How To Tell If A Guy Is A Player: 12 Signs To Look For

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So, you’ve just met a guy, but you’re wondering if he’s as great as you think, or if he’s a bit of a player.

It can be really hard to know, especially when most of us make a massive effort to be our ‘best selves’ in the early stages of dating.

A player is essentially someone who regularly has short-term relationships, without letting the other person know they’re going to be short-term.

They might have lots of partners at once, pretend to be single in order to hook up with other people, or just mess their partners around repeatedly.

So, how can you tell whether someone is a player? Here are 12 signs to keep an eye out for if you think your man might be one.

1. He’s flirting with your friend.

If you’ve just met a guy in a bar and he spent a fair amount of time flirting with your friend as well as you, he’s likely to be a player.

He’s probably just looking to get with anyone, and doesn’t really mind whether it’s you or your friend or some random girl in the corner of the bar.

Players tend to be opportunists with one thing in mind…

2. He’s got wandering eyes.

Is he always checking out the waitress or bartender? Maybe he double-takes at women in the street?

Of course, we don’t suddenly find everyone else horrifically unattractive when we’re seeing someone new, but it’s worth considering why he’s still openly checking out other women when he’s dating you.

If you think he might be a bit of a player and you often catch him staring at other women, you might have your answer.

3. You feel inadequate around other women.

The person you’re dating should make you feel attractive, fun, interesting – all the good things.

If you find that you feel quite insecure when you’re with him and other women, it may because of how he behaves.

If you feel like he’s giving them too much attention, or is putting you down in front of them as a ‘joke’ or to show off, he’s messing you around.

4. His exes are all ‘psycho.’

This is one of the most infuriating things to hear as a woman!

It’s quite likely that his exes were not ‘psycho.’ They may not have gotten along very well, or they may have been abusive or controlling…

…but if they were all ‘crazy’ according to him, it’s worth considering whether this is genuinely something that was an issue in all his relationships, or whether this is just his narrative.

Some players choose to dismiss ex-partners like this because it’s easier than admitting to what really happened, or because it gets them off the hook and gives them a good excuse to keep things casual.

5. He’s had a lot of flings.

If he’s had a lot of short-term relationships, you need to see this for what it really is – a habit and a choice.

Whilst it’s perfectly fine to do this as long as everyone is safe and happy with it, it may be a sign that he’ll do the same with you.

If you’re comfortable with that, go for it. If not, think about whether or not you’re happy to see how this habit pans out – because it may not go the way you want it to…

6. He’s on all the dating apps.

Of course, it’s fine for anyone to be on lots of dating apps, but it might be a sign that he’s a player.

If he’s consistently meeting up with different people for casual hookups or flings, he might not be looking for anything serious. You need to think about how that makes you feel if you are looking for something serious.

If he’s still on dating apps but you thought you were seeing each other exclusively, you need to have a conversation about this.

If you’re both openly seeing other people, great, there’s no drama – just make sure you’re honest with yourself about how it makes you feel.

7. He’s got a reputation for it.

Sure, some people get an unfair reputation, but if a lot of people have told you he’s a player and will mess you around – listen to them!

It can be hard at the time, when you feel like things are exciting and you’ve been on a couple of dates, but it’s worth paying attention to what other people say.

You don’t need to take their word as gospel, but it’s good to keep in your mind in case he starts showing some other signs of being a player.

Maybe it’s a joke, maybe his friends just wind him up about past behavior, but it could be a clear indication that things might not go as you expect in the next few weeks.

8. You feel like you have to keep an eye on him.

If you’ve just started dating someone and you’re a bit concerned that they’re lying to you or messing you around, you probably feel like you can’t really trust them when you’re out.

Maybe you’ve heard him telling people that he’s single or he’s a bit too touchy-feely.

If you feel like you have to monitor his behavior, there’s probably an issue with it, and it’s not very healthy for either of you…

9. He makes no effort.

If you’ve just started dating someone and they’re not really making an effort with you, they may be playing the field.

They may like you, but they may also like things when they’re easy. A lot of players date around until things get boring or until they’re asked to make more effort.

If it feels like he’s not that bothered about things, he probably isn’t.

Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect a partner or potential partner to text back straight away every time and to never forget to text goodnight or call you when they said they would.

But, if it’s becoming a habit and they’re not making you feel like they really care, you need to think about why that could be.

Maybe he said from the beginning that he didn’t want anything serious? Maybe he’s playing you and stringing you along for his convenience?

If it’s bothering you and you need to know where you stand, you need to talk to him about it.

10. He lies about small things.

Sure, we’ve all told a few white lies in our time, but if someone is constantly lying, even about little things, there’s a chance they’re the kind of person to lie about bigger things too.

If he makes up random excuses, repeatedly changes details of the same story, or seems pretty shady, he’s probably playing you in some way.

We’re not suggesting you start accusing them of cheating or betraying your trust next time he lies about the shop being out of milk, but you might want to consider bringing this kind of behavior up with him.

Try not to come across as critical, as there could be a valid reason for the lies, but let him know it makes you feel like you can’t trust him and you just want him to feel comfortable being honest with you… even if he thinks it may hurt you.

Give him the chance to come clean and apologize for his behavior. If he doesn’t take it and carries on lying to you, you know what you need to do. 

11. He’s really, really vague.

If he never goes into detail about anything (what he’s been up to, who he hangs out with, where he was last night, etc.), he might be hiding something from you.

It’s typical player behavior – they don’t specifically tell you things so that they can’t be held accountable for anything later down the line.

Of course, some people are just a little hazy on details sometimes. Maybe he doesn’t want to bore you, maybe he doesn’t think you really care, or maybe he’s nervous to admit that he’s secretly obsessed with World of Warcraft!

No small behavior, in isolation, means someone is instantly a player – but if there are other signs there and your gut is telling you he’s going to mess you around, pay attention.

12. He brags about women.

Maybe you’ve overheard him chatting about sleeping with you to his friends, or maybe his mates all share stories of girls they’ve been with.

If he seems like the kind of guy who brags about women, he’s maybe lacking the kind of respect you’re looking for and is likely to be a player.

Sure, we all talk about people we’ve dated or slept with – but if it sounds like he does these things just so he can tell his friends about them, he probably sees you as a conquest, not a potential partner.

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So, if you think this guy is a player, what are you meant to do about it?

It’s time for an honest conversation. Yep, they can be really daunting, but open discussions are key to making something work.

If you’re happy with you both seeing other people, maybe let him know this – it might clear the air, it’ll stop him acting suspiciously, and you both know where you stand.

If you both agree to be honest about seeing other people, he won’t need to sneak off to be on his phone and you can both enjoy your time together more, knowing that everything is out in the open and you’re both in the same position. 

If you think things could work between you, but there are a few red flags that are making you feel a bit weird, talk it out.

Let him know you want to be exclusive, or that you want to make it official – whatever it is you’ve decided you want with him, be honest about it.

It doesn’t mean you need to ask him to propose in the next 3 months, but it shows that you care and you think he’s worth investing your time and efforts into.

He’ll either be excited to be exclusive with you and will stop seeing other people if he already was, or he’ll make it clear he’s only looking for something casual.

Either way, you’ll know where you stand. It might not be exactly where you want, but, as we all know, there are plenty more fish in the sea – and you’ll find one that treats you the way you deserve to be treated.

Still not sure if this guy is a player, or what you should do about it? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.