to decide if you're okay with avoiding hanging with his friends forever or if you'd rather move on.

  • If he sends you on a guilt trip… hop on that return flight

    Are you finding yourself feeling guilty for doing virtually doing nothing wrong? Does your man pull a bait-and-switch when it comes to his mistakes, leaving you feeling guilty for something he did? In that case, your man is trying hard to dodge responsibility.

    Feeling guilty is not a fun feeling. And it's certainly not fun to feel guilty for doing your lover wrong. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions like a fully-functional adult would, you might find that your boyfriend is turning the tables in his favor and making you feel guilty for his transgressions. This could be nothing more than your man putting up a defense mechanism, or it could mean that your dude is pretty mentally abusive.

    Straight up call out his behavior and don't allow yourself to take the blame for something he did. But, if he continues to try to pull this guilt trip on you to the point where it seems like you're a total fuck up and he's god's blameless gift, then the man is manipulative.

  • If you cant beat him… dump Him

    If you hadn't noticed, a lot of my advice for dealing with mind games is to confront it head-on. Communication is easily one of the most difficult things to master, especially when you're in a relationship. While it might feel more gratifying to beat him at his own game, playing your own games will only lead to more conflict.

    Dating is arguably one big game, so it's understandable how petty mind games are part of the larger equation. The secret is to rise above the temptation to engage in mind games and transcend the expectation. Because these games can be hurtful, even if they're unintentional or meant to be harmless.

    So if bae is obsessed with playing these games, it might be time to move on.

    It's one thing to slip up and unintentionally do something to make your partner feel unappreciated or slighted, but it's another thing to allow these actions to go uncorrected or to play games intentionally. While it's easy to get wrapped up in someone and their games, you need to consider yourself first. If you're getting all wrapped up in your man's BS, you should dump him regardless of how much you might like him.

    Don't waste your time playing games. Set yourself free and find someone who will treat you less like a toy and more like a treasure.