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Love Games - How To Avoid Becoming Emotionally Controlled

Updated on January 7, 2010

Your partner's so in love with you, they want to know everything you do - or are they just playing mind games? Too many people think they're in the perfect relationship, but then realize that things aren't as pleasant as they might believe.

They end up stuck with someone because of emotional blackmail, partners who take advantage of their weaknesses, and all kinds of other problems. People engage in this kind of manipulation for all kinds of reasons.

Some lack self esteem and get it back by bringing other people down. Some aren't doing it deliberately. Still others get a kick out of manipulating the people who love them.

No matter what, you need to know the signs and avoid people who'll take advantage of you. Here's what you should know.

  1. Know your limits and your ideals. Most relationships aren't going to live up to the idea of perfection, but you should still know what you're looking for, and what you will and won't take from a lover. Stand your ground, and don't let someone else push you in directions you're not willing to go.
  2. Maintain your own identity. One of the biggest signs that someone is playing those love games is when they don't want you to see your friends anymore. Controlling people don't like the idea that their partners might have contact with someone else, so they do their best to isolate the people who love them most. Be yourself, keep your own friends, and make sure you have your own interests.
  3. Talk to others about what's going on in your relationship. You don't have to get down into all the details, but you should have someone to confide in about your joys and your problems. An outside ear can help you spot the signs that you're being controlled.
  4. Don't get wrapped up in someone else. Sure, it's fine to love them, and make them an important part of your life. But when your happiness depends on someone else's approval, you're setting yourself up for victim hood. Make sure you can be fulfilled just by being yourself
  5. Keep close watch. If you suspect something's wrong, start paying attention to how your conversations go. Distance yourself from the things that are being said and think about what they really mean. You might be able to spot manipulative tactics this way.

Tips & Warnings

Don't let things slide. You don't need to make a huge fuss every time something goes wrong, but you should be smart enough to bring up your relationship problems.

Get help if you don't know what to do. Once you find out you're being played with, it can be hard to figure out what's next. Don't bottle it up and assume it'll work out - get help from a close friend or your family.

Pay close attention at the beginning of a relationship. If your partner seems a little too perfect, that might be a clue that something's not quite right.

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