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

dating a player

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, 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.


Going Through a Divorce?  Names You Need and Why


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. He’s clearly hot and cold, mostly cold.


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.


Want Financial Security After Divorce?


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.


Bridging the Gap Between Conflict and Resolution


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, turns out, it wasn’t that he was unable to be a great boyfriend, he just didn’t want to be one with me.  Does that hurt me? Yes, in a way it stings. I mean, why didn’t he want that with me? Our first reaction is to think, “What’s wrong with me?” The answer is nothing. Just say to yourself, “It’s just that way. There is nothing I can do. It’s not meant to be. I am going to meet someone who is better for me and I am going to be happy.” I am living proof that that happened.

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.

Like this article? Check out “3 Words For Those Who Have A Fear of Dating After Divorce”



10 Big Divorce Mistakes You Really Don’t Want to Make


5 Common Fears About Getting a Mortgage After Divorce


Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to get weekly articles on divorce and dating.

Sign up
Listen to the Divorced Girl Smiling podcast! a weekly show about divorce and dating


Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *