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Should you need to 'play it cool' and 'show less interest' in a LTR/marriage?

(23 Posts)
lauren42 Mon 15-Dec-14 15:57:52

Had a converasation with a friend last night, who is happily married, and has been with the guy for 7 years. They have no kids.

She said that with her DH, she still 'plays it cool,' from time to time, and will purporsely show less interest in order to gain more interest from him at times. She said 'you show less interest, he shows more. It is always the way to do things.'

Whilst I know this is the case, and in th epast have done that exact same thing, and I agree, to an extent that sort of game playing can work a treat if done carefully.... it is not something I ever thought I would do in a LTR and certainly not in a marriage. As such, I have never taken this approach with my current DP - though at times I wish he were a little more attnetive, particularly recently.

Do any of you do this in LTR or in your marriage?

I don't mean manipulative, controlling and nasty games...I just mean now and again making an effort NOT to be readily avaliable, and instead forcing yourself to become engrossed in something not connected to your parther, just to keep things 'fresh' between you when you chat and spend time together?

Joysmum Mon 15-Dec-14 16:09:47

I don't play games. It'd be a shit relationship if I thought I had to.

Hatespiders Mon 15-Dec-14 16:16:41

I don't agree with game playing or manipulative behaviour. However, it is a good idea sometimes to have a little space between you for a while. We've been happily married for many years and I might go out with a friend for the day, go and stay with my sister for a week or so, go up to London etc. And my dh too does things without me too. It's healthy not to be glued together constantly. But we don't do these things deliberately to gee the other one up a bit! Like Joysmum, I'd hate to be in a relationship where I had to do that to my dh.

Velvetbee Mon 15-Dec-14 16:25:16

No, can't imagine trying to sustain game playing for 40+ years. We do stuff together when it's something we both enjoy and do stuff apart when it only interests one of us.
Why make it all complicated? We've been married 19 years and the rest of life is difficult enough, I want my relationship to be straightforward.

museumum Mon 15-Dec-14 16:28:02

god no!

but i do genuinely have my own life and interests so i am also not hanging on his every word and action 24/7 either.

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 17:00:52

What your friend is describing is sheer manipulation and there should be no place for it in a healthy relationship. That said, I don't think couples have to lay their souls bare on a daily basis, be joined at the hip or feel obliged to share everything they do or have ever done. Retaining some independence means you stay interesting to each other.

Vivacia Mon 15-Dec-14 17:01:05

I think it works, so long as you manipulate the other one just right that you don't lose them. It's not for me.

ApocalypseThen Mon 15-Dec-14 17:38:01

I find one of the joys of being married is that I can be completely myself with someone who just loves me.

daisychain01 Mon 15-Dec-14 17:42:19

I was in a LTR like that and it was awful, made me so unhappy about myself and us - I lacked self-esteem and I had to walk away in the end.

When a relationship lacks honesty and transparency in the things that matter, and either one of you needs to alter their behaviour for affection/attention and not truly be the person you are inside, IMO that's a danger sign that communication has broken down.

Also it erodes trust, because you are having to keep playing that game, sometimes repeatedly, until you run out of games to play sad .

daisychain01 Mon 15-Dec-14 17:48:44

I think there is a healthy balance which sits somewhere between aloofness/game-playing on the one hand, and hanging on their every word and action on the other.

The balance seems to be easiest to find when the relationship is equal, but can be found if you both decide to be honest with each other (IOW even if you have done the game-playing in the past, you can decide that enough is enough and let's grow up and stop wasting time smile )

Macloveswill Mon 15-Dec-14 17:49:17

Game playing within a marriage would just be too much like hard work...just no!

Ragwort Mon 15-Dec-14 17:54:05

Like others, I certainly don't believe in playing games with my DH but we do lead quite separate lives so neither of us is 'readily available' for the other one hmm.

We have separate hobbies/interests/nights out/holidays/bedrooms etc etc - we are not in each other's pockets by any means ................ works for us, married 26 years grin.

OTOH I know some couples who do everything together, never spend a night apart and are blissfully happy.

kaykayblue Mon 15-Dec-14 18:16:33

There's a big difference between intentional manipulation - which is what your friend has laid out, and not being entirely dependent on one person.

In fact, they are two completely separate things with absolutely no similarities between them.

It's normal and fine for two people in a couple to spend some time away from the other, to continue their friendships on an individual level, and to do a hobby or activity separate to their spouse.

It's fucking weird (in my view) to deliberately "play it cool" with your partner just to incite some bizarre feeling of envy or desperation for their affection.

When I go out with my partner we might spend the whole night talking to different people, but it's not to "draw in" the other. Its just because it's fun chatting to new people every now and then. What's the point in forcing yourself to be engrossed in something????

The relationship your friend lays out sounds like hard work and a complete head fuck.

getthefeckouttahere Mon 15-Dec-14 19:22:40

i think your friend is unstable and has the emotional maturity of a 14 year old.

Tobyjugg Mon 15-Dec-14 19:27:47

I thought the whole idea was marriage was that it called an end to game playing. hmm

Santaslittleblowupdoll Mon 15-Dec-14 20:19:34

Myself and dp do not play games it's what stood out at the very beginning and kept us in good stead.

Acting aloof just isn't for us. We spend a lot of our free time together because we like each other company like wise we go out with friends on our own if we fancy it.

I feel sorry for your friend if she has to play games to keep him on his toes. How tiring.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 15-Dec-14 20:45:08

Your friend plays it cool and is happily married; you don't, and wish your DP was more attentive.

Why not try it her way and see? It can't hurt.

My Aunt was the queen of "keep a little part of yourself back" and being cool. She was happily married for 46 years to a man who WORSHIPPED her.

I think it works. I do!

Joysmum Mon 15-Dec-14 21:15:56

Your friend plays it cool and is happily married

Clearly she's not or she wouldn't need to play games.

frostydom2011 Mon 15-Dec-14 21:22:45

Nope. Don't do this. I'm genuinely I interested in what DH has to say - 10 years in. I'm really pleased to see him at the end of every day. It seems to be mutual.

ChilliCrouton Mon 15-Dec-14 21:36:12

Absolutely not, quite the opposite. Date nights, quality time, and going out of the way to show love to one another are far, far healthier than game playing.

Viviennemary Mon 15-Dec-14 21:39:59

It's no good for a long term relationship. That kind of thing is usually played out in your teens.

Somethingtodo Mon 15-Dec-14 21:46:44

Do they both do this to each other? Or does she just do this to her dh?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 15-Dec-14 21:47:01

I have my own life, yes, but this sort of game-playing ? No. Have never done it so certainly not going to start it when married. Your friend sounds massively insecure for some reason.

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