It has come to my attention that people who get played aren’t actually inexperienced, or stupid for that matter. Intelligent women, in today’s world, get played all the time. It may have something to do with the fact that any remote sign of interest from the opposite sex leaves you blinkered to any sort of unhappy outcome, but I’ve found that it’s not because the player is smart or a “smooth operator”. Annoyingly, it’s because it’s their actual behaviour, bullshit conversation and priceless one-liners have just enough possibility to be perceived as ‘believable’.
I met Jonathan in a haze on Saturday evening in a modern, downtown bar. My intentions that night, surprisingly, weren’t focused on forming a tryst but as a single girl in the city, I was open to all eventualities. It was a fleeting romance at first, I mean, my friend and I were actually in the process of leaving the place to rid ourselves of the stench of pretentious males when he caught my eye. I guess you could say he was ‘my type’ – tall, dark-haired, blue eyes, wearing a suit, I mean hell, whose type wouldn’t he be?
We made very quick introductions in the doorway and briefly exchanged phone numbers between big smiles and flirting laughter before I left to find the nearest bar that wasn’t filled with attitude and arrogance, and preferably one that sold wine by the bottle. I don’t recall thinking about Jonathan much after meeting him, if anything he was just another addition to my contacts. I really didn’t think much of it at the time.
I awoke in the morning with several things I hadn’t had the night before; a half-eaten pizza, a shiraz-induced hangover and three text messages from an unknown number. At first, I couldn’t help but wonder why I had these messages – who had I given my number to? The wine had clearly made a significant impact on the quality of my short-term memory the previous night. I dragged myself to some sort of sitting position in bed and read my messages. It was him, Jonathan.
I was surprised. For starters, it was written in plain, decipherable English, which was a wonderfully refreshing change from the modern-day text speak I’d grew tiresome of. More to the point, and worryingly so, it seemed (and I hate to say it) – genuine.
So, after phone calls, text messages, witty banter, passionate kissing, fun sex and four or five consecutive (and apparently successful) dates, I started to feel different. Good different. Generally, I’d be involved in the dating scene for fun, nothing more, nothing less because that way, there is no confusion, no expectations and more importantly, no one gets hurt. In this instance, I wasn’t sure that I was comforted by this feeling – it was relatively new to me. I wanted to see Jonathan, and I found myself keeping my phone scarily close my side in the hope that I’d receive a text message. “Was I falling for him?”
My face would light up when he’d comment on the fact that we had a ridiculous amount of hobbies and interests in common, a rare quality you find between two people, no matter how compatible. He was poetic in his compliments and apparently honest with his feelings. I began to feel a sense of ardour towards his behaviour, and surprisingly, I liked it.
I guess the decision I made to share mutual sentiments with Jonathan was both impulsive and ridiculous. He had expressed such elation at the prospect of our relationship developing in to something much more serious and I had begun to experience mirrored emotions. So, I told him, not in many words, but I expressed my happiness and excitement using the phrase:
“I like you, I can’t wait to see you again”
Hours passed and days went by, no texts, no emails, no calls, nothing. “What changed?” I felt a fool and I realised much to my dismay at the time, that Jonathan was what I call, a player.
Players quickly fall in love with you, or so it seems. They give you a great sense that they have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for someone just like you to appear in their lives and make all of their dreams come true. Naturally, as females, we go weak at the knees at this concept as this is generally a) something that we never in a million years expect to happen, and b) the one thing were are looking for too.
Like any good player of any game, they start strong and set the pace. Calling you often, texting you, using all forms of technological communication just to express their apparently ‘true feelings’ to prove to you that they think you are ‘the one’. Obviously, this in itself displays an uncommon ‘genuine interest’ and this cleverly plays right into your self-esteem. I mean, as if we don’t have it hard enough. We women spend up to fifty pounds a month on a gym membership that we never intend to use because of celebrities flaunting their artificially perfect bodies, and then Mr. Player comes along and tells you that he “loves your natural beauty and gorgeous figure”. You find yourself thinking “Wow! This is amazing”.
So things seem to be going well at this point? Well, don’t be fooled. The moment you sleep with him, or display any sort of mutual feelings, that’s it, you’re done. Game over, and you’re left hopelessly wondering “What did I do?”
Avoid these feelings at all costs because believe it or not, in this instance, it’s not you, it’s him. If you let an experience like this affect you or allow you to feel remarkably depressed, you will turn to the only two reliable men in the world – Ben and Jerry, and look at it this way, the man for you is out there, and ideally it would be best to meet him without the five extra pounds of ice-cream related body mass.
Never let yourself become disheartened if you feel you’ve been ‘played’. I strongly believe that any experience at all can be classed as good experience because we learn from it. My time with Jonathan wasn’t wasted and now, I almost feel as if I have the upper hand, so the next time I have even the smallest doubt about a man’s intentions, I’ll think like this (and I suggest you do the same)…
“Treat me like a game and I’ll show you how it’s played”