Is Your Leo Man Playing Mind Games with You? (15 Things to Observe About Him)

Last updated on May 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Of the zodiac signs, Leo is an actual catch, particularly their men. Often the cock of the walk, these guys have that boyish charm and that sense of mischief women find hard to resist. He is a master with words, especially when he’s trying to impress you. If you like to have fun, this sun sign won’t ever let you down.

On the flip side, the very things that make the modern-day Leo man so alluring also make him quite adept at playing mind games. He’s a primal being, which can sometimes make it hard to tell if he’s just being a Leo or straight out manipulating you. However, knowing what signs to look for can go a long way to help demystify his motives towards you.

So, is your Leo man playing mind games with you? If you’re with a Leo man and have been trying to make sense of things between you lately, this article is definitely for you.


Is Your Leo Man is Playing Mind Games with You? 

1. Breadcrumbing

A Leo man lives for the thrill of conquest, which is perhaps unsurprising, given a lion represents his zodiac sign. Despite his addiction to the hunt, though, he doesn't mind playing the long game. He can and will bench you while in a whole other relationship, then feed you crumbs of attention to make it look like you’re in the game. 

Hints at potential by flirting and saying thoughtful things sometimes, but that's about it. Whether or not you know about the other woman doesn't stop him from playing mind games, either. Not knowing makes you think what little of him you get is all he can offer right now, when he has, in fact, been stringing you along the whole time.

And if you were in on his micro-cheating ways from the jump, he'll have the perfect excuse when you complain: he never committed to anything with you.

2. You're constantly on and off

you're constantly on and off

Running hot and cold is a classic sign that someone in the equation is playing games. A Leo man finessing you will chase and woo you like you’re the wellspring of his life force, but the subsequent silence can be just as loud. It's never steady with him but never quite over and done either. 

Some random evening, his name is going to pop up on your phone again, asking to catch up like you've not just gone so long without talking. The worst part? You can be mad as hell before you pick his call, but once you get talking, most of the negative energy just seems to dissipate.

 You'll answer his questions, ask about him too, before you know it, you're back on even though you swore the last time was his final chance.

3. You can never tell where you stand

Like the lion he is, your Leo man cannot resist control as a quality in a woman. Never mind what leads you to finally take charge of your emotions and life in general, as long as Mr. Leo can sniff dominance on you, you are golden. No matter how long it’s been since he went MIA, he will try to make up and treat you all sorts of right again. 

However, as a player, he’ll never quite put all his cards on the table. Even while he's currently running hot, he'd never let you put him in a box. All you are ever sure of are your feelings for him and maybe what you make him feel in the moment. As soon as he's had his fill of whatever trait of yours his ego needed, you are made aware yet again just how complicated your relationship with this guy really is.

4. Knows exactly what to say to come back every time

Almost as if he plans it. Leo men are addictive and easy to love, if you are really into him, you might even be the one listing all the reasons you should take him back. But even when he crosses a line, he’s so good with words that charming people is like second nature to him, especially if he stands to gain from it. 

Goes straight for your buttons, too, which makes his M.O as dynamic as your varying moods. And no, that doesn't make you gullible, he's just good enough to know the blend of the ideal things to say vs. what you need to hear, so it's never all truth or all lies, just the right thing. 

5. You relate primarily to his terms

The thing about guys who play games is that they need to be the ones calling the shots. They are at their best when they hold the strings to every puppet in the show. He wants what he wants when he wants it, if he doesn't need (or want) something, you may as well be just another girl.

There’s a limit to how random you two can be as a couple unless it’s his idea. When you think about it, you realize all his abstract rules seem to somehow don’t apply to him. For instance, not dropping by at his place unannounced, but he has no problem showing him at yours without calling first.

6. There's a pattern to his withdrawal

A Leo man may not necessarily chase you continuously forever, but he will persist as long as you remain a mystery to him. He talks a big game about wanting all the loving but, god forbid, you actually drop the ball and stop holding back because that would be too easy, and you’d become a snooze. 

This is a Leo guy's nature, something he consciously has to work at when he falls in love for real. With mind games, though, you never know. Depends on why he's doing it in the first place and how much is at stake. All in all, you’ll find that the best way to keep his interest is by portion control.

7. His actions contradict his words

his actions contradict his words

Leo men generally talk a big game when they want you. While their eloquence and charm may have contributed to their being the most popular of the signs, it says a lot that they do better numbers as a crush than as lovers. Like I said, they are easy to fall for, it’s in the follow-through that complications always arise, especially when they are playing games.

You can’t always judge someone’s feelings and intentions by what they say, plus men generally suck at expressing themselves verbally anyway. All the more reason why it’s important to listen to the things they aren’t saying too. If you notice a pattern of inconsistencies in your relations, along with other signs, there’s your tell.

8. He gaslights you

Players can’t help gaslighting their victim, even ones as good at it as a Leo male. No matter how slick he is, you’ll be pushed to call him out on his inconsistencies at some point, and to save face, he may make you believe it’s all in your head.

