Dating and relationships involve emotional and physical intimacy and connection on a deeper level. This is slightly different when it comes to dating a player, though.
You’ll know he’s playing you when you’re craving emotional connection; you’ll feel alone, you’ll feel guilty for bringing up a discussion about a hurtful thing he did to you, you’ll feel used, he’ll avoid labels, he’ll be distant and won’t share anything with you.
Those and a lot more are indicators that if he’s not a player, at least there’s something off in your relationship. Oftentimes, a lot of amazing women get stuck in such situations and can’t tell when they’re being played by a man until they sense their self-esteem dropping and their mental state not being stable.
To clear all that out, here are 15 straightforward signs/red flags he’s playing you:
1. He has explanations and no apologies for his hurtful actions
Generally, a player knows way too well what he’s doing. He especially knows that his actions/words were hurtful to you, but he won’t admit anything about it. He’ll give excuses, and blame everyone else but himself for it. He won’t acknowledge his mistakes.
There’s a lot of fighting in the relationship. Your relationship isn’t healthy, hence there’ll be a lot of fighting, at times unreasonable fighting.
You end up saying sorry for things you didn’t say/do. You can tell he’s playing you when after arguments, after addressing your problem, a player won’t admit his mistake when he’s playing you.
He’ll give you excuses, and turn the situation around so that you apologize at the end for even addressing your problem.
2. He lied to you multiple times
When a guy is playing you, he’ll lie to you. Not once, not twice, he’ll be constantly lying to you.
Even though you knew the truth, he never admitted it. This could be a form of gaslighting and it’s a dangerous thing for your emotional health. If this is reminding you of stories of when you knew the truth and saw him deny it in front of your eyes, take it as a red flag rather than a simple sign.
On the rare times, he admits it, he gets defensive about it. Once he admits it, he’ll feel vulnerable and he’ll put his defenses on. He’ll either turn the situation around and tell you to “not make a big deal out of it” or he’ll do his best to change the topic.
3. He’s inconsistent with his behavior toward you
Another way to know if he’s playing you is by seeing the consistency of his behavior. When a guy is playing you, in one minute he’s very into you, in the other he seems to be simply tolerating your presence.
There are no talks, no plans about the future. He avoids talking or planning things. When he’s playing with you, a month is too much, let alone more than that.
He can wait to see you and hear your voice. He’s usually not very patient, but when it comes to seeing you, he seems to be pretty ‘chill’ about it.
A player’s game prevents real affection from happening, and when the affection is real he can’t wait to hear your voice, he can’t wait to see you, and spend time with you.
4. His confidence is more of arrogance and it affects you negatively
He’s aware of his good looks, of the way he carries himself, and he’s not confident, he’s arrogant about it.
It often feels like he’s expecting a lot from you. For him to be the one in control he’ll find his ways to play you and you’ll feel like you’ve got so many gaps to close because he’s expecting too much from you.
He makes you feel like you’re not enough for him. Again, he’ll do everything to be in control, and he’ll find his ways to play with you – to make you feel you’re not enough so that he has control and power in the relationship.
5. He comes and goes whenever he wants – at times he doesn’t show up when he says he will
Emotional intimacy and stability in a romantic relationship scare him off. He needs control and power, hence he’ll come and go when he wants. He’s not serious, he’s just playing.
He ghosts you from time to time. Since he has the “I don’t owe you anything” mindset, he’ll go out of the picture for some time, and he’ll do this often enough to leave you feeling confused.
He doesn’t show up on time. It’s ok for him to be late now and then, but when he’s playing you, he’ll be later more than normal. Closeness and sensitivity are weak spots to him, he’ll keep the game going to avoid them.
6. He doesn’t want to get ‘too involved’ by meeting your friends or family
Meeting your family or friends would allow him to see more of you, of who you are, and it’d leave you to have hopes for a future with him. This is something a player doesn’t want, so your boyfriend plays you to not get “too involved” in the relationship.
It’s been very long since you’ve been dating, and you haven’t met his friends or family. Again, he doesn’t want you to have hopes for a future with him because most probably there won’t be one.
I know it sounds harsh and too straightforward, but it’s part of his game and part of what his thoughts look like.
7. He’s more into sex/sexting rather than knowing you as a person
When he plays you, he’ll stick around and do his part until he gets what he wants, which in most cases is sex.
His words aren’t followed by actions. He tells you he loves you, or he’ll say what he has to say to get what he wants from you, and not back up those words with actions because by that time he’s already gotten what he wanted/needed.
