how to deal with a player

Taylor Swift once wrote a little song called ‘Shake it off’. I think you may know it? The one where the ‘players gonna play and the haters gonna hate’. If you are anything like me you want to throw your hands in the air and use a thousand preaching hand emoji’s whilst screaming ‘can I get a hallelujah?’ The girl is right! Taylor speaks the truth because when it comes to the players or as we affectionately now call them ‘fuckboys’, they are always going to play you. They have played me and continue to do so. Unfortunately these men can happen to anyone. They are dangerous, and sometimes impossible to identify. Even the ‘nice guy’ can be the worst type of player. Unfortunately we don’t have the benefit of a sign over their neck or a tattoo on their forehead warning us to not go anywhere near them. I would like to see this identification process rolled out immediately.

We end up tangled in their games and before you know it, you are caught. You can be strung along for months believing that they couldn’t possibly be playing you for a fool until you find yourself wondering where your hindsight was when you needed it. Where did you miss the part where they were cut from the same douchebag cloth as all of the others? Should you have really seen it coming? If we know anything about this type of man, it is that they are so good at it. Professionals in fact, except they don’t get paid in money but unsuspecting women’s phone numbers. If you find yourself in a situation where you are potentially caught out by a player, there is no time like the present to shake him off. So here are some tips on how to deal with a player.

Get off the ride

At some point you feel like you are being taken on a ride. One which feels like you have fallen asleep in the back of a taxi and woke up in the middle of nowhere at 2.00am. How did you get here? Well you were so busy wanting to believe that they were different this time around that you ignored all the signposts saying ‘no through road to happy ending’. The worst part is that it can take some time to realise that you are being strung along. When you talk to someone for months and then all of a sudden they just disappear. At some point it is clear as vodka that he is taking you for a ride. If you are emotionally clueless when it comes to men, like I am, then chances are you seriously won’t notice until the wheels fall off the ride completely. If you are smarter than me though, pay attention! If at any point your feel like you are a game to him, don’t ignore it. Your intuition is your best friend. If you feel like he is stringing you along with false promises, shitty attempts at being decent, or just flat out asking for nudes before asking how your day was, cut it. Only a guy who has intentions to stay in your life will chase you, but if he doesn’t notice you have disappeared, you have stepped off the ride and made the right decision.

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You give and don’t get back

Are you the one making all of the effort? If you stopped making the effort would he reciprocate? Do you find yourself making big gestures and going above and beyond only to be lucky enough to get a one word text four days later? Now if I had a dollar for every time this happened I would have the same bank account as Taylor Swift, but I honestly would still shop sale items on ASOS. You would think by now after thirty one years of being a women that I would have figured it but what can I say, something about a breathing, tall, semi charming man that makes my brain drop a few hundred IQ points. There comes a point where you have to stop putting in so much effort for someone who doesn’t return the serve. If a guy does not want to make the effort for you, putting so much of your time and energy into him is a waste of your time and contour game. If you cannot remember the last time he contacted you that didn’t fall between the hours of Friday 8.00pm to Sunday 4.00am despite you making an effort to text him on a Tuesday, then it is time to cut him loose. Use that time more wisely and on something that will make you happy, like finally putting a top coat on your toe nails.

You make excuses for the games

It is the same conversation over and over again. Your friends look at you like you are insane. They ask you why you keep talking to a guy who is clearly playing you like you are a contestant on The Bachelor. At least those girls get roses out of it. You on the other hand are barely lucky enough to get an unsolicited dick pic. Do you tell them that he has baggage? That he got burnt in the past and now he is emotionally damaged? Do you defend him and make excuses for his behaviour? If you answered yes to one or all of the above, you probably know already but you don’t want to admit it that you are being played. You are hanging onto a hope that something will change. As much as we all believe we can be the girl who they choose as ‘the one’, this is not Lord of the Rings. There isn’t one girl to rule a player like him and honestly? You actually have more chances of finding a fictional ring from a literary fantasy trilogy then having this guy treat you right.

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He is a nice guy, just not to you

Yes sometimes he is genuinely a nice guy, to everyone else. Everyone may vouch for him because they are the nice guy to their friends and little old ladies needing help crossing the road. Don’t be fooled. The thing about a nice guy is they are not always so nice to the opposite sex. If all they want to do is sex and leave but are dubious with their intentions, then they aren’t a nice guy. Too many times we pay attention to what everyone else says and ignore the red flags. Of course we believe the opinions of those we know and trust because they would never set us up for getting an emotional smack down. If everyone else says he is a nice guy, why would we not believe them? Unfortunately they aren’t made to feel like a fool, we are. They also don’t have to experience the horror that is him ghosting you months later, after he has gotten exactly what he wanted.

If this guy isn’t honest with you, respects you, appreciates you, then he isn’t a nice guy. If he was transparent in what he wanted and you chose to ignore it, then sorry you are a fool, and welcome to the club. I am the President of this club because I know that I have ignored his warnings before but still went ahead anyway. If he treats you like you don’t matter, and makes you feel like you are never going to be good enough, walk away. You are wasting your precious time on someone who doesn’t deserve you. End this story between you and him, before you get hurt. You will get hurt and guess what? He won’t because he will walk off into the sunset completely unscathed and texting the next girl in line.

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Sometimes we forget that we deserve better and we chase the ones who don’t deserve us. Maybe you simply are attracted to the ones who seem like a challenge, or you want to be the one to fix them. Whatever reason exists, all of us at some point end up trying to make something with someone who doesn’t have the same intentions as us. Yes it hurts, and we secretly hold onto the hope that they will realise that we are incredible and worth a shot. Like Swift sings though, the players will always play and the ones who string you along are the worst types of men to be spending your energy on. If you find yourself feeling like you aren’t good enough, or that it feels like a game to him, or you are being used and abused, then you know how to deal with a player. Cut your losses and delete his number. Try to not look back or text to see if he is going to finally start thinking about you like you do about him. Shake off the feelings. Shake off the games. Just really shake him off.

Ashleigh is a writer, blogger, poet and completely knee-deep in the dating world. She likes to talk about love and relationships because those who can't do, write about it from the comfort of their own home whilst wondering if peanut butter and wine are a nutritious dinner.

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