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 the gods – 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.
People who have been single for a long time, are lonely or who 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 which 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 mark that this has happened is often that the relationship becomes sexual – they have achieved their conquest. For others it will 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 turns 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 would normally to lure them back – maybe even compromising your own principals and standards to do so.
You may also begin 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 have 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 feeling of power and control. Fundamentally they are scared and feel unlovable so they are drawn to many intense, short relationships rather than longer, more sustained attachments which would expose their vulnerability.
By using their charm, wit and skill to lure you into their trap they will get a temporary feeling of euphoria 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 and feel autonomous in our lives.
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 contact and call customer services.