this is fascinating, i gotta weigh in: i am a case in point: bad childhood, spent my early adulthood needy. i bet you know how that worked out. finally i manned up, said hell with it and sort of got an edge. it drives women CRAZY, i mean flipping crazy. they can tell they don't control you and never will. their is something inherent in them that must at least try to control us and they will do ANYTHING to try to do it. that's why girlfriends are crazy fun and turn into, well, wives. i'm not a particularly atrractive man, either. its all a mental game, like it or not.
I don't disagree that many relationships are focused on mental games such as you describe. But don't fool yourself. Not all relationships are focused on mental games. Some are focused on things such as mutual respect and love, and that happens to be the type that I prefer.