How Can I Stop Men From Playing Games?

You’re feeling manipulated and wondering how to handle a man who plays games. But what if it’s not a game for him? What if it’s just his own confusion? 

Learn how to tell the difference and how to stop attracting men who send mixed messages.

I feel like I’m in high school for even writing this but I’m confused. I’ve been seeing this man for three months now. Recently he told me that he wanted to be friends and was not ready for a relationship. I believe it. I let him know that I wish it could have gone further but I respect the honesty and I’m ready for something serious. I stopped sleeping with him, limited my contact, and started dating other people. Now, this man wants to do relationship things. He wants my time on holidays, he’s popping up at my house if I don’t call him back right away, and gets mad when I enlist other men for help. I don’t care for confusion. I’m honest and direct. Yet, this is becoming a pattern for me in my dating life. What am I doing wrong? How can I break this pattern? I want a serious commitment with someone that’s ready for me. No games.


Men don’t play games.

I repeat: men don’t play games! (not nearly as much as you think, anyway)

Now, pick your jaw up off the floor, press reset on the emotions bubbling up inside you and listen very closely to what I have to say. Let’s start with a working definition:

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Playing games: intentionally manipulating someone to keep him/her guessing and off-balance.

I repeat: men don’t play games! (not nearly as much as you think, anyway)

This is a very common assertion, and I believe it is usually false for one reason: intent.

In Toni’s story, she believes that this guy is INTENTIONALLY FUCKING WITH HER.

In my version (and most likely, the guy’s version), he has NO IDEA what he wants from Toni.

His actions are the same: “I’m not sure what I want. I want to be friends. I miss you. I want to see you more. I want to sleep with you. I want to give this relationship a shot. I can’t handle this.” Are these messages all over the map? Yes! Are they so inconsistent that any reasonable woman would feel highly confused? Yes! Is this guy doing this intentionally to hurt you?

No way.

Men are normal human beings — not aliens from another planet sent here to systematically destroy you emotionally through mixed messages. In other words, this isn’t that complex:

He has mixed feelings. He’s confused. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You want to know why a guy is giving you mixed messages? It’s because he has mixed feelings.


He’s confused. Nothing more. Nothing less.

So, to sum up:

You’re not wrong to be upset with the status quo. This is unacceptable and you deserve better.

Here are the ways that you could approach this in a healthier fashion:

    • 1. Cut him off entirely. You limited your contact. Sorry. Not good enough. You don’t need mixed messages. You need a boyfriend who is all-in. And after three months, if he’s not all-in, then he’s OUT.

2. You’re not attracting these confused men. You’re choosing them. Which means that men who are really interested in you will likely want to take you off the market in 2-6 weeks. If you’re dating the once-a-week date/text guy for 6 weeks, you should probably cut him off. That’s how you break this pattern. You choose men who want commitment and actively pursue it.

3. You get over this notion that men are playing games with you. Men like sex. Men like commitment. Sometimes with the same woman. But that doesn’t mean that sleeping with you is a game, or that vacillating between freedom and commitment is a game. It’s genuine confusion.

In short, cut off men who are confused rather than falsely assuming that these confused men are actively trying to play games with you. They’re not.