When we first fall in love with someone, we want to show them all the best parts of us. We emphasize our most attractive qualities and traits while trying to downplay things that might turn them off. But what we don’t realize is that, oftentimes, they’re doing the same thing, too.
The allure of new relationships is the thrill and excitement that comes with it. It’s all too easy to fall for someone’s charm and wit, to get swept away by their romantic words and gestures. But beneath it all, there needs to be a true emotional connection to sustain a relationship, and you can’t have that with a person who just wants to have fun and flirt all the time. You wouldn’t want to give your heart away to someone who won’t take care of it, who might cheat on you or leave you for the next person that comes along.
So if you want to save yourself all that pain and heartache, here are 8 warning signs that you might be dealing with a player:
1. They’re overconfident
Now don’t get us wrong, confidence is an attractive quality to have and just because someone is confident doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a player. But there’s a fine line between being confident and being cocky and most players tend to fall into the latter. They’re never nervous to tell you how they feel or ask you out because they’re so sure that they can make you say yes. And while most guys (or girls) might get tongue-tied around the people they like, not them – they’re as smooth, slick, and charming as ever. It might not seem like such a red flag now, but trust us, it is, so watch out for this one (Murphy, et al., 2015).
2. They flatter you too much
A common tactic a lot of ladies men use to win women over is by showering them with flatter (Gagne, Kahn, Lyndon, & To, 2008). Now, we’re not saying that whenever a guy pays you a compliment it’s always some kind of play, but when someone is so quick to sweet talk you to the point where it starts to feel disingenuous, you might want to be wary of their actual intentions. He uses a lot of lines on you that feel rehearsed and insincere, and you often find yourself wondering if he’s told someone else all these same things before.
3. They’re a natural at flirting
Does your boyfriend/girlfriend have a bad habit of flirting with other people? Have you ever caught them being a bit too friendly with the waiter, or the barista, or the receptionist, even when you’re out together? Some people love to flirt because it’s fun and exciting, but if your partner is really serious about you, they will stop the moment you tell them it makes you uncomfortable. But a player? A player will insist that you are just imagining things and that you should “stop being so jealous.” But your concerns are certainly warranted if you often catch him/her checking out someone else (Abasi & Algahmdi, 2017).
4. They’re vague about everything
When you ask your partner where they’ve been or what they were doing, they usually shrug it off and say “Oh, I was just doing some work/school stuff” or “I had a thing I needed to do.” They keep things ambiguous and make you feel like you shouldn’t ask too much about it. And while you shouldn’t jump to conclusions right away, you need to entertain the possibility that it might be because they’re seeing other people behind your back. It would be understandable if you haven’t made things official with them yet, but if you’ve already promised to be exclusive with one another, then why would they be hiding things and trying to keep their whereabouts a secret from you?
5. They’re always on their phone
Your partner is constantly on their phone and texting someone, but when you ask them who, they just brush it off and say “It’s no one.” Their phone won’t stop vibrating and they’re always receiving calls whenever you’re together. A lot of his attention is devoted to his phone, but he’s very private about it and won’t let you touch it. And yeah, maybe they do just enjoy their privacy or maybe they are just really busy. But you don’t feel like that’s the case – you feel like they have something to hide. And that should already be your first clue that they might be trying to play you (Abbasi, 2019).
6. They want to keep things casual
Has your boyfriend/girlfriend ever told you they “don’t want to label things” between you or that you should just “have fun and see where this goes”? Even though you’ve already been dating for quite some time now? That means that they’re not serious about the relationship and aren’t ready to commit – maybe not now, or maybe not ever. They don’t introduce you to their friends and family. They’re unwilling to make plans for the future with you, even if it’s just date ideas for next month, because they don’t plan on sticking around for long.
7. They hardly know you
If you and your partner have been on a lot of dates together and they still don’t know much about you, they might not be interested in getting to know you. They have no idea how you like your coffee, or what food you like to eat. They don’t know about your hobbies or favorite things, and they forget things you’ve already told them.
8. You’ve caught them lying
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, you’ve caught your partner lying to you more than once. And even if it was just a little white lie every now and then, you shouldn’t dismiss intentional dishonesty. If your boyfriend/girlfriend can’t tell you the truth and come clean about their past or their ex-partners, it might be because they know it would destroy your relationship. A player will never ever admit that they see you as just another notch on their belt, so they will try to laugh it off or steer the conversation in a different direction when you call them out on it (Norona, Khaddouma, Welsh, & Samawi, 2015).
Do you relate to any of the points mentioned here? Do you think your partner is only out to play you?
There are a lot of reasons why someone might turn out to be a player. Maybe they had their heart broken badly in the past and are too afraid to open themselves up again; maybe they feel lonely and insecure deep down inside and can’t be satisfied with the love and affection of just one person; or maybe they sabotage their own chances at a happy and fulfilling relationship because they’re still confused about what they want or who they are.
Whatever the reason may be, it’s not your job to “fix” them. Don’t fall for a player and think that you can get them to change their ways for you, because you’re only going to end up disappointed and heartbroken. Save yourself the pain and steer clear of people like these. You deserve to be with someone who’s ready to commit to you and share something real, intimate, and beautiful with you, so don’t settle for anything less.
- Murphy, S. C., von Hippel, W., Dubbs, S. L., Angilletta Jr, M. J., Wilson, R. S., Trivers, R., & Barlow, F. K. (2015). The role of overconfidence in romantic desirability and competition. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(8), 1036-1052.
- Gagné, F., Khan, A., Lydon, J., & To, M. (2008). When flattery gets you nowhere: Discounting positive feedback as a relationship maintenance strategy. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 40(2), 59.
- Abbasi, I. S., & Alghamdi, N. G. (2017). When flirting turns into infidelity: The Facebook dilemma. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 45(1), 1-14.
- Abbasi, I. S. (2019). Social media addiction in romantic relationships: Does user’s age influence vulnerability to social media infidelity?. Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 277-280.
- Norona, J. C., Khaddouma, A., Welsh, D. P., & Samawi, H. (2015). Adolescents’ understandings of infidelity. Personal Relationships, 22(3), 431-448.
- Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., & Griffin, D. W. (1996). The self-fulfilling nature of positive illusions in romantic relationships: Love is not blind, but prescient. Journal of personality and social psychology, 71(6), 1155.
- Lewandowski, G. W., & Ackerman, R. A. (2006). Something’s missing: Need fulfillment and self-expansion as predictors of susceptibility to infidelity. The Journal of social psychology, 146(4), 389-403.