Obviously, nobody wants to be treated badly, but there’s an undeniable temptation.
Guys who are a bit of a player are also usually confident, witty, attractive, cool (in a nonchalant kinda way), and oh so charming — and let’s face it, they probably need to be in order to get away with all their roguish antics.
Maybe we like the challenge of trying to tame a player. It’s certainly not impossible either, a few times in my life it has worked.
After all, they’re human too and just as capable of falling hard as the rest of us — despite the steely exterior.
Plenty of other times though it’s backfired. They stayed true to character, used me up, and spat me out, before promptly moving on to the next victim.
I guess you’re always playing with fire when you fall for a player — but maybe that’s part of the thrill.
In this article, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about dating players.
We’ll run through 15 signs that a player is falling for you, as well as 5 blatant warning signs that he’s just using you.
What makes a “player” a player?
Before we get into those all-important signs to look out for, we need to get into the head of the player — so that we can truly understand them and what motivates them.
Ready to go all Freudian with me?
Great. So, first off, what do we even mean when we call someone a player?
Throughout the centuries there have been many names to describe this kind of man.
Cad, lothario, womanizer, fuckboy, ladies man, Cassanova, playa — whatever you call him, his kind have been around since the dawn of time.
Common characteristics of a player:
- Only out for sex
- Emotionally unavailable
- Gets your hopes up but lets you down
- Charming but still guarded
- Spends a lot of time trying to convince you he’s not a player (“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”)
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a few of the key hallmarks.
Ultimately a player is only really interested in sleeping with you, keeping things casual, and having some fun — but they’re not in it for the long haul or a committed relationship.
The truth is that a lot of us are capable of slightly player behaviour at some point or another in life.
It just depends on what we are looking for at the time and whether we’re open to a relationship.
Can a player fall in love? Absolutely.
The good news is that it’s also perfectly possible for men to reform their playa ways.
They might naturally grow out of it when they emotionally mature, or they might meet someone special who makes them want to change.
If you’ve fallen for a player and want to know if he feels the same too, read on.
How do you tell if a player is falling for you?
1) He wants to do more than hookup
You go on real dates. Your phone doesn’t just ping after midnight suggesting a little Netflix and chill session. You actually go places and do things together.
I can’t help but think there is a sliding scale when it comes to dating that shows how serious someone is about it all.
The order goes something like this:
- After hours: in the house, Netflix, and chill — it’s just a hookup.
- Evening dates: going to a bar, spending late nights drinking — it’s largely still about sex.
- Evening dates – going out to dinner: he wants to “woo” you a bit (either to get you into bed or because he does really like you).
- Daytime and weekend dates: going to museums, taking a hike, picnic in the park — he’s making an effort and wants to get to know you.
- Daytime and weekend dates: going to Ikea, hanging out at home cooking dinner, doing errands and chores together — you’re practically already married.
Ok, it’s a bit of a crude oversimplification, but I think you get the gist.
My point is that there’s just a different kind of quality to our sober daylight hours.
Players won’t sacrifice their most precious time for you.
That’s why if you’re having actual dates, rather than just being conveniently slotted into his schedule, it suggests that sex isn’t his only motive for seeing you.
2) He always wants you to stay the night
Sharing a bed with someone that you’re not close to can actually be quite uncomfortable or even downright awkward.
That’s probably why the stereotypical image of a one-night stand silently trying to sneak out without waking you exists.
You’ve got what you wanted from the situation, so there’s no point in hanging around.
Staying over the odd time or for logistical reasons (i.e. you live too far away to go home) might not mean a lot.
But if he is always asking you to stay the night — just to cuddle, chat and generally be there — it implies a certain level of affection.
3) He compliments your character not just your looks
Ordinarily, we have to take a lot of whatever a player may say with a pinch of salt.
After all, it’s kind of their M.O. to charm you with flattery to make you feel special and think you’re different from all the others.
Whilst a player might lay it on thick with the compliments — “you’re so hot”, “you’ve got the most beautiful eyes”, “you look incredible in that new outfit” etc. — normally his flattery will stay superficial.
If his words are more emotional — as opposed to just talking about how you look or sexual overtones — it signals he is looking at your personality as well as your body.
4) He’s not being pushy about sex
Although some players are looking for an ego boost or something to fill their time — mostly the ultimate goal is sex.
They’re not looking for an actual relationship and keeping things casual lets them get what they want without having to settle down or commit.
