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What Makes Someone a Player? The 21 Sly Signs of a Player’s Mind

If you’ve been ‘played by a player’ you’ll know how upsetting and annoying it can be. But, what makes someone a player? And do we misuse the term?

What Makes Someone a Player

These days, dating is not exactly easy. Not only do we have to deal with our own confidence issues and find someone who matches our wants and needs, but we also have to sidestep the potential of meeting a player. So, what makes someone a player? 

Do we blame Tinder? Do we blame TV shows and movies which make it look okay to have four or five other people on the go? Not really. We blame the person doing the playing. 

The thing is, it can be very easy to label someone a player because their past didn’t live up to your expectations, or they made a mistake. Men and women can be players in equal parts, although men are more often tarred with the player brush. 

[Read: Learn these 20 wily signs of a player and stop from being played]

Is someone a player because they’ve had a few different partners in the past? Possibly, but it could equally be that they made a few wrong decisions with who they chose to date and they all ended badly. Is someone a player because they cheated in the past? Perhaps. Again, was it one time only and they regretted it every day since?

What makes someone a player isn’t just one thing. It’s about a sum of parts, several character traits and actions. A player has a tendency to avoid responsibility for the consequences of their actions while showing no remorse. To them, love is a game, and they don’t play by the rules. Therefore, they have no problem hurting the one they’re playing with.

[Read: 14 first date red flags that speak a lot more than your date says]

What makes someone a player? 21 signs to look for

A man isn’t necessarily a player because he isn’t interested in commitment at this point in his life. A woman isn’t necessarily a player because she’s had many partners in the past. It’s a complicated subject, but if you want to sidestep the potential of meeting Mr. or Ms. Player in your dating future, watch for a few sure-fire signs you’re about to get played. 

1. Actions speak louder than words

Do they say one thing and then go ahead and do something completely different?

For instance, do they tell you they’ll be back before midnight, when in reality they have no intention of putting a time limit on how late they stay out? This is player behavior. Always read actions and don’t pay too much attention to words. [Read: The 15 types of toxic daters you have to keep an eye on!]

2. Love bombing

Love bombing is a player’s favorite trick.

A love bomber will present you with an idealized version of themselves when they first meet you. They’ll give you excessive attention and affection at the beginning of the relationship to make you feel dependent and obligated to them.

You may feel special and valuable due to the boost of dopamine you receive, but once the love bomber feels like they have the upper hand in the relationship, they’ll show their true colors.

Some men and women are naturally intense, and it’s fine if it’s part of who they are. However, be wary of those who go in strong from the very start and promise you the world. They might take back more than they can offer. [Read: What is love bombing and 21 signs to spot the manipulation early on]

3. Conversation always comes down to sex

Sex is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of a relationship, but it’s not the only one. To a player, however, it almost seems like it.

They’re not playing this game to develop emotionally. They want to get physical. If every time you have a conversation, it always comes down to something sexual, bad news: you’re dealing with a player.

The inability to talk about things is not a good basis for a relationship. If you can’t communicate without it turning into an innuendo, it’s going to get boring quite quickly. Of course, a little flirtation is great, fun even, but not every conversation. [Read: 21 reasons he just wants sex and why he’s just using you for fun]

4. You’re far down the priority list

If you’re always getting signs that you’re not a priority, realize that you’re dealing with a player and move on. You deserve attention and to be someone’s priority. Never fight for attention and never fight to be in someone’s life. 

5. You have no idea what is going on

If you never feel safe and secure in the relationship, e.g. you’re not sure what you are, how they really feel about you, when you’re going to see them next, and why they’re not replying to texts quickly, it’s time to ask the real question: What are you even doing with them?

They want to keep you around by creating all these questions in your head that they’ll never answer. This is one of the classic traits of a player. [Read: How to feel more secure in a relationship and learn to love better]

6. You never meet friends or family

If you’ve been seeing each other for a few months, and you still haven’t met their friends or family members, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a player. Someone who wants you in their life will be proud to show you off. It’s that simple. 

They might make up lame excuses about why they haven’t introduced you to their friends or family yet. For example, ‘My parents don’t care about who I’m dating,’ ‘I have no friends but you,’ ‘I’m not close to anyone but you.’ Definitely view that as a red flag and run when you still can.

7. They’re flaky with plans

A player is allergic to commitment. They don’t commit to any plan you want to make. If you ask them if they’re free for dinner on Tuesday, they’re likely to be quite vague and say they’ll ‘let you know.’

Be wary if you notice this tactic on a regular basis. If they cannot commit to something as simple as a dinner date, don’t expect them to commit to a serious relationship.

[Read: Here’s why you should never hang out with people who are flaky]

8. They’re quick to jump into bed

This also depends on the type of relationship you’re looking for. If you’re okay with sex on the first date and it’s been discussed, then it should be okay. After all, this isn’t necessarily a sign of a player if it isn’t combined with several other red flags.

But if they are quite keen to jump into the sack early on, and not that interested in learning about you as a person, there’s a high chance you’re heading into the player territory. 

