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15 Signs He’s Playing Us—And 5 Ways To Beat Him At His Own Game

For a relationship to last long and stand the test of time, it takes oodles of effort on both sides. If each party gives enough, a romance can be the greatest thing in the world. Unfortunately, it's no easy game sorting through all the chumps in order to find the one.

The truth is that some guys, for whatever reason, care less about the end result of finding someone than they do playing the game. While women tend to think long term, men are more occupied with immediate benefits. As a result, this leads to heartbreaks. It's important that you always be aware of whether he's just playing you instead of actually courting you.

Guys are not always easy to read. It's surprising though how common (and simple) the signs can be. When it comes to players, their acts of using haven't evolved much over the years. When we're confident we have them figured out and that they're shakin' in their boots because of it. Not only do we detail the signs he shows when he's playing you, but we provide inside information on what you can do in response.

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20 He's Playing: A Failure To Communicate

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In this day in age, everyone knows their trusty iPhone, Samsung or any smartphone is the gateway to connecting with others. In fact, it's never been easier to get a hold of someone, as per Android Authority. So when you haven't heard from him and start to wonder how he's doing—or wondering if he even cares how you're doing—there's rarely a good excuse for a communication breakdown.

The basis of every relationship is maintaining an open line of communication. He needs to be willing to honor this if he wants the relationship to survive. Even more, there needs to be an equal balance back and forth. You can't be the only one to initiate conversations. If you find any of these signs to be true, you could be in for a long-term heartache.

One thing for you to consider is the nature of your text messages. When you reach out to him, what are you saying? Are you inquiring into his whereabouts? Do you interrogate him long-distance over texts? If so, perhaps you should take a friendlier route. He's going to be more receptive if you're fun than if you seem to have an agenda. Otherwise, he may give you the cold shoulder.

19 He's Playing: His Stories Don't Add Up

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Even in a close relationship, there still exists one's freedom to go about as they please. As much as you might want to know his whereabouts at all times, it may not be healthy or realistic. Plus, there should always be a level of trust no matter what.

Now, you shouldn't have to keep track of his schedule. But if you start noticing gaps in his timeline or unaccounted for episodes, you should pay close attention. These could be major warning signs. In the best-case scenario, he's going to surprise you with something special. In the worst-case scenario, he's seeing someone else behind your back. Though the chances are slim he's doing something special that would require a clandestine operation. If there's anything vague about how he spends his time, you should be on high alert.

Sometimes you can get a sense of this from how receptive he is in real-time. To elaborate further on this, Thought Catalog has some insight into when you feel he's dropped off the map. If a regular back-and-forth over texts suddenly reaches a screeching halt—especially at night—then it might raise a red flag. These sudden drop-offs are something to take note of.

18 He's Playing: Plans Tend To Fall Apart

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No time is more important than time together. Of course, there are unforeseen circumstances that arise. Things like work and family emergencies can have an overriding power over plans. But that's pretty much it. When he makes plans with you, there's really no excuse for bailing at the last minute. If he does, he should at least have a good reason. He needs to show you that he respects you and your time together, according to Seventeen. If he falls through on plans, then he might be a flake. You need to look out for when he bails on you. If it starts to become familiar, then you have a real problem on your hands. You can't feel like the second or third priority in his life.

A girl who experiences this is often in a tough position. Do you make him aware of this issue and risk pushing him away? Sometimes it's one of those situations where the rubber meets the road. However, the longer it takes for you to address the issue, the longer you risk it enduring. Although you shouldn't have to fight for his time or to be made a priority, it can be a hard reality of relationships.

17 He's Playing: You Have Yet To Meet His Family

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In every relationship, there is a series of logical steps to go through. While these don't necessarily follow a strict order, at some point there's usually a period of getting to know each other, early affections and officially dating. There's also a step that inevitably comes once the relationship starts to get serious: meeting the family.

It's a big step and often takes some time before both sides are ready to make the move. Even though there's no set timeline on when it should occur, it's usually a requirement for relationships. When you get with someone else, you're accepting every part of them. That includes their family, too. If he hasn't opened his family yet to you, he might not be as serious about the relationship.

On the other hand, we have to consider some possibilities Sally Hope points out. One reason he may not have introduced you to his family yet is out of protection, according to Sally Hope. If that's the case, he should make sure to communicate this to you. That's why if it's ever a concern for you, then you shouldn't hesitate to ask him about it openly. Of course, you should only ask if you're comfortable. Your relationship is on the line, after all.

16 He's Playing: You Tend To Just Be An Afterthought

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Spending time with someone else takes effort, whether it be a friend or family member. But even more work than those is a significant other. You're the one he's choosing to put first. Therefore, it takes the most time and effort out of any relationship to be in a romance. With that in mind, he needs to show you that he's willing to take this challenge on in order to carve out time together. When both of you are busy, will he take charge of finding another time to hang out? Or are you just an afterthought for him to get around to when he can? While it takes both sides to make it work, he needs to show you that he's there for you anytime, not just when it works for him.

