Almost everyone who's actively dating complains about how much they hate to play games (and we're not talking Monopoly here). "Why doesn't he call more often?" or "If she likes me, why can't she just tell me?"
Yet just about every dater falls prey to game playing at one time or another. No matter how well a date went, they stall for the requisite three days before calling or put on a poker face rather than revealing any sort of emotion. Another kind of game involves old-fashioned manipulation, such as pledging your undying love just to get someone into bed or stringing several people along at once. These games often are futile attempts to protect fragile egos.
In some cases, playing games can pay off. Aloofness creates a sort of challenge that some people find irresistible. Games can backfire, though, especially if the other person has been through a bad break-up recently. Nursing their own memories of a broken heart, they can mistake your reticence for disinterest and ditch you fast.
It's OK to tread carefully when you're dating, but if you really like someone, being open and honest is your best chance of getting him or her to stick around.