• donboice

Games not to play in a relationship (continued)

Why am I continuing on this thread?

I think it is good information for your current relationship, for moving forward as co-parents and good ideas for future relationships:

16-She Shouldn’t Throw Tantrums When Things Aren’t Going Her Way

How can anyone take you seriously when you’re acting like a toddler? No one likes spoiled brats, so don’t be one. If you want a real relationship, then talk things through instead of throwing things, screaming uncontrollably and trying to force your will onto your partner. It isn’t that hard to keep yourself composed – so practice a little restraint the next time something gets your blood boiling, and keep up the hard work. Over time, you’ll learn to hold back and control yourself when things get tough and your relationship will thank you for it.

Me: When people feel out of control or unsafe, their response is to get back some control. When someone is over reacting, maybe give them Kenneth Cloke’s article about being Triggered. Work on your emotional responses- how do you relate to what happened with your partner- that is your relationship!

15-Double Standards Aren’t Going To Get Her Very Far

You may be okay talking to other guys but he’d better not let you catch him talking to other girls! Right? Wrong! In a real relationship, both parties are considered equals, meaning there are no double standards. If he’s not allowed to flirt with other people, neither are you. If you want the freedom to date around but expect him to be exclusive only to you, you’d better believe that relationship is going to meet with an unhappy (and swift) ending.

Me: Obviously, these are not the only double standards. Consider the fact that you trust yourself because you know your motivations and you hold the motivations of others in contempt. You assume you know why they did what they did, because you are such a good…mind reader? Nah But go back to inconsistent expectations- there is one set of rules for one of you and the other has a distinctly different set. That is not a good idea unless…you have negotiated it and it works for the two of you.

14-She Doesn’t Get To Decide Who His Friends Are

His best friend since kindergarten happens to be a gorgeous model who always struts her stuff around him and flaunts her friendship and their closeness in your face. You can choose to be jealous, or petty enough to tell him to choose between you two, but if you want a real relationship you’ll make your feelings known and won’t go as far as tell him to make a choice. You don’t get to choose who he hangs out with. Remember, his friends were around long before you arrived, and they’re all expecting to be there if things don’t work out. You can’t control him if you want a real relationship! Remember that.

Me: You can tell him the what and the why, though. “I don’t feel comfortable with how much emotional closeness you have with her when you and I are not getting along well. I am afraid that if there is a perfect storm, you will turn to her instead of to me.” Or you can set limits of what topics would be hurtful and what ones would be okay and negotiate- “I don’t feel comfortable with you telling her about our relationship, our struggles, my secrets, our sex life” and make these preferences out to be requests rather than demand that he do them your way.

13-Stop Trying To Monopolize His Time

Going out on dates a few times a week is normal for most couples, but if you’re demanding his attention every waking moment of every single day, things are going a little too far. You can’t expect him to drop everything and everyone from his life for the sake of spending a little more time with you. At the beginning of a relationship, that might be the case, maybe, but after a few months, he should have the freedom to hang out with his friends and family without you – and without feeling guilty for spending a little time apart.

Me: Let’s be frank, men prefer to have some freedom and liberty. If he is your hostage, most healthy guys find that unattractive. Talk about what you want from the relationship, what level of intimacy, both physical and emotional and steps that are required to get there. Plan on time together and schedule in time apart, talking about what activities are off limits (set boundaries) and which are encouraged.

12-Keeping Secrets Is A Big No-No

If you want a real, mature, loving relationship, you’ve got to stop playing games. One of the biggest games women play with their men is the “secrets” game. You can’t keep secrets, especially big ones, from him and expect him to magically know what’s going on with you and know how you feel about things. Being secretive doesn’t add a shroud of mystery around you, it puts up walls. Be open and honest with him because, in a real relationship, you two can share anything with each other without fear.

Me: Boundaries again? You do not have to tell him every single detail of your life. As a matter of fact, I have read some biographies and I know about the person, but I do not know the person. Tell the partner who you are and how the activities of the day affected you. Tell your partner your wishes, hopes, dreams and desires, fears etc. Guesswork is annoying in relationships, so don’t make him read your mind, be direct with him and keep your heart open when you talk.

11-Don’t Even Think About It

This really should go without saying, but there’s always those few who literally need to be told or they won’t get it. If you want a real relationship, you can’t play dumb games like, “Oh, I’ll have fun with someone else and expect my current relationship to remain unchanged.” It isn’t gonna happen. If you’re unfaithful, expect your relationship to be over in the blink of an eye. He deserves better and you need to pull your head out of the clouds.

10-Ransoming Love Is The Worst

If you love playing games, you’ll know this one pretty well. If he doesn’t bend to your every whim, you act as if you don’t need him. It’s a power play and you’re messing with him mentally. You can’t try to have a real relationship if it’s based on manipulation – either you love him for who he is or you don’t. You can’t withhold your feelings from him every time he disappoints or frustrates you. A real couple would talk things through and come to a conclusion together – no need for mind games at all.

Me: Some games are fun, for both of you, but mind games favor one of you. “Punish your partner”-“The Withholding game” are two favorites. How about old fashioned communication, from the heart, direct and no guesswork? “I felt hurt when you said (or did) x.” Not ambiguous and what you are hoping for is the person understands where you are coming from and doesn’t judge you for having your own opinion and point of view.

If you can "do a relationship" with as few games as humanly possible, your partner will appreciate it. It is cleaner and feels better and gets rid of the unnecessary drama. Look, life is challenging, no need to further complicate things.


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