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Sex + Relationships

The Mind Games Collegiettes Play with Guys (& Why You Should Stop)

Games are fun, aren’t they? Though we’ve graduated from our Candy Land and Barbie days, we still gravitate toward playing games – mind games, that is. But now, instead of messing around with Ken dolls, we’ve got some real boys with whom we can play.
For some, it’s addictive to mess around with a guy’s mind. But as the infrequent mind tricks turn into month-long tournaments of game playing, the appeal is lost. All a guy wonders is who the crazy lady who replaced his sweet girlfriend is.
So, are we really the brain ninjas that Dane Cook makes all women out to be, planting detonators in our guys’ heads just to set them off? Read below to find out the dos and don’ts of navigating the most common games of love.

Scenario: Your guy texts you to say he’s leaving to pick you up in five minutes, but you’re sitting in the bathroom with no makeup on and only half of your hair straightened.
Don’t: Respond, “Okay, just honk, and I’ll come meet you outside!”
Why: Collegiettes, honesty really is the best policy. You know you won’t be ready by the time he gets to your place, so why the charade? If it’s to make a big entrance as you waltz into the living room where he’s been sitting and stewing for half an hour, you can make just as big of an impression when on time. If it’s because you’re secretly bitter that you settled upon his choice of restaurant, there’s always next Saturday. Show him a little respect for actually taking you out instead of making you spend the night watching him play Xbox with his friends.
Do: Immediately respond by saying, “I’m actually running a little behind, and I don’t want to make you wait. Can you give me 20 more minutes? So excited for tonight!”
Why: He may be a little annoyed that you didn’t plan your time better, but at least he can wait in the comfort of his own home instead of in your living room. Be sure to add in an apology and a little line about your excitement for the night so that he knows you still care.

Scenario: You finally succeeded in dragging your guy to the mall with you, and you’re trying on a dress that you know makes you look like a hundred bucks.

Don’t: Saunter out of the dressing room and ask your guy, “Does this make me look fat?”
Why: Really? You’re going to ask this question? If he says no, then you will probably over analyze the tone, pronunciation and inflection of his response and eventually convince yourself he’s lying – causing you to run back into the dressing room, sobbing and leaving him speechless. If he says yes, then you will still end up running back into the dressing room, sobbing and leaving him speechless (you may or may not slap him in the face first, but we discourage this). Plus, asking, “Does this make me look fat?” is the most obvious mind game a collegiette™ can play on a guy; he will probably see right through you, and it definitely won’t make him like you more – no matter how good you look in that dress.
Do: Peek outside and ask, “Will you zip me up?” as you turn around.
Why: You were looking for his attention before, and now you’ve definitely got it. His wide-eyed appreciation for the way the dress hugs your every curve is all the approval you could’ve ever wanted from him.


Scenario: He texts you, “Hey babe, what’s going on?” You’re lying in bed, watching an all-day marathon of The O.C., with no solid plans for the rest of the day.

Don’t: Look at his message right away but wait to text back until at least an hour and a half later.
Why: No, really – why? Why would you make him wonder and squirm for that long, when all that’s going on is the 600th downfall of Seth and Summer’s unrealistic high school romance? You want to appear busy, but when you respond much later with, “Nothing really. You?” the waiting game you played seems pointless.
Do: Write back, “Just catching up on some good ol’ O.C.reruns, but I kind of want to get out of the house. Do you want to do something?”
Why: Most guys don’t top their list of must-haves in a potential girlfriend with, “Busiest social butterfly with a million things to do,” so there’s no need to pretend that’s who you are. Telling him what you’re really up to presents the perfect opportunity to slide in an invitation to hang out. Plus, it’ll bypass all of the nervous one-word texts that are exchanged before someone actually gains the courage to ask the other out.

Scenario: You two are on your doorstep after the best first date you’ve had in a long time. It’s obvious he’s going to lean in for a kiss in five, four, three, two…

Don’t: Turn your cheek.
Why: Your idea may be to make him want what he can’t have, but he’ll only think that your last four hours together were a disaster. If it truly is your policy to wait for at least the second date to kiss a guy, make the first move by leaning up to kiss him on the cheek and tell him what an amazing night you had. He’ll be able to tell you care, and you’ll be able to wait out a kiss until you’re ready.
Do: Go for it.
Why: We all know actions speak louder than words, so if you had a good time, by all means, show him. You’ll guarantee yourself a second date and a happy guy left wanting more of that breath-stealing smooch you planted on him.

Scenario: You ran into your ex recently, and now he’s texting you and writing on your Facebook wall.
Don’t: Tell your boyfriend that your ex won’t stop talking to you, and you think he wants to get back together.
Why: Unless your goal is to create an insanely jealous beau, the suspicion that your ex may want to get back together is an embellishment you don’t want to add to your story. If Mr. Wrong from a year ago has been talking to you but never actually said he wants to be a “we” again, telling your boyfriend he does won’t make your guy more attracted to you; instead, it’ll create trust issues that you don’t want or need.
Do: Let your boyfriend know about your blast from the past, so he doesn’t find out about it via your Facebook.
Why: Everyone has a past, and just because yours includes a few relationships doesn’t mean you have anything to hide. Tell your guy the truth (without any unnecessary speculation). There may still be a little jealousy on his end – after all, what guy wouldn’t be a little nervous about the possibility of losing you? But by keeping things on the up and up, you’ll prevent a small secret from turning into relationship-ending lie.

Scenario: You’re definitely not ready to go all the waywith him yet, but boy are his kisses getting steamier and sexier.

Don’t: Let him unhook your bra, put his hand up your skirt or do anything else that would lead him to believe he’s gettin’ some tonight.
Why: Sure, there are some guys (okay, maybe just a few) that like to please their ladies more than they like to be pleasured themselves. But by allowing him to do things to you and then holding out when it’s ‘his turn,’ you’re bestowing upon yourself one of the worst labels a collegiette™ can have: a tease. Without an explanation from you, the fact that you’re letting him skip some bases with you leads him to believe you’re comfortable doing the same with him.
Do: Stop him before things get even hotter and heavier and tell him that you aren’t quite ready to take that step.
Why: If a guy can’t respect you’re morals (especially when it comes to the bedroom), he’s not worth trying to keep around, anyway. Tell him the truth about why you’ve been holding out, though, and he could be more understanding of how you feel. Plus, letting him in on your thoughts about the subject may make you two closer and more comfortable with each other.

So, collegiettes, now it’s time to spill. Have you ever been guilty of playing mind games on your guy? How did it turn out?

Sarah Weinberg is a student at San Diego State University, Class of 2012. She is attempting to overcome her aversion to multitasking as she pursues courses in Liberal Studies, Spanish, and Journalism. Sarah has always been interested in the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of the fashion and lifestyle industry with journalism being a prominent prospective path. Now, much of the time that she should spend working on homework and writing papers is instead spent pouring through magazines and lusting over ridiculously priced shoes, impeccably styled pictorials, and the glamorous lifestyles of the cover models. It isn’t unusual to find Sarah baking (anything with a large amount of chocolate), traveling (last stop: summer abroad in Granada, Spain), playing in her closet (never too old to play dress up), or hanging out with friends and family (how cute and cliché). She is currently a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista.com and is thrilled to become a writer for Her Campus.
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