March 2009
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Day March 8, 2009

Why all the mind games?

I just ran into someone I know from the neighborhood.  He’s recently single and tends to bemoan women and the mind games they play.  Ironically, when he heard that I was also single he began to offer suggestions of various mind games for me to use, either to win her back or just mess with her head.  It’s clear that it’s not just women that play these game, he’s a clear example of a male that partakes in the subtle attacks to an ex’s psyche.  This irony along with how much this playing of mind games contrasts to my view got me thinking about the subject.

For all those that do play these games I ask Why?  If you didn’t work as a couple, why shouldn’t your ex pursue something that could make them happy?  If you really cared for them, why can’t you be happy for them when they do things to be happy?  Do you really think it has some reflection on you or their feelings for you?  Is it just self pity?  Does suggesting that your new love is everything, or implying they (your ex) weren’t really help you feel more secure in your new relationship? Or are you trying to convince yourself that you’ve moved on?

I know I’ve had ex’s try this crap with me.  I don’t know if they got what they wanted out of it, but I do know the games never made me want them more (or want to get back together).  Yeah, they may have gotten me riled up for a bit with a mixture of confusion to their purpose and agitation caused by the amplified echo of the problems we had during the relationship.  Either way the games never brought me closer, at least not when I was aware that games were being played.  If anything, I think it cemented that I was better off not being in a relationship with them.

As mentioned, I’m currently single and this isn’t the first time I’ve been single either.  Unknowingly I may be  guilty of doing some of these things myself, and if so I apologize, but I can say in good conscience that I never meant to.  For one thing, I don’t really see the point to them.  Secondly, it may be because I believed my ex’s actually did care for me (read: loved) and I didn’t feel the need for the reassurance one may be looking for when playing these games.  In the more casual relationships, their love/approval etc. wasn’t relevant to my well being.  I’ve also tried to make sure this wasn’t a question that would haunt them either.

According to some, mind games are an essential part of relationships.  Suggestions of “playing hard to get” fill magazines, and though that may lure a date or two, a relationship it does not make.  At the early stages of a relationship the stakes are low, and such games have more to do with catching the other’s attentions.  The games people play at the end of a relationship, sadly, often have more to do with hurting the partner then the cutesy ones used at the beginning.  It’s these latter ones that my neighbor was suggesting and I can only assume using himself.  It’s these I don’t understand.