HOT AND COLD: A player can be busy juggling multiple relationships.
HOT AND COLD: A player can be busy juggling multiple relationships.

Dating no place for hokey pokey

WHEN Kim met Richard, he was with someone else but told her they were in the process of breaking up.

They resolved to hang out until the time was right, but things moved quickly from there.

He needed somewhere to live so Kim let him move in to her place rent-free temporarily, but the weeks soon stretched into months.

After a while, Kim noticed that Richard was spending time talking to his ex. Eventually, Richard and Kim broke up and he went back to his ex.

Later, he would profess to Kim that he had made a mistake – that he should have stayed with her.

But it made little difference to Kim. She knew he had another girl on the side after he rekindled his relationship with his ex.

She felt like she had been played for his convenience as he skipped between women.

“He benefited from my generosity, my naivety, and generally, everything I had,” she said.

The singles scene is littered with women like Kim who have been used and discarded by players like Richard, who do relationships like the hokey pokey – dancing in, out and all about.

Take a few tips on how to spot and avoid a player:

1. A player might appear to fall very fast for you. They might ask for a second date as soon as the first is over, or text or call you every day. Be wary, not flattered.

2. A player can ask too many questions about what you want in a partner. Be careful. This is the player’s way of finding out what they have to pretend to be to get you.

3. Be wary of someone who is afflicted with “stalkers”. Chances are the player dropped “the stalker” after having had their fun, and the stalker might just be a victim wanting to know what happened.

4. A player can often be busy juggling multiple relationships. Beware of someone who is never around and always has to call you back.

5. Is your date or partner particularly protective of his of her phone? This could be a sign that they are getting calls or text messages from people they would rather you not know about.

6. Does your date take you out in public, or go out with you in public? He or she could be hesitant to do so if there is a possibility of being spotted by another object of their affections.

7. Is it hard to pin your date or partner down to make specific plans? Players often do not like to make plans because they would rather wait and see if something better is going to come along.

8. The player can start talking sex too soon. This usually applies to a player who is a man. If the player is a woman, she might talk about money too soon. They are simply focused on an objective.

9. Early jealousy or possessiveness can signal a player at work. The player knows they cannot be trusted and assumes the object of his game cannot be trusted either.

10. Does your player flirt with others in front of your face? If so, consider what they might be game to do when your back is turned.

11. Players often run hot and cold. One minute, they want to be with you for life, and the next minute, they want to see other people. They want their freedom but they want you to be there for them to fall back on.

12. They have a lot of friends of the opposite sex. These “friends” are usually people with whom the player has played but who have not been properly ditched, or have not had the brains to get out themselves.

13. They are cold or off-hand about a past relationship they ended. Most people with a conscience feel bad about hurting someone’s feelings. The player will profess that they “hate” hurting other people’s feelings, but their actions will be completely the reverse.

14. Does your boyfriend or girlfriend duck and weave his or her way out of taking you home to meet the parents? A player will do their utmost to avoid introducing a boyfriend or girlfriend to their parents because it would reek of the commitment they are trying to dodge.

15. Look at past relationships. If someone is over the age of 40 and has never had a long-term relationship, that could be a sign they don’t want one. If they have been divorced for 20 years without any long-term relationship in between, they might just like the single life.

16. Beware if you catch your partner in lie after lie, because a player will have to tell an awful lot of them to juggle multiple relationships.

If you get caught up with a player, you might have to adjust the way you play your relationship game.

Beth’s boyfriend played the field before they met, moving from one girl to the next every month, until she “tamed” him.

Her advice for sifting the real thing from the players is:

Don’t make yourself too available. Sure, you might want to drop everything and go hang out, but make sure your love interest knows you have your own life and would be privileged to be a part of it. Men are so instinctual and there is nothing like having to hunt for your food, so to speak.

Don’t be clingy. In the early stages, less is more. I usually wait until he contacts me. If he doesn’t, then he’s just not that into you and you should move on. If he only contacts you at night, all he wants is a booty call. If he thinks you are relationship material, he will invite you on dates or over to “hang out”. If he wants to cement you as a girlfriend, you will meet the friends.

Don’t be afraid to walk away. Long-term relationships can be hard work, but if it’s tough in the beginning, it is only going to go downhill from there. Have fun with it and don’t take yourself so seriously. If it isn’t easy-going, relaxed and fun, walk away.

Know what you want. Players are just guys who know what they want and know how to get it, whether it is just sex or a lifelong partner.

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