In today’s twisted culture of serial dating, it can be tough to tell whether the guy you’re seeing is looking for a relationship or just another hookup. The term “player” is no longer defined as someone who jumps from date to date. Now that there’s technology and social media that connects every eligible millennial within a 5-mile radius, most people date a number of people before committing to a relationship.
This new normal makes it a bit more challenging to distinguish a player from the rest of the group, but not to worry. There are commonly used phrases that are a dead giveaway to a guy’s womanizer status. If you read between the lines, you could save yourself from falling into the trap that many other girls before you didn’t see. As you’re getting to know each other, watch out for some of these notorious player phrases so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
15 “Are you up?”
It’s always a letdown when you wake up to this classic text, typically sent within the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. when a player is at his prime. Like some sort of raccoon scouring your garbage bins, he lurks in the night, waiting to strike after you’ve taken off your makeup and thrown on your sweatpants.
If you are actually awake when you get this message, it’s best to ignore it. A good night’s rest is much more important than encouraging a player to continue his sleazy actions. Sure, he was thinking of you, but not until he got home to an empty bed. A genuine guy who wants something real would reach out to you well before you even stepped out for the night. This dude missed his window of opportunity, and you shouldn’t fall for it – unless, of course, you’re cool with being one of many girls who got that same text.
14 “Add me on Snapchat.”
Ah, Snapchat, the social media app that allows users to take photos and videos that self-destruct upon viewing. The very concept is a player’s paradise. It’s temporary, self-indulgent, narcissistic, and everything else that these guys value.
If Snapchat is a guy’s go-to social media app, it speaks volumes about his dating style. It’s not as personal as Facebook; it’s not as creative as Instagram; it’s not as conversational as Twitter. It’s basically the “50 First Dates” of social media, but without the sweet ending. He’s not some romantic gentleman attempting to win you over every day because you suffer from short-term memory issues. He’s just a dude with a phone, snapping and sharing mindless photos to get an immediate reaction from his followers.
When you’re connected on Snapchat but none of your other social media accounts, it could be a sign that he’ll stay interested in you for a whopping 8 seconds – the same amount of time his photo sharing settings allow.
13 “I’m not a typical guy.”
Likely spoken with one hand over his heart and intense, uninterrupted eye contact, this classic player line should serve as a major red flag. Beware of the guy who tells you he’s not like other guys. Someone who feels the need to tell you he’s unique is trying too hard to convince you of that, and it’s usually done with such sincerity because he’s mastered the art of saying it. Put simply: he’s used to repeating this to girls so they trust him, and that’s why it sounds so genuine. Don’t fall for it.
Aside from that, there’s a whole other reason why this is wrong. He’s making a pretty negative sweeping generalization of his gender, and that’s not OK. Despite what he’s implying, not all guys are horrible people. Let’s say that together: not all guys are horrible people. Some of them can be trusted – but probably not him.
12 “Trust me.”
Another classic example of suspicious reassurance, “trust me” and “believe me” are player phrases to watch out for. Anyone who consistently adds these lines to their vocabulary has formed that habit for a reason. It likely came about because others have been skeptical of him for a while, and he’s had to calm their fears with these two simple words.
Think of the last time you heard someone use this phrase. Maybe it was spoken by a potential partner or maybe you heard it during the recent political debate. You probably knew it was a load of crap then, so why accept it now?
The reality is, trust isn’t something you can establish with words. It grows with time and experience, and it’s formed when someone’s actions mirror what he says. Anyone who needs to verbalize this usually does so in an attempt to make up for what he can’t provide.
11 “Ask me anything. I have nothing to hide.”
This can be, but isn’t always, accompanied by a list of his accounts and passwords as some weird sort of investigation invitation. Don’t accept. If he’s a skilled player, he knows which messages to delete and which settings he needs to apply to his accounts so you remain in a blissful state of ignorance.
