Women who get played by men aren't stupid. Bright women get played all the time, and not because the guy is bright or smooth, but because his bulls-- story has enough tangible possibility for it to be believable. In the search for love, sometimes people move too fast, or they get caught up in the (passionate) moment.
So are you being played? Here’s how you can tell:
What he says: “You are the person I’ve been looking for my whole life.”
When he says it: Date #2
The Deal: Guys like this claim to fall in love — QUICKLY. They give you the sense that they have been waiting and waiting and waiting for someone just like you, and they tell you on the second date. They will start strong—calling often, texting even more often, and it plays right into your self-esteem. Then, once you have slept with them and/or shared your mutual feelings, it stops ... and they leave you wondering: "What did I do wrong?"
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What to do: Be sure to see the signs of this trap. If they are pouring in to you (and your self-esteem) to such an extreme so soon, chances are it's not real. Granted, love-at-first-sight is a possibility ... but if the love is right, it will be there weeks or months down the line.
What he says: “I’d love to see you.”
When he says it: 10:30pm
The Deal: He tells you that he wants to see you, but they are always busy: work, school, family — those are all great reasons. But if they only have time late at night — or certain days of the week without explanation — something is amiss. And oftentimes, they will have plenty of time to see you for sex .. just no time to spend before or after.
What to do: Someone who is genuinely into you will make you a priority ... beyond just saying the words. And sex is great, but a real relationship needs more than just physical time together.
What he says: “I miss you.”
What he says the next day: “Why are you so damned clingy?”
The Deal: He says he cares, then he goes dark. He wants to see you, then he asks you why you are so demanding/clingy/bitching at him.
What to do: Hot-and-cold behavior doesn’t work… except for him. Instead of trying to adjust yourself and your expectations (over and over again) for someone who will constantly change the game, you need to make a clear, empowered decision that you will not settle for anyone's half-assed, second-best approach to being involved with you—in any capacity. You are worth more than they way you are being treated, and you need to stop settling for it and tolerating it. Tell him what you want... if he doesn't come correct, you are either being played, or he isn’t ready for you. Either way: Move on.
The Down-And-Dirty Deal on Getting Played
The most common reason people get played boils down to one thing: Need. Guys like this watch and wait for the opportunity to fill a specific need that their victim is looking for. And not just any need; a core need they really want filled: sex, affection, security, attention, freedom, romance, etc.
Once that need begins being filled, the victim starts ignoring the glaring red flags of the player's other behavior. Either due to a lack of knowledge or calculated planning, the player begins dropping back and/or not fulfilling their victim's other wants/needs—but the initial core need is still being met. This is a dangerous death spiral for self-esteem, as the victim begins wondering why one need is being filled, but not the rest. The victim oftentimes decides that they "must not be worth it", but in an effort to feel a sense of self-worth, they continue putting up with worse and worse behavior ... until the player leaves.
The end result: The victim feels worthless; like a failure, and wonders what they did wrong, and what they did to deserve being treated so poorly. Their self-esteem has taken multiple hits, and they need a boost. And oftentimes, another player begins filling that core need... and the cycle repeats.
The way through: What's needed is a realization that in any relationship, there is always a trade-off. There will be needs of yours that can be met, and others that your partner can't possibly meet, because they either aren't aware, don't have the skills, or simply don't want to. Apart from met or unmet needs, if the relationship is based on them holding you at arm's length emotionally, physically, or spiritually, the trade-off is most often too unbalanced for any long-term success. Better to cut things off sooner—rather than later— and seek your love wants/needs in a place (and with a person) with whom it can be met and/or appreciated.
This week's links:
1. The World Cup is upon us. With the endless seasons of sports running back to back to back, what is it that has men so motivated to wear another man's last name across his back? Check out my take on the Good Men Project.
2. A recent study showed showed that 70 percent of couples argued about money more than household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring and what's for dinner. Related: Money is the root of all evil.
3. Women cheating is reaching epidemic proportions. But why are they cheating? The real-life tale of the married man who went undercover on AshleyMadison.com to find out why.
What's up and what's down:
Up: In a recent study by Boston College Center for Work & Family, 99 percent of men believe that companies should provide them with four weeks of paid paternity leave. Damn right! #dads
Down: According to many Apple employees, it looks like the iWatch is a real thing slated for release around the October time frame. Yet another reason to not look at your significant other when you talk to them.
Charles J. Orlando is relationship expert and author of the bestselling book series "The Problem with Women... is Men®." Find out more about Charles on his website, or visit him on Facebook for real-world love advice.