Once a Player Always a Player

I get a fair number of calls asking to explain this dynamic, so here goes. I hope it helps some of you out there reading this.

You may know someone – man or woman – who is what we generally call a “player” or someone who’s always on the look-out for the next person and doesn’t like to commit.

While I don’t like to use the word “always” as it is a very finite word, I’m going with the expression here: “Once a player, always a player.” Generally, players don’t change. They can change, but they often don’t, which is another reason why the use of the word “always” isn’t that big of a stretch here.

The reason players don’t change is because they’ve chosen a style in life that works for them. Many of us are the one-woman-man or one-man-woman types, but there are plenty who are not. They like to play the field, keep their options open.

Don’t Make it Wrong

There’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle unless you make it wrong. A better way to look at it is to realize it may be wrong for you. That type of lifestyle doesn’t jive with your values. That’s perfectly ok. Clearly it does for the player. Let them have their lifestyle and don’t make it wrong. If you make it wrong, you’ll “drive yourself crazy” or more accurately, get upset because they aren’t playing by the same rules as you do.  A better way to deal with these types of people is to know they play with a different set of rules than the rest of us. Period. Don’t make it wrong.

By being ok with their set of rules doesn’t mean you agree with them or would play by those rules yourself. It means you’re letting them be them. No judging, no getting upset, no making them wrong. They are who they are.

The sooner you realize they are who they are, the sooner you can let go of being upset if you’re involved with a person like that.

Keep Your Eyes Open

They don’t want to commit for whatever reason. That’s ok. That’s their choice. It may frustrate you because you want them to commit. More than likely, they won’t. Or if they do it may not be for very long or look the way you want it to. They may “commit” by agreeing to be in an exclusive relationship with you, but really, they’re getting some on the side. That’s not exclusive in most people’s books. Or even if they’re not physically dallying with another person, they may be emotionally. There is such a thing as emotional infidelity too.  Neither are conducive to a committed relationship. You get to set the parameters on the type of relationship you want. Doesn’t mean they’ll live up to them, though.

If you choose to be involved in a relationship with a player, go in with your eyes wide open. Understand their psychology and know what you’re in for. If you’re ok with it, great, no judgment here. If you’re not ok with it, then save yourself a lot of emotional heartache – cut and run the sooner the better.

It Can be in Their DNA

Some people aren’t wired to be in a committed relationship or if they are, they may not be able to sustain it for very long periods of time. Sociologists say many men aren’t wired for it because their goal is to spread their seed to keep humanity going. Ok, that might be wired in from caveman times, but sociologists say it’s still there in some men.  It’s in their DNA. Like, really.

Not that women can’t be players too, they can. From a biological standpoint, men can father many more babies than women can have. That alone makes them more susceptible to being a player – more women to have babies with keeps humanity going. Instinctively some women may move on quickly because they know at a subconscious level this man isn’t a good one to have babies with. Think survival of the fittest concept. Thanks to birth control women don’t have to have babies with every man they have a relationship with.  The point is, instinctively some women move on because they know it won’t work out for whatever reason. That’s not necessarily being a player, but it can be at a deep level. We’re going back to evolutionary theories here, because player behavior remains in the DNA of some people.

Enough of evolution.

Some people just don’t like to commit. It can be called dysfunctional or maybe they prefer the “spice of life.” Whichever way you want to look at it doesn’t matter. The fact remains some people, mostly men, don’t want to commit. They want to play the field.

It’s Often Not Personal

It doesn’t mean they don’t like you, ladies. It really is nothing personal in most cases. They don’t want to stay in one relationship for very long for whatever reason. If you see that pattern in them, yet you want to be with them, my point is, know they probably won’t change. I’ll “never say never” as some do change, but most do not. They don’t because it works for them. Same reason we don’t change – it works for us. What works for us may not work for them and that’s where the relationship clash comes in.

Here’s a caveat, ladies. Yes, some players may prefer you over some other women they’ve been with. That’s one reason they may circle back around to you six months or six years later. They did like you but they moved on because they found the next best thing. (“Look there’s a squirrel” mentality comes to mind!) Then after going out with a number of ladies, they come back to you because they really did like you. When that happens, try not to get your hopes up that he’s changing because most likely he’s not.

I’m not saying he can’t or won’t, I’m telling you how most players are. He’s had his fun with the others and now he wants to have fun with you again. If you want to have fun with him, go out with him. Just know more than likely it won’t be long-term. He’s circling back around. That’s what players do. Even they have their favorites. And you may be one of them. It’s flattering, but it doesn’t do any good if you still don’t get that commitment you desire.

Proceed with Caution if You’re Fixing that Wounded Bird

Many women want to fix that wounded bird. It’s in our nature. We’re loving and giving and root for the underdog. Those are great characteristic unless the wounded bird turns out hurting you. Birds are pretty and sing nice songs, but birds can also bite. If you have one person who’s a player (the wounded bird in our eyes) and the other who is the rescuer (you) and the wounded bird wants to stay wounded, you can rescue all you want, but the bird won’t be fixed or change.

This is where the heartache comes in. The rescuer wants to rescue but the bird doesn’t want to be rescued, fixed or changed. The rescuer keeps trying and the bird keeps resisting.  That’s when I usually get a call to help a client understand this dynamic.  The woman usually calls in tears, anger or frustration and wants to understand the relationship or know if he’ll change or come back to her.

If you want a committed relationship and you’re with a player, as I said above, know you probably won’t get what you’re looking for from them. Please don’t hold me to this, this isn’t an absolute, but pretty darn likely. Knowing this allows you to make an informed decision. Stay and expect heartache or stay and change your attitude. Know he won’t commit or won’t stop running around or whatever he’s doing and be ok with it.  Or go knowing he probably isn’t going to change and you would rather be with someone who will commit.

It’s Ok to Get What You Want

It’s called getting what you want, ladies.

If he won’t commit and you want a commitment, that’s perfectly ok. You’re not bad or wrong because you want it. Likewise, he’s not bad or wrong because he doesn’t. He’s wired differently than you. Period.

As women we often don’t ask for what we want. It goes back to a deep belief we’re not worthy of getting what we want. When we don’t believe we’re worthy on a deep level, guess what happens? We attract people who won’t give us what we want. We attract more people who won’t commit.

We may or may not be aware of that deep-seated issue.  If you’re not, that’s ok. Know that you are worthy of getting whatever it is you desire in life, including a committed relationship.

If it’s a committed relationship that you desire, let go of the player, stop hoping and wishing he’ll change and move on. Put it out there to the universe that you would like someone who can and will commit. They’re out there looking for you too.

It goes back to Law of Attraction. If you believe in and desire a committed relationship, you can have it. Attract it!

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