Introduction - This article will shed some light on the profile of a “player”, provide some tips for the “ex-player” to promote successful dating relationships without letting his past destroy genuine opportunities, and suggest potential warning signs for the gay dater that might signal that the guy he’s seeing might actually be a “player.”
My definition of a “player” is someone who’s not really on the “up and up” in his dating interactions and intentions with others. His words are not congruent with his behavior. This type of individual tends to be manipulative and self-centered, using people to meet his own needs in a selfish way that disregards the feelings of others. He tends to be very crafty and creative in his efforts to win a person over to obtain gratification of his sought-after goal and can be insensitive to the needs and wants of the other. Once he’s gotten what he wants, he tends to taper off his contact with the person or completely disappears with no word. Sometimes he’s purely after sex; other times it’s about conquest (the thrill of the hunt, and once he’s been validated that he’s desired, he withdraws).
Why do they do this? The reasons are very individualized and varied, but more commonly it could be that they have intimacy issues and have difficulties with attachment and commitment, are narcissistic and selfish, or have control issues. Sometimes as specified earlier, it could be a self-esteem issue in that their need for validation is so strong, that once they perceive it as being obtained, they move on to the next person in an endless pursuit of “strokes” from other people that they’re “good enough” and valued. And sometimes these men are married in heterosexual marriages or are already partnered in a gay relationship with someone else and will never fully be available or have any intention of deepening a relationship with the single, yet hopeful gay dater.
If you have a history of being a “player” and you’re starting a new dating relationship and genuinely want to develop it further, your past could come back to haunt you if you’re not up front and honest with your new love interest. It can be a small world, and the last thing you want is to run into a scorned “ex” when you’re out on the town with your new boyfriend.
I always believe that honesty is the best policy and helps set the foundation for trust and safety. It’s not something you’ll want to dump on the person immediately; as you get to know your new dating partner, you’ll be pacing the self-disclosures as the intimacy grows in your new relationship at a level that’s comfortable.
As the two of you begin discussions about your past relationships, you can use this topic as a segue toward sharing about your past tendencies. It’s important to be direct, nondefensive, and acknowledge responsibility for your behavior. Explain the mindset shift that took place for you that allowed you to become “reformed”, emphasizing the benefits you’ve experienced as a result. Transition, then, into sharing your excitement about dating this new person and the appreciations you have toward him. A discussion like this can be a great starting point for other more important talks about commitment, monogamy, and relationship expectations and visions. And then make sure that you live with integrity, ensuring that your words and actions match and that you’re truly living your new values.
( Part Two - Tomorrow )
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com