How do you become the relationship prize?
Two different approaches:
The best, safest, most genuine, more fulfilling and even strongest way is always by improving yourself and being an overall great person.
But of course, some don’t like the hard work of the holistic approach and instead resort to dark psychology and relationship power games.
This article deals with relationship power plays.
How My Ex Set Herself Up As The Prize
Here is how one of my exes; power play to set herself up as the relationship prize:
My first girlfriend, whom we’ll call A, had a very traumatic breakup with her first boyfriend, whom we’ll call “EX”.
Splitting up took a big emotional tool on A and she lost the childhood “feeling of home” after that.
EX took full advantage of it whenever he saw fit (read: whenever he wanted to bust a nut). He kept re-entering G’s life and caused the breakup of two of her new relationships.
Sometimes he re-entered -pun intended- her life sexually and sometimes sexually and in emotionally destructive fashion (very weak of him BTW).
One evening my ex was talking to me about EX and I told her I didn’t want to hear about him at that time.
Sensing that I was a bit peeved about the topic, she replied cheering me up:
Her: But you should be happy: you won!
It was the first time I heard that, but not the last.
Now, what does that actually says?
The True Meaning Behind Her Power Play
When a woman communicates to you, directly or indirectly, that you “won” over the competition, she is doing two things:
- Implying that she’s in demand
- Setting herself as the prize of the relationship
In my example, it was very direct.
But some other times, it can be more indirect.
Some examples are:
“I prefer you”
Yes, it’s a way of complimenting you, and yes, it does raise your value (somewhat).
But it raises your value comparing you to other men who were in the running.
She’s still the chooser among several candidates.
And the one who chooses is always the prize in the relationship.
Furthermore, there’s often a darker side implied in the contest power move. And that’s: are those other men really out of the running or should you stay watchful?
The “contest power play”, as I will dub him is a weak form of triangulation, which is a very nasty mind game women play.
At the end of the day, you’re never in the best position when you get compared to others.
And of course, it’s not a great dynamic for the relationship either.
Consequences of “Contest Power Plays”
Contest power plays are so obvious that even clueless me of more than a decade ago could see it from a mile away.
It bothered me and it only ended up taking points away from her.
Whenever a girl uses the competition of other men to become the prize in a relationship, she’s not doing anybody a favor.
Not to the relation, not to you and, ultimately, she’s undermining herself too.
Here’s what it says about her:
- She thinks you’re so dumb you’ll be proud for “winning”
- Such low level power plays says bad things about her IQ
- Using exes and other men as power plays is rather low
- It might be a sign of insecurity
- Power plays or building a great relationship: you can’t have both. What is she focusing on?
Overall, it’s a move that a low quality woman would do.
Reacting to Relationship Prize Power Plays
And here’s what you do when she tries to become the prize of the relationship with a contest power move.
- Ask her why she’s comparing you to her exes or to other men
- Go meta (ie.: explain what she’s doing)
- Show what the proper way of behavior is through your values
In this case, it’s something like this:
I’m not really comfortable with you saying that.
I feel you are stacking me up against exes and making a contest out of it. I have no interest in being part of a competition of winners and losers.
We are together now, and I hope in the future as well. And that’s what matters.
I see relationships as collaborations to be better… together. and as much as I am very glad we ended up together, I also believe you won as well.
And unless you’re curious or it’s relevant to the topic, I have no interest in discussing my exes with you. T
his relationship is about you and I, and I wanna keep it that way. My exes have no part in it.
I’d like if it were the same on your side.
Now that will actually shame her.
She will likely backtrack and make excuses.
And that’s good.
Albeit strong and critical, your message is a collaborative one and the best way of approaching relationships.
Does she drop the BS going forward? Great.
If not, well… You might want to re-assess your relationship.
Nasty Relationship Prize Games
The “contest power play” is annoying.
And yet, it’s not the worst kind of relationship power play.
It sets her up as the prize of the relationship but does so by raising your value and complimenting you.
And that’s inherently a “kinder” type of relationship power play.
But there are of course far nastier power moves that women (or men) use to set themselves up as the prize of the relationship.
Some of them include:
- Threatening to end the relationship (breakup threats to keep him on his toes);
- Devaluing his efforts and her life with him (hints he’s not being enough for her, also read female relationship control)
- Lowering his self-esteem (to keep him dependent on her approval, this is the nastiest side of soft power)
- Raise jealousy (= “look at how many options I have, I’m the real prize here”
Discussing every single one here would transform this article into a book, but as you can see we have already covered many of these so you can browse around a bit.
Otherwise, I have actually written a book about that, and it’s called, you’d never guess, “dating power dynamics“.
However, I want to leave you with a quick final warning that is very important.
Here is a quick way to differentiate between the two:
- Games to make you value her more without pushing you down are “kinder” types of games
- Games that bring you down are poisonous and toxic
You can try to educate women who play the first kind of relationship power plays.
But you should be very watchful for the second types and consider dropping her if you spot them in more than one instance.
Because that’s emotional abuse.
As an example for the second, nastier types of relationship power plays, you can watch this video analysis of Elon Musk’s relationship:
More Relationship Power Plays
And here are more articles on dating and relationship power plays for you:
- Forum pictorial: I’m the prize: maneuvering seating position and he dances like a monkey
- Mind games men play
- Make him obsessed about you
- One-upping (combative relationships)