When You Treat Love Like A Game, You'll Be The One Who Ends Up Alone

by Josh Ward
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I would believe most people have been in a situation pretty similar to this one: You meet someone who sweeps you off your feet with something beyond his or her looks. You'll spend what seems like hours talking about things you don't usually share so quickly.

Perhaps you talk all the time. It's good. It's innocent. Maybe he or she will even send you cute text messages saying "goodnight," tagged with “cutie” or a kissing emoji.

We experience these beautiful circumstances. We start believing in love. We start having hope in humanity. At times, we even start to think we're moving towards a more adult relationship.

Then – without notice – it seems as if this person you love so deeply has started sending mixed signals. He or she will be all over you one second, and not calling you the next. He or she will say he or she gets nervous meeting your friends or putting labels on your relationship, and keeps making excuses to not have you around.

Let me break it to you: Maybe he or she just isn't that into you. If this is the case, you need to run while you can.

Trust me because I've been on both sides of this. We can read articles about the red flags all day. We will still want to be with the person we know we shouldn't be with. But get serious with yourself: Do you deserve to play this kind of game?

I mean, OK. This person probably likes you a little bit because the people who most often fall for narcissists are usually the ones who pour out love unconditionally and far too easily. This player probably thinks it's cute that you run after him or her. He or she may like the idea of you, but that isn't enough for him or her to date you.

My mother always told me we should never have to question or choose when someone is right for us. She's right. Why should I suffer and spend so much time wondering if someone likes me or wants to date me?

If at any moment in time, someone makes you wonder if he or she is manipulating you or playing games with you – or even if he or she is still interested in you – run right now. For starters, this person probably isn't that invested in the relationship.

This person might be dealing with emotional baggage, and isn't ready to sustain anyone else's. Lastly, stop looking desperate. Start moving on and regaining confidence in yourself.

A dear friend of mine was "dating" a guy for a few months. This means they went on dates, and they spent plenty of time communicating. Eventually, those texts dwindled, and the guy blamed it on work. This particular person dared telling my friend she was getting all his free time. Then, she found text messages on his phone from other casual hookups when he accidentally left it out.

Coincidence? I'd say not.

The right people are never playing hard to get to get you interested. They don't ghost you because they're coy. They do it because they don't want to deal with telling you it's over.

Again, trust me: It's time to reconsider.

I get it. It's harsh, hard and horrible to hear. Not too long ago, I thought I had met someone who had it all. Then, I found out all of it was an emotional, abusive mind game.

Months later, another guy promised me he was different. We shared commonalities on multiple layers. I spent copious amount of energy pouring my thoughts over our past conversations. I kept analyzing every word, trying to figure out where we stood. To this day, it's still not fully clear.

At times, I was too afraid to ask. I kept repeating, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I thought if I just stuck it out – if I proved to him I was worthwhile – he would figure out how great I was on his own.

My biggest fear in these situations is the fact that love turns off some people. But even though love can be a mindf*ck and painful, I would never not want to feel something. I think it's better to feel love and loss than to never feel at all.

Every time I feel love, I start believing magic is real. But, just like magic, it can be used for both good and bad.

There comes a point when you need to see the signs for what they really are. There's this amazing quote from BoJack Horseman that says, “You know, it's funny. When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

How true that is. Start seeking out the people who truly want to invest in you. Because when we deem someone as worthwhile, there will be no fight or questions. It will just be.