That’s why if a player doesn’t get what he’s looking for, you usually find he moves on pretty quickly.
That’s also why if he isn’t being pushy about sex, or maybe you haven’t slept together yet and he’s still on the scene — he is there for another reason.
This reason is that he actually wants to be around you, regardless of if you’re doing the deed.
If he isn’t trying to get you to jump straight into bed — it’s a good sign this player has feelings for you.
5) He wants you to meet his friends
Unless you already know them because you hang in the same circles, we don’t usually introduce dates to our friends straight away.
Bumping into his friends doesn’t really count, but if he invites you to meet them, that’s different.
He is ready to explain to people who you are and how you feature in his life.
Similarly, if he wants to meet your friends, this shows he is interested in getting involved in one another’s lives on a deeper level.
6) He tells you he’s falling for you
Unless he is the King of manipulation, even a player is unlikely to be cruel enough to flat out tell you he has strong feelings for you if he doesn’t have any at all.
You may feel a bit wary if you know a guy has a reputation for charming with his words.
In some cases, you may be right to feel suspicious.
Look out for things like “I respect you”, “I think a lot of you”, or “I think you’re great”. He’s not explicitly talking about his feelings and so these types of sentences could still be part of his repertoire to try to get you into bed.
But if he explicitly tells you that he is falling for you, this is different for him and it’s more than just sex — it’s likely to be genuine.
7) He opens up to you
When a player is doing his thing, he is usually wearing a bit of a mask.
The cool exterior is all that you get to see. It’s his protective armour that shields his real feelings.
It’s difficult to penetrate the surface to experience his more vulnerable side underneath. So if he’s showing you this side of him, it doesn’t come lightly.
He may tell you personal things about himself, he could open up to you about his past, or he might share his fears and hopes.
8) You have deep conversations
It’s more than just chit-chat or flirty rhetoric — you actually talk about the big stuff too. Politics, world issues, big dreams, and life goals.
Even though players are often great conversationalists, it tends to stay on a fairly surface level.It’s funny and light.
He may ask questions and show an interest in you or your life, but it never turns emotional.
So, if you are effortlessly talking for hours about a variety of deep subjects, it shows that you connect in a deeper way.
9) It’s been a long time…and he’s still around
Player romances tend to be fairly short-lived.
They don’t hang around too long because after a certain amount of time feelings usually become involved.
After several months of dating, most of us start to have expectations about where things are going.
This can feel like messy territory for a player to stumble into. It’s a grey zone that comes too close to a real relationship.
If it’s been quite a long time and he hasn’t done a runner, there’s a reason for it — which suggests it has more longevity.
10) Things are progressing
What do I mean by progressing?
Well, most relationships build over time. They start off with casual dating and grow stronger as you begin to form a bond with one another.
We may go from seeing someone one or two nights a week in the beginning to seeing them several, or even most, nights of the week.
When it’s early days, communication could be limited to when you’re arranging dates or the odd text message. As things develop, the check in’s will become more frequent and maybe even daily.
One of the common frustrations of dating your regular run-of-the-mill player is that at some point you hit a brick wall and things just don’t seem to progress any further.
If it were a game, you’d be stuck on level 5 and can never find the key to unlock the higher levels.
For example, it’s been months but you’re still only seeing each other sporadically, and he only drops into your inbox infrequently or when he wants something.
11) He’s consistent with his attention
A characteristic of your classic fuckboy is coming on strong, disappearing off the face of the earth, and then, usually when you least expect it, dropping into your DM’s with a casual “How’s it going?” — as if no time at all has passed.
If since the start of your romance he has been unwavering with his attention then it shows he hasn’t lost interest.
If feelings towards you are consistent and not dependent upon whether he is bored, horny, lonely or just looking for something to do — he may have changed his ways.
12) You make love
Sex is different when there are feelings involved.
It has a different kind of energy to it that may be hard to define, but you just feel.
Making love establishes more of a deeper connection that goes beyond lust or using one another’s bodies for satisfaction.
Of course, it’s a very subjective experience — and it can mean more to you, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it does for the other person too.
There are clues though:
- It seems more tender.
- There is lots of eye contact during sex.
- There’s affectionate touching during and after sex.
- There’s lots of kissing before and after sex.
- It’s slower and there’s no rush.
- He touches intimate places other than the obvious — like your face, shoulder, or intertwined fingers.
