Think of John Tucker in John Tucker Must Die: He’s smooth, good-looking, popular, the ultimate image of what we think of when we hear the word “player.” And as fabulous as it would be to form a payback plan with three of your closest friends and give him a taste of his own medicine, not all players are this easily identifiable. They can be anything from mediocre-looking nerds to angsty artists trying to find themselves to prep-school elites who look like they’ve walked straight out of a Brooks Brothers catalog. Sound confusing? That’s because it is—especially when you’re the one being played. But no matter what shape or size or sexy leather jacket a player comes in, one thing is for certain: he’ll do anything in his power to keep you around. (Read: You’re going to get hurt.) So if you want to protect yourself from his masculine wiles, scroll down to read HC’s list of the top 10 signs he’s a player.
10. He has wandering eyes
Let’s preface this by saying that no guy is going to have the stalker-like attentiveness of a certain vampire from Forks. You don’t have to have someone hold your earrings every time your guy notices other girls, especially if he’s just looking every now and then. But if you’re starting to realize that every pair of legs induces a full-body check out plus head swivel, then maybe a few pages from Twilight would do him some good. (No, on the real, please don’t bring that book back.)
So what should you do if you’re starting to feel like there’s a magnetic force between his eyes and every PYT within a 10-mile radius? You could make a snarky comment about his having the attention span of a chipmunk. Or you could learn from his wayward glances. Dr. Ivan Young, holistic life coach and love expert says, “You can use his wandering eyes to your advantage. It provides a road map into what he’s attracted to. Moreover, it will let you know if you have what he likes.”
It’s a good idea not to jump to conclusions, so this is a great way of seeing if you’re really what he likes. If you find out the answer is no and that you don’t feel like he’s paying much attention to you at all, it’s time to roll up that road map and head on out. (Insert flippant chipmunk remark here.)
9. He’s sketchy about his Facebook
Delayed friend request. Limited profile. Always logged out when he leaves you with his computer in the room. Whatever the case, this guy does not want you in on his online life. Let us provide you with a few guesses as to why in four words: girls on the side. You know, those girls who “like” every picture and post all over his wall, “Hey, it was great running into you last night, let’s make that happen again ;).” Yup, that’s them.
“I had an amazing first date with this one guy I met a few months ago,” says one anonymous senior from Harvard. “We decided we wanted to see each other again, and we were texting back and forth. About a week later, I still hadn’t gotten a friend request from him, so I friended him myself. He accepted, and when I viewed his profile, I found out he had a girlfriend. Needless to say, we did not go on a second date.”
It isn’t just how he interacts with you on Facebook—it’s also an issue if he’s constantly being tagged in pictures from the night before with his arms slung around two or more girls clinging to his side.
This is obviously not to say that every guy who has a ton of girl friends—or girls who are interested in him—is a player. I mean, if he’s really, really, ridiculously good-looking, he can’t help it, right? But the fact of the matter is that if you’re looking for something serious, you’re going to need some clarification on that picture of his “friend” in his lap. Just saying.
8. He’s mastered the art of sweet talking
All that talking, not enough walking. He’ll say he doesn’t want to be with anyone else, but doesn’t want to hold your hand while he’s talking to that cute girl at his frat. He’ll go crazy about how good you look when it’s drunk o’clock, but blows cold the next morning. This guy knows what you want to hear, and he’ll use every line in the book to get you to do what he wants (read: sex, flattery, an ego boost, more sex). A good indicator is if your friends have paper bags at the ready every time you repeat the things he says.
“If he's saying [stuff] just to get you naked, it's clearly a line he uses,” says an anonymous collegiette from Hiram College. “Proceed with caution.”
Unless this guy is a stage 5 clinger, he’s not being sincere. Talk is cheap, collegiettes: if he cares about you, then he’s got to prove it. And as Dr. Young says, “It’s up to you to not get caught up.”
7. He’s never there when you need him
“Hey, sorry, my phone was dead.” At 10 pm? On a Saturday night? Convenient.
This is not going to be the guy who’ll be at your door with a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a Thursday night when you’re sick and can’t get out of bed. In fact, if you need anything at all from this guy—especially emotional support, then good luck. A player will be available only when it’s convenient for him, on his own terms. When he’s ready to see you (hook up), he’s at your door—otherwise, he’s MIA. By which we mean macking on other girls.
6. He goes on too many "brocations"
Don't get us wrong. Space is really healthy in any relationship—official or unofficial. So if your guy wants to hang with his boys, then that's a sign he has a life outside of you—just as you should have a life outside of him. The problem is, if your guy's personality and morals do a 180 when he's out with the bros – that’s a bad sign. If he has a history of getting a little too crazy finishing kegs and bottles of Bacardi, causing him to use his drunkenness as an excuse for questionable behavior with other girls, then you've got a player on your hands. It's also never OK for him to try to hide the details of his Saturday night with the boys from you. Obviously, you're not his mother: he doesn't have to give you hourly updates on where he is and what they're doing. But if it's really a simple night out with friends, then there's no reason he should be giving you misinformation or acting nervous when you press him for more details.