8. He plays the victim when you address a problem
Again, he’s aware of his actions, he can’t innocently break your heart 6 times in a row. He knows what he’s doing, he knows when something is hurtful to you.
Being the victim in an argument is his way of making you feel guilty for bringing up a problem. It’s part of the play, it’s part of how he wins the argument, and perhaps even an apology from you for bringing it up (to then prevent you from bringing up other problems into the discussion).
9. “I’m not looking for a relationship, but I like being around you…”
You’re being played when he leaves you hanging for a long while, no matter how long it’s been into the relationship, he seems to always be “not looking for a relationship, but liking you”.
Your connection is not stable, nor labeled because “I’m not into labeling obvious things” It’s his way of getting away with dating multiple people while you’re with him exclusively.
10. He seems a little bored when you talk about things you love
He’s scared of emotional intimacy so he’ll try his best to avoid hearing you talk about things you love, once again he pulls the games out of his bag.
He doesn’t ask you questions about yourself or your life. That would lead you to tell him about yourself, letting him know and see that you’re sensitive too, perhaps making you curious to know more about him.
So he avoids asking you questions as a part of his game to keep things as superficial as possible.
11. He likes his personal space very wide, you’re not part of it
He’ll keep you as far away from his insecurities, from his fragility, and sensitivity as possible. He’s got this huge space and distance from you which he calls personal. You barely know anything about him. You don’t know what makes him upset or happy. You’re just there.
You’re feeling unworthy of him and insecure in yourself more than often. Being in a relationship with a player is emotionally exhausting. If a guy is playing you, you’ll often be compared to other women, and you’ll be pushed away from his personal space. It’s an empty and insecure feeling.
12. You don’t meet up in public spaces
He wants to keep his options open, hence being seen with a woman in a public space would be a dealbreaker.
“My place or yours?” He’s seen that it’s an easy way to get out of this, and he’ll go for it, it’s part of his game.
When a man loves you, he’s proud of you so much that he’s gonna have the wish to tell the entire world “what he just found” and how happy he feels around you. This is not the case with a player, not even close. Also, be aware that players might fall in love with you.
13. He doesn’t share anything (verbally, emotionally, or financially)
Sharing would put him in a vulnerable position, whether that’s sharing emotions, sharing stories, or financially taking care of something.
He’ll invest as little as possible in the connection with you. He saves the effort, he’s distant emotionally, and verbally too. Investing in the connection would lead him to get involved, which then could lead to something genuine. Genuine is something a player avoids at all costs.
14. He lets you know he’s out with one of his many women friends
You know he’s got a lot of female friends, and he hangs out a lot with them. But what is also part of his game, and what lets you know he’s playing you is that he lets you know about it but it’s very vague about who and where.
This is one of his many ways to make you feel insecure. He knows this makes you feel inferior, that it makes you question your worth and value. It’s part of the game to prevent you from seeing and knowing you’re worthy of respect and genuine love.
15. You don’t feel appreciated, and you’re confused very often – You feel alone
You’re left feeling alone, unsupported, and unappreciated even though you’re in a ‘ship’ with him.
Your close friends are warning you constantly. They see you unhappy and they see changes in your confidence. Pay attention to their words since they know you and they see you from a different point of view than you see yourself.
He makes you wish you weren’t so needy. The thing about this is that he purposely makes you feel this way, most of the time you’re not needy. It’s his behavior that makes you react to it and behave in a way that he calls “needy”.
He doesn’t give you security and it messes up with your head, you end up needing answers and he gets to call you need for it to blame you.
Is he a player or genuinely interested? – A short comparison
A player has his complexities, complexions, insecurities, and fears – he reflects them into his romantic connections too. It could be possible for a player to be genuinely interested, but it’d take a while until he’d drop his defenses and guards down.
There are differences between a guy who’s playing you and a guy who’s genuinely interested in you or likes you. Here, are two of the fundamental differences between a relationship with a man who’s interested and a man who’s playing you:
– A genuinely interested guy cares about your feelings while a guy who is playing you is indifferent towards your feelings.
Caring is a huge difference when it comes to dealing with a man who’s interested and/or in love and a man who’s playing you.
A man who does love you, or at the very least, he’s interested in pursuing you, will deeply care about you, and how his actions affect you, your well-being, your emotions, and your feelings (which all correlate to one another).
Making a difference between these two different levels of care will surely help you spot the red or green flags while dating a man.
– A player gives you an insecure, shaking ground, while a guy who is genuinely interested in you will give you a feeling of security and stability.
