Understanding Men: I Know He’s a Player, But Does He Like Me?

When it comes to understanding men, my dating advice is to pull back and be objective. If you know a guy is a player, will it be different with you? Find out my response to this reader’s question.

understanding menUnderstanding Men Requires Objectivity

“Hi Ronnie, the Dating Coach for Women,

My question is about the classic player. We’ve known each other for a couple of years. He’s been my rock through my current marriage separation. I knew he was interested a couple of months before we went out for drinks and went back to his place. We did sleep together, and I know from watching him with other women that he normally loses interest and moves on at this stage.

We’ve since slept together twice after that. We text all the time and talk on the phone sometimes for 2 months. He’s always really engaged and keeps the conversation going. He does the gentlemanly thing of walking me to my car, makes me coffee at his house etc. which he claims is an absolute first because he doesn’t do that with anyone else. This is our open friendship with each other.

I KNOW he is interested in me, he blushes when he’s around me, which is cute, and comes in to my work for no reason. It’s been a month since we last hung out as last week was the first week he’s been free – he had guests from overseas he was entertaining and putting up in his lounge room. He is genuinely busy 5 nights of the working week after work, but I still think that time is a matter of priority. We’ve had discussions about ‘playing the game’ and how he was not doing that with me. He’s watched and coached me through blowing off other men because they did this.

I feel like he’s starting to play the game. I have my own busy life. He’s expressed to me how much he enjoyed us sleeping together, but the last time we tried to find time to meet up between our schedules we only could find super late on a Friday night.  Then we decided to try another time.

I have the gut instinct that he does like me; I know he’s scared of a relationship but I can’t help but feel like he’s being lazy and keeping me at an emotional distance. This week coming, I’ve decided I won’t contact him at all and see what happens no matter how hard that will be. Are my instincts right or am I deluding myself?? 

Thanks for your insights,
Delusional in Delaware”

Dear Del,

When it comes to understanding men, the best thing you can do is take a step back and look at the situation objectively. To do this, you must remove emotion and your feelings for him and look at the two of you logically to make sense of things.

You start out saying this guy is a classic player. So, why do you think he’s not playing you? Of course he is. He said he liked sleeping with you – I bet he did. You are friends with benefits. You say you know he’s interested, but my question is, interested in what? Fooling around or making you his girlfriend? I didn’t hear one bit of evidence that he’s looking for an exclusive relationship.

The signals you mention are signs of attraction, not interest. Don’t worry, women get this confused all the time. Attraction means he wants to sleep with you. Interest means he wants to be in a relationship. Is he showing signs of wanting a relationship?

  • He never has time to see you
  • He suggested a booty call – late night get together
  • He doesn’t ever make you his priority

Nope, these three bullets show he doesn’t see you as his girlfriend. His cute little blushes, a walk to your car, or making you coffee don’t make him a gentleman or indicate serious intentions.

A man who wants a long-term relationship will try to see you and spend time with you. He’ll want to impress you and win you over. He won’t let a month go by because of out of town visitors – he’d include you.

Now has he been a good friend? Sounds like he has been helpful, but don’t hold out for him as a romantic partner.

Dating During Divorce
You are not finished with your divorce. Before you look for love again, you need to heal from the end of your marriage. This is a loss, and you need to finish up and have recovery time. You could date casually, so if you want to see him casually, that’s OK. It’s only a problem if you think he might be a real boyfriend. He’s not the type.

Divorce is serious. Honor this break and yourself by taking time to heal and learn from any mistakes you made. I recommend you avoid jumping into anything right now, never mind with your player buddy. Understanding men as I do, I can tell you this guy can’t give you what you want.

Wishing you love,

understanding men

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Understanding Men: I Know He’s a Player, But Does He Like Me?”

  1. If you want a serious relationship, never date a man until he commits to you. It’s the only methods I know to weed out players. Also, contrary to sexual stereotypes, if a man REALLY likes you, he will WAIT. He may not wait until marriage, but he will wait. I have never had a girlfriend put this policy up and not have it work. It has also worked for me. As far as I am concerned, anyone who cannot wait to have sex for 6 months has issues if their bigger goal is to meet a man who will be true and a real relationship partner.

    • Hi Melissa, Wow – good for you standing firm like that! Six months is a long time but I do agree, a good man will wait for sure. Thanks for encouraging my peeps and keep up the good work!

  2. I was once asked by a woman as a male the biggest piece of dating advice I would ever give to single women. My response: “If you really wish to have a long term committed relationship to a man that is loyal, say to every man you meet, “I do not sleep with any man outside of a committed relationship with trust, deep communication and emotional intimacy. I 100% guarantee it will drive away every man who is player. Players have no interest hanging around and trying to get such a girl to sleep with them when there are plenty of suckers who are willing to take the bait. Just say you wait for commitment, which you should be waiting for if you really want the love of your life.

  3. Hi Ronnie, this guy played me, made promises of meeting that never happened, breadcrumped, lovebombed – you name it. We met on online dating app and we live quite close, so I feel very dumb right now as he thinks I’m all over him. Is there a way to gain value/power in his eyes? I really regret letting him to string me along and now he sees me as an ”easy catch”. I already ignored his messages and cut him off

    • Hi Pearl, The answer to your question there’s not really a way to upgrade your status except by ignoring him. But I hope you don’t think this is a way to win him over! Given the type of person he is – a player – who doesn’t respect women, why do you want him? It’s not like he’s suddenly going to become the kind of man who treats you well or will have the kind of close relationship you want. I encourage you to shore up your confidence and develop a strong sense of self-worth because that will keep you from falling for a player again. And when you are more self-assured, you will automatically appeal to a higher quality man who knows you won’t put up with shenanigans and will have a higher emotional IQ and want a healthy relationship. You can’t change any man, ever. But you can build yourself up!

  4. We had a one night stand, he was pretty straightforward from the start. He knew what he wanted and I obliged. Now I am still infatuated with him and I couldn’t help but hold on to false hope that I created. Though we had lunch afterwards, and he seemed interested to get to know me for that short time until we said goodbye and he said text me. I did. But it’s sort of only been flirty text and now I try to start up a normal conversation, a genuine interest. Asking if he has any hobbies. He responds with flirting with girls :). I could have joked it off. By saying not surprised or tell me something I don’t know. Except it didn’t hit me till then that he is being honest. He isn’t interested in me. If he was he wouldn’t have said that right.. So I ended up not replying back. Was that for the better? Should I just stop trying ? Is there really no way to have him actually be interested in me? Gosh it’s so disappointing that as hot as he is, he seems to he just as shallow.

    • Hi Roxy, Congratulations on realizing the truth of the situation. He was being honest – he doesn’t want a relationship, he just likes to flirt. You can’t make more of it than it was. Remember, everyone doesn’t want lasting love. As soon as a man says he doesn’t want a relationship, believe him and walk away. Or enjoy a fling. But unfortunately you can’t change him. Next time you meet a guy, hold off for at least 4-5 dates. This way you’ll get to know him a bit and see that he’s making an effort to get to know you beyond a quickie. It’s not a guarantee, but it does weed out a lot of men who only want sex.

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