While being single and on the prowl for a relationship is difficult enough as it is, there’s also the drama that arises from people (ourselves included) playing games.
We wait hours to text our crushes back (throwing our phone in suspense the second we do), flirt with others to make them jealous and go to extreme lengths just to play hard to get.
All of this is part of what’s known as the “chase.”
It has replaced the calm before the storm, or in this case, the calm before the relationship. The chase, instead, puts us through a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from excitement to just flat out frustration.
They have our stomachs churning with the sometimes annoying, sometimes sweet, butterflies.
So, you would think that all of the drama and games would stop once a relationship begins, right?
It turns out (and as backed by psychology), we can crave drama, even in the most solid of relationships.
Here are three reasons why relationships provide a whole new arena for games to be played:
It creates a power shift.
Only in a perfect world would it be possible for a couple to be on the same page 24/7.
Disagreements and other forms of conflict are bound to present itself at some point, and they often result in the scale tipping in one person’s favor.
Maybe you’re feeling neglected and decide to act out by ignoring your partner’s calls for a few days, just to get back at him or her.
Or perhaps, you enjoy the feeling of control and want to ensure your partner knows so.
This sort of childish behavior falls under what is labeled as “adult tantrums.”
According to Dr. Seth Meyers, a relationships and parenting expert, the process of resolution involves open communication:
“The most important thing to do if someone in your life has tantrums that affect you is to sit the person down and seriously describe how the tantrums affect you. Explain that you are willing to work together with that person to help him or her find better ways to cope when he or she feels overwhelmed.”
It keeps things interesting.
When Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City" began dating Aidan, she felt their relationship seemed too perfect.
She had gotten so used to the drama with Mr. Big that her relationship with Aidan felt boring in comparison.
As a result, she freaked and told him they needed space, ditched the initial invite to meet his parents and created unnecessary drama in their relationship by questioning and overthinking everything.
We do the same in our relationships, mainly due to the fact we get so caught up in missing the chase. It’s one of the reasons those in relationships miss being single.
They miss the newness, the feelings of butterflies and being desired.
Author and holistic life coach, Nicole Leigh West, says that in order to stop the cycle of resorting to using drama to shake up your relationship, you must detach yourself from old emotional patterns of thought.
Stop allowing “what ifs” to damage your relationship.
It makes us feel loved and desired.
A relationship cannot be solid if both partners are resorting to using games in order to gain the other’s attention.
Psychology Today found this may result from patterns of behavior we used while we were young and sought attention:
“Creating this kind of drama in an adult relationship is at best a sad commentary on an obviously broken communication dynamic. In addition, it wastes the most precious thing you have: your time.”
Communication is key to resolving an issue such as this.
A relationship will only continue to be shaky and drama-filled if both partners are not feeling all that should come with loving and desiring another.
After all, there’s nothing wrong with craving the sort of love that, even years later, still gives us butterflies.
No games required.