How to Stop Playing Games (in Your Relationship)

stop playing gamesWe’ve used frames a lot for the sake of getting sexually intimate with women quickly… now let’s look at the power of frames in the context of exclusive relationships a bit more.

Let’s take the example we used in our last post, "How to Not Fall in Love"… she’s not texting you, and you’re starting to freak out a little.

Does she not miss you?

Is she with another guy?

What is going ON?

The first thing to realize is that one of a million things could be going on…

  • Maybe she’s busy
  • Maybe she’s asleep
  • Maybe she’s out of phone credit

The last one is the biggie… and if she’s really into you, then that’s probably the one you’re facing. As I said, women read dating advice too… from the gossip with her girlfriends to the women’s magazines she reads on a regular basis, she’s being primed for playing the GAME like a PRO.

But as I mentioned above… if you’re trying to move things forward, from dating to a proper relationship, you want to stop playing games; to get rid of all games you guys are playing with each other.

Of course, it’s easy enough for YOU to stop playing games if you so choose.

The question is, though… how can you stop HER from playing games?

How can you disarm them before they even come up?

And THAT is an excellent question.

Stop Playing Games with the Power of Frames

The BEST way to stop all games in a relationship is to frame “games” themselves as something undesirable.

You can even create a little conspiracy with her, where the two of you observe other couples trying to One-Up one another and battling out a constant power struggle… whereas the two of you are really pulling at the same string as a TEAM.

The team frame is THE most valuable frame to set in a relationship… and if you do it right, it will cancel out all power struggles once and for all.

Of course you can’t always call her out on playing games when she seems to be doing it…

For one thing, it makes you look a bit weak, and for another, it might simply not be the case.

Hey, maybe she really WAS out of battery and COULDN’T text you back…

…if you accuse her of trying to manipulate you at this point, you’ll just look insecure and controlling, and it will do more harm than good.

However, it helps to realize that girls often play these games out of FEAR that you like them less than they like you… the same paranoia creeps up for everyone from time to time… even for the perfect ten, if she’s in love with you.

And that’s the angle to bring up the topic from.

Don’t ask her, “Why didn’t you send me a text… don’t you miss me?”

Instead, ask her, “Why didn’t you send me a text… are you afraid that I don’t miss you?”


You’ve flipped the frame… and you will be SHOCKED when she feels caught and admits that’s EXACTLY what’s been going on.

You see, a woman’s insecurities can trigger our own and vice versa:

She acts distant out of HER own fear... You feel insecure about that... You feel like she is not interested in you anymore, or that she likes another guy better.

But what does a SECURE guy think?

He thinks, she must be feeling really scared about how much she loves me.

And that’s the frame you should approach this situation from.

Nuke Wars Can’t Be Won…

stop playing gamesPlaying “games” is for pickup and dating… and for that purpose, they work very well.

Making a girl jealous you’ve been flirting with for 20 minutes at the bar, for example by giving another girl some of your attention, this will increase your chances of hooking up with either one of the two.

In a serious relationship with more depth, however, all these head games are really a lose-lose scenario… like in a nuke war, there are no winners.

Either you end up losing the power struggle, then you lose

…or you end up winning the power struggle and fall out of love (see The Passion Trap by Dean C. Delis).

That’s a bad bet.

The only way to establish a balance is to speak openly about things… and to get her to do the same.

What’s more… when you’re in love, playing head games with each other is absolutely exhausting.

Give each other a break, stop playing games, and discover how deep of a connection you can really build.

The first time I approached a relationship with one of my girlfriends that way, something fascinating happened… we started to speak openly about everything, and guess what... she just needed encouragement to show her feelings, because just like EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, she had been hurt in the past, she was afraid… and she wanted to be loved.

She said she didn’t want to show her feelings because she was afraid of sounding corny.

She didn’t want to call and message me often because she was afraid of looking like a stalker.

She didn’t want to cry about missing me because she was afraid of looking ridiculous.

This will be more of an issue if she KNOWS you are very successful with women and have a lot of options… but of course, little did she realize I was feeling the same way about her - and both of us withdrawing ended up hurting the relationship more than it helped… talk about some messed up society conditioning.

