Are You Dating A Player Or Is He Just A Player With You?

dating a player

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

This is a great dating story about a divorced friend of mine who was dating a player (or so I thought.)


It all started last fall, when she went out with a guy she really thought she liked. The problem was, he wasn’t treating her very well. For example, after the first date, she was the one who texted him. (I feel like that’s a bad sign from the start.) Then, he would text her occasionally, but he wouldn’t ask her out.


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My friend found herself really frustrated. All she got from this guy were texts and photos of himself with friends, on trips, etc. She would get her hopes up that he was going to ask her out again, but he just never did. But, he would always stay in touch, like he was keeping her on this rope just in case he wanted to go out again. For this reason, he wasn’t my favorite person. She was dating a player. Period.


“Dump this guy,” I would tell my friend. “Just stop answering these self-centered texts that are making you feel like he’s stringing you along.”


Eventually, they stopped texting.


So, a few days ago, another friend of mine (who doesn’t know my other friend) tells me she just started dating this amazing guy. Describing him as “attentive, sweet, kind, thoughtful, and affectionate,” she said it’s really nice that he is so committed.


‘Wow, that’s refreshing!’ I’m thinking. I love guys like him—not afraid to show affection and not afraid to commit.


 But then, I find out it’s the same guy! So what gives?


Here is what I realized about this story. Was my first friend dating a player? I don’t think people can be classified as “players” on a permanent basis. In other words, if someone is a player, it’s because of one of two reasons:


1. He hasn’t met the right person.

2. He’s not in a place where he’s ready to commit.

In this case, this guy is probably a really good guy, and my friend (the second one) is getting the best version of him maybe because he’s in a difference place now then he was back in the fall. Or, maybe he just didn’t have the feelings for my first friend needed to be a committed boyfriend.


The lesson here is, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with my first friend. She’s actually beautiful and kind and a really good person. It’s just that there is something about my second friend that is bringing out the best in this guy for whatever reason—whether it’s her or timing or a combination.




So, if you think you are dating a player, you will feel better if you let yourself realize that the problem isn’t YOU, but rather either timing, or the chemistry just isn’t there for him (which is no reflection on you, either!)


I can tell you that my current boyfriend truly brings out the best in me. I am committed because the chemistry is there in every way, and I am also in a really good and stable place in my life. In previous relationships, I can’t say the same. He brings out the best in me, but I am also mature and committed to being the best person I can be.


I hope this works out for my friend. She deserves to be treated wonderfully, by a guy who makes her feel adored and cherished, and who is committed. We all deserve that. So, don’t settle for anything but that. If he’s a player, don’t try to fight it. Just move on. It’s not easy, but he won’t change for you. Believe me.


I dated a guy several years ago who just wasn’t into me. He was hot and cold and not committed at all. I kept trying to change him and the situation and all that got me was frustrated and bitter, with low self-esteem. The guy then met this other woman a couple months after me, and has been committed and loving to her for years. So, it wasn’t that he was unable to be a great boyfriend, he just didn’t want that with me. At first, it hurt a little bit. I mean, why didn’t he want that with me? But the key is to just say to yourself, “It’s just that way. Nothing I can do. Not meant to be.” AND, do not take it personally.

How a person feels about you should not define how you feel about yourself.


Remember that dating a player isn’t healthy for self-esteem and overall happiness. Don’t try to change him and make it work. Your guy and the right timing will show up soon. But you won’t meet him if you are focused on the player you are constantly trying to change.

PS. My first friend is now in a wonderful relationship with a guy who is committed to her.

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

One Response to “Are You Dating A Player Or Is He Just A Player With You?”

  1. Maggie

    A wise male colleague of mine said something when I started dating after my divorce that has stuck with me: “A man will only change for one woman, but I can’t tell you who that woman is.” Advice I would have loved to have had decades ago that I have passed on to my daughter. It also made it easier to be happy for my ex when he remarried.


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