9 Reasons Men Play Games When Dating and The Crazy-Making Games They Love To Play

Ladies, have you ever wondered why your man seems to take so much pleasure in pushing your buttons? 

No, it's not because he's a sadist (well, not always).

The truth is that men play games in relationships for the same reason kids do: because it's fun, and they want to get attention. 

Like kids, when men get bored, they start looking for ways to stir up excitement.

They also use these games as a form of self-protection. 

By making you guess what they really want, men can avoid being vulnerable and feeling exposed.

Let’s explore the nine common games men love to play to help you identify and decode when your man is playing games.

How Do You Know If a Man Is Playing Games? 

Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of dating a man who loves games more than he cares about us. 

If you're not sure whether your current beau falls into this category, here are some tell-tale signs:

1. He Avoids Commitment

Does your man make excuses when discussing the future of your relationship? If he is always hedging his bets and never wants to lock anything down, there's a good chance he's playing games. 

Maybe he is scared of commitment or just likes the thrill of being wanted. Whatever the case, he may be trying to keep you in limbo so that he can have his cake and eat it too.

2. He Has Extreme Mood Swings

Have you noticed that your man goes from hot to cold in the blink of an eye? Does he have two sides to him, and you never know which one you'll get? 

Sometimes, he goes days without talking to you for no apparent reason, and he easily gets angry or upset with you. These are all signs that he is playing games and testing your limits.

3. He Gives You Mixed Signals

Do his actions sometimes contradict his words? Does he tell you he likes you but then ignores your calls or texts for days at a time? 

He may be trying to keep you guessing about how he feels for him to get the attention and validation he needs.

4. He Constantly Tests Your Boundaries

If your guy is playing games, he will likely push your limits just to see how much he can get away with.

He may do things, like call you late at night or ask for favors that he knows are out of bounds. He will also take advantage of your vulnerability and use it against you.

5. He Blames You for Everything

No matter what goes wrong in the relationship, it's always your fault. He could be cheating on you, and he will still blame you for the problems in the relationship.

Maybe he says you're the reason he's distant or that you're too needy. He may even try to convince you that it's your fault he's not committing.

He may do this because he knows you won't leave him if you feel responsible for everything wrong in the relationship. 

6. He Only Calls You When He Needs You

Have you noticed that your man only calls when he needs something? Does he disappear for weeks and then suddenly pop back up with a request?

He is likely trying to keep you around without investing any real effort into the relationship. Maybe he is trying to keep you on the hook because it makes him feel more secure in the relationship, or he just enjoys the attention.

7. He Plays the Victim Card

Men often use the victim card when playing games to manipulate you into feeling guilty or sorry for them. It means they have a sob story ready to go whenever they feel like they will get in trouble. 

They may blame their bad behavior on past experiences or claim that everyone has done them wrong. They may even try to make you feel responsible for their own bad decisions or personal issues. 

This f behavior shows that your man is trying to control the situation by making you feel sorry for him.

It's also a classic game that men play to get you to take care of them and make them feel better.

8. He Gives You the Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a form of manipulation. It can be an extremely frustrating tactic men use to get their way. 

He might ignore you or refuse to talk to you until he gets what he wants, leaving you feeling powerless and confused.

If your man is giving you the silent treatment, he is likely playing mind games to gain control of the situation.

Why Do Men Play Games With Women? 9 Possible Reasons to Consider

There are numerous reasons why men play mental games with women. From a need for control or keeping you off balance, here are nine possible reasons men play games:

1. He Wants To Feel In Control

Most men play games because they want to be in control of the current situation and the relationship.

By manipulating you, he can ensure that he is always on top and that his needs are met first. This behavior is often driven by insecurity or a need to always be in control.

2. He's Trying To Get Your Attention

Maybe your man wants more attention than you give him, so he plays mind games to ensure he stays on your radar. He is probably enjoying the power and validation of the games and the attention.

3. He's Trying To Cover Up His Insecurities

Many men today don't know how to handle their insecurities or feelings of inadequacy. So, they try to prove their value and worth by playing mind games with you rather than addressing the issue directly. 

If your man is trying to hide his insecurities, he may play games such as gaslighting or manipulation to deflect his own issues.

4. He's Afraid of Commitment

Sometimes men are scared to commit to a relationship and play games to feel more secure or keep their options open

He may use mind games such as silent treatment or push-pull tactics to avoid deciding about the relationship's future. 

These games will leave you disoriented and confused, and his lack of commitment will stay intact.

5. He Wants To Make You Feel Guilty

Guilt-tripping is another classic game men play in relationships. This type of behavior is designed to make you feel responsible for all the relationship problems, even if it's not your fault. 

He might use guilt and blame to make you bend to his will and take responsibility for things he should be handling.

6. He Feels Entitled

Men who feel entitled to a woman's time and attention often play games to get it. This entitlement is rooted in a belief that he should always come first. 

He may use mind games to manipulate you into doing what he thinks he deserves or make you feel bad if you don't give him what he wants. 

7. He Wants To Protect Himself

Most men hate feeling vulnerable and exposed, so they may play games to protect themselves. He might play games to avoid deep conversations about emotions and feelings that make him uncomfortable. 