For some guys, it's the first major relationship they've ever been in. For them, some extra grace and leeway can be permitted. They just need some awareness and time to get their act straight. But for other guys, it's not uncommon to think they come first. That's not how relationships work though. If you are experiencing this issue with your man, it's important that you take some time to figure out just what kind of person you're coupled up with.

15 He's Playing: He's All Talk And No Action

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It's easy for a dreamboat to sweep a woman off her feet, especially when he says all the right things. There are plenty of men out there who are smooth talkers. A woman sometimes can't help herself. Not all guys will back up what they say though, no matter how sweet it sounds. You need to be careful of the guy who promises you the moon and doesn't deliver. Men aren't expected to deliver the moon. But they need to be men of their word.

If they say they want to be together, then their actions should prove it. Otherwise, he's just saying sweet somethings in your ear to get what he wants, according to MadameNoire. As great as it is hearing him tell you how much he loves you or wants to be with you forever, they're just hollow words unless he plays the part.

It's unfortunate guys like this exist in the world. Therefore, it requires us to be on top of our game at all times. That doesn't mean you have to question everything a man tells you. You just need to be on guard. If something sounds too good to be true, you need to pause and consider his sincerity.

14 He's Playing: No Sign Of Warmth Or Affection

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It's normal for guys to have big personalities. That's part of how guys behave. While some can have guarded, rough exteriors, many are softies on the inside. You know that you can't let his behavior on the outside define how he really is when he's alone with you. But if you don't get anything different when you're together, then something might be up.

When he's with you, his defenses ought to be down. While he won't always show emotions the way you want him to, he should at least show warmth. A foundation for relationships is often having a strong fondness between two people. Sure, he's not always going to show love in public. But if he doesn't in private, there's a problem.

If you suffer from this, there are two options of what could be going on according to Stephan Speaks. In the best-case scenario, he just doesn't know how to express his love adequately. If that's the case, you may need to decide if that's something you can live with forever. On the other hand, as per Stephan Speaks, he could even be lying. The sad reality is that some guys are capable of this behavior.

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13 He's Playing: He Loves Himself More

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It's cheesy, but the saying goes, "There's no 'I' in 'Team.'" As corny as it sounds, there's a lot of truth in that statement. Being in a relationship is being part of a team, and that means both parties have to consider each other.

While it's too much to expect he'll put you first in the early going, he needs to see you as his equal. It's not uncommon for a guy to have an ego. As per Seventeen though, relationships are about equal give and take. Otherwise, where do you fit in? If he's always talking about himself, his plans and his life, you're always going to be the Earth orbiting around his sun. In the end, you are going to feel less like Earth and more like Pluto—cold and distant—the longer you stay with him. It's in your best interest to watch out for his narcissism.

Something for you to examine though if you find yourself in this situation is whether you're doing well on the giving side. Perhaps he's not giving to you because you're not giving either. Or maybe he's just never been the giving type in the first place. Knowing the difference can help fix the relationship or else end it altogether.

12 He's Playing: He Doesn't Want To Show You Off In Any Capacity

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It feels good to look good. We all want to make ourselves look better because we feel like it raises our status. It’s not rare to encounter guys who want to look good in front of others. Plus, many are the type who will want to bring awareness to the things that make them look good. When a guy falls head over heels for you, he’s apt to make it known.

While he doesn't necessarily need to shout his love from the rooftops, he can't be shy about what he's got going on with you either. If you feel like you're unknown to others, especially around his circle of friends, something's up. He's got to be proud of you and find pride in his relationship with you. Otherwise, he's just sending mixed signals about his intentions.

As Glamour points out, he needs to not only show you off to his friends but want to earnestly include you in his life. The rest is really a byproduct of his already wanting you in his life. It comes out naturally from already being around each other and growing together. If he's not proud of you and the relationship, the desire to include you in his life may be lacking in the first place.

11 He's Playing: He's Got Too Many Female Friends

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There's nothing wrong with having friends that are of the opposite gender. It's totally possible for him to have platonic relationships with girls. But if he's only friends with girls, something else may be afoot. The most important thing to watch out for is his behavior around them. Is he flirtatious whenever he's around them? Does he act the same way towards them that he does with you? That should be the first thing you ask yourself.

If your answer is 'yes' to either of those questions, you should study his behavior closely. Does he appear aware of how he’s acting around other girls when he's with you? If so, he might be doing it intentionally to make you feel jealous. That’s a major no-no that would make many women wonder if they should say bye-bye before he knows it.

