Yesterday, I blogged about the advice my male friends have for interpreting a guy's mixed signals.
Today, as a follow-up, I want to talk today about another writer-lady's very smart advice on how to determine whether or not a guy is a player. Susan Walsh writes the blog Hooking Up Smart, which I came across when she mentioned one of my columns in a post of hers. In it, she made a number of smart points about players — and I'm summarizing the good stuff for you here.
1. Players text too much.
As Susan points out, players will often send a lot of basically meaningless "sweet" texts, along the lines of, "How was your day?" and "Hey, just thought I'd say I'm thinking about you" and "Sleep tight." While this kind of thing is fine once you've established true intimacy with someone, if a dude is pulling this kind of BS before you've had four or five dates at the very least, chances are pretty good he's full of shit. Or else kinda pathetic.
2. Players text at the last minute.
Do they ever! Now, I think it's obvious when someone texts you at midnight, asking what you're up to, that he's just looking for sex. But players will also send more innocent-seeming texts, saying stuff like, "Hey — spontaneous invite — wanna grab dinner tonight?" Or, "This week is starting to look brutal. I'm free tonight but will probably have to work late through the weekend. Wanna grab a drink later?" While this kind of informality might come off as charming or enthusiastic, I think you should never agree to a last-minute plan unless you've already been on multiple dates with a guy — or unless you feel confident that he is pretty into you. Whatever you do, if you agree to a last-minute plan, do not also agree to go home with him! Unless all you want is casual sex.
While we're on the topic of cellular communication, I will add:
3. Players text a ton one day — and then days and days go by with nothing.
I think this is a power trip thing, or else just basic inconsiderate behavior, or else a ploy to get you feeling insecure and jumpy and greedy for any kind of communication from him.
4. Players will pressure you for sex early.
Starting on, like, date one. And it will feel like pressure. It will make you uncomfortable or it will seem like a deviation from his typical behavior or both. It's different from the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm two people will feel when there's mutual attraction and mutual respect.
5. Players will not respond well if you voice hesitations about having sex.
They will try to talk you into it instead of being cool with your desire to wait. As Susan puts it, "Even if it's charming and he couches it in terms of wanting you really badly, it's still pressure. A man who wants something real with you will respect your decision about timing." Totally. The charming ones are the worst.
Does any one of these rules, by itself, signal a player? Certainly, I think chances are very high that any guy who is being overly persistent about sex is most likely a douchebag, no matter how incredibly into you he seems — and I speak from unhappy experience.
As for the stuff about texting: If he's doing any — or all three of those things — and you're not sure where you stand with him, or something seems not quite right, I'd be on guard. You might want to say something like, "Texting can be so distracting — I'd really prefer if you e-mailed me or called me to make plans." Or else say, "Look, considering I don't know you very well, I'd prefer to make plans in advance. Last-minute invites are not my thing."
All right? What do you ladies (and gents!) think about all this? Am I right on? Or a little hysterical?