When games are played in a relationship, they should be ones that are fun for everyone involved. If things are getting a little too stale and serious for you and your SO, then I would suggest adding some Monopoly into the mix. But certain games that your SO plays can end up causing more harm than happiness.
The phrase "playing games" is too familiar in relationships these days. They are mostly used as a tactic to make you or your SO feel better when problems begin to arise in the relationship, but in reality make things a whole lot worse. They may give one person an advantage, but they ultimately create a divide between you and your partner.
The art of toying with someone's emotions has no place in a stable, healthy relationship. If your SO is playing games, they probably have a hard time communicating with you, and are more inclined to avoid problems by directing them elsewhere.
There are a lot of ways relationship problems can be directed away from yourself. People who are insecure often have a very hard time handling problems, and will start to pit their problems against somebody else. They will take problems in the relationship and instead of accepting them, they will use them to get even.
Your SO may think that all is fair in love and war, but when it comes to playing games, it's all about winning, which means one of you will have to lose.
You may feel like you are doing something wrong because you are losing in your relationship. Mind games can make you feel weak, helpless and determined to come out on top. There are certain games that are used frequently that will make you feel like your SO is working against you instead of with you. These are the games that stop being fun, and start making you realize that it's time to end the relationship.
Making you jealous on purpose
When you are in a relationship with someone and they trying to make you jealous, it's time to call it quits. Jealousy is already a scary part of any relationship and your SO should not be fueling the fire. It's one thing to be naturally appealing, but when your SO goes out of there way to be flirty or talk to other people, it is irritating and causes unnecessary drama in your relationship.
If your SO is using their charm to their advantage, and feeding the people who are giving them attention, you should run while you still can. Anyone who needs to make you jealous to get a reaction from you, or needs validation from someone they aren't dating, is too insecure and immature to ever take seriously.
Playing hard to get
Sometimes before you get serious with someone, you leave a little mystery by not answering a text right away, or seeming unavailable when someone you're interested in asks you out on a date. But when your SO is being "mysterious," it's time to break it off.
If your SO is constantly avoiding your text messages by saying they were "too busy," or leaving you guessing where they are, they are just playing games with you and it should not be tolerated. Nobody is that busy where they can't answer you for hours at a time. Even if they do happen to be more busy than usual, your SO should decency to tell you beforehand and not leave you wondering.
Taking a break from the relationship
Taking time apart from your SO is one giant mind trick to make you feel like things are going to be OK, but it never seems to work out that way. If your SO tries to break up with you or avoid you for an extended period of time, you should probably just extend that period of time to forever.
There is never a problem so dramatic that you need to break up and get back together in order to get over it. If you need to walk away from something and go back to it, there is a reasonable amount of time allotted to cooling off. But what will avoiding an argument for a few days really solve?
Sounds like your SO needs to get over their problems by looking for a solution elsewhere, when the solution should be to work it out with the person in front of them.
Withholding information to use to their advantage
This is just a fancy way to say your SO is lying to you. Your SO may say they didn't tell you something because they thought it would hurt you. But if they really didn't want to hurt you, they would tell you the whole truth. Most of the time when someone is lying, they aren't actually considering your feelings even if they say they are. Lying is mostly to avoid looking like a total douche bag.
If there's something you feel like you are doing that will hurt your SO, why wouldn't you tell them? When your SO is leaving pieces of the puzzle out, it's probably because those pieces lead to something that makes them look bad.
Sending you on a guilt trip
Sometimes you will make a mistake and do something wrong in a relationship. This is completely normal. What isn't normal is having to feel bad about it over and over again. Your SO shouldn't bring extra attention to something you did wrong, unless they are bringing just as much attention to something you did right.
If your SO is not still gushing over the time you cooked their favorite meal six months ago, why do they bring up the time you made a mistake six months later? If you feel like your SO is trying to repeatedly make you feel guilty about every little thing you do wrong, you should not be dating.
Turning the blame on you
When you tell your SO something that is bothering you, they should not blame you for being upset or angry. Things in a relationship are bound to cause irritation, but it's better to be understanding rather than make the other person feel like it's all their fault.
If your SO repeatedly avoids arguments by throwing what you say back in your face, you're never going to get anywhere in the relationship. You should end it now, before you start feeling like everything that goes wrong is your responsibility.