9 Mind Games Men Play (That Prove He Doesn't Want A Serious Relationship)

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Beat him at his own game.

Why would anyone be so cruel to leave you hanging on? Well, maybe it's because sometimes having you hang on is convenient for him. It's not always so cut and dry. A man may not even realize that he's keeping you "on the line" because he's got so many other things going on in his mind.

Maybe he's wounded and scared. Maybe he's trying to move past a heartbreak. In other words, he may not even realize how crappy his behavior is. The less secure a person is, the less aware he or she is of the choices and consequences that come from them.


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Of course, on the flip side, maybe he's fully aware of what he's doing and just doesn't care. Maybe he's really heartless and enjoys having many women dangle at his feet. It's just one of the many mind games men play. 

It could feed his ego. It could bide his time. Whatever the case is, if it suits his needs, he'll continue to do it to many women, and not just you.

And before we ladies start patting ourselves on the back, women do this as well, so it’s not purely a man thing. Our reasons may be different, but most of them are just as terrible. 

The reality is, whenever we get involved with others, we have a duty to share where they stand with us. Because it's kind and it's respectful, and when we are kind and respectful to others, we get that in return, karmically.

But some people don't play by those rules, so if you're thinking that Mr. "What's His Name" is being shady or stringing you along, he just might be. Be on the lookout for these mind games men play so you can beat him at his own game.

1. He showers you with gifts and attention, but keep the commitment negligible.

Why? Because he likes his ego stroked and he figures with gifts and attention, you’ll stick around to continue to do so. He likes having you around. And her too. And her too. And her too... You get the drift.

The more women paying attention to him, the more pumped his frail and sad ego is. It's plain old selfish. He can’t commit to you because then that means he can’t have all the other “sugar” he likes to enjoy.

So, he’ll shower you like some Don Juan, acting like you matter. But when it comes to putting you fully into his life, he stalls each and every time.

2. He makes plans at the last minute... but then cancels them last minute.

Why? Because he has options, and you’re one of them. 

Sure, he likes you, but he’s not “sure” he wants to be with you. So why should Captain Douche lose you to a better and worthier opponent if he can keep you close by while he’s fishing around to be sure you’re his “best option”?

3. He’s hot and cold, constantly.

Why? Because he’s probably not over his ex-girlfriend or wife or is even finished with her.

He’s not totally done, but he sees the potential you two have and figures he needs to keep you around, but not too close. He alternates between radiating his love and praise to you and then emotionally retreating for days or weeks. His behavior reads as confusing. You can never tell where you stand with him.

If he's able to cut off ties from his former relationship, he gets a free pass and you should give him a shot. It is normal to struggle with letting go of someone. If he can’t, he’s just a selfish jerk. Period. Kick that boy to the curb.

4. He’ll take two steps forward in your relationship, and then retreat again.

This is the only reason on my list that is really not a jerk move, but is indicative of a man who needs to grow and evolve.

Why is he doing this? He likes you but he’s afraid about getting involved. So, he decides to give you enough to keep your appetite wet, but never feeds you the love you need because he’s afraid of being hurt.

If he exists like this constantly, then he is broken, or a jerk. The fear excuse is only good for so long. We can all walk around afraid, but in order to progress we must try to push past our fears.

If he is able to acknowledge this issue, tell you about it and work on it, then be patient. He's human and going in the right direction. No one comes without baggage.


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5. He loves having sex with you, but never takes you out.

Why? He wants sex from you, so he figures if he gives you an idea that he might like you, you’ll keep sleeping with him. He doesn’t actually want to commit. If he did, he would get off his butt and take you out. He just wants to enjoy your body.

6. He constantly talks about his ex.

Why? Because he’s not over his ex-girlfriend or wife. But luckily, he’s got you to soothe his ego and heart. He can keep you hanging on as long as you make him feel good. It’s convenient... for him. And him only.

7. He vaguely defines your relationship status.

Why? Do you have a hard time understanding why your relationship isn’t moving forward? Does your dude give you vague reasons as to why you two are not progressing?

He’s doing so because he likes where you two are at now. He doesn’t want progress. He wants things to exist as they do. Is that good enough for you? Hell to the no.

8. He never introduces you to anyone important in his life. 

Why? If he introduces you to important people, you’ll get the idea he wants to be with you, and honestly, he’s not sure he wants to be. So, if he keeps you on a small leash, the attachment cannot grow substantially.

9. He has bizarre rules about what you two can and cannot do.

Does he give you gifts but won’t spend your birthday together? Does he introduce you to his friends but never his family? Will he only stay at your house and never invite you to his place? Will he not hold your hand in public because that’s “what couples do”? 

Why does he behave so oddly? Because he doesn’t know what he wants you to be to him yet, so he thinks that if he keeps expectations low or draws these interesting boundaries, you won’t hold him accountable for his behavior; therefore, he gets a free pass for acting strangely.


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Laura Lifshitz will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for YourTangoNew York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.

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