You might think you’re outwitting your new love interest with the games that you play, but the loser is more likely to be you

Chinese whispers
Don’t talk your way out of a relationship. You might think bragging about your admirers, mentioning the cute new employee at work or alluding to the ex who’s still not over you will make them realise what a catch stands before them, but it’s more likely to have the opposite effect. Either they’ll wonder if there’s enough room in the relationship for the two of you AND your ego, or they’ll be put off by your very complicated-sounding love life. Your date will know if they’re attracted to you or not, so leave the chat about exes, cute colleagues and admirers until you know each other well enough to joke about it.

Unless you’re all extremely liberal, having more than one love interest at a time can cause heartache all around. Not only for the people you’re two-timing, who’ll feel betrayed when they find out and who are likely to run a mile, but for you too as you won’t be able to invest properly in either relationship. If two potentials come along at once, there’s nothing wrong with getting someone’s contact details so you can get in touch if you become single again. But if you’re tempted to two-time then you should ask yourself why. Perhaps neither person is quite right for you, in which case you’re better off staying single until someone you really like comes along.

Hide and seek
Waiting that bit too long to reply to texts, calls or emails is the oldest game in the book. If you leave them hanging then they’ll be extra keen when you do eventually get in touch, right? Wrong! In our digital age no one is ever far from their phone or their inbox so when you don’t get in touch they’ll know it’s because you’re playing a game. Or worse, they might think you’re seeing someone else which is bound to put them off. Similarly, you risk losing it all when someone else comes along and snaps them up in the time it’s taking you to hit reply.

I spy
If your date seems more interested in talking to the taxi driver than they are to you, then let it go. Jealous behaviour is not a way to show your date how much you like them but simply marks you out as insecure or possessive instead. Expect alarm bells to ring and, if they’re unsure of how they feel about you, this will make up their mind. If you genuinely feel they don’t like you enough then maybe this isn’t the right person for you.

Kiss chase
We all love being chased but the rules to this game are complicated. Coming on too strong can make you seem desperate or persistent, which is likely to make them leg it as fast as they can. So if someone doesn’t seem interested, leave them alone and let them realise how wonderful you are by themselves. Similarly, laying on the charm too thick in the beginning of a relationship leaves nothing to play for and might make your date doubt the sincerity of your words. By all means say what you feel, but leave off talk of future holidays, weddings or meeting the family until things are clearly more serious.