Fight Back Against Manipulative Daters

Break Through the Mind Games!

One of the biggest problems with manipulative dating is that it’s done without your awareness. Today, we’re going to bring these actions out into the open, where we can discuss your options. On occasion, your best defense is to remove yourself from the toxic person. However, some manipulators behave the way they do, because you’ve made it easy for them. If you are unknowingly reinforcing their behavior, the good news is that these relationships can be salvaged. In this article, we will discuss the most prevalent tactics of manipulation, how to identify them, and what you can to do to defend yourself against them.


Dating partners who deliberately belittle in attempts to control you, are one of the worse types of manipulators. These people may say you’re not worthy of their company, or may be more subtle, as in telling you, “You’ll never find a man/woman willing to put up with you like I do.” Your best defense is to give these people clear consequences for their actions. These people thrive from your reinforcement of accepting their insults without fighting back. Instead, make it clear what will happen if they continue to act or say things that are demeaning to you. However, you must follow through with your threat. These partners will never treat you as an equal, unless you put the same amount of pressure on them to change, as they do for you to conform.

Guilt Imposers

Partners who manipulate relationships by guilt, understand they have a strong hand when dealing with a person of a caring nature. They may claim their problems are your fault, making you feel like you have to put up with them, otherwise they will be placed in an even worse position than they already are. In a sense, they are telling you that by going out with them, you have become indebted to their happiness. The best way to deal with this kind of guilt is to appeal to the person’s self-image. Lay out the terms, telling them that you’re sorry they’re going through a tough time, but you need a strong partner who can take care of themselves. If that doesn’t bring them around, they are not ready to accept responsibility for their own life, and you’re better off without them.

Love Burglars

Manipulative daters sometimes use conditional love to shape the tendencies of their partner. Whenever you do what they want, they will offer kindness, attention, and love. However, the moment you fail to reach their expectations. They take it away, demanding you to relinquish to their terms. Your defense is not to fall for the inclination to give-in to make things better. If you give into their fits, even just once, they will learn that the best way to manipulate what they need, is by using love as a bargaining tool.

Up and Downers

These manipulative daters often fear intimacy, so they maintain a balancing act of both good and bad moments throughout the relationship. This keeps things from escalating to a commitment. The reason this works is because the sad times influence a partner with low self-esteem to accept the poor treatment in order to regain the favor of their lover. The good times reinforce their commitment, by strengthening their belief that they must be in a blissful relationship. While you may not always be happy, you should never feel you have to beg for your partner’s forgiveness to reap a small reward. Your best defense is to remind yourself that a person who intentionally hurts you, it not worth your time. Take advantage of their next low, and find somebody else.

Promise Breakers

These manipulators get what they want by making promises they won’t keep. They’re not all bad, as some just like the attention, or don’t have the backbone to tell a guy/girl they’re not interested. Their intention may be there, but when it comes time to deliver, there isn’t enough motivation to get the job done. In defense, you should never loan anything of value to someone you don’t know. In addition, when in doubt you should ask for the promise prior to holding up your end of the bargain. For example, if a partner promises not to lie if you take them back, tell them that you will, but first they must regain your trust. This is one way to establish consequences for their actions, while giving them the opportunity to avoid punishment in the future, by proving to be genuine with their commitments.

Avoiding manipulation can be difficult, as its core design is to be imposed without your awareness. However, if you are unhappy in your relationship, and do not feel secure with your partner, there’s a chance someone’s intentions are not as honorable as they should be. Use these tips to catch them in the act before it’s too late.

21 thoughts on “Fight Back Against Manipulative Daters

  1. Cindy

    Enough time has gone by where I can look at my comments and realize that I was an
    Not really sure what I was thinking for that year and a half but sure glad I feel free of all of the drama and yes I did get sucked into it and I did respond to his texts and emails with a lot of hate on my part. I just wanted to hurt him as much as he was hurting me. It just became one horrible ride that we couldn’t seem to get off of. I just couldn’t seem to let it go until I had it figured out. Some things just don’t need to be understood I guess. So good luck to everyone going through anything like that. We all deserve to be happy and treated with respect. My biggest regret is that I sank to his level of meanness.. Very happy now though 🙂

  2. Cindy

    OMG….I fell for it again…same guy….Christmas Eve. Just when you think there is no way you would ever take them back…you deserve better….they come back with that psyco sweet personality. They are very good at what they do or they are just naturals at it and don’t even realize it. I am so mad at myself and can’t seem to express to him how much of a low life he is…in texts and emails of course. A narcissist wouldn’t sit still to listen to anything that may be wrong with them. It is NEVER their fault…nothing is. I’ve learned my lesson this time. What a controlling egotistical pig. Makes me question everything he has told me over the last year and a half.. All lies I’m sure. I’m the one he wanted to marry, He loves me soooo much…blah blah blah and then I see a picture of him with someone else on Christmas Day…Hmmmm…He told me to give him time to break the news to her that I was the one for him because he didn’t want to hurt her….she is soooo nice…UGH……As soon as I told him that I don’t share he was the freaky physco again.
    Sooo after I told him he looked like a fat, white beached whale and all he is is a washed up has been ex football player who never learned how to be a good human being I think he got the point.
    Hope so…She can have him…

  3. Cindy

    Well said Suzanne…and good for you for realizing and taking responsibility for your part in the situation. Good luck to you and God Bless.

