Mind games in dating
Playing mind games with your love interest can be very risky.
Let’s suppose you’re playing hard to get. This is a classic game in which the Prince/Princess is presenting a challenge to see if the potential lover will try to prove his/her mettle and show his/her devotion. If he/she makes the grade, then the Prince/Princess might feel safe enough to open up to a love relationship; in other words, come down off of his/her pedestal and be vulnerable. Note that the Prince/Princess is initially taking the upper hand in the game with the assumption that he/she will always have a slight edge of power. After all, if things went badly in the future, he/she could again retreat to the pedestal. This might attract a lover who has a problem with being in the lower position, having to measure up, possibly facing rejection. This individual could be vindictive and play the game until the Prince/Princess is totally vulnerable, then turn the tables. This might also happen if the lover is completely genuine, but it turns out that he/she is inspired by challenge and bored with regular life.
Imagine that you’re pretending to be a White Knight and rescuing the poor fellow/damsel in distress. This means you’re selecting someone with a problem to be solved or a situation to be managed. In comes the White Knight, riding high, feeling totally confident, wanting to save his chosen one from a life without his//her love and protection. It may not be immediately apparent but the White Knight is on something of a power trip, even if he/she is going to a great deal of time and trouble to be helpful. It’s definitely implied that the victim in this picture needs to be filled with gratitude, loyalty and respect. And this may be the case initially, but a problem could arise if the White Knight forever expects to run the show, holding tight to the superior know-it-all position. The victim, who by then could be in an empowered position, might rebel in a big way.
These are just two examples of mind games that people play in love relationships, often with no harmful intent. But they can seriously mess with the heads of the players because at any given time one person has power and the other doesn’t. Both roles can be appealing or devastating.