I read an article the other day on askmen.com called “Avoid The Friend Zone” (view here) and the advice on the second page really got me thinking about how often people play games in their relationships. This article recommends that one of the best ways to avoid the “friend zone” with someone you like is to make the girl (in this case) jealous all the time and to be challenging and unpredictable. The reason I disagree with this so strongly is because it creates an imbalance in the relationship and leads to one or both parties being anxious. This damages an authentic connection and creates problems relating to trust in the long term.
Research supports that people need to have a trusting relationship bond where they feel that they can depend on their partner to be there for them in good times and in bad. When the initial foundation of a relationship is built upon making your partner jealous, not returning phone calls or withdrawing to get their attention, it creates an insecure attachment bond which creates a constant barrier against emotional, mental and physical intimacy. Essentially, your partner doesn’t trust you to be there for them and so they are left feeling anxious, threatened and emotionally peaked on a regular basis, which resembles unpredictable emotional outbursts (crying, yelling etc) or detachment.
While these games may seem fun at the beginning, is it really worth it when 6 months or a year into your relationship your partner feels really threatened and therefore get emotional or angry every time you want to go out with your friends? How healthy can it be when sex – an intimate and exciting way to be close – starts getting used as a bargaining tool? These are the patterns that then cause significant relationship dysfunction down the road. When you start playing with fire, all you are left with is a pile of ashes.
Instead of starting your relationship using any of the tools advised to you in this article (or any other game playing methods for that matter) I would recommend you to be honest with the person and let them know how you feel. While I can’t guarantee that they will respond the way you want them to at least you know from the get go and spare yourself a massive headache (or heartache) later on. After all we mature into adults for a reason. The best place to show your maturity and to act accordingly is in your relationships.
Happy Dating Everyone!