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When You Find Love, Giving Up The 'Player' Life Is Easier Than You Think

I have to admit that I used to really enjoy being called a “player." It was like a badge of honor I was able to wear around my boys, and it truly felt like I was adding notches to the proverbial belt. Several years ago, I remember looking at a medium-sized podium in the middle of a nightclub I used to frequent. I proudly pointed out to a friend that I had slept with every woman dancing on it.

I got some high fives, a few queries of how I managed to do it and even some envy showered over me in a small downpour of validation. That validation felt good, and I felt like a "real man."

Before we go further, I would like to clarify something. The common definition of a player is a guy who lies, cheats and manipulates multiple women into sleeping with him. A player is also known to trick women into thinking they are the only ones the guy is interested in. Basically, he's an assh*le.

I never considered myself a player because I never lied. I was always open and honest. If the woman I was pursuing wasn't OK with the truth, I never led her on or made her believe the situation would be different. I strongly despise men who lie to women, but there is nothing wrong with safe and honest sexual promiscuity for any human being.

But, becoming involved with multiple women is addictive. The chase is fun, and it is nice to be noticed for your combination of charisma, confidence and social intelligence. Even though I was successful in that area of life, I was never completely satisfied. So, I would take my “playing” to the next level and push myself even further outside of my comfort zone. But, it still was never enough.

What I was really chasing during my time as a player was not something I would ever get from playing around. Even though it felt good up until we had sex, I still felt empty and unsatisfied.

But, I loudly proclaimed the single life was the only life for me. In my past, I had been scorned, burned and hurt by women I once loved. I vowed to stay away from relationships because to me, they just meant pain and restriction.

What also didn't help the cause was the fact so many of my married male friends were jealous and intrigued by my lifestyle. They wanted to hear all about it, and they told me my life was the "best life a man could live." Sure, having my independence was fun, but it wasn't fulfilling at all.

I was completely empty, and deep down, I yearned for a woman I could call my partner. I wanted to find the one who was a perfect fit, the one who was my best friend. I didn't know it at the time, and it was only until I came across my wonderful girlfriend that everything — the playing, the nightlife, the bragging rights, the attention — just went out the window.

I had never met someone where everything just worked. And it didn't just work; it prospered. Life is just so amazing. It sounds so cliched, but being in this relationship with the perfect woman, I know I could never go back to that lifestyle again.

When you find real love, the player lifestyle becomes irrelevant. Sure, I still encounter attractive women I could be interested in, but the thought of the chase, the drama and the little games that are played makes me wince. Even if I did hook up and sleep with these women, what would happen after? The answer is emptiness.

I believe all people should be sexually independent for some time in their lives. You learn so much about yourself and other people, but like everything in life, it gets old. You eventually yearn for more than just great sex. You yearn for that connection and the ease of living a safe and secure life with someone whom you can trust.

When you find "the one," the player lifestyle that once defined everything you did stops looking so enticing.