Like all of the other lines used to convince you he’s trustworthy, this is another player tactic that can really mess with your head. Everyone has a right to privacy. Just because he’s pretending to give up his own doesn’t make him a stand-up guy.
And anyway, it’s expected that you’re going to ask questions to get to know someone you’re dating. The moment you get an aggressive invitation to go a step further and pry into his personal life, you should question why he would do such a thing. The answer: because he’s a player.
10 “I’m so bad with my phone.”
Screenshot this one and save it to your “Bull$h!+” album. It’s 2016. Everyone over the age of 3 can operate a device that connects billions of people from all corners of the world. With the tap of a finger, you can like a friend’s photo, tell someone you’re running late, order a pizza, and get a date for next Friday.
The point is, he’s not bad with his phone. He’s just bad.
If you’re convinced he’s just “not the texting type” or “technologically illiterate,” you should really question your standards of intelligence in the guys you date. There are people who make their living designing apps and tools that are so user-friendly, a blind puppy could successfully use and enjoy them.
Ask yourself: is this guy really more inept than a blind puppy? Or is he just a player, playing the dating game and presenting you with another lame line? If you answer “yes” to either, it’s time to lose him.
9 “Sorry, I just got your text.”
You mean the phone that he’s glued to whenever you see him failed to notify him of your text until days after it was sent? Funny how technology works sometimes.
On the off chance that he truly didn’t read your text until days later, you should consider what that really says about his feelings for you. If he’s actually interested, he’ll be eagerly awaiting your messages like the pathetic adolescent we all turn into when we like someone. Don’t settle for someone who couldn’t care less whether or not you reach out to him.
And if we’re being technical, there are studies that prove he’s not being truthful with you. It’s highly likely that he saw your text right after you sent it. According to a report from communications guru brand Mobilesquared, 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of their delivery. Numbers don’t lie, but players do.
8 “I’ve been busy.”
This one’s concerning for a number of reasons. First, it implies that he’s doing more important things with his life than you’re doing with yours. And while you might believe that after comparing both of your schedules and responsibilities, it’s still condescending. He’s saying that you took the time to text because you had the time – a luxury he just doesn’t have.
Even more concerning, since we’re on the subject of time: it takes a whopping 2 seconds to send a text. Unless you’re sending rapid-fire messages and getting upset that he doesn’t respond right away, you’re justified for expecting to hear from him every now and then.
Besides, we all know how it feels to really be into someone. You’re constantly thinking of him and creating reasons to stop and talk. You find ways to work him into your schedule, because no matter how busy you are, you make time for the people you want to see – and not just between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. after you’ve hit up every bar in town.
7 “I’m not like my friends. I’m different.”
Let’s be honest: we all have a buddy or two who gets out of control and regularly makes questionable life decisions (looking at you, Karen). Some of your friends can truly suck. But chances are, they’re the exception. You’ve likely been friends forever, live near each other, or have some other valid reasoning for keeping them in your life.
That said, if the majority of this guy’s friends have bad intentions, he’s probably one of them. That’s because when someone is surrounded by unethical, narcissistic people, it’s bound to rub off. He becomes desensitized to cheating or lying when he continuously sees that these actions are acceptable and have few repercussions. Even worse, he could be the ring leader of the bunch – the alpha male who sets the player precedent for the rest of the pack.
Don’t be fooled. This guy is most likely a reflection of his sleazy friends.
6 “I’ve never felt this way.”
This could be a sweet, honest observation that he’s sharing with you, but depending on its timing, it could also just be an empty statement used to get some undeserved affection. If you’ve just started seeing this guy and he’s already throwing out lines like this, tread carefully. He could be laying it on thick to lock you in while he carries out casual flings with other girls.
While everyone wants to believe they’re the first to make a guy feel or act a certain way, that’s a very romanticized, fairytale-like concept in today’s fast world of serial dating. If he really thinks you’re special, he’ll show it, and you’ll feel it. Words hold less power than actions, but a player will rely on them to sweep you off your feet. Take note of what he does to back up these bold statements, and use your best judgment to decide whether or not he’s full of it.
