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Dear Date Advice Guy,

How can you know when a man who is inherently a “player” or who is more into girls for fun and not for anything serious has changed? You may think they’ve changed, but you can never be too sure with people of that nature.

– Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your great question. I know that this question is very common, as a player is very good at stringing women along with vague promises of changing his behavior. He’ll never fully commit to you, but he’ll do just enough to keep you thinking that he just might change for you and to keep you around to satisfy his own desires. And because he is attractive, it’s very difficult for you to move on and give up on him.

But of course, it is definitely possible for a man to change his behavior and for a player to genuinely commit to a woman. I’ll answer your question in two ways: first with how and why this change happens within a man, and then with how to spot this change in a man after it happens.

First, an important principle:

The only way a man will change his behavior is if he WANTS to change his behavior

In other words, a man will not truly change his behavior until his innermost desires have changed. His behavior will then change to satisfy those new inner desires.

This means that a player will not change his behavior because of your unhappiness or because of your complaints to him. Of course, he will be very good at deceiving you and making you think that he is responding to your needs, but again, he will not truly change until his inner desires have changed. He will only truly give up the player lifestyle when HE truly wants to.

It’s only after several failed relationships and long-term dissatisfaction with the player lifestyle that he will begin to change his inner priorities. This is a journey he goes through on his own terms; they are issues he resolves through his own discovery.

I won’t get into the science of happiness here, but a large factor of our happiness depends on the quality of our personal relationships. A huge driver of our happiness and life satisfaction is how much we are appreciated and loved by others. When we do something that is appreciated by others and we are recognized for it, we feel good.

The player lifestyle simply does not provide this type of fulfillment. A player is certainly appreciated in the short-term for his looks, his fun lifestyle, and his charm, but in the long-term he will always be left unsatisfied. He will be left only with shallow relationships and a stable of women who resent him. And as I said, it’s not until he’s felt long-term dissatisfaction with this lifestyle that he will begin to change.

This is when the player will begin to open his mind to the idea of a committed, fulfilling relationship. This is when a player will finally change in the way that you are asking about and finally be open to commitment.

Now to the next important issue: how do you recognize this change in a man?

This is really two questions: how do you spot a player, and how can you tell if a man is ready for a relationship?

This is definitely a tricky situation, since players are notoriously good at deceiving women and giving the impression of commitment. There are several signs of a player to look out for, and here are some great examples. If you don’t catch your guy with any of these behaviors, there’s a great chance that he’s truly ready for commitment!

1. He makes a lot of last-minute plans or is flaky with his plans

Players are often seeing several women at once and often going out to bars and parties to meet more women. Thus, he’ll have a very busy schedule as he juggles time with all of these women. This means he’ll often have to change his plans, give tentative answers, and make last-minute decisions to see a woman when his plans change.

A man who is ready for a relationship and isn’t seeing several women at once will have no problem sticking to a plan to spend time with you (except with honest emergencies, of course).

2. He is very secretive with his cell phone and computer

A player will be very nervous about letting you use his phone/computer to make a call or look something up. This is because he doesn’t want you to see all the messages and calls from the other women he is seeing.

A man who is ready for a relationship should have nothing to hide in regard to who he communicates with on his electronic devices.

3. His friends are players, and he spends a lot of time with them

Players like to go out with other players. They know that they’ll be more appealing as a group and will have a better chance of meeting more women. If you notice his close friends exhibiting player-like behaviors, it’s likely that he is exhibiting those same behaviors when you aren’t around.

A man who is open to a relationship will most likely have more wholesome-type friends. His friends will be good men who have good relationships with others.

4. You haven’t met any of his family or close friends, and he hasn’t ever mentioned them

If a man is truly into you and is considering a committed relationship, he will be happy to introduce you to his loved ones.

5. He avoids any public displays of affection with you

A player never wants to be seen holding hands or being affectionate with a woman in public. This ruins his chances with all the other women around who see it.

A man who is open to a relationship with you will have no problem indicating so in public with signs of affection.

6. You catch him in a lie

Like the cell phone thing, a man who is open to a relationship should have nothing to hide, and nothing to lie about. He wants you to know and appreciate him for who he really is – not who he pretends to be.

A final note. If you’re seeing a man and he seems to be truly ready for a relationship, but he hasn’t made it “official” yet, you are definitely within your rights to bring it up and ask him directly. Sometimes men are ready to commit and simply don’t know it yet. This is especially true for a guy who has been a player in the past and hasn’t had a committed relationship yet. If everything feels right, just ask him!


The Date Advice Guy

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