It's one thing to play hard to get. It's quite another thing entirely to make her doubt whether you are even remotely interested in her. Trust me, guys. It's 2020, no one has time for time wasters.
A relationship is no place for encouraging insecurity. It's meant to console and support that! The urge to be anxious will never go away entirely, and it's silly to hope that it will, but a relationship should foster more productive, healthy ways of dealing with life.
It should not in any way cause more problems than it seeks to stop.
If it does, something has gone wrong.
And guys, I'm not being funny here, but you are generally less emotionally aware, or more inclined to veer towards emotional manipulation on the other end of the spectrum.
You seem to struggle to find a happy medium between the two, but I'm here to set you right. If you don't buck up and start to reflect on the consequences of your actions (and/or indifferences) when you will soon find yourself up a creek with no paddle.
Here are a couple of toxic behaviours that you may recognise in yourself that are signs of a waning relationship.
You will lose her if she feels underappreciated.
If she comes back from a tough day at work at the tail end of a super stressful week and you charge in expecting food on the table and a clean house, take a minute.
Think and reflect about what internalised gender roles you are imposing upon her and perpetuating. Don't take her presence for granted if she's been as busy as you, if not more.
Another thing, if you expect her to just tag along with whatever group hang event you have with your friends and call that 'date night', you've got another thing coming.
You have to make time for her! Not just squeezing her in when it is convenient for you. Relationships are a two way street and it can't be one person doing all the pushing all the time.
That will cause one person to be more emotionally invested than the other.
Asymmetrical relationships are the worst.
One person has nothing tying them to the relationship, and the other is much too invested. It's lose-lose.
Furthermore, never assume that you are owed anything, or due anything, relationships aren't a battle or something to be won. There is no game, you can't 'play' hard to get.
That's just being a jerk or a poor communicator, or just plain childish. If you're too mature to answer back or take her phone calls when she needs you, she'll stop calling.
If you don't appreciate her time, effort, job or her life as much as your own, then she will recognise this. We aren't stupid guys, we recognise more patterns of behaviour than you!
You get out of a relationship what you put in, so commit to it. Stop flirting with other girls at pubs, or fawning over her best friends if she's communicated to you that it makes her uncomfortable.
Boundaries exist for a reason.
If you ignore hers, no matter how much you disagree with them, then don't be surprised if you lose her. Clearly, you show no respect for her personal issues or values, so what benefit is your presence to her? None.
Think about it like Marie Kondo – as soon as you no longer spark joy or bring anything to her life, you're out. If she feels underappreciated or ignored, or not a priority, you can't blame her for wanting out.
You're lucky to have her so you'd better hope that she feels the same – if not, make a change. Make an effort to appreciate her to be able to keep her.