Players are not new to this time period. Down through history they’ve been called by other names–cad, rake, heel, bounder. In more civilized times, one could argue, at least a womanizer in the vein of Don Juan or Casanova would entertain a lady, make her feel wanted and desired before leaving her penniless, reputation shattered, to move on to his next victim.
Don’t get it twisted
Ay, there’s the rub. Essentially, these men were buying the affections of the ladies involved, even if the ladies weren’t aware the transaction was occurring. The modern lothario doesn’t bother with all of that noise. He goes right for the glory. And many women acquiesce: in word, in deed, through support of lyrics, lingo and subculture movements.
The innocent and unsuspecting have to defend themselves against such behavior or risk having their hearts broken, or worse. Those complicit in the activities have to be willing to, ahem, sleep in the bed of their own making.
All men are players?
Let me make myself clear here. I’m not talking about those guys labeled a player by bitter former girlfriends simply because they preferred to leave the relationship or move along to someone else. I’m talking about those hardcore and recalcitrant rogues who view women as sport, as objects and conquests. The scoundrels who will lie and tell you you’re the only one, even as they’re texting another under the table.
You better recognize!
Players have many different motivations, but most of them boil down to one or two basics- power or sex. They may want to see what they can get from you. They may be out to see how many partners they can acquire or may attempt to set up a small personal harem, with one of many women available at any time, yet no one necessarily more special than another. They may simply be in it for the easy physical pleasure or may sharpen the challenge by attempting to help you and your money part ways.
Always use protection
Trust is an integral part of any relationship, maybe more so in the online arena where you have less information upon which to base your assumptions (and where the bulk of that information is self-supplied and must necessarily be suspect). This is where benefit may be gained in looking back to the social rules of the past.
Playing hard to get is an old school game, one women can use to level the field against the players out there. If they have to work to earn your affections, those affections become either more inherently valuable or not worth the time and effort to run their con. Holding out against his (and your own) urges may ultimately work in your favor.
There is no fault in taking the time to look around, to evaluate the members of the dating community. Casting a wide net can give a dater a better chance of getting a response. There is also no harm in keeping conversations going with multiple interests at once. Generally, when you move into more serious levels of interaction, most people expect those levels to be one on one.
Breakin’ it down
The world of relationships has become both complex and at the same time grossly simple. Take the example of the jump off. The affiliation is sexual, without any ties and feelings are discouraged.
For some, this has become an accepted practice: a guy may have a main girlfriend or wife, plus one or more jump offs on the side. A jump off may be involved in a relationship of her own, may be important to the guy, or may be someone treated like a one night stand or worse. Women may have jump offs of their own. It is all about sex, readily available, with few to no strings or encumbrances.
There may also be sustained connections with baby mamas or exes. With an already established relationship, crossing a line is easier. There are also friends with benefits. This is when two friends mutually agree to share sex without emotional ties or placing limiting demands on freedom. In these cases, there is a history which makes easy sex possible, while potentially offering less chance of getting caught, and a ready made excuse for being around the other person.
How to win at the game
One way to beat a playa is to not get involved in his game. When you expect someone else to be responsible for your happiness, rely on them to romance you, sweep you off your feet, you open yourself to letdown and to manipulation. Get a book, take a class on confidence, look to God–find a source of personal power and a way to handle your own business. You’ll have the strength and resources to resist feeling as if you have to take the first offer or just any old offer that comes your way.
It is completely acceptable to have feelings and emotional needs, but you have to be aware in order to guard yourself against being used. Just as you would take a self defense class or carry a gun if you had to traverse a dangerous area, you need to be aware these people are out there and understand what their intentions may be.
Take steps to protect yourself before you find yourself involved. Do so while you can be objective, before they can begin to wear down your defenses through strategy. Do so before you put yourself out there where loneliness or vulnerability might make you a target.
The sayings are right on–don’t player hate, appreciate. Whether you play offense, defense, or choose to sit out, know your player’s game and decide your own position or risk finding yourself on the losing side.
Photo by clarita @ morgueFile