Can you have a relationship without the game playing?

One of the things I was adamant about when I went on the dating scene was I wanted to be free from any game playing. I didn’t want to wait for a minute and a half longer than the time it had taken him to respond. I didn’t want to analyse every text for hidden messages, I just wanted to be able to speak my mind. Go for the honest, open angle for once and have it not bite me on the ass.

But then I met someone. The I fell for him.

And all of a sudden keeping him interested and not scaring him away became my main objectives. I thought things were going well. To begin with we talked honestly and openly. We both shared secrets and thoughts within days of meeting. We both admitted things, feelings, were happening crazily fast. I thought it was going well.

Then we had our first fight. Suddenly it went from ‘perfect’ to “why isn’t he replying to my message when I can see he has read it.” I started to worry about what it meant for our future, if he would stick around to make up after our fight and so I turned to friends for their advice.

I was told “not make it too easy for him; Play hard to get. Don’t reply too soon. He’s being a drama queen, ignore the painkillers he’s on, he should be treating you better”

I went from being perfectly happy, to feeling like I was playing a game, and the prize was the future I wanted with him.

I started playing the games. Having won the game of who would text first, I waited 45 minutes before replying to his very casual, very short message and then I went back to clock watching again. It’s been an hour and he hasn’t responded, but he hasn’t read it so perhaps he’s asleep…

I watched helplessly as my simple, honest relationship appeared to descend into one of game playing and out manoeuvring and the real nightmare is it could be all in my head. I can’t get to see him. I can’t contact him over anything but text (and text messages are currently not my friend) so I over analyse and ask other people desperate for someone to tell me that this will be ok. That I am worth it. That he won’t leave me as easily as my ex did.

I don’t want this, but I don’t know how not to.

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