Players are usually not the monsters we paint them to be. Especially when you take them and their behaviour at face value. I'd like to think of them more as romantic romeos and casanovas, rather than scheming and manipulative womanizers.  It's important not to shame someone who is playing the field.

Generally speaking these people - yes, they can be men or women - possess a magnetic and irresistibly quality, which in turn makes them very fun to hang out with. Once you've have properly identified what you are dealing with, in order to maximize your fun, it's important to keep some ground rules in mind.

Over the next few pages we will look at a few categories. First, The Basics. Then unwritten rules about Communication and Game Playing. Finally, we will cover the rules of Inconsistent Behaviour and the Often Forgotten Rules of dating a player.

Always approach dating a player like you would eating fast food: you KNOW it's kindda bad for you, but it tastes so frikken good going down. Enjoy the salt and saturated fat-induced high while it lasts and always keep the following guidelines in mind.

For The Basics, Click "NEXT"


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Always remember: it's not you, it's them

When it comes to dating, many people tie their self-worth to what others think of them or how other's treat them.  It's important to keep in mind that we live in a "me" culture, and on the whole, people are very hyper-focused on themselves. Players-types, even more. In other words, when someone acts selfishly in dating, you should focus on how this behaviour reflects on THEM as a person, rather then what it says about you. AKA don' take it personally.

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This is because deciding to stay at a cool emotional distance and "playing the field"  is usually a product of getting your heart stomped on by another person. As a result, a player will often move onto the next people they date with a kind of soulless and jaded approach. This is just a defence mechanisms for the heartbreak the recently endured and has absolutely nothing to do with you.

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As the emotional cuts are still fresh and sensitive, it's in their best interest to avoid any further emotional investment in a new person to not risk re-infecting the wound. Again, just a defence mechanism in trying to heal.

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That's why it's vital to never take a players actions personally. They are likely going through some tough inner emotional turmoil and don't have the mental capacity to empathize and care for another's feelings.  So - if you are in a place where you are feeling emotionally vulnerable as well, then STAY AWAY.

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Take their actions at face value

Similarly, it's important to take all their actions and behaviours at face value. Simply said, no hidden meaning or ulterior motives to anything they do. You will drive yourself to insanity doing so and then miss out on all the fun and spontaneous adventures that come along with dating a player.

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For example, they do something that is out of character by saying something alarmingly sweet or relationships-like. Although this may feel and sound nice, don't try to bend the behaviour to fit into the rosy little fantasy picture you painted for yourself in your mind.  In other words, don't jump to conclusions and never assume.

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That's because people who are "playing the field" are on a mission to live impulsively for awhile. That's probably what attracts you to them in the first place. There is very little rational thought going through their mind when making a decision.

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They are simply living the moment. Maybe on one given day they feel like acting as if they are a relationship and the next day they feel totally distant. I'm warning you, it will be a roller-coaster, so strap yourself tight. And remember: always take actions at face value, never personally.

For The Unwritten Rules Of Communication, Click "NEXT"


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Have fun, be playful

Part of the fun of dating a player is the excitement and unpredictability. In order to take full advantage of the arrangement always keep this motto in mind. Keep your communication light, fun, and playful.

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Take this as an opportunity to flirt and say the things you would only dream of saying.  Be yourself to the full degree.  Don't worry about hiding your true colours or saying something that will potentially put them off because this relationship won't last forever, so may as well catapult yourself and jump in enthusiastically with both feet.

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This not only applies to digital communication but face to face IRL communication as well. Don't shy away from dressing or wearing what makes you feel comfortable and attractive in an effort to impress them. Because the person who is playing the field is definitely not only trying to impress you.

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There is nothing wrong with a relationship that's based only on mutual  sexual and physical attraction.  Dating someone who is emotionally detached can be a lot of fun if you stay in the same boat and vibe off each other for a while. These can actually be some of the most interesting and fulfilling relationships you will have in your lifetime.

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Manage your expectations

When it comes to communication, it's important to manage your expectations because someone who is playing the field will rarely be consistent.  In fact, I would argue that inconsistency is the corner-stone of classic player behavior. Another reminder: don't take it personally.

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It's impossible to completely rid yourself of expectations because behaviour created these expectations unconsciously. For example, if someone texts you everyday around 1pm consistently for a week, then you will come to expect that the following week. So don't beat yourself up for having expectations, it's totally normal.

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The things is with the player, always keep in the back of your mind that his patterns and habits have a tendency to shift and change at any moment. Don't be sitting by your phone waiting for his 1pm *ding* because it might not come. Just live your life and if the text comes, then it comes.

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Dating a player is great because it teaches you to go with the flow, live in the moment kind of mindful mentality.  This is why people who have a tendency to be anxious and worry about things that haven't happened yet tend to not be so great at dating players.  But you can learn, re-frame the way you perceive someone else's behaviour, and be present in the moment, instead of being preoccupied with future "what ifs".

