Should you play games with love? The answer is a qualified “yes.” There are two kinds of games when it comes to relationships–power games and playful games. Sadly, it’s very easy to cross over from one side to the other.

In a relationship, power games are based upon control. They as common at work as they are at home. What are some of examples?  How about bullying, withholding information, guilt trips, “getting even”, threatening, abandonment, or even teasing games?  In my world, if there was a nasty-meter to rate power games, those that are physically abusive rank at the top although extreme mental cruelty isn’t far behind. The difference in power games in the workplace is that there is actually a greater chance of a reprimand than at the home front.

I’d say that the DMZ zone between playful games and power games is teasing. The Oxford definition of a tease is, “A person who makes fun of someone playfully or unkindly.” That’s a big swing, isn’t it?  The definition of someone who is playful means, “Fond of games and amusement in a lighthearted way.”

In the games of love, much more than in games of business, sentiments run high and feelings are sensitive. Even the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” may not be sufficient in a relationship. For example, if one person was raised in an atmosphere of love, but constant teasing, that person is “thick skinned” and can take a teasing with no problem. However, if that person’s partner has sensitive feelings or insecurities, even light hearted teasing is may be too much. Keep this paradigm when you play. Empathy goes a long way in Dating for Life.

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