I never considered myself a player. Although I know for a fact many women would disagree.
Like countless Millennials, I enjoy having sex, and I'm sexually open. I enjoy the company of a woman, even if it's only for a night or two. And not just for the cardio; I enjoy going out to dinner, having conversations, etc. Unlike most men, I'm very honest with my intentions.
Things have changed in recent years, but when I was younger, I was heavily on the prowl. Literally every night of the week, I'd be going out to clubs around the city, bottle service and all, looking to pick up women. When you're young and dumb and living in sin city, you're likely to start making rounds.
The beauty and curse -- depending on how you look at it -- of being young and living in New York is that finding people willing to sleep with you is really easy. Being half-decent looking doesn't hurt, either. Tons of free booze also helps. So I'd go out, meet some girl that swears she's a model, party until the clubs close and stumble back home with her.
The thing was that I almost never had one-night stands. I'd end up hanging out with these girls multiple times -- enough times to understand whether or not I could date her. But here's a little insight: You're not going to meet the man or woman of your dreams while smacked in a club. It's just not going to happen.
So once I was certain that things weren't going to get any more serious, I'd let her know. I didn't want to lead her on, so I told her that while she's awesome, I didn't see things ever getting more serious.
Looking back at it, I now know that I wasn't able to get serious with anyone because I was hung up on my ex. Hell, I knew it back then as well. But I didn't tell those girls that.
You see, the thing about finding love is that once you find it, every other type of relationship falls short. Even if you found love only to lose it, the impact it has on you stays with you. Other relationships pale in comparison.
I'm not sure that I was ever a real player. I never played women, but I did play the game. I spent time and energy focusing on finding brief moments of fun and excitement instead of working out my issues to allow myself to be ready for love again.
It's easy being a player. Probably the easiest and most natural thing in the world. Men are designed to want to procreate with multiple partners. Our culture is set up in a way where being a provocative and even slutty man is not only acceptable, but celebrated. If you disagree, take a look at some music videos and tell me again that I'm wrong. Or look at ads. Look at the garbage we share on social media.
Nowadays, we have both men and women playing the game. It was always acceptable for men to be players but now women are welcome to join the game as well. Which is sad, if you ask me. Not because people don't have a right to do what they want, to live their life how they want, to f*ck whom they want -- they do. I just wish people wanted things that would help them, not hurt them.
You're only a player for two reasons. You've either never been in love and just don't yet know what you're missing -- which is fine, because eventually you will find love and being a player will lose its appeal. Or you're a player because you've been hurt, and are trying to convince yourself that you don't need love. That you don't want love. Maybe even that you don't deserve love.
That's the crazy thing about love. It has the ability to lift us up, just as it has the ability to break us down. It shows us how beautiful life can be, just as losing it shows us how dark we can become.
Being a player is basically impossible once you find love. You'll either be too in love to even think about getting into bed with another person, too in love to ever hurt the person you love, or you'll be too hurt to enjoy the game.
You'll still be playing, but you'll only be playing yourself. You'll be trying to fool yourself into believing that things will get better, that eventually this loose lifestyle will bring you happiness and will allow you to somehow find yourself.
Take it from someone who's been there: You're not going to find anything but the bottom of a hole that you dug yourself into.