Ahh, the player: He's otherwise known as a fuckboy, casanova, Romeo, Mr. Charming... whatever you want to call him.
He always exhibits similar signs and character traits. The signs emerge quickly, and with enough experience, they can be detected in a few short moments or interactions.
Now, my goal here is not to demonize the player. I don't even like using most of the nicknames above because of the negative connotations attached to them. These boys are cads, and they always will be.
It's deeply coded into those little curly DNA strands. Their daddies were probably the same.
A player is a personality type, not a conscious lifestyle choice.
This is just the way he is, and people should not be punished for being true to themselves.
These guys usually have a magnetic energy that makes them irresistible, and in turn, a lot of fun to hang out with.
The girls who run around and player shame are the same ones who walk around with their heads in the clouds. They're also usually the girls who believe in the classic Disney fairytale crap that a frog can be turned into a prince with enough time and effort.
Don't do it. Just don't.
Take these players at face value, and I promise you will have the time of your life. Here are five common signs to help guide the way:
1. He's pretentious.
Just like the old-fashioned player, the modern one is always involved in some kind of scene. In today's world, this produces itself in a variety of ways. But the way that particular scene looks can change across different cultures, cities and space.
The overall picture is generally the same: He knows “important” people, is connected and garners status and power by tying his identity to his inclusion in said scene.
There's nothing inherently wrong with this: It's human to want to belong to a particular group of people. If you're chasing after him, it's probably because you're driven in the same way.
2. He's lukewarm.
Blowing hot and cold is an archaic dating strategy: Manipulating someone into liking you is so 2009.
Now that we can stay in touch at any given moment, the modern players are employing a much more insidious strategy: the lukewarm.
And women, you're guilty of this too.
These boys are armed with phones and countless apps, each designed to convey a different type of message. Putting someone on the back burner is simple. Shooting a like, Snap or quick text their way keeps them at a constant low simmer.
Whether it's conscious or not, the post-modern player knows inconsistent action is the most effective.
The lukewarm has become the new standard, and it's SO confusing. When you're blinded by infatuation, it's very easy to read too deep into these innocuous signs.
3. He dresses the part.
My grandfather was a classic casanova. He remarried four times, and had a few affairs on top of that.
Appearance was his passion. He was always sharp, smelling like a million bucks and dressed to the nines.
So, in the case of the guy you're dating, if you walk into his bathroom and his collection of products is more elaborate and expensive than yours, now you know.
The modern player always dresses right: He has a distinct style and edge.
The price tag is usually high, and the brand name is standard. Whether it's executed as grungy and trashy, sharp and modern or oversized and sporty, his carefully curated outfits are a dead giveaway.
4. He gets you weak in the knees.
There is something about these guys that wreaks total havoc on your ability to make rational decisions. In its most extreme form, it can even ruin the simple action of opening your mouth and talking like a normal person.
I have a theory that the more jittery and nervous you are around someone, the more likely this person doesn't feel the same way. The anxious energy is just a fight or flight response, attempting to tug you out of a situation you subconsciously know is not mutual.
It's kind of similar to alcohol intoxication, which is your body's way of signaling you're slowly poisoning yourself. The physical arousal you feel around him is just your brain setting off an internal emotional alarm.
5. He's impossible to get rid of.
This guy is a walking contradiction, even though he's dropped every line in the book, like “I'm not ready for a relationship,” “I don't know what I want” and “I'm just really busy right now.”
All signs point toward the fact that he doesn't want to be an active member of your life. Yet, he's impossible to get rid of.
But straight-up rejecting him will bruise his ego so badly, he will come back at you with the force of an army just to convince you to change your mind.
Once, I had to confess my “feelings” to a boy just to trick him into dropping me. And even THAT didn't fully get rid of him.
Just like a bed bug infestation, they come crawling back at least two or three times before they're finally gone.
All the most passionate, exciting and fun relationships I've ever been in have been with guys like these. But you have to step into these relationships with knowledge and awareness. Be prepared, and enjoy the butterflies.