Think of Her as Bridget…

But even in this society, women still watch romantic movies and cry in front of the TV... so if you want to have a relationship with real depth and emotions, you need to reach out to the girl inside her who gets emotional over chick flicks.

Because while we're all worried about winning the silly games we play with each other and about looking strong to the people around us, the truth is we're actually being cowards in guarding ourselves…

…because it takes more courage to open up than to hide from our feelings.

And if a girl is really in love with you, then any sort of moodiness you detect – such as distance, anger or aloofness – is GENERALLY about them not feeling loved -- a.k.a. their own FEAR.

In the Way of the Superior Man, David Deida discusses this point brilliantly - he says if the woman is moody, ASSUME she is not feeling loved.

Even if it doesn't make sense, give her love… and THEN see if there are things to be talked about.

I know this kind of advice seems a little bit “out there”, but trust me… if you do this right, you can create a relationship with your girlfriend that is stronger than the bond she has to her own family.

I’m not kidding!

But let’s back up a step…

Where do you even FIND your dream girl for this dream relationship?

Wanted: Supermodel with a Brain and a Heart

Once you get really good at meeting and seducing beautiful women, FINDING them becomes the most difficult part of the game.

I know it’s a quality problem to have… but you’ll have it, trust me.

Because you WILL hit a skill level at some point where you know that once you find her… you’ll have a pretty good shot at getting together with her.

But especially if you are looking for a girl of true quality, to get into the kind of deep, connected relationship with that we talked about above, your biggest problem will be where to get a hold of girls you might even want to make this kind of thing happen with.

So where DO you find her?

The most important rule is this… (you might want to write this down if you’re looking for a relationship):

Meet crazy girls in crazy places, and normal girls in normal places.

We’ve discussed this in the day game article before - but, where would you find a girl who's not only stunning, but also really has her act together?

Hint: that kind of girl doesn't get blind drunk four nights a week, shaking her ass in a club for emotional validation from random dudes.

You can meet a fit, mentally healthy girl in a yoga class, or a smart girl in a book store. What kind of women do YOU want in your life?

Fact is, you’ll have a much easier time convincing a girl who isn't clubbing and bar-hopping like crazy to stop playing games than you will one who is.

And that’s every bit as important as the knowledge of how to put an end to games, because that knowledge is only half of the battle - the other half is finding a girl who’ll be able to put an end to them along with you, too.

Onward and upward,


UPDATE: read the next article in Ricardus's relationship series right here: Find the Right Girl: What to Look for in a Potential Girlfriend.

Ricardus DominoAbout the Author: Ricardus Domino

Ricardus was one of the most prolific and respected coaches in the men’s dating advice industry. He’s dated some of the planet’s most beautiful women, ranging from a Miss World contestant, to a model for Coca-Cola, to one of “Brazil’s Next Top Models.” His specialty is daytime street stops. He is most remembered for his “Are you single?” opening line. Ricardus is currently retired from the dating advice industry.

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Aaron's picture

I have recently been discussing this with fellow senior college PUAs, there is a small group of us that have been very active in the game the past at least 3-4 years. My girlfriend (21) of 6 months is very aware of the game and believe that is how she attracted me; however I do find her playing games and can almost predict what is coming. I've called her out a few times and pin pointed what she's doing and about knocking it off because I don't do it to her. I feel as if I have taken a similar approach to yours but keep finding myself dealing with it specially more frequent since we have been living 3 hours apart all summer. I feel like if I don't get rid of this in the next few weeks its going to be an issue when she returns for fall semester, any suggestions

K's picture

May I apologize for this comment, but I have a problem too.

I'm in crush with a girl in my class, and I only see her only one day per week. Last week, I ask her to go out for a drink, and it was really fun. Along the conversation, she told me to make a painting for her (we study in the Art school). And 5 days later, It's her birthday, I keep my word. paint a picture and give it to her. and she just take it home, didnt say anything. didnt text anything even when I try to send a message.

What is wrong happening? could you tell me please!

