Pathology of a Player

            By Louisa Luigi

Learn how to recognize the signs of a player and distinguish the difference between a real relationship and one that is based on manipulation and heartache.

Romeo, Don Juan, Ladies’ Man. Like Gertrude Stein said, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Society can change his name, but it won’t change what he is: A thief of hearts that uses charm, wit and manipulation to steal what he can, as he moves from one vulnerable woman to the next.

Identifying a Player

According to the article “Are You Dating a Player?” by Dustin Goot on, a player will not be able to emotionally support a confident woman, nor is he capable of playing by her rules. He will choose a woman with low self-esteem, showering her with the affection she craves. He determines the rules by placing himself in the driver’s seat, ensuring an uneven playing field to his advantage.

Romeo’s hunting methods are a well calculated and predatory strategy. He chooses women who will enable him and put his needs first, to fill the void that he is unable fill himself. He comes on strong in the beginning, needing a woman that is susceptible to his offerings of affection and grand gestures, but offers no commitment. Luring her in, he provides a brief dating period, baits the hook by making her feel like she is the love of his life, and then reels her in.

Identifying a Womanizer

He is an actor of the worst sort, both men and women are taken in by his confidence. But Don Juan’s seduction comes at a price. The emptiness inside a player does not allow him to maintain the high level of intimacy he needs to bait and hook for long. Once he has a strong foot hold in a woman’s life he becomes aloof, leaving her wondering what happened. He knows that her disadvantaged self-esteem won’t stand for neglect, and counts on her trying to win back his affections by showering him with the attention he needs to fill his own vacuity.

Thankfully, the Ladies’ Man is fairly predictable. He throws out red flags from the beginning making him easy to spot:

•He comes on strong and fast, remembering personal details

•He is overly smooth and charming

•He will never offer a verbal commitment and refuses to call it a relationship

•He makes excuses

•He is unable to provide for himself and accepts money

•He is unavailable

•He gives less and less as time goes on

Most women dating players are reluctant to place pressure on them, fearing it will end the affair. Womanizers typically refuse to meet their victims’ family members, knowing if they do, it forces an acknowledgment of the relationship. Women will start making excuses for him to appease their own uncertainty and ego.


All women need a suit of armor when it comes to dating. Not being cautious and taking a potential suitor at face value can lead to dangerous dating blunders. Setting boundaries and limits, allows her to decide the evolution of the relationship.

On her website, relationship counselor Dr. Nancy Wesson offers some dating tips in her article “Relationship Search Tips for Singles.” She writes, “Go slow, not fast when meeting new people and beginning a relationship. In the first few months of a relationship see the new person only once or twice a week until you understand more about the potential for a healthy relationship with this new person. During this time, it is better to postpone sexual involvement in order to maintain your objective. ”

Choosing the right man can be a difficult process. All women deserve to have their needs met in fulfilling relationships where both parties are investing equally. No woman should be putting more into a relationship than she is getting out of it. A good man will show his true character when he responds to being asked for a commitment, and if he is a real man, he can handle it.

Source: “Are You Dating A Player?” (accessed September 4, 2010).

Originally published through



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