How To Tell If A Girl Is Playing With Your Emotions (31 Sure Ways To Know)

Last updated on July 11, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Is there a woman in your life giving you mixed signals? 

Does she often leave you wondering whether she's actually serious about dating you? 

Perhaps you're worried that she's playing with your emotions and has no intentions of taking things further. 

This is a horrible situation to be stuck in. No wonder you're looking for more information to clarify things.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to tell if a woman is only interested in playing with your emotions - and I have listed the most effective methods below. 

But, before we begin, I want to reveal the most surefire way of finding out what's going on behind the scenes with this mysterious woman. 

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This is the quickest and most effective way to see through and games she may be playing.

However, if you prefer, I have listed some more telltale signs below.


31 Ways To Tell If A Girl Is Playing With Your Emotions

Contrary to the long-held stereotype that men are the ultimate players, some women would give you a run for your money if there was a contest. How to tell if a girl is playing with your emotions? 

I’d say ask her, but would you say yes if you were in her position? Words are great, but they are not always the most reliable way to get the truth out of a person.

Actions, on the other hand, can say a lot, and more clearly too if you know what to look for. When a girl you like isn’t interested in much more than to wrap you around her fingers, you’d always notice the inconsistencies. It’s just that when feelings are involved, we tend to give a lot of benefit of the doubt and make excuses for the ones we like. 

However, if you find yourself having to do this a lot for your girl or the following points sound like I'm describing her, she's probably playing with your emotions.

1. She only reaches out first when she needs something

The rules here are simple; when a woman loves or likes you, she reaches out. One who is playing with your emotions, on the other hand, waits for you to call every time, except for when she wants something. It may not seem like such a big deal who texts first, but if it’s always you, it can be a sign she is playing with your feelings.

2. She doesn't ever suggest that you hang out together

Likewise, when a lady doesn’t really like you, spending time with you is likely not going to be her favorite thing. Women are usually good at putting on an act in situations like this, then they’ll make you feel better with enticing words later. 

But then, that takes mental energy she won’t always be in the mood to expend. So, she may not always say no when you ask her out, but you’d never hear her suggest hanging out together, let alone plan one.

3. She keeps postponing meetups

she keeps postponing meetups

Unfortunately, with a woman who is playing with your emotions, agreeing to meet up doesn’t even guarantee that you get to see. She leads you on by telling you what she thinks you want to hear, sometimes even backing it up with false promises to have the best of times. And just when she has you looking forward to a fantastic evening, she cancels at the last minute. Again.

4. She's unavailable, a lot

It’s bad enough if she always waits for you to reach out unless she needs a favor, but it also gets worse. You have your signs if, on top of the above, she’s never there when you need her. Girls who play this game understand that being unavailable only makes you want them more so they milk it for all it’s worth.

5. She never initiates sex

Most girls who play with a guy’s emotions have more options than he does. But they wouldn’t just drag along deadweight unless you serve some purpose for them. Nevertheless, if the purpose you serve isn’t sexual (probably because someone else does it better than you), she’d never initiate sex. You’d likely get a ‘no’ so many times you’d just be grateful when she says yes. 

6. She only wants sex

On the flip side, I hope you don’t believe the myth that women have no interest in having casual sex? Because newsflash: we do. Of all signs, this one may make you feel you hit the jackpot at first. 

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However, it becomes a source of worry when you start to catch feelings, and she still wants nothing more than to hook up. There’s no harm in not wanting more, but if she makes you believe that she does when her actions say different, she may be manipulating you emotionally.

7. She only acts right when faced with the possibility of losing you

Have you ever had enough of your girl’s inconsistencies that you actually considered ending things as they are? Let me guess, you expected her not to care as usual, but she responded with the kind of remorse you’ve never seen her express? 

Did she also promise to do better if you could be a little more patient with her? Yeah, women don’t want to lose someone who loves them.

8. You're seeing other people

If your relationship isn’t yet exclusive with one or both of you still seeing someone else, it’s best not to catch feelings if you don’t want more. You may make each other happy when you’re together, but as long as there are other people in the picture, it’s a sign that both or one of you isn’t serious yet.

