A player is usually very deceptive and manipulative. When one enters your life, you could be forgiven for believing that they are a gift from heaven– and that is exactly what they want you to think. Sadly this thin veil of deception often hides low self worth, an inability to form secure attachments, and inevitably, heartbreak when the deception is exposed. He sexualizes the conversation immediately. This means that within the first minute of a conversation the man takes it into immediately obvious sexual territory. This doesn’t mean that he makes a direct proposition; rather he tries to get the conversation to center around sexual themes. A major red flag.
People who have been single for a long time, are lonely or are struggling with their own self-esteem are particularly vulnerable to falling for a player but really no-one is exempt. Here are some of the main warning signs that can help you spot a one of these slippery characters if you are unfortunate enough to date one.
In the beginning….
The beginning of a relationship with a player will usually feel like a whirlwind and you may be knocked off your feet by their charm, enthusiasm and interest in your life. They will work hard to make you believe, very quickly, that your life has no value without them.
They will endeavour to be in your life right away, helping with problems and offering to be there for you in all sorts of situations. Before long they are in the centre of your life and being charming, endearing and overly helpful with other people as they try to ingratiate themselves with your family and friends too. Look out for boasting, unsubstantiated claims, a lack of information about themselves and flashy or grandiose plans – if it all seems too good to be true, it probably is.
As time goes on…
The aim of a player is to win your affection, and the marker they use to judge that this is happened is often that the relationship has become sexual – they have made their conquest. For others, it’ll be when you say you love them or, in extreme cases, agree to marry them. Whatever the challenge is, once it is achieved, the tide can turn very suddenly as he or she backs off and you are left wanting. This will turn the tables and you may find yourself spending more money, time, energy and effort than you normally would to lure them back, maybe even compromising your own principles and standards to do so. You might also start to realise that you don’t really know very much about them – like where they live or work – and when you start to check out the things they’ve told you, none of it really seems to stand up.
Why are people players?
Most players are looking for a fix for their fragile ego. They will say all the things you want to hear and will feel euphoric with your response because their ego will have got its much-needed feelings of power and control. Fundamentally, they are scared and feel unlovable so they are drawn to have many intense, short relationships rather than longer, more sustained attachments that would expose their vulnerability.
By using their charm, wit and skill to lure you into their trap they will get a temporary feeling of happiness which, like an addict who needs a fix, gives them relief, which soon wears off. They then feel compelled to leave and repeat the whole process again with their next victim – the thrill of the chase; the euphoria in succeeding; the downer when it wears off and the compulsion to do it again even if they are aware that their behaviour is damaging to themselves and those whose lives they touch.
In the end…
The world is full of players – in politics, industry and the arts as much as in everyday life. To a certain extent we are all playing, trying to negotiate relationships and situations so that we get our needs met.
A player in the romantic arena is a different matter because they are playing with people’s hearts and emotions and exploiting people’s vulnerability to get what they want. No one wants to be left feeling like a fool and the fear of this stops many people from dating at all.
A much better strategy would be to learn to not give your heart away because someone flatters you and makes you feel a million dollars. Take time to get to know them and listen to your intuition. If someone is overly brash, confident, pushy or asks you to do anything that you feel uncomfortable about – e.g. loaning them money when you have just met – don’t be afraid to cut them lose.
Guarding against being tempted by a player is a tricky business. Many of them have far more experience penetrating your defenses than you ever know. He knows just what to say. A man who always knows the right thing to say, the right line to make you laugh or smile, is a man with an abundant amount of experience with women. A minor indicator by itself.
The important thing to know is that you might even be a “good woman”, or even a “good Christian woman.” You may even believe that fornication is a sin, and that pre-marital sex is wrong, and you are saving yourself for your husband… wearing a promise ring, But it doesn’t matter. Against such a man, without an external moral source, you cannot prevail…Players are like thieves. You have to run for your life.
1) Use the buddy system. Whenever possible, when in a location where players might be present, go with a friend or two. Then stick with one another at all times. Players need to get you alone with them in order to really pull off their seduction. If they can’t get you alone, you have largely thwarted them. Remember, there is safety in numbers.
2) Don’t get isolated. While it might be ok to go a corner in a larger room, avoid leaving a crowded room for an empty one. Always have other people present, especially your friends.
3) Guard your phone number. Don’t give out your phone number to a man you’ve just met. Even better, don’t give it out until you have heard about the character of the guy from other, older women and from male friends and family. Same with e-mail.
4) Get a second opinion. In line with the previous bit of advice ask others about a man before agreeing to meet him in the future. Don’t ask your peers this, but instead older women and male friends and family.
5) Stick to public places. Until you have a better idea of a man’s character, only agree to meet him in a public place, like a café or a park. And make sure that the meeting is during the day or early evening. For early evening encounters, always set a hard time that you will need to leave by.
6) Never go to an unknown place with a man. If you aren’t familiar with a place, don’t go there with a man you hardly know.
7) NEVER GET DRUNK. EVER. Nothing has caused more women to lose their virginity or end up HIV positive in a few decades than alcohol. Drink soft drinks Never get drunk on deadly drinks.
8) Wear modest and feminine clothing. Players prefer to target easy marks. So don’t appear to be one. If you want to draw the attention of good men, and not players, wear clothing that good men would expect good women to wear.
9) Maintain a healthy distance. Keep some space between you and men you don’t know well. This reduces the rate at which they build comfort, and makes it more difficult for them to trap you in. Also, don’t let a man you’ve just met touch you anywhere other than the hands. Reserve hugs for women and men you know like your brothers. And even if you’ve known a man for a while, in order to avoid the temptation to hook up with an acquaintance who happens to be a player, do not participate in even mild sexual contact, such as making out, with any man to whom you are not married to...