We all hate them, yet we all play them. Games while dating and building relationships with others seem to be unavoidable these days. The inevitable cat and mouse chase has become so ingrained in today’s dating world that it would be kind of odd to not go through several situations of uncertainty, mixed signals, and deceptive facades. Below are some common dating games we’ve all played.

The Text Back

This one is the most popular. You get the number of someone you find attractive and the “who texts first” game begins. Once that hump is surpassed, then comes the “text back.” This is waiting an equal amount of time to respond to a text in an attempt to not seem too eager.


The Nonchalant Front

In the early stages of dating, the nonchalant front appears. This is the attempt to seem unaffected or not bothered by the cute or annoying things the other person does. Always playing like you are chill about things when you actually are dying on the inside.


The Pay Off

It was a cool evening, a great date–but now it’s time to pay up and split ways. This is expressing the ability to cover the costs of the date but secretly hoping the other agrees to go dutch or cover the entire date themselves.

The Watchful Eye

Going on group outings and paying close attention to who they interact with and how. Taking special note to how you are introduced to their friends and how certain strangers are introduced to you. In the back of your mind, they’ve had sex with everyone they talk to… or want to.


The Stalk

You have some idle time. You also realize you follow this new person you’re dating on all social media. Hours later, you’ve stalked every profile and every avenue connected to them. It’s only until you are on their best friend’s aunt’s estranged husband’s page, you realize…


You also use this stalking to fact check their whereabouts and to see if they are active online while not responding quickly to your texts.

The Fall Back

You’ve been dating this person a while but still aren’t quite sure how they feel about you. So in an effort to either avoid annoying them like you think you always are or to get them to miss you, you periodically “fall back.” This could be a day or a few of little contact just to see if they will ask what’s up or send that late night “I miss you” text.


That Jealousy Thing

Purposely making the other person jealous any way that you can. This includes bringing up past relationships and pointing out how you were hit on by the random store associate in Zara.


The Sort Of Kind Of Not Really

Cautiously not having a title with who you are dating. Introducing them awkwardly to associates and family while simply referencing them as “boo” or “bae” to your close friends. It’s that odd step of being sort of kind of, not really in an official relationship despite the fact that both of you are ready to give each other that coveted title.


The Comparison

The mistake of comparing the stage of your growing relationship with your friends’ established ones or worse the picture-perfect relationships your see on Instagram. Wishing that one day your relationship could rival BeyoncĂ© and Jay-Z and because it’s not there yet, you react to certain situations a little irrationally.

The Casper

The worst game of them all. Going completely ghost when you feel a type of way about something in your budding relationship or when you realize you are no longer interested in the person. There is no explanation, no warning, just disappearance.


Dating is no easy feat. It takes a lot of skill, cunning manipulation and technique. Wait! Maybe that’s the problem. We all have gotten so caught up in the games of dating that we often neglect the benefits of getting to know someone on an intimate level. We are conditioned to outsmart the other instead of enjoying each others company. Yes, well all play games while dating but isn’t the true objective of any game to enjoy it? Next time you find yourself planning your next step with the one you are dating, take a second and remember why you are interested in them in the first place. Then, act accordingly. Hopefully, in the end, you both win the game…and each other.

What are some other games played when dating?