When dating after divorce we all believe we will be able to spot him. Getting swept away is for those other, more naïve, girls. But the truth is a player can be that good. He has had years to perfect his skills, hone in on what women want, and give it to them in such small doses that they keep coming back for more. He is smart, handsome, and charismatic. He knows exactly what to say. Falling prey to his womanizing is easy. That is, unless you can spot the signs. He may not be doing all of these things, but if he is doing more than a few, you may have a player on your hands.
1. He comes on strong. There is instant chemistry. You both feel it. He must see you again soon. The texting begins almost immediately. The phone calls. Intimate conversations. Another date is scheduled within days, if not hours, of the first. He will not let you slip away, no matter how much you resist. And, usually, you do not.
2. It gets sexy quickly. Whether it is during the first conversation talk turns to sex, or on the first date, you can be pretty confident this guy is looking to get naked with you, and fast.
3. He pulls back, even disappears, as soon as things go well. So now you are hooked. The relationship you think you are building is moving along nicely. You enjoy each other’s company, the sex is amazing (after all, practice makes perfect and he has had plenty of it), and you are pretty sure he is The One. Then, out of nowhere, he puts on the brakes, and you are left scratching your head trying to figure out why, and what you did to cause this unwelcome outcome. Chances are, though, you never will.
4. You spend a lot of time analyzing what he says. He says he adores you, and loves being together. He texts that he misses you, and cannot wait to see you. But then when he does, the relationship never progresses. Sound familiar? If you need to analyze what he means, then he likely does not mean what he says. When a guy is truly interested in seeing only you, there will be no need to guess what his intentions are. They will be obvious.
5. His words do not match his actions. He makes promises he does not keep. He talks about the future, even in the short term, but never follows through. If you try to pin him down for plans more than a week in advance, you will find yourself standing on shaky ground, never being sure such arrangements will come to pass until you are in the midst of them.
6. He makes it seem like you are crazy. If you are actually brave enough to confront him about his inconsistent relationship talk, he will look at you as though you are certifiable. Surely he has made his intentions known to you over and over again. In his mind he has covered himself and, in a way, he has. Believe a guy when he says he does not want to commit to you. The romanticism he exhibits is all about living in the moment, or re-enacting a fantasy, but, rest assured, reality will rear its ugly head sooner rather than later. The only thing that makes you crazy is coming back for more.
7. Relationship is a dirty word. Want to be a buzz kill? Just ask a player where your relationship is headed, and you will likely see him head for the door. Of course you have a relationship. You are just not in one.
8. You never meet his friends or family. You may feel like you know them because he speaks about them constantly. You know what they do, what they say, and what they like, but you do not know them personally. When a guy wants to integrate you into his life, he will introduce you to those who are special to him. He will want to show you off. If he keeps you isolated, it is not because he wants you all to himself. It is more likely he compartmentalizes because there are other women in his life besides you.
9. He is still online. If he still maintains an online dating profile or profiles, and remains active on them long after you start sleeping together, long after you make your relationship objectives known, it may be time to consider other options. If it is monogamy you seek, and the guy you are seeing is not interested in offering that, it is probably smart to re-evaluate and move on. Waiting for someone to change should never be a consideration. Be clear to him and to yourself about your goals. Otherwise, you may never find what you are looking for.
10. He refers to you as a friend. A guy who is serious about you will make you his girlfriend. He will want you and the rest of the world to know you are unavailable to any other man. If he refers to you as a friend, both in private and in public, he is letting you and everyone else know his options are still open.
11. Most of his friends are women. Not only are most of his friends women, they too are referred to as friends. Casual conversation does nothing to reveal whether or not he is having or has had a sexual relationship with any of these friends, and you are deliberately left wondering what makes you any more special than the others. Likely you are not.
12. He brags about his sexual history. There have been many women in his past, and he is not shy about informing you of his sexual conquests and why these endless attempts at a relationship failed, no doubt due to every reason apart from him.
13. He has a poor track record for commitment. What better indicator of future behavior than past behavior? If the guy you are seeing has been dating for two or three decades and has yet to experience a monogamous relationship that outlasts the change of four consecutive seasons, it is wise to question whether he can or will want to offer you the commitment you desire. Though there are exceptions to every rule, and people can and do change, the odds are not stacked in your favor.
14. There is no such thing as goodbye. No matter how many times either of you call it quits, say your goodbyes, and wish each other well, somehow he always manages to reappear, waving a flag (a red one, if I may) via a text, an email, or an article he innocently forwards along, implying he is around if you want him to be. Never promising more, only toying with your emotions, making you wonder whether this time things will be different. The problem is, they never are. At some point it comes time to recognize the cycle, and break it.
15. Your gut tells you so. Women’s intuition is real. Trust it. If you think your guy is a player, chances are it is you who is being played. Game over.