Players Follow a Script – Just Makes Sure it’s Yours

John’s first column about Players…there would be more to come.

Players Follow a Script – Just Makes Sure it’s Yours

I was getting so many questions about ‘players’ I had to tackle the topic.

(And, I also wanted to get my thoughts on players across to Loretta).

I wanted women to worry less about whether he ‘is or isn’t’ and more about the part they play in the equation.

Here’s the truth: Women can be in control – for the most part – at the early stages of relationships because they have what we guys want. And I don’t mean just sex. Okay, I do mean sex – but I also mean what sex can lead to: A good, warm relationship with the right woman.

If you let us go too fast – like Betty – which we will do given the chance, the opportunity to slowly find out who each other is, and whether or not we fit, gets lost in the tussle.

If you just want a roll in the hay that’s fine – you go girl. But if you want more, then make him wait – like Loretta did.

A few weeks back I was at the Farmer’s Market downtown and stopped into the Union Hotel for a beer.

I was sitting at the bar when the lady next to me said “Hi”- and she didn’t just say hi, she said Hiiii. We made eyes for a minute and I was taken aback at how quickly she came onto me. Then the waiter delivered two dinner plates to where she was sitting.

It became clear her hurry had a lot to do with the fact she was there with someone else (who would soon be back from the restroom, or from having a smoke outside) and only had so much time to convey that she wouldn’t mind being my special friend. I had to laugh to myself when her guy came back to join her.

She didn’t look my way again after that.

William Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”. I had just met one of the female variety.

I received a question this week about the male variety.

Sarah wrote in:

“Coach John,

Last time you gave great advice and I agreed with what you wrote. I would like to ask another question or two. Since you are a male, you can answer this: Why is it so difficult to meet someone online who’s willing to take a relationship seriously?

It seems that all they are interested in is sex. I am disgusted with this ‘player mentality’. Am I doing something wrong, or is it simply that men who say they’re looking for a partner are really just looking for sex?


Sarah that very question is one of the reasons I started writing this column. My answer could fill this newspaper. But here is the main tenet that I’d like to get across to you, and all women on the dating sites who struggle with the idea of how to spot and avoid players:

Almost every man has the potential to be a player.

Now does that mean they are all players? No. Does it mean they all have been or eventually will be? Again, no. What it does mean is that we men are wired to chase women – we evolved that way and it’s in our DNA.

I know that many women tend to think of players as a clearly defined demographic. They’re sure a player knows he’s only out to sleep with a girl, rather than pursue a relationship, and then move on. But that’s not always the case.

Women often write in their profiles: “No Players” but a lot of guys who probably fit the definition don’t think of themselves as such.

It’s kind of like speeding in a car – a study by Purdue University showed that over 66% of drivers speed. Yet when was the last time you heard someone identify themselves as a speeder?

And here’s the really hard part for women – the part that leads to hurt feelings: If he doesn’t know he’s a player, how are you going to know?

A lot of guys whom others would see as a player think of themselves merely as a man in search of the right girl – a girl he just hasn’t found yet.

So Sarah asked “Am I doing something wrong”, well – maybe.

Here is what I suggest, Sarah: Don’t focus on identifying and avoiding players based on their profile (that’s like trying to pick out speeders in church) but rather focus on avoiding player behavior.

Here are a couple of telltale behaviors to look for, and what to do about them:

  1. He’s aggressive online. As I’ve written, I’m no fan of trading emails forever as I think that can lead to false expectations. It’s best to meet as soon as you’ve ruled out red flags so that you can see if there’s any real chemistry – but if his opening email contains an offer to meet and a phone number, tell him he’s getting ahead of himself and you’d like to know a little more about him first. And if he’s sexual in any way in the first email? Delete.
  2. Once you meet he wants to go fast. If the guy is moving too fast for you, slow him down. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Like I’ve said before, if you don’t have a plan you’ll end up reacting to his. So decide what your timeline should look like, what things are important to you, and make your plan and stick to it. If he can’t go as slowly as you are comfortable with then move on – he wasn’t the right one anyway.

Here’s another little secret that I’m hoping you already know:

A woman can typically have more control over the early part of a relationship than the guy does – if she knows what to do. Remember that DNA that tells guys to chase? Well you’re the one who sets how fast or how slow that chase goes. You are in control – and if you make the guy wait, if you make the chase longer, you will notice those player behaviors start to slip away.

I told you earlier that Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage”. A lot of people don’t know that quote goes on to say “One man in his time plays many parts”. So have your man play the part you want, and avoid those guys whose behavior tells you they’re only interested in working off their own script.

John P. Gavin

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