I’ve seen women fall into disappointment time and time again with this type of guy. You’ve definitely met them and most likely dated one of them – he was probably fairly attractive, a good talker, fun to hang out with, and seemingly a great candidate for a relationship. He demonstrated great promise and potential. But once things got going well, he disappeared and moved on to the next girl, with little to no explanation. You find that most of the things about him that initially caught your interest were lies, carefully orchestrated to mislead you and betray your trust.
You might call this guy a player. You might call him dishonest or someone who “leads women on.” Whatever he is, there are plenty of them these days.
Quick note: I’m talking about a very specific type of guy and behavior here. Not all men behave this way, but the mindset I’m about to describe is a very common thought pattern that I have observed in men.
First, a definition.
To “play” a girl is to lead her on with false promises. It is to falsely promise commitment and future benefits in order to trick a girl into sacrificing some of her value for you. A player will get the attention of several women, trick one of them into giving him what he wants, and then ditch her and move on to the next woman.
There are several explanations for this behavior: boredom, anger with women, etc., but there is one defining trait that he’ll never tell you, and that all of these of guys have in common.
The guy who plays women is the guy who has something to prove to himself. He’s the guy who needs constant validation via the acceptance of attractive women so that he can believe he is a person of value. Once he has a girl’s acceptance and gets what he wants from her, is he validated? Of course not, which he why he moves on to the next girl. He has a void to fill.
The truth about a guy with this behavior is that he most likely suffered some sort of letdown in his teens or early twenties that threw off his perception of a healthy dating life. Perhaps he was hurt by some girl that he was after. He was ready to give this girl his all, and she rejected him, dumped him, or worse, cheated on him. Perhaps he went through several years of constant rejection from women before “figuring things out” and becoming the player he is. Whatever it was, these kinds of let-downs are very powerful to a young man’s psyche and can often lead to lifelong issues such as the player behavior. The “perpetual player” is often simply afraid of the idea of commitment because of its inherent risk. He feels that the pain of heartache isn’t worth the risk of commitment any more and prefers to spend his time validating himself with the acceptance of girl after girl after girl.
Quick note: I am NOT implying that ALL guys who suffer romantic letdowns in their lives will turn into players. Ideally, a man will simply learn from his mistakes and mature into a more well-rounded individual after a letdown. I’m simply sharing some insight into what commonly motivates the “player” behavior when it occurs.
This is a cycle that will continue until he realizes can never fully accept himself while he continues to mistreat people and scavenge value from others. Unfortunately, the player lifestyle is very fun in the short-term and it’s hard to mature out of this mindset. It’s only after long-term dissatisfaction that he’ll begin to change.
Please keep in mind that when this happens to you (you get played), it very much likely has nothing to do with you – it’s his issue. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unattractive or undesirable in any way. In fact, you’re probably very attractive, the kind of girl who the player usually goes for, but this guy just has absolutely no interest in pursuing something more than a casual few dates with you. At best, he’ll do enough to keep you around for a long time simply so you’ll be available when its convenient for him. In his mind, a true relationship with any woman is too much of a risk. He doesn’t want to risk the pain of rejection or failure by committing to you. That would put his self-validation at an all-time low.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change this behavior but try to be a good person to him (without sacrificing your value) and restore his faith in the idea of trusting a woman. He has to come to terms with these issues on his own. It’s not about you.
Stay faithful. Quality guys who are above the “player” mentality are out there, and it’s definitely possible to spot some “red flags” that signal a potential player. My mission is to help you meet and hit things off with a man who is truly worth your time and has the potential to be a great partner in a relationship.
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