9. She insists on keeping her options open

she insists on keeping her options open

It’s been a while since you two started dating and you are already considering taking things further, but she either avoids the DTR talk or remains vague about it. It’s never the right time to talk, she keeps saying she wants to stay friends and insists on waiting things out. Ring a bell? Yep, she certainly wants to bid time and keep her options open, and if she says otherwise while she continues dating others, she’s only manipulating you to stay.

10. She's a better partner over the phone than in person

Being behind a screen helps us convey exactly what we want the person on the other end to believe. When you’re not in the same physical space, all she has to do is string some words together to make you feel better and loved even. 

Your quirks don’t bother her so much from miles away because once she ends the call, you’re gone. If she has you thinking you’ve found your soulmate during texting but feels like a stranger when you meet in person, it could be a sign.

11. She keeps the conversation on the surface with you

If she plays with your heart, know she’s with you for a good time, not a long time. She’d gladly celebrate with you when you are doing great, but is usually nowhere to be found when you’re down. 

There’s no such thing as discussing health issues or student loans with her, but dirty, sweet, or money talks are welcome. You may also notice that your conversations are limited to your relationship, not much about you personally or herself. 

12. Your girl has no interest in what you do

Does your girl know nothing about your job and how you spend your spare time? Maybe she knows the position you hold at work and that you enjoy playing video games, but only because they came up in conversation since she never asks. This may be because she doesn’t invest much time getting to know you, so you're more like intimate acquaintances than friends.

13. She’s only excited about one thing in particular

It might be money, sex, or even your work. Whatever that stuff is in your case, she only lights up when you bring it up and goes dim the rest of the time. If she only warms up to you each time you give her what she wants, there’s a chance you are only as good to her as that benefits you offer.

14. She keeps you away from her friends and family

It’s one thing if she isn’t ready to introduce you to her friends or family, many people consider that step too big a deal to rush. 

However, it’s another thing if you’ve been going out for a while, and she still keeps your relationship a secret from her close friends and family members. 

15. She's all about her space

The need for personal space in a relationship is a genuine one, one that can lead to something lasting and healthy if you know how to keep the balance. However, the problem with someone who is only playing is that they do not care much for this balance. 

16. She holds more power in your arrangement

she holds more power in your arrangement

We don’t live in a black and white world, so expecting everything to be 50/50 all the time is unrealistic, at best. Even so, the power dynamic in a relationship shouldn’t always tilt towards one person. If you only talk, meet, make plans, or have sex on her terms, it might be time to consider whether she even sees you as an equal.

17. She keeps score

Love doesn’t keep score, but an emotionally manipulative person does. She’s all about collating points to use against you later when you don’t readily do what she wants. You may notice that she gladly reminds you of all she’s done for you whenever you fall short and routinely makes you feel guilty until she gets her way.

18. She occasionally does things that make you jealous

Does she flirt with other guys in the same way that attracted you to her? Does she bring up her ex occasionally, sometimes when the conversation doesn’t even have anything to do with him? Does she insist on seeing other people or doing things that make you green with jealousy? 

These are ploys to see if you’re still crazy about her and possible signs she’s only playing games.

19. She acts hot and cold

Does she make you feel great, loved, and treasured at some point, then suddenly act as if you don’t matter sometime after? You're at the center of her universe one second, and then she can’t stand you the next. You never know with her because she has the attention span of a toddler with you and warming her up once she’s gone icy feels impossible.

20. She gets jealous when you get too close to another girl

Again, that a lady doesn’t really want you doesn’t mean she wants other people to have you. If she’s toying with you, she may go from completely ignoring your existence to clinging to you any time she sees you getting too friendly with another woman. 

She can also express her jealousy in other ways, including ignoring you some more until you reassure her that she’s still the one for you.

21. You're insecure with her

you're insecure with her

It’s normal to become a little more self-conscious than usual when a new person comes along that you fancy. However, as you progress from strangers to seeing more of each other, things are supposed to ease up, not the other way round. 

If instead of becoming more comfortable with your partner, you’re constantly forced to stay on your best behavior lest she dumps you, something isn’t right.

22. She enjoys getting her ego stroked by other men

In your case, your girl might be the insecure one who gets her validation from guys’ attention. She acts right when she sees you pulling away but as soon as she’s back in your good graces, she moves to the next man. If she has done this more than one time, then that’s a pattern of someone who plays games.

