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by Kim Lance, associate publisher of Online Dating Magazine

Game Playing is for Kids, Not Relationships

Think back to when you were in elementary school. Do you remember your first crush? How did you let them know you liked them? If you were like most children your age you probably let your crush know you liked them in a very suave and sophisticated way – teasing and taunting, acting out to get their attention, and pouting in the corner if they paid more attention to your friend than you. Sound familiar? Yes, you expressed your true feelings the only way you knew how, by playing childish games. But, we have all grown up since then right? Well, maybe not.

Unfortunately, when some people start to feel threatened in their relationship, they can resort to game playing. Yes that’s right, the kind of stuff that should have been left out on the playground after you graduated to junior high school. Teasing, acting out, and sulking for attention still happens quite frequently in many relationships and dating situations. The sad part is that, if this behavior goes on too long, it can have a strong negative effect on a relationship. If you want to have a mature and serious relationship, you both need to stop playing games and start acting like adults.


Teasing – Isn’t It Really Just Being Mean?
There is a time and a place for a little friendly teasing between partners, as long as it is done with love and playful affection. A problem can arise when teasing is done out of spite, jealousy, or hidden resentment. If one partner is feeling threatened, inferior or ignored, he or she may resort to teasing to get attention or feel better about him or herself. Teasing allows you to mask your real intentions and feelings by passively making your partner feel bad or irritated. Because it is done in a “joking” way, you never have to take the blame for it, and that isn’t fair to your partner.

Rather than teasing your partner about something that they are better at than you, praise them for being unique or skilled. Don’t make fun of your partner for spilling by calling him or her a klutz if you know that they are already embarrassed. Instead, help them clean up the spill and try and change the subject to get their mind off of it.

Acting Out – You Don’t Want Negative Attention

When a partner in a relationship is feeling ignored they may try to get the attention of their partner by acting out. Picking a fight, intentionally going against your partner’s wishes, or just calling unnecessary and unwanted attention to yourself when out with your partner are all examples of childish game playing that communicates a negative message to your loved one.

If you are feeling ignored by your partner, you want to work on getting them to pay attention to you for positive reasons. Try to schedule some private time or be a bit more affectionate with your partner and see if that helps them turn their focus back to you. Better yet, just be honest with your partner and tell him or her how you are feeling! They may have some issue on their mind that you don’t know about and can explain the distracted vibe they have been sending.

Sulking and Pouting – Never Good for a Relationship

Sometimes when your relationship partners make you feel bad or ignored your first reaction may be to sulk in a corner somewhere until your partner feels so guilty that he or she has to approach you to apologize. While it may make you feel better to feel sorry for yourself, sulking or pouting will only usually make your partner feel guilty enough to say sorry or downright anger them.

Just as when you act out, keeping to yourself and sulking is just another way of avoiding a conversation about what is really bothering you. As with all situations in a relationship, honesty is the best policy. If something is bugging you, the last thing you should do is cover up the problem by causing a new problem. Sulking and playing games can also blow a situation out of proportion. Just talk to your partner and resolve the issue. It will save you a lot of time and frustration and get you back into good communication and warm feelings again faster.

Stop The Games, Start Connecting

These sorts of relationship games are only useful in further separating couples and building up distance between the two of you. And, if you aren’t careful, games can often backfire and frustrate your partner so much that they give up on playing your games after a while. Keeping a relationship growing and thriving has a lot to do with maturity and patience and there is no room for childish games in a serious relationship.

When you are feeling neglected, ignored, or if you are just plain mad, try to take a deep breath, think about what is really bothering you, and talk about it with your partner. This is the only way to really look at your issues and come up with solutions. If you can replace immaturity and game playing with honest and open conversation and understanding both you and your partner will be happier and understand each other much better.

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