For The Unwritten Rules Of Game Playing, Click "NEXT"


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Know the difference between hard to get and uninterested

It's important to remember that very rarely to people consciously "play games". Often times, what we perceive to be game playing, is usually just someone else's insecurities or uncertainty at play. All puns intended. Which remember, is their issue, not yours.

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That said, in order to keep a level head when dating a player, you must keep in mind that they will rarely consciously play games.  So that if you feel like you are being treated unfairly and strung along, well they are probably uninterested and you should maybe just let it go and move on.

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Dating a player shouldn't mean constant hurt and disappointment. If you sense these feelings bubbling up, then maybe this is not the relationship for you.  When someone is totally uninterested in will be very clear, as your gut will give you a good kick to let you know. Don't ignore it.

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A couple months of dating a player should be fun, easy, and carefree. It should never leave you coming out on the other end in a shroud of self-doubt, confusion, and low self-esteem.  Get out before it's too late. No one is worth losing confidence in yourself.

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Play by your own rules

Whatever you do, when dating a player, it's vital to NEVER adopt a "tit for tat" or the "two can play at that game" mentality. This is another terrible habit that a lot of newbies take on and will always drive you totally bonkers in the long run.

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The reason being that a player is - often times - not consciously trying to play mind games with you.  If you're getting triggered by their every little move and you got your mind set on one-upping them each time, you're probably going to start acting in some questionable ways yourself.

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Before you know it, you'll be going an entire weekend "ignoring" their text when deep down you've actually been dying to see them. The lesson here is: be true to your needs and make your decisions independently of their behaviour.

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If you want to see them, tell them. If you feel like being alone, don't reach out. It's as easy as that. Be straightforward, and don't let someone else behaviour influence how you manage your decisions.

For the Unwritten Rules Of Inconsistent Behaviour, Click "NEXT"


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Accept that it will happen, a lot

Inconstant behaviour is the number one arsenal in the "playing the field" starter pack. Wether someone is doing it consciously or not, the only consistent thing about dating a player is their inconsistency.  It's the corner-stone of player-dome.

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That said, it is absolutely key to manage your expectations and accept that inconsistent and erratic behaviour will happen, a lot.  So, just take things as them come and go along with the ride.

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Once again, we do all have boundaries, though. If another person is truly disappointing and hurting you I am not encouraging you to stay.  Know that you have a lot of power and you can get off the roller-coasted at any time.  This is your decision too!

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That is one of the most important things to keep in mind when getting involved with someone who is clearly playing the field.  Never take it personally, and back out when you've reached your limit.

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Know where to draw the line

Which brings us to knowing when to draw the line.  Players have a tendency to blow hot and cold.  Just when you think to yourself "I've had enough" they often come swooping back in with whispering all those yummy sweet nothings into your ear, and casting their sweet spell on your all over again. Sigh.

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Listen, just like the highs and lows of a drug, i'm not going to lie, this emotional roller-coaster feels good for awhile. Actually, it feels AMAZING. So - have fun while you're on the ride, but always keep in mind that solid long-term partnerships are build on consistency, trust and security.  Not sloppy puke-inducing peaks and valleys.

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Once you've been on the ride and rinsed, washed and repeated a couple of times - things ain't gonna change, my friend. Similar to how we build-up tolerance to a substance over time, when the same behavioural patterns repeat themselves over and over they start to feel more 'meh' then exciting.

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Simply said, you will know when it's time to call it quits when the high peaks and deep valleys start to elicit feelings of frustration rather than that unmistakable buzz-like high.  Now it's time to say - bye bye.

For The Often Forgotten Unwritten Rules, Click "NEXT"


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Keep it short and sweet

This brings us to our final chapter, i'm glad you made it. Similarly a key rule in dating a player is knowing when to say bye. Kind of like quitting a drug, you have to exercise a lot of self-control and discipline to pull away from a player, so be prepared.

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It's important to manage your expectations from the get-go. In other words, remember that, these relationships are best served-up when they are short and sweet.  And they ALL have a expiration date.

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Remember they will be fun and memorable, but only when taken n short bursts Think of a fun summer fling, a semester abroad, or a brief work romance - because there is only so much grey-zone and inconsistency the human mind can deal with at one given time.

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Although tolerance for inconsistency will vary from person to person,  a general rule of thumb for best results is to keep these relationships on the short to medium term length.

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Listen to your friends and family

Similarly, riding the highs and lows can become so blinding and intoxicating, it can be easy to quickly lose touch with objective and sound decision making. That said, your friends and close family should be your best allies to combat against this spell.

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Friends and family will always have an objective view of the situation and will make sure to put you in your place when and if they notice your beahvior to be running off in a unhealthy direction.

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Make sure to keep the types of friends by your side who aren't afraid to be real and direct with you.  Friends and family members who constantly sugar coat and try to be too sensitive may not be the best to run to for advice when it comes to dating a player.

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You NEED that friend who's not afraid to give you a brutal wake up call. Because, sometimes, a little tough love is what it takes to be jolted out of the player's sweet sweet spell.

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