On the other hand, MadameNoire explores some of the reasons he might have so many friends that are female. According to MadameNoire, it might be because he doesn't get enough from you. If you're failing to give him the attention he so desperately wants, some guys are willing to look elsewhere for affirmation. It's up to you to decide if you're giving him enough or if he just wants too much.

10 He's Playing: You Act As His #1 Sugar Mama

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When two people enter a relationship together, the distribution of who owns what starts to blur. Like MadameNoire backs up, it's normal for people to share their things with each other. You might use his car whenever you go out, and he might use your Netflix account whenever he watches TV. It should never feel out of balance though.

While we wouldn't go so far as to encourage you to keep track of everything, you should still be careful. If he starts mooching off of you, he could be taking advantage. In the olden days, it was more appropriate for men to pay for everything. These days, women are more independent and that's a good thing. On the other hand, it opens the door for sleazebags to empty out your pockets. You're just his sugar, not his sugar mama.

If you're torn about how you should handle this sensitive matter in a relationship, you shouldn't worry too much. In the early stages of the romance, money shouldn't be too much of a concern. It's when things start to get a little more serious months in that you should pay closer attention. Does he make it a habit to split the check or even let you pay for it entirely? Those should indicate whether he's in it for real or just playing you.

9 He's Playing: The Future Is Out Of Sight

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As a general rule, guys think more in short-term than they do long-term. While this doesn't apply to all dudes, the chances are strong that your partner has even a little of this inkling. Inevitably, the future is going to come up whenever you're with him. In those conversations, what does he talk about?

It's natural for us all to think of what the future holds and dream about where we'll be. He can keep stoking the fire of his dreams so long as there's a place for you in it. Once he's in a relationship, he needs to include you in his dreams. Otherwise, where is the relationship going? A couple shouldn't have to wonder about questions like these. Most importantly, you shouldn't have to force yourself into his tomorrow.

According to Today, he may even try that "I'm not the marrying kind" line out on you, along with other kinds of creative ways around the subject whenever it comes up. In fact, he might even ignore any questions about it altogether, change the subject entirely or even scale the relationship back. One way of scaling things back is taking a more casual approach where he creates less romantic situations and replaces them with just moments common to friends.

8 He's Playing: Absolutely No Signs Of Consistency

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There are s going to be ups and downs in every romance. While the highs are where couples wish they could stay forever, it's the lows that are just as important. These difficult periods are what test and strengthen the fires of a relationship. As per MadameNoire, it’s time to call it quits when a relationship feels up and down, where he communicates one week and then leaves you high and dry the next.

Expecting that a relationship is perfect all the time is unrealistic. Though it's not asking too much for consistency. If he's not ready to commit to anything bigger yet, then there should still be a consistent level of interaction. If it's manic and unpredictable, changing course every time you're with him, he's probably playing with your heart.

When your guy behaves differently from week to week, he probably hasn't made up his mind yet about the relationship. Katy Perry already taught us all a lesson about guys like this who can be hot and then cold. If you find—like Perry—the guy who you used to be in sync with is always on his own separate wavelength, something is afoot. He could be over it and moved on already.

7 He's Playing: When You've Got A Bad Feeling About The Relationship

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When in doubt, every woman has her most powerful resource: intuition. You've got it, too, and you should pay close attention when something just feels off. It's important that you pay attention to any uneasy feelings within that make you question the relationship. While no one really wants to feel this way, it can change the course of a couplehood dramatically.

You should trust your instincts when there's a tugging on your heart. If you're not sure whether it's your intuition or if it's just insecurity, you can turn to others for advice. It's one thing to go through a funk while you're in a relationship, but another thing entirely to feel anxious about the whole thing. That's when you have to take matters into your own hands and get to the bottom of it.

But the feeling that something just isn't right can be hard to pinpoint. As Thought Catalog mentions, you might feel everything is going well when they're together, but apart, something just isn't right. This is something you should pay close attention to. Instead of shaking it off, which is the easier thing to do, you should explore those feelings. If you've got doubts, there's probably a bona fide reason for it you should be heeding.

6 He's Playing: No Sign Of Any Gifts, Big Or Small

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Each person has their own love languages. Some people believe in it, others don't. Regardless of where one stands, it's hard to deny we all respond to certain things over others. One love language no woman is going to deny though are gifts. There's no easier way to make a woman feel special than to give her a present. Even more than the gift itself, women appreciate the thought that goes into it. Every guy deep down knows this. They're thinking of ways to woo the girl of their dreams all the time.

So, if he's not getting you gifts, he's probably not that into you. Gift giving is a natural byproduct of expressing love and care for someone, as MadameNoire alludes to. Gifts or not, he needs to show you on a regular basis that he loves and cares about you.