5 “I’m not looking for anything serious.”
He literally just told you that he’s not looking for a relationship. Believe him.
Hoping that he’ll change his mind once he realizes how awesome you are? Don’t. A good guy will just sense your awesomeness from Day 1, and even if he’s not sure, he won’t sabotage his chances by throwing out a fake disclaimer at the beginning. If you learn nothing else from serial dating, know this: guys are very straightforward. It’s both their greatest attribute and biggest downfall. He’s being upfront about his expectations so he can clear his conscience and sleep easy – with other people.
Remember, a real dude would never risk pushing you away with an empty threat of noncommitment. When he tells you he’s not looking for a relationship, it’s not an excerpt from a book of prose that needs your interpreting. He is, in fact, serious when he says he doesn’t want to be serious.
4 “I’m kind of seeing someone, but we can chill.”
Oh, he’s “kind of” already committed? Allow me to translate. This is guy speak for “I live with my girlfriend, but she’s out of town right now.”
You know how 1 dog year equates to 7 human years? Player language works on a similar scale. If he says he’s “single,” it means he has a few girls on rotation. If he says he’s “somewhat committed,” or even better, “it’s complicated,” you best believe there’s a girl on the other side of this who’s anticipating a heartfelt proposal at any moment. He’s volunteering this very telling information, and you need to do the right thing with it.
Besides, do you really want to be just another girl he knowingly strings along? This isn’t an episode of The Bachelor – it’s real life. We all know the weird new dating norm is to see multiple people in the beginning; therefore it’s unnecessary to address it upfront unless it’s something more serious. Run away, and run far.
3 “I don’t believe in monogamy.”
Again, he’s being upfront with you. He truly doesn’t believe in staying tied down to one person, and even someone as great and wonderful as you isn’t going to change his mind.
Can a polygamous relationship work? Sure. But you both need to be on the same page. When it comes to relationships, it’s OK to disagree on certain things, but this is a stance that you both need to share. Otherwise, his player ways are going to cause you a lot of pain later on.
It’s true that humans are naturally social beings who are driven by tendencies ingrained in them thousands of years ago. Monogamy is a challenge for any couple, but it is possible for those who truly respect each other and want to make it work.
Bottom line: monogamy is a real thing – he’s just choosing not to participate. You can either accept it or leave.
2 “Insecurity is a deal breaker for me.”
It’s true that there are few things more detrimental to a relationship than insecurity. It’s a toxic feeling that can suck the happiness out of any moment. But it’s important to realize that this is often a symptom of a bigger issue within the relationship. That’s why any time a guy addresses your – or an ex’s – insecurity, it’s a big red flag. It’s often a player’s way of taking the spotlight off his shady actions and spinning them around on you or someone else. You’re left to think the problem is with you and not him, when really, it’s likely a combination of the two.
If he tells you off the bat that he doesn’t put up with girls who possess this quality, it should raise the question of whether he contributed to his previous partners’ insecurity. After all, someone who wants a legitimate relationship wouldn’t give his partner a reason to be uncertain.
1 “All of my exes are crazy.”
Sure, the girl who set his car on fire was probably a little imbalanced. But see through the flames for a second and ask yourself why anyone would go so far to piss off another person. He likely did something worthy of an explosion, albeit a metaphorical one. While it’s never acceptable to act out in anger, people are capable of doing some serious damage when they feel especially betrayed or blindsided. Maybe his actions played a role in his exes’ craziness.
And even if there’s some truth to what he says and all of his exes are vindictive psychopaths, why is he only attracted to the worst type of human? Is it because he’s addicted to the thrill of a volatile relationship? Either way, it’s bad news, and you might not want to put all of your faith and trust in him. Chances are, it’ll end and you’ll be considered just another “crazy ex.”