An insecure, shaking ground leaves you feeling insecure and shaking thoughts about yourself, about him, and the entire connection – it’s confusing and very unhealthy.
The right person to date gives you a stable ground in which you feel free to rest, free to be yourself, and let your guard down without having the fear that he’ll take advantage of it.
How to get over a guy who played you?
Getting over being played and used takes courage, effort, patience, time, and a lot of self-reflection.
If you’ve got played by a guy, and you’re wondering how to get past the things you’ve been through, how to get over the fact that you’ve been played by a guy, then you need to start with 4 fundamental steps towards your recovery.
Here, are 4 steps to get over being played and get over someone who played you.
1. Don’t seek revenge – accept what happened and let go. It’s difficult not to feel anger and pain toward what he did to you, and that’s understandable.
The best way out of it, the best way to relieve yourself from the burden he left you with is to acknowledge your feelings, don’t suppress them, accept the situation as it is, and let go.
Paying him back for what he did to you will make the emotional burden even heavier. It’s something he did to you, and it’s something that you know causes pain. You might still have feelings for him so causing him pain will complicate the situation and make your burden heavier.
Let it go, and leave it on his side. He’s the one to hurt a soul he’s got a heavier burden to carry. You’ll acknowledge it, heal, and move on.
2. Understand that what he did to you doesn’t have to do anything with you – it’s all his fears and insecurities being manifested in every romantic connection he creates.
You’ll end up with “Why did he play me?” running through your head, it’s understandable.
A player is a deeply wounded person who’s instantly avoiding healing by seeking external sources to fill his inner void. He’ll reflect on his insecurities, fears, and traumas without even knowing he’s doing so.
He was hurt once or twice or more, and he became what and who he is today. That doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to heal him. It means it’s your responsibility to heal yourself by not taking it personally what he did to you.
He didn’t play you because you’re not good enough, or because you didn’t meet certain criteria of his ‘ideal woman’. He played you because it’s his way of escaping the pain and loss he constantly feels from within.
3. Start the healing by taking good care of yourself – see the beauty within you and heal the wounds he left. Meditate, talk to a good friend, do physical activity, and take care of your hair, your skin, and your clothes.
Find things that make you joyous and that give you a true sense of self, once you find them, start doing them more.
4. Surround yourself with people that offer you security, with people through which you feel loved, taken care of, and support. Surround yourself with people that give you positive energy, that make you feel cared for, and people that you love.
Hear past the words he told you, and see past the actions he did; understand and choose that you’re deserving much more than that.
How do you deal with a guy who’s a player?
It’s important that you see and understand where he comes from: a place of insecurities and fears. It’s also important that you comprehend and notice his behavior towards you which oftentimes is extremely manipulative.
Here’s my advice on dealing with a player guy:
1. Don’t stay in the relationship with the hope that he’ll change someday.
If he’s going to change, he’ll do it because he chooses so, not because you or another woman inspired him to be a better man. The chances for this to happen are very low, yet a lot of women put up with hurtful behavior because “he’ll see the good in me, and he’ll change eventually”.
Get that thought out of your mind; you deserve better. Healing him isn’t your responsibility.
2. If you’re in love with him, reconsider the relationship – How much is it damaging you? Keeping in mind that you can’t change him, consider how much of this relationship is causing you damage.
It’s important to take a moment and reflect on your well-being. You deserve to be treated like you want to be treated.
If he’s harming you, your well-being, and your emotional state, then have a conversation with yourself and think if this relationship is worth it or not.
3. Take the courage to leave when you have to. Once you make your mind up, it’s time for you to take the courage and leave.
Keep in mind that he’s extremely good at manipulating, playing the victim, and making you feel guilty. Also, keep in mind that you’re deserving of love, respect, care, and appreciation.
Am I being played? – A quick wrap-up of the signs a guy is playing you
You’ll know you’re being played by him if:
1. He doesn’t apologize for his hurtful actions towards you.
2. He’s not looking for a relationship with you but keeps you hanging.
3. He doesn’t let you in emotionally.
4. He’s more into sexting than he is into creating an emotional connection with you.
5. He’s not willing to emotionally invest in you and your connection.
6. You feel alone, not taken care of, and not appreciated – You feel used.
7. You don’t meet up in public spaces, ever.
8. He constantly lies, and he either denies it or gets very defensive about it.
9. He comes and goes into your life whenever he pleases.
10. He doesn’t care to know about you or your wishes.
Keeping in mind that you can’t ‘fix’ him and that you deserve better treatment than that, I’d like you to take care of yourself and your well-being.