23. She never posts you on social media

Along the same vein as not introducing you to her friends or even acknowledging that you two are an item, she probably won’t be posting pictures of you online either. Like I said earlier, women who play games usually do so in multiplayer mode, and putting you on her social media just complicates things with other prospects.

24. You never come first with her

If your emotions don’t go both ways, you will also see the signs that you are low-priority to her. You’d be the person she makes plans with, in case her first or second choice doesn’t work out. There’d be a lot of canceling, and several promises will be broken. Her excuses may hold water sometimes, but deep down, you know you just aren’t as important to her.

25. You don't know where you stand with her

She doesn't say no to your advances but is also always careful not to say yes. She’s adept at giving you breadcrumbs of emotions, letting some ‘moments of weakness’ slip just long enough for you to believe she’s into you too. She doesn’t want labels, and a part of you knows she’s leading you on, but because rejection isn't something you want anyway, you let her. 

26. More confusion on where you stand

Does she make you feel like her emotional rock when she needs someone to talk to but is in no rush to return the favor? She makes you feel as if you’re friends who can always help each other, but she’s the only person benefiting from that arrangement. Another problem is that these acts don't seem to mean as much to her as they do to you. There are probably other guys she calls for the same service. 

27. Romantic expressions from her are scarce

People play with others’ emotions for different reasons; material, sexual, professional, or just for the satisfaction of seeing that they can. For some, it’s a blend of all these reasons. Regardless of why she’s doing it, a player knows that rare commodities are valued more. 

So, if she routinely withholds the sweet nothings, hair rubs, and other things you enjoy until you’ve ‘earned’ it, she’s probably a pro.

28. She doesn't do long term plans

The signs can sometimes be as familiar as her never being comfortable with plans that go beyond a week. If she’s playing you, the last thing she wants is to tie herself down too far into the future. 

No matter how much fun she’s currently having with you, she’d want to be ready to move when a better offer comes along. If this sounds like your girlfriend, you might want to clear the air asap.

29. She doesn't care to meet your friends and family

If she avoids conversation about your or her personal life, doesn’t tell her friends about you, or shows any of the signs above, chances are she doesn’t want more. And if she isn’t interested in taking things further, what’s the point of meeting or liking your friends and family?

30. She's a different person with you in public

she's a different person with you in public

Are you daddy in the sheets but just one of her friends outside? Or in your case, she’s all-loving when people are watching but goes cold when you two are alone? This may be due to other reasons, but if you notice it alongside other signs, she may indeed be toying with your emotions.

31. Something doesn't just feel right

Finally, they say vibes don’t lie, so if you feel she’s playing games, trust those instincts. Your gut tells you that something isn’t quite right when you alone bear the brunt of what should be a partnership. It may not come in clear words as the signs you seek, but your instincts tell you she isn’t sincere all the same.


How do you know if someone is playing with your emotions?

The best way to know if somebody is only trifling with your emotions is to notice how invested they are in their relationship with you. If they only pay you any attention when they need something, or act nice when you pull away only to go back to their former ways, it’s a clue.

How tell if a girl is playing hard to get?

When a girl plays hard to get, she doesn’t call first and may take her time to text back. She wants you to notice her without acting desperate. She’d attend a party if she knows you’d be there but won’t talk to you unless you approach her.

How do you tell if a girl is scared of her feelings for you?

A girl who is afraid of her feelings for you might start an emotional conversation then change the subject. She wants to talk to you more frequently and begins to open up more than usual. You can tell from her body language that there is something more she wishes to say but can’t.

How do you tell if a guy has strong feelings for you?

A guy who has strong feelings for you doesn’t need games to want to stay in contact with you. He holds you in high regard, dotes on your every word, and respects your boundaries. His energy matches his words, and you don’t need a Ph.D. to figure out where his heart lies.

How do you tell if a guy is confused about his feelings for you?

A guy who is confused about his feelings might be close to you for a time then suddenly become distant. He may call more often and when you start to return the attention, he reaches out less. He may also be a little less composed than usual around you.

To Conclude

Now you know how to tell if a girl is playing with your emotions. Keep in mind that noticing these signs doesn’t mean your girlfriend is bad or good, they are merely reminders to get back on the same page or get out. If you liked the article, please leave a comment and let someone else benefit from it by sharing.

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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