13) He gives you “that look”
I don’t even really know how to describe it, but I think you will know what I mean by “that look”.
There is a depth to it. He’s not just checking you out.
It’s as though you can see the clogs in his brain moving behind his eyes. He’s thinking as he gazes at you with this lovestruck expression on his face.
It’s not to be confused with the flirtatious eye contact that you might get on a date that shows you’re physically attracted to someone.
No, this is the dreamy look that feels like he’s staring straight into your soul. You just sense the weight of the feelings behind it.
14) He commits to future plans
Real players are flaky. It’s difficult to pin them down.
That’s why you’ll normally find they’re very noncommittal over any future plans.
They definitely won’t be browsing mini breaks for the fall or buying tickets to see your favourite band next month.
If he is not just talking about future plans, but taking action to commit to them, see it as a sign he intends to stick around.
15) He wants you to meet his family
Players do not take you home to meet their mom.
They avoid all levels of intimacy or signs of commitment — and it doesn’t really get much more intimate or committed than going home to meet the folks.
People can spend many months or even years dating and still never get introduced to the family.
Whether we’re close to our family or not, bringing someone home is a pretty big step for most people.
5 strong signs a player’s NOT falling in love with you
1) He blows hot and cold
One minute he is there, showering you with attention and affection — and just generally making you feel like the center of the Universe — and the next moment, you blink and he’s gone.
He messaged you every day for three weeks, seeing what you were up to, checking how you are, and forwarding on silly memes but now you haven’t even had a reply from him in days.
This is all your standard player behaviour. They seem super keen…until they’re not.
But their disappearing act isn’t permanent or total ghosting. Whenever it suits them, they pop up again acting like they didn’t just leave you hanging.
Basically, there’s no consistency and even if you seem to have a great time when you see each other, it isn’t going any further. Rather than get closer over time, things seem to stand still.
2) He says he’s not ready
If a guy tells you that “he isn’t looking for anything serious”, that he’s “just not ready to settle down” or he “doesn’t want a partner right now” — believe him.
If you think he will change his mind later, or fall for you regardless and not be able to help himself — you’re taking a gamble that is unlikely to pay off.
If he says that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, he has a resistance to it.
The idea that you can’t help falling in love isn’t really true. The reality is to really love someone else, we have to be willing to open ourselves up to it.
3) He’s still dating other people
Even though open relationships aren’t unheard of, most people in serious relationships (rightly or wrongly) practice monogamy.
When we fall in love we often only have eyes for that person. Plus, jealousy usually means we want to keep them all to ourselves.
If you know that there are others on the scene, it suggests he hasn’t reached an emotional stage with you yet where he’s willing to commit.
4) It’s all sex, sex, sex
During the honeymoon phase, it’s totally normal for there to be a very sexual focus in your relationship.
The release of all those hormones means that we can’t keep our hands off each other.
You might feel like you spend 90% of your time in the bedroom. But even in those circumstances, where is the other 10% spent?
If it’s together doing other things like grabbing dinner, going for coffee, or cuddling on the sofa — then you are probably just in the highly sexually charged stage of your romance.
On the other hand, if the remaining 10% of your time together is filled with him making excuses why he’s got to go, him dashing for the door, or stumbling to find all his clothes so he can make a quick exit — let’s face it, it’s not a good sign.
When it’s just about sex for him, he won’t really be that interested in spending time with you whenever the context isn’t sexual.
5) He keeps you a secret
It’s ok to want a relationship to remain private. But there’s a difference if you feel like he’s keeping it secret.
In the beginning, it’s easier to explain away, but if it’s been a while and still nobody knows about you too, it’s a big red flag.
If he doesn’t want to be seen with you publically, none of his friends have ever laid eyes on you, and his family doesn’t even know that you exist —you have to question his motives.
He’s essentially not making an effort for you to feature in his life whatsoever.
To conclude: How do players act when they fall in love?
You’ve probably heard the expression that a leopard never changes its spots. Luckily human behavior is far more mutable than this phrase gives credit for.
We are all capable of learning from our mistakes, growing, and changing our ways — but only when we want to.
If your player is showing you that things are different from you, then he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Our past certainly does not define our future. There’s a lot to be said for meeting the right person at the right time.
At the same time, our past does give indicators to our character, so should never be totally ignored.
What’s most important is how he treats you.
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