Phil's picture

I think the problem here is that you have invested a lot more in her than she has in you. You have worked hard to please her by painting her a picture. Also, she told you what to do and you did it.

She may therefore believe that you are easy to get and are chasing her. Read what Chase has to say about "The Law Of Least Effort" and "Attainability".

Bob Handy's picture

I have a really difficult situation. Out of all the girls I've ever tried for I have only been turned down a few times (so getting women isn't the problem). I have never had affection for a girl until now in my life. I'm currently 29 and dating a girl that is roughly 9 years younger.

She matured quick due to struggles in life she has been through, so intelligence wise we are very much on the same level. So here's where the problem comes in. When we are together everything is perfect, we hang out for hours (5+ usually) and time flies because we enjoy each other so much. We have lots in common and both like a challenge. She does live about 30 miles away from me which I don't mind picking her up. She tells me she misses me, can't wait to see me again, etc (which we are also very affectionate when together). So here's where I'm stuck.

We always hang out 2 days a week; but I would like to see her more and this is where the issue starts. She doesn't like to plan because she has family that she helps out; like watching their kids. She is usually true to her word, so she doesn't like to say something and not follow through.

I get off work slightly after noon (so I wake up early). She goes to work for a few hours and is usually off by dark. It always ends up being an issue collaborating things on the days she does work (we usually hang out on the days she has off).

So in your opinion/experience do you think this is just due to age and not having a solid foundation (because she hasn't dealt with the "if I don't do this responsibility the consequences will be life change" part of life yet)? Or is there something else I should be looking for?

anonymous's picture

This girl, loves me, but i couldn't figure out how to stop the game playing.
I will frame this with these approaches and mindsets. 2 years ago, I read the how to get into the game first, now I'm reading how to stay into the game.

This is exactly the situations I'm going through. She loves me like crazy, she texts me that she misses me and all that, and I have no idea what kind of games she's playing, so I guess I want to confront her, but yes as an alpha I'm always thinking, I can't do that since its irrational and weak. I always approach with a strong head. I got lost for a little, I agree, and I let her games get to me, make me FEEL but luckily not give in and act weak. Relationships, they are amazing at teaching you about life, yourself, and your insecurities.

Cheers, Chase

Tic's picture

Wow.....hit the nail on the head with this one Ricardus! How very insightful. And finding the right girl for this is PARAMOUNT. I can't stress this enough. I have a counseling background when it comes to marital/long-term relationships, and it truly is refreshing to see someone else telling the truth about how important it is to be open and honest in such a relationship. (This does NOT, however, translate into being weak and spineless on the man's part...) I fear long gone are the days when the men in this country lost thier dominance and grit. Women started walking all over us as long ago as the forties, and it has gotten steadily worse since then. And the worst part...they (women) resent us for it! But I suppose I'm starting to digress a little.
Perhaps not....
Showing a woman you love that she is being insecure when she should'nt be may be the man's fault for not expressing the things he needed to earlier...but calling her out on it when she does is equally if not more important! After all, men make the worst mind-readers on the planet. But with pros like you'll find here, they will help you sift through the signals and mystery. Thanks again!

George Stobbart's picture

This homepage and its writers are the best example for bringing PU to a whole new, authentic level.

Lately, PickUp felt like a dead end for me.

You guys are really edge-cutting. Never read of something like a "team frame" in pickup forums. I reconsidered this and realized, that I've used the team frame many times in real life (unconsciously) and how good it worked.

Ricardus, this is my third article you wrote I stumbled upon and I already feel you know your business. What I've read from you and Chase was great so far.

PickUp now feels like it's a starter. This site feels like mastery. Don't get smug! :D

Ashley's picture

Trying to get my nice guy bf to manipulate me with games, ironically.

lucifer's picture

Don’t ask her, “Why didn’t you send me a text… don’t you miss me?”
Instead, ask her, “Why didn’t you send me a text… are you afraid that I don’t miss you?”

This website is just amazing, but some of these old articles are lame and the content would gain if they were to be purged.

"say this, reply that, put on this frame.. " this is cheap and gamey it seems to be reading Neil Strauss' book

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