Why do people play games in a relationship?
I have often been asked the question: “why do people play games in a relationship? Why can’t we simply be happy together so that we can express our love together?” I found that to be legitimate question, however, this is a big part of what makes love so complicated and it can sabotage our own purpose in a relationship. Playing games in a relationship can minimize our pathway forward as well as stunt the growth in a relationship. Each game that is played is done so for a purpose and for a reason. When games are played most times it is so one person can control the other person. Another way of looking at it is as a tactic of manipulation.
People that manipulate have only one focus, and generally that focus is on themselves. The reason why they manipulate is that they lose sight of what’s most important in a relationship, and that’s loving each other. Another important objective is building a relationship where two people cannot only love each other but grow together. For those who manipulate it’s all about ego and serving their selfish desires. When you meet a person like this it’s mostly not about us it’s about me.
Usually relationship games involve indirect or dishonest communication and doing hurtful things in order to illicit an emotional response from the other person—or alternatively in complete apathy to the other person’s feelings. This might come from flirting with another man or woman or ignoring their partner’s messages and phone calls for lengthy periods of time. There are a lot of ways to play games in a relationship, but usually it creates jealousy, distrust, broken communication, and a lot of hurt feelings. This is most often a power play and it is selfish and deeply harmful to the relationship.
The challenge comes when we fall in love with this type of individual. Sometimes we fall in love because we’re not able to see certain things in the beginning of the relationship or we may not recognize it, we may interpret it as someone loving us back. We have to be very careful and very insightful not to make the mistake to be with someone who only thinks of themselves and not the other person on the receiving end. When this happens the relationship is usually one-sided. You can find yourself doing all you can to try to make this person love you and you come to the realization that it’s not love, all they’re after is control.
The first thing that you can do is try to avoid ending up with someone like this in the first place. You can do this mainly by taking the relationship slow and not investing your feelings in them before you get to know what kind of person they really are. Look for warning flags and early signs of playing games. Of course, most of the time it’s too late for this advice, or else you did your best to be careful but got blindsided by a sudden change in the person once you were in love with them.
Whatever the case may be there isn’t a lot you can do once you find yourself in this situation. You can’t change how another person behaves or treats you, but you can choose to detach from toxic people who hurt you. Before you do let this person go, which probably isn’t easy, you can have a serious heart-to-heart conversation with them about how their hurtful behavior is affecting you. Tell them that you love them but you also will not stay in an unhealthy relationship which doesn’t allow you to be happy. If the person really loves you and wants to make the effort, they will stop playing games. But if they don’t, then you deserve much better—you deserve to be with someone who loves you, and that person is out there and I promise they will not play games.