That doesn't mean you should always expect him to treat you to something special. Let's be real, he probably doesn't have the dough. Even if he does have the moola to lavish you with presents, it's unrealistic to expect him to always spoil you. You just need to make sure he hasn't forgotten to express his love to you in this way for too long. Otherwise, he may not really be into you after all.

5 Win The Game: Reminding Him You Could Have Another Him In A Minute

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It might seem hard to get up and do something when the relationship feels like it's on the rocks. But there's nothing better you can do for yourself. If the guy you put first is putting you down, you don't have to take it lying down. If he's acting cold and disinterested in a future with you, you can open yourself up to dating other guys.

You're not shutting any doors, but rather seeing what else is out there. There's lots of fish in the sea, after all. You might even find another guy that fits you better. Although this path may seem difficult to take in the midst of heartache, it could really motive your guy to express his true feelings when he sees you are open to dating other guys.

It's important though for you not to see other guys just for revenge. First of all, that's not fair to the new guy you're seeing, and secondly, it's not fair to you either. You have to genuinely be open to dating someone new. That doesn't mean it has to work out with a new guy, just that you're willing to branch out. If you don't feel ready for that step though, you have to find a way to not depend on the guy who's not interested.

4 Win The Game: Be Direct And Confront Him About Your Relationship

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This day in age where there is the Internet and social media, people can drive themselves crazy behind a screen all day. We can start making up scenarios about people we see without even knowing the truth. Perhaps he's seen with another girl you're jealous of. It's okay for you to have concerns. What's not okay is letting those emotions bottle up inside of you. If you have questions, you should feel comfortable to go straight to your guy to find out the answers. It doesn't need to be antagonistic. Even if you have every right to be suspicious and upset, a calm approach may work in your favor to create an inviting mood.

You have nothing to lose by confronting him directly. He might even look at it as a blessing to clear the air or admit to some shortcomings. Neither of you want to waste any time, so you might as well get down to it. Naturally, you might go into the conversation with all kinds of emotions. Frustration, confusion, and anger are all deserved and honest feelings you could be bringing to the table. It's important though that you try and calm your nerves and be open to the outcome.

3 Win The Game: Play A Little Hard To Get

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Sometimes you have to play the game in order to end it. While you might look down on the games he plays, he might just be doing it to protect himself. Maybe a past relationship burned him. Or maybe he's just a player. Either way, there's nothing wrong with meeting them at their level. If they're being noncommittal or seemingly uninterested, it's in your favor to do the same. Otherwise, if you reply to his every text after 3 seconds and return all of his calls, you're only falling for his bait.

You can show interest without looking desperate. Then the ball falls in his court. Does he show more of an interest now that he hears from you less? Or does he move on to another girl? Either way, it's going to confirm whether he's worth your time or not.

While some might think it's lowly to stoop to his level, sometimes it's a necessary evil. There's nothing wrong with resorting to this, even as a last resort. The important thing is to go into it with the intent of making things work. Otherwise, if you go in with malicious intent, only pain will come from it.

2 Win The Game: Try To Take Your Mind Off Him

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Men have a way of getting inside of our heads. They also tend to have more pride than we women do. That means even if they like us, they may not pursue us openly. They don't want to be the ones to initiate romance. It looks like they need the relationship when they don't want to appear that way.

This puts us in a tough spot. A man likes putting a woman in this position. He wants to pursue you without doing any of the work. This is where you just need to take a step back and cool off. His goal is to get inside your head and drive you crazy until you do something rash. It's best if you take your mind off him. You're not going to die if you don't think about him for a little while.

We get it. It's not the easiest thing for you to totally withdraw from the guy you love. But if you're capable of it, it can work in your favor. If you go on a trip or take an offline break, you're removing the temptation to interact with him. Sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder or reveals that there's no fondness at all.

1 Win The Game: Time For Some Distance, Darling

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When two people become emotionally involved, it's hard to disengage from each other. For some though, this hard road is exactly what needs to happen. Otherwise, the relationship could remain stagnant for a long time. A forced distance for an extended period of time could have a positive impact on our relationship's trajectory.

Time apart will not only help clear your head—giving a new perspective on the situation—but it will force him to realize what life is like without you. Usually, it's not any better. He'll realize that his life improves around you and that he wants to make it work. Otherwise, it reveals to you all of the faults in the relationship and helps you see what else is out there. Although this can be hard, it may be exactly what we need.

A woman shouldn't be put in this situation. But relationships today call on more women to be assertive and take matters into their own hands. We should feel empowered to distance ourselves —literally and figuratively—from a guy (even one we're involved with) should the need arise. If we don't, we could risk being in a subpar relationship. Sometimes, distance from him is the only way to verify whether that's the case.

References: Android AuthoritySally Hope, MadameNoire, Stephan Speaks, Seventeen, Glamour, MadameNoire, MadameNoire, MadameNoire, Thought Catalog, MadameNoire, Today

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