9. They don’t really listen to you

Do you find it difficult to communicate with them? Do you feel like you would get a better response from chatting with a wall? If so, the reason is that they’re not interested in getting to know you or strengthening your connection.

A player won’t care if they lose you, because they think they can always get with someone else. Keep this in mind and stop wasting your breath for someone like that.

10. They don’t remember things about you

You’ve told them about your favorite movie twice and they still don’t remember what it is. They don’t remember something you said to them just yesterday They don’t even remember your birthday.

Some people are more forgetful than others. But if this happens too often, it’s a sign that they haven’t been listening to you. And if they were listening, you’re not important enough for them to remember those details about you. Sad but true. [Read: Emotionally detached? 15 signs they don’t care about your feelings]

11. They go AWOL for periods of time

If you don’t see them on a regular basis or if they suddenly aren’t reachable, and then they float back into your life again, the chances are that someone else *possibly more than one* has their attention. Don’t worry, they’ll get back to you soon *sarcasm intended*.

12. Not many people have a good word to say about them

While normal for the odd person to have an off-hand comment to make, if you find most people you speak to don’t really have much good to say about them, that’s a red flag. If it’s several people, stop and listen. 

You might think to yourself ‘but other people don’t know them like I do.’ Well, this is both right and wrong.

Other people don’t know them like you do, so they won’t be influenced by their feelings for this person and will be able to see them for who they are. Remember that love bombing can make you view the player as someone they’re not.

13. They’re not keen to be seen out with you

If you’re always the one arranging nights out, only for them to be less than attentive in public, and more towards hiding away in a corner, ask yourself why.

In this case, they’re possibly hiding you away because you’re not in any way exclusive. You deserve way more! [Read: What are the real reasons why someone would want to keep you secret and low key?]

14. They only ‘miss you’ at 2 AM

If you often get a text from them late at night saying they ‘miss you’ and asking you to come over, they’re a player. Someone who cares about you won’t make you ruin your sleep schedule for them, just because they can’t sleep, are drunk, and want sex.

So if you receive that text again, leave them on read, turn off your phone, and go back to sleep.

15. They’re less affectionate after sex

Have you ever felt very insecure after sex because they suddenly switch and start acting cold and distant? Well, have you ever heard of ‘post nut clarity’? It’s the term for the instant clear-mindedness an individual gains after orgasming, which happens more often in men than women.

Technically, when a man is aroused, they’ll become extra affectionate until they get what they want. After that, they become sober and return to their usual state.

Now, if a man cares about you, they’ll still feel the same about you after sex. A player, however, only wants you for sex, so when they’re done with you, they’re done. They no longer feel obligated to cuddle you or say sweet things to you. [Read: Why do guys distance themselves after sex? And how to handle this]

16. They don’t let you sleep over

If they ask you to leave right after sex even if it’s late, they’re definitely not interested in the connection that comes with post-sex cuddling and waking up together. 

Someone who truly cares about you won’t ask you to leave in the middle of the night. And no, them calling you an Uber and paying for it doesn’t change that fact.

So if they’re super eager for you to leave, block them on your way out.

17. They never call you by your name

Pet names in a relationship are cute, but only when they’re not generic and are more personal. If you’ve been ‘babe’ from the start, and they never utter your name, could this be because they’re not so keen to remember it?

Harsh, but sadly quite true in player land. [Read: What does babe mean when it comes from someone you like?]

18. They refuse to open up to you

A player won’t go into details about their daily life with you, let alone their background, even after months of knowing you. You might try to ask them questions about their past and family, but all they offer to you is the general information that you would give at a job interview.

It’s obvious that they don’t value your position in their life, so there’s no point for them to show you all sides of them. [Read: How to get a guy to open up and share more with you]

19. They follow many girls on Instagram

A man’s social media can say a lot about himself. So before you decide to get serious with him, check his Instagram following.

If you see a long list of beautiful girls *most of whom don’t even follow him back*, that is a possible red flag. And if you see him dropping heart emojis on these girls’ bikini pics, that’s a player right there. [Read: 17 things a guy should never do on Instagram when he’s dating a girl]

20. They don’t want to make future plans

A player is not here for the long term. They know they’ll get bored of you eventually; they just don’t know exactly when.

So if you ask them about an event a couple of months away, they’ll hesitate and say to wait until a closer date to book the tickets. That’s not a maybe; that’s actually a future no.

21. Trust your gut

This final sign is probably the most important. Always listen to your gut. If it’s telling you something is off, that you’re not being made the priority you deserve to be, and you’re getting a player-like vibe from this person, it’s sadly time to listen to that inner voice. 

If you’re reading these points and you recognize one, or maybe even two, don’t panic just yet, simply monitor the situation.

Sometimes, people are a little less attentive than normal. It could be down to stress or another problem in their lives. Hopefully, it will iron itself out and things will go back to normal. 

[Read: How to follow your gut instinct with these tried and true methods]

If you’re nodding along to several of these points, you’re reading the classic definition of what makes someone a player. In that case, it’s time to play the game one better and walk away with your head held high.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...