9 Dating Games No Grown-Ass Woman Should Put Up With

People playing games in dating is all too common, but it always sucks. And the truth is, someone who plays games with you is not the kind of person you necessarily want to be with. It's a sign that they're not really being authentic in their dating life — and no grown-ass woman has time for that.

So why do people even play games in the first place? Well, a lot of people assume that's the way dating is supposed to be. "You may automatically assume that dating is some kind of game or competition to be mastered rather than something fun and enjoyable," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. "If this isn’t checked you can lose a sense of trust and the belief that two people can meet, like each other, and form a relationship in a natural, easy way. The best way of combating these bad habits is to truly be yourself and don’t play games. Reach out to someone if you had a great date. If you want to be in a long-term relationship, let them know. Be yourself and be authentic and you have a much better chance of making a true connection with someone."

And yet, dating games still happen all the time. So give yourself permission to just bow out of them — as soon as they appear. We all have our own unique pet peeves, but here are some dating games grown-ass women just shouldn't put up with.


Delayed Responses To Texts

Nope. Nope. Nope. We're way too old for the "waiting three days to reach out after a date" or "waiting the exact amount of time to text someone back" thing. We all have a life.

I'm not saying someone should be replying to you every two seconds, but if they insist on being constantly incommunicado, nobody has time for that. Your phone is in your hand like 90 percent of the day. I mean, really.



This. Is. The. Worst. Basically, it's when someone isn't interested in seeing you again, but they give you all of these little "crumbs" to leave you on the hook and confused — it's just not OK. "Breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting because it is more sadistic," Carole Lieberman, M.D., a Beverly Hills-based psychiatrist and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "Ghosting is merely a coward’s way out of a relationship. Breadcrumbing is a slow and painful death of a relationship, whereas ghosting makes it clear — eventually — that the person is gone."

If you get the feeling you're being breadcrumbed, just cut it off.


Refusing To DTR

Look, some people move slowly. I'm one of those people. So if it takes someone a while to get serious, that's one thing. But if you've made it clear you want a relationship and they keep moving the deadline about when they'll decide what they want, that's not OK.


Making You Jealous On Purpose

Making you feel jealous on purpose is always just awful. Whether it's through insinuating there's something going on with other people, being overly flirty in front of you, or just being shady on social media — it's not OK to make someone anxious about your situation.


Silent Treatments

Not OK. If someone goes quiet and becomes unreachable — whether over text or in person — it's a psychological mind game that you just shouldn't have to put up with. Sure, there are times when we have our own problems, need a little space, or don't have time to get in touch, but that's different than using silence as punishment. That's not OK.



Haunting is basically when someone who you were once interested in or once dated starts lurking in your social media, liking things and watching your Snapchat story out of the blue, but not having any genuine communication.

"People haunt for one of a few reasons," relationship coach and founder of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. "Reason one would be that they didn't want it to end and they're infatuated with the person they're haunting. It eats at them that things are over and they must stay connected in their own way. Reason two would be that while they wanted it to end, they are a controlling person by nature. They want to have their cake (the breakup) and eat it too (not have the person they're haunting to be with someone else). The third reason is that they feel the need to bug the person they're haunting. They like that attention and annoyance it brings."

Don't waste your time with someone who can't even send you a damn text.


Being Vague AF

"We should really hang out soon. Are you free Wednesday or over the weekend at all!"

"Yeah, we should hang out soon!"

WTF even is that? Just let it go. If they can't respond to a text properly, then they're not someone you want to deal with. Seriously.



Zombieing is when someone who once ghosted pops back up out of nowhere and acts like nothing ever happened. They're dead for a reason. If someone from the past pops up just to mess with you, this is likely bad news. Sometimes it's because there's something up in their own lives and they're just projecting it onto you. But it's really annoying and really, really not OK. Let the relationship stay dead.


Playing Hot & Cold

All over you one minute and wants nothing to do with you the next? Nope, you don't need mixed signals. No thank you.

Dating can be tough, but resorting to games is not the answer. And if someone's playing games with you? Get out. Get out now. You're a grown-ass woman — you don't need that sh*t.