Dating games you should never play


If you are genuinely looking for a healthy, committed relationship with someone you are compatible with, you may be drawn towards books and articles that promise to teach you how to play the game of love and reach your heart’s desire. While some of these strategies could help you feel more confident, and get more dates, there are other games people play which will do the opposite and could result in hurt feelings and never getting the relationship you want.

Power games

While power play might have its place in politics and business it has no place in dating, unfortunately it is all too common. It is often apparent when there is a mismatch between people’s needs and strengths – someone who is naive, vulnerable or isolated could be exploited by someone who is much more confident and outgoing.

The evidence that this is a power game is that the dominant player has little regard for the needs and interests of the other person – they are only interested in meeting their own needs even if, in doing so, the other person is hurt. This is a dangerous game and can result in serious emotional damage to both people involved.

The people who engage in power play in their personal relationships often do so because they have somehow come to believe that they will only get their needs met through dominating or manipulating another person – they may not even realise they are doing it because their relationships have always been that way. Sadly, until they recognise what they are doing they are likely to continue hurting people and won’t find a healthy relationship with an equal partner – this is what they really want but don’t know how to get.

Upping the odds

When you are dating online there is the potential to meet far more people than you would in the ordinary course of life, so many it can be difficult to whittle it down to the few you would actually like to meet. While it is totally acceptable to be chatting with more than one match at a time – even to date several people at once – it is important that you are open and upfront with your dates about what you are doing. As long as everyone is happy with the situation you can continue in this way until you meet someone you really connect with – as soon as that relationship becomes exclusive let the others down gently.

This behaviour only turns into dangerous game playing if you are pretending you are seeing someone exclusively while still meeting other people behind their back. You may think you are being clever because the odds of you finding ‘the one’ are increased but actually if your dating strategy is based on dishonesty the chances are that you will never be a real winner.


The world of internet dating used to have a bad reputation due to stories of people misrepresenting themselves online – lying about their age; their status and, in some cases, even their gender! Lying about yourself to matches is totally pointless if you really want to find a partner

Deception may not be as obvious as outright lies, it can also include misrepresenting how you feel about someone. Emotional dishonesty can be just as damaging as outright lies. Any relationship which is built on a foundation of deceit will eventually crumble. It wastes people’s time and stops them from moving on to find a healthier relationship.

Internet games

Internet use is highly addictive, even more now that people can access their messages and social networking sites from virtually anywhere with their smart phone or mobile device. Every time we see a new match, or message, a little bit of serotonin is released in the brain which makes us feel good – naturally we want more of that good feeling.  Some people get so hooked on it that they spend the majority of their time in front of the computer communicating with matches but hardly meeting anyone in person – their connections are all virtual. This can damage your confidence as well as your interpersonal skills and ultimately will not fill the very human need we all have for connection with one another. Unless you want your primary relationship to be with your computer then you need to build relationships face to face – virtual love is a poor substitute for the real thing.


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