  4. Suzanne Preston

    After deep soul searching I had to come to terms with my own behavior. I became divorced a few years ago because I thought that everything was my ex’s fault. It was not. It was me aswell as him but it made me feel better to fully blame my former mate. I disliked his family for no valid reason. I realize now that I felt threatened by them. I did not want them to know that I was also a manipulator. I would not have any contact with them and forbid my husband to have visits with them. Now that I have been receiving therapy for two years, I realize the mistakes that I have made but it is too late. I lost my husband and he has lost his health and is in a facility. Life is precious, and we have to all play a part in relationships before all is lost.

  5. Cindy

    After reading over some of the other comments I have to say something….These Narcissistic manipulators are sick people. They usually don’t even know it themselves. It’s all about them.
    And to “Bright’s” comment. There is a big difference between staying with someone and not expecting your happiness to come from them and staying with someone who is sucking the very life out of you. That is what they are. They beat you down and crush your spirit and try to make you feel like you are not worthy of anything better. Then when you have had enough they somehow throw in enough good “whatever” to get you back… God help anyone in one of these relationships. Nobody deserves to be treated this way. I think I kept going back because I had never been through anything like this before and I just had to figure out what had happened. And of course I am a people pleaser and a Narcissist does not take blame for anything so everything was always my fault. I knew it wasn’t but for some reason I couldn’t let it go until I convinced him it wasn’t. Well that was never going to happen. I could go on and on about the lies he told people about me and the ups and downs and his control freak attitude but what’s the point. I’m happy now. He is just a fading memory and that’s where it ends…..Thank God and Amen

  6. Cindy

    I totally got drawn into a relationship with someone like this. I was at my lowest point after losing my job and he came in like the knight in shining armor. He was sweet and kind and everything I thought I wanted. A month into the relationship he changed. He became controlling and manipulative and his words cut right to the bone. I left. His brother talked me into going back to him and give him another chance or it would have ended right there. It was a year of Hell….I still am trying to figure out what happened to that “nice” guy. Of course he never took any blame for anything. Either I was exactly what he wanted and the perfect woman or the next minute I was the “crazy bitch” because I would leave him when he treated me like crap. I am in a wonderful relationship now with someone very special but this other guy is like a malignant tumor in my head that just won’t go away… It’s getting better though thank God. So what is the difference between someone like this and a text book case Narcissist?

  7. Gin

    This article sparks many emotions inside of me. I’m just getting out of a very unhealthy relationship that went on way too long and I am unfortunately still in love with the guy. He does many of these manipulative actions mentioned here and I always thought that was normal for a relationship, even though I was always getting hurt. I can also admit that I have done a few of these as well as part of immaturity in the past but I’ve grown past it

  8. Gina

    The article was excellent!. I was in a 1year and 9mths relationship with a man who fits several of the manipulator type personalities that you described. I wish I had read this article when I first met him. I do recognize that I was in a toxic relationship. Every time I would let him know I was not going to put up with his hurtful behavior he would either get angry or turn it around so it can appear that I had the problem. He even had the audacity to tell me you never know what you lost until your well runs dry. I said to him in responce It’s a good thing my well is very abundant and very secure thanks. I’m healing happily. He’s moved on to the next woman.

  9. inthespirit

    This is one of the best descriptions of relationship problems I’ve read in many a year. Bookmark it and send it along to others.

  10. Themandthose

    I can see the person I loved in these points. I also see my own actions. I appreciate tess for admitting the same. If you can’t see your own part in the problem, then you may want to re-read this. There is always three sides to a story, his side, her side, and the truth.

    I think the point of reading this is to wake up to the ways we all use manipulation and are used by other people’s manipulation. Its not about making a judgement, it’s about becoming aware of the energies around us. It’s learning how to be intentional with our actions and learning to accept responsibility for the consequences those actions bring in our lives and the lives of people around us. We can be a catalyst for great and amazing change in everything around us when we realize that we are not at the mercy of someone or something outside ourselves.

  11. tess

    sooooo……….. I read this with intentions
    of sharing it…(with someone who is married)
    sadly or maybe not ….I saw myself here….
    I saw that subconsiously….I was each one of
    these …..the change is happening and I thank you

  12. bright

    I try to remember that even good relationships don’t mean that people are happy, happy all the time…i wouldn’t dump someone cuz they are not making me happy.

  13. Lynne

    This happened to me all of the above I left Broken hearted , twice I loved him very much but I refuse to live in someones misery

  14. Helo

    Great article! From my own experience I can tell that the best defense is removing yourself from whoever is toxic and manipulative, excepting positive criticism and manipulation. Negative manipulators and toxic personalities usually are incurable and irreversible in their negative paths. Needless to say, they do not have much to offer or share in a relationship, unless their negative loads. The question to ask yourself is, why would you like to put yourself with this in a roller-coaster timing??? Life is greater and better than this… Love yourself first.

  15. lil hammarstrom

    OMG this is so close to every thing that I have experienced & am trying to get away from.. I’ve had very bad relationships & keep falling back into the same trap. But now I am researching myself & trying to find out why I do this so I can correct my life & be happy

  16. Diane Crane

    Good blog. How about someone who expects you to be a BAGGAGE HANDLER ?? In other words, someone who has made their share of mistakes in earlier relationships, expects you to share in the guilt that this person may be feeling, and didn’t have the backbone to tell you way earlier in the relationship that he just wasn’t available, which would have been the honest approach.

  17. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    things to think about and watch for ,especially if you are just starting a new relationship…..

    the belittlers are , I think, are the worst in the bunch…..they usually have anger management issues too and can be abusive on many different levels.

  18. leen

    i think dis is the best way to catch dese manipulators.n if sumbody dont give u as much attention as u want den the best way is to leave dat relation before its too late.


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