50 shades

I always say that if you are looking to improve your life, you must start at home. However, sometimes you have to start with the types of people you surround yourself with. I admire those who are more selective of friends, especially when it comes to love. It is so easy to buy the dream on sale when it comes in a pretty package, but more and more often – the dream is a sham.

We have long known about that kind of a guy: we’ve dated a player, given him countless chances, and eventually (hopefully) moved on from all that drama. Unfortunately, these days it can be hard to spot the warning signs as the player has evolved and there can be fifty shades of him. This new brand of the individual has broken the heart of a woman who is actually looking for a committed and lasting relationship. If you are not familiar with the term, a player can be defined as a manipulative man, usually incredibly disrespectful and only looking for short-term hookups. He will usually lead on his women, promising them the world when they can’t even deliver an island.

Men like this come in different forms but all are time-wasters, and will only have a negative effect on their victim’s livelihood and ego. My advice? Stay away ladies, or play the players back and beat them at their own game. But to do so, you would have to first recognise the different forms a player can take. Let me introduce you to a few you may have already met.

The Flash Player

The Flash Player uses money and his cool image to reel in his prey. Mr Flash takes longer in the bathroom than you do. Usually incredibly shallow, he looks for girls in the club or might just pull up next to you in his A class Mercedes.

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Warning signs:

He leads with offering to buy you and your friends a drink in the club, in fact, he is always on a night out. When inside the bar, you can find him at a table with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka, but he spends more time filming it for Snapchat then enjoying the actual night. His Instagram profile is littered with pics of him parading his designer clothes alongside beautiful girls.

Common phrases:

“What are you ladies drinking?”

The Playboy

The Playboy acts like you are the only girl in the world for him, but in reality, there are several of you. He likes to play games and enjoys the chase more than anything – once he has you, he will be looking for his next target. He may even accuse you on stepping out on him when we all know it’s his insecurities surfacing.

Warning signs:

His phone is always ringing and he acts shifty when it does. He also constantly “likes” other women’s photos online but may show signs of early onset insecurity – makes sense, right.

Common phrases:

“Let’s just see where it goes” or “Hotel this weekend?”

The Smooth Talker

Mr Smooth Talker likes to shower his girls with compliments, and you lap up the attention because it feels genuine at the time. He always has a witty come back and often avoids deep conversation, he would rather enjoy the shallow flirtation.

Warning signs:

If it sounds too good to be true, keep your wits about you. Mr Smooth Talker is a master of manipulation and can twist any situation around. With someone like this, it is important to keep your head and trust your gut.

Common phrases:

Anything he thinks you want to hear.

The Gym Player

You know the type, always in the gym: 70% selfies and profoundly staring at any female that walks into his eyeline, 30% actual work out. The Gym Player usually looks like an extra from “Geordie Shore” and is topless most of the time, that might be how he got your attention in the first place.

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Warning signs:

He pays more attention to his own reflection than he does to you. He is usually incredibly shallow in every sense of the word and may make you feel bad about yourself because of this.

Common phrases:

“Send a pic, I want to see your pre-workout body.”

The Married Cretin

The Married Cretin is not hard to spot if you know what you’re looking for. These days, you cannot rely on a wedding ring to tell you if someone is married or not (they do come off, y’know). You have to read between the lines. In my opinion, this is the lowest form of a player you can find, who thoughtlessly put their own family at risk for their infidelities.

Warning signs:

Does he only text you back at specific times of the day? Have you already caught him out on any lies? Do his stories overlook important pieces of information about his life? Have you ever been to his house? Does he use non-committal pet names for you? Does he dodge your calls late at night? See where I’m going here?

Common phrases:

“You awake?” or “I would never do that…”

Mr Sensitive

Don’t be fooled by Mr Sensitive, he might come across like a nice guy, but in reality he’s got you exactly where he wants you: wrapped around his little finger. You will be able to tell if you’re dating a secret player if his actions do not match up to his words, he can quote Charlotte Bronte all he wants, if he doesn’t treat you well it speaks for itself.

Warning signs:

Over shares very early on in the relationship, he might patronise you about trivial topics as if you “don’t really understand”. In some extreme cases he may show signs of emotional blackmail but all in all, the guy is a fraud.

Common phrases:

“I only need one girl, any more is too much stress.”

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The Bad Boy

We have known about the Bad Boy for a while now but somehow we continue to date them! Ladies, learn how to spot this kind of guy and if you are lucky enough to meet him, run a mile. You. Can. Not. Change. Him. A Bad Boy isn’t the glorified Danny Zuko types that we see in films, he does not care about you, and you can’t make him do so.

Warning signs:

He treats you badly and has little respect for anybody. He always seems disinterested but will show you just enough to keep your attention. Insults may be a method of ‘flirting’, but we can all agree that it’s not cute.

Common phrases:

Will insult you, then immediately play it off as a joke.

All About the Business

Mr All About the Business is successful in his career and he will make sure you know it. This is not to be confused with men who are genuinely hard working, driven and passionate about their job – however you can smell a business player a mile away. He behaves like he’s just stepped off of Wall street and the whole world is there to cater for him.

Warning signs:

Will regularly use work as an excuse not to see you, which makes you feel uncomfortable as he has had multiple flings within the office and can’t keep his eyes to himself.

Common phrases:

“She’s just a work friend, we only kissed a little at the Christmas party.”

Now that you’ve learned about fifty shades of a player, you can avoid men like that and get yourself a real man. We all deserve to be treated with the care and respect that we put into a relationship, why waste time on someone who will not give back what you do?! Part of the problem is spotting the warning signs. But I cannot stress this enough, a player will get under your skin, and you will get hurt. Don’t be another girl in a long line of conquests – respect yourself and keep moving onwards and upwards.

Charlie is a graduate in Media and English Literature, an excitable blogger, and a closet comedian. Also, Netflix enthusiast, friend to dogs, foodie, book club aficionado, and wannabe jet-setter.

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