For example, he may have a deep-seated fear of intimacy or commitment, so he might use games to distract and deflect from the real issues.

8. He Needs an Ego Boost

Men can be quite egotistical and competitive, so they may play games to boost their self-esteem. He may feel he has something to prove and use mind games to show how powerful and clever he is.

Or maybe he is enjoying being desired by a woman and using games to keep that feeling going.

9. He's Bored

Boredom is like a disease. It can cause men to do all sorts of things, including playing mind games

If your man is bored in the relationship, he may use games to pass the time or fill an emotional void. 

He may also be trying to keep things interesting by introducing a level of unpredictability into the relationship.

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7 Common Mind Games Men Play

Mind games in relationships can take a toll on your mental health and emotional well-being.

That's why it's essential to be aware of the common games they play so you can protect yourself from emotional manipulation and psychological abuse. 

Here are seven of the most common mind games men play:

1. The “I'm a Broken Man” Game

This game comes from the deep recesses of a man's ego and pride. He'll treat you like crap, appear disinterested or even disrespectful, then tell you he's “too broken” for you to fix. 

He'll explain how all his past relationships have failed and that there's no hope left for him in love. So he might as well just be alone. And then it's up to you to decide – do you take on the challenge and try to save him? 

It can be a difficult decision, but one thing's for sure – he loves playing this game! He'll keep telling himself that he can't be saved, but deep down inside; he's waiting for someone to prove him wrong.

2. The “You're a Failure” Game

Has your man been fixated on your failures lately? Is he always bringing up that time you burned dinner or forgot to pay the electric bill?

While it's natural to want to point out your partner's mistakes, it can become a problem if it's all he ever seems to focus on. 

This could signify that he's trying to project his insecurities onto you. He may use your failures to make himself feel better or compensate for his own shortcomings.

3. The “Nice Guy” Act

This game is about making him look like the bigger person while making you feel guilty and obligated to do what he wants. 

He'll act like the nicest, most understanding guy you've ever met and expect something in return for his generosity. 

The “Nice Guy” will do things for you without expecting anything in return but then guilt-trip you into feeling obligated to him. He may even use this tactic to pressure you into getting into a relationship or making other commitments.

4. The Gaslighting Game

Gaslighting is a particularly insidious form of manipulation designed to make you doubt yourself and your sanity.

It involves questioning your perception of reality and planting seeds of doubt in your mind by constantly lying, denying things he said or did, and trying to make you think that you're wrong.

He may use gaslighting tactics to control the narrative, get out of doing something he doesn't want to, or win an argument. He'll constantly tell you that your feelings aren't valid and that your point of view is wrong.

5. Acting Like He's Always Right

This one is a classic power struggle game that men often play in relationships. It's all about control and dominance; he wants to prove that he knows best and make sure his opinion is the only one that matters. 

He'll argue relentlessly and make sure his voice is always heard. He may even expect you to agree just because he said so.

6. The “I Never Date Category Y of Women” Game

This game is often played by men who don't want to be tied down and are terrified of commitment. 

In this game, they'll use broad sweeping generalizations like “I never date women who have tattoos” or “I only date Asian women.”

He will go on and on about why he never dates women of a certain race, age, body type, etc. Ultimately, it's all just an excuse not to put himself out there and make himself vulnerable.

7. The “I Have Connections” Game

“So, you want to be a model? I know a guy who can get you in. Just give me a call, and I'll hook you up”. Sound familiar?

It might if you've ever been on the receiving end of this type of game. This one requires that you prove your worth to him by somehow paying homage to his connections or abilities.

He's letting you know that he's the gatekeeper of the kingdom, and you better be thankful for it. He's always willing to lend a helping hand, but remember – it comes at a cost.

Trying to win this game is futile because he'll never truly give you access without something in return. The only way to win it? Walk away

How to Deal with a Guy Who Plays Mind Games

Are you dating a guy who plays mind games? If so, how do you deal with him? Take the below steps to ensure you remain sane and don't fall into his traps.

With any luck, these tips will help you break free from his manipulation and move on with your life.

  • Understand his motives: Is he trying to control you? Is he insecure and looking for reassurance? Or is he trying to get a rise out of you? Once you know his motives, you can develop a strategy for dealing with him.
  • Set boundaries: Tell him how you expect to be treated and that you won't tolerate any of his mind games. Let him know what's acceptable, what isn't and why.
  • Ignore his attempts: If he tries to rile you up, simply ignore him and don't engage in the game. He'll soon realize that it will not work and move on.
  • Communicate: Let him know how his behavior affects you and why it isn't acceptable. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with mind games. Open up a dialogue and try to understand each other.
  • Stay calm: Don't get sucked into the drama or become too emotional. Practice deep breathing and remain composed when interacting with him. Focus on yourself: Instead of getting caught up in his game, turn your attention inward and focus on what makes you happy.
  • Walk away: If all else fails, remember that you can always walk away. You deserve better than someone who plays mind games and doesn't respect your boundaries.

Bottom Line

Dealing with a guy who plays mind games can be a challenging and frustrating experience.

However, take time to understand his motives, set boundaries, ignore his attempts at manipulation, communicate openly, and stay calm. You may be able to beat him at his own game.