It can be so bad that you start questioning your own reasoning. Like you’re overthinking or projecting your past relationship failures on him since he always has explanations at the ready.

9. He seems to enjoy provoking your jealousy

Leo is practically royalty among the signs, and if your man is one through and through, he’ll usually have a flock of admirers about him. While the lion king is usually loyal when he finally finds his match in a woman, he can also leverage the attention he gets to press your buttons if he’s playing games.

A manipulative Leo male will flirt with other women or do things to hint at being involved with them, even when he isn’t, just to make you jealous. When that happens, it’s likely his need for admiration plus a dash of strategy at work.

10. …Yet loses it when he sees you with other men

Interestingly, for someone so petty he’ll readily toy with your emotions to prove a point, this guy is also quite possessive. He starves of his attention all the time but then gets green with jealousy when other men (appear to) fill his shoes.

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This is because Leo men don’t always play games out of spite. Besides the rush, they do it to sniff out those who really have what they are looking for. 

More often than not, they are merely creating a challenge for themselves when they play hard to get, not that they are not interested. So, when some guy’s presence threatens his game, he instinctively reacts.

11. You almost always reach out first

If your dynamic is such that you always have to go to him first on default, but then he love-bombs you on select periods, he probably has an angle. He’s the best boyfriend to have on Valentine’s day, always gets you an anniversary gift, even treats you like a queen on the birthdays he remembers.

Yet somehow, the energy almost always dies down along with the accolades. Every other day between the special ones, you’re the one who calls, texts, and makes plans first. If you don’t do the work, you might as well be single until the next special day on the calendar.

12. Negging

Negging is another way a Leo man might finesse you, and this one has very little to do with already being in a relationship with him. In case you are not familiar with the term, it’s basically giving backhanded compliments.

He’s not insulting you per se, but it feels a lot like it. The idea of negging is to undermine your confidence and make you want his approval. It’s a pretty toxic thing to do, but I wouldn’t put it past a Leo man with an agenda.

13. You often feel shut out of his life

you often feel shut out of his life

At first, the mystery is the Leo man’s allure, being with him despite not knowing much about him is exciting. But then, when he goes under the radar (again), with enough time and space away from his magnetic pull, you realize just how little you actually know of him.

He knows all there is to know about you (mostly because you volunteer without him asking), but the vulnerability/secrets sharing train only goes way with you two, and it's hardly ever in his direction.

14. He keeps you apart from his pride

Still, along with the previous point, has your Leo man introduced you to his buddies yet? Would his circle rate you as high on his plate as he’s leading you to believe? You’ve been going at it for a while now, even if it’s not serious enough to get the parents involved yet, his close friends should at least know you.

His reluctance to introduce you to his other world when it totally stands to reason might be because he’s a different person with them than he is with you. And if your suspicions are correct, he’d sooner string you along than expose himself like that. 

15. Something doesn't quite add up with him

He's a charmer, probably one of the best you've had in the sack. Can be really sweet when he wants to be, and every so often, he gives you a taste of edgy romance. You get the usual highs and lows they say every relationship has, and yet, it doesn't feel like just that. 

Being with him is like a perfectly rehearsed performance, but he gets slightly off when caught off-guard. Your instincts tell you some things aren't right, even though most of us don't make sense of such gut feeling until, well, later.


Do Leos like to play mind games?

Yes, Leos play mind games all the time. In a relationship, they like to play hard to get to see who will stick around. They also love to be the center of attention and may resort to manipulative ways to make it happen.

How do you tell if a Leo man is playing you?

A Leo man will likely play you to boost his ego, so your relationship will mostly run on his terms. He will make you feel loved and seen pretty quickly, then withdraw just as fast when he gets bored. He's mostly inconsistent until he wants something from you or stands to gain some accolade.

How do you know if a Leo man wants you back?

A Leo man who wants you back will make you realize you were never the problem because he'll suddenly know how to act right. Untrue to form, he'll pull all stops from professing his undying feelings to arranging grand romantic gestures to get you back.

What qualities does a Leo man look for in a woman?

Leo men are deeply attracted to confidence in a woman. They like a woman who fits their status, so they appreciate a lady who can dress and carry herself regally. They also like it when you present a challenge for them instead of making yourself readily available as they are chasers by nature.

How do you know if a Leo man is serious about you?

An average Leo man is a possessive lover, so he’ll be prone to bouts of jealousy if he’s into you. Though he tends to hold back a lot, if he’s sure about you, he’ll shower you with affection and be more vulnerable around you. You’ll also get to experience the famous Leo loyalty, and he’ll do anything for your approval.

To Conclude

So, is your Leo man playing mind games with you? I mean, if being inconsistent is the only consistent thing in your relationship with this guy, he already checks most boxes on this list. But then, don’t forget that signs often have more than one plausible meaning, so look very well before you leap. As always, feel free to engage me in the comments and share this post if you liked it.

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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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