Monday, August 30, 2010

The Reason Why I'm Still Single...

When I have a few minutes to kill, I venture over to my Google Reader to peruse all of the online goodies that I enjoy reading or browsing through.  Today, I came across a post from Hooking Up Smart, written by Susan Walsh.  Many of her posts hit home.  The one posted today titled, "Getting Over A Total Player" totally hit home. Hard.

In it, Susan describes three types of players as follows:

Player I

The most benign kind of player is the guy who knows he is good with women, and considers himself lucky. He is among the most desirable males, and enjoys the privileges of his rank, but he isn’t out to hurt anyone. He may be a genuinely good man who is responding to his good fortune. He grew up knowing how to please, and has smooth moves. Two generations ago, this young man would have “gone steady” with a pretty girl, and enjoyed the envy of his peers due to his regular access to sex. Today, he is free to hook up with as many women as his calendar allows, within reason. Often, little effort will be required on his part. He is naturally socially conspicuous, and he need do little more than respond to the sexual aggression of young women. He does not promise women a relationship, or imply a future connection if he knows that he is not interested. He is the only player who may be perfectly friendly the weekend after a hookup, even as he has his arm around someone new. He has nothing to hide, and nothing to be ashamed of. Women will know him for his high number, but not for his douchey behavior. This makes him somewhat dangerous to women, because they may feel that he would be the perfect boyfriend if they could get him to commit. Men who learn how to be successful with women, and apply their knowledge ethically also fall into this group.

Player II

More common is the player who adopts a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach. He will generally be evasive about his friendships, relationships, history with women, etc. He understands that most women would prefer a relationship, and his goal is to get in and out before drama ensues. Drama is likely with Player II because he leads girls on and implies an emotional investment on his part when there isn’t one. Indeed, this type of player is often pursuing several women with this strategy at the same time. His goal is “multiple,” so he must juggle the rising expectations of women and manage the rumor mill so that his supply of sex with any one of them is not cut short. His goal is to maximize his sexual variety and experience, and he has little concern for the pain of others. Many of the men who fit into this category are not naturals, but have worked their way into the ranks with attitude and determination. Here you will also find the naturals who did not develop good character, either due to a lack of proper instillation of values, some kind of family dysfunction, or both. He’s best avoided, and is known for hurting women. However, he often has good guy friends, who will assist him by reassuring young women that he’s a great guy. He often misuses his friends, having them advocate for him with women, convincing everyone that this time he really, really likes the girl.

Player III

The worst possible sort of guy to get involved with, this player is an all-out cad. He has no inhibitions about lying to get what he wants, and has zero empathy for the women who fall into his trap. In fact, he enjoys ridiculing and demeaning his conquests. He may profess feelings of love and pursue a woman ardently, only to turn on a dime and lose interest overnight. He may be incredibly charming, but can turn ugly in his demeanor when challenged. He is manipulative and narcissistic. The worst of these players are true sociopaths. Men who dislike or even hate women, usually due to some early personal experience, generally fall into this category if they have natural or learned womanizing abilities.

Me?  Well, I perpetually fall for Player I.  Here's why:  I usually start off as friends with them.  They may have other intentions towards me, but it always (ok, almost always) starts off as a friendship.  I know their game.  They know I know their game.  We discuss.  I call them on it.  They respect being called out on it (most of them), and then the flirtation starts...because they start calling me out on my crap too. I don't play around.  I barely even date around. But I inevitably allow myself to be signed up for this game.

Early on, I could blame naivete on my willingness to take part.  It was exciting being the girl that was chosen by the guy that everyone wanted.  (I didn't know it at the time, but according to the males in my life that confessed to me later, apparently I was pretty wanted myself.) He flirted with everyone, but wanted me.  Even when he moved on to the next girl, he wanted to keep me around.  Not necessarily as his bed buddy (though it wasn't from lack of requesting on his part), but he could have a certain intimacy with me on an intellectual level that he didn't have with latest girlfriend(s).  The other girls were very much aware of my presence and were threatened by it.  Rightfully so.  I was the "other woman" without technically being the other woman.

Why did I allow myself to be in this pseudo-relationship?  Besides being naive and not valuing my worth as much as I should have, I definitely got something out of it.  The guy would go from girl to girl, and yet I was the one he kinda sorta wanted to keep. I felt important.  I felt special.  I felt connected.

Fast forward about 15 years (and a few players in between), and I find myself in somewhat the same position.  I've got myself a Player I on my hands.  The other girls may not know about me, but I'm very aware of them.  He may not agree on the terminology, but after reading that description from the blog about 20 times this morning...well, there's just no other way around it. 

In the beginning, I could feel myself turn back into the 19 year-old from yesteryear.  Hormones, emotions, actions, language - the whole she-bang.  A funny thing happened the morning after the morning after (yes, that was intentional) though.  I started wondering whether or not "I" had become a Player I.  Familiar emotions emerged...I mean...I still wanted to "mean" something to him.  I wanted to know I was special.  We all want that, right?  But I didn't want to mean that something was going to change from what we were just a few days before. 

Honestly, I'm still kind of weirded out at feeling this way.  What scares me the most about what I'm feeling or not feeling right now is wondering if I can allow myself to really fall for someone again.  Although my heart was in somewhat of a constant state of being hurt or broken, it was comforting to know that I could keep opening up my heart to be wounded.  That I hadn't become numb.  That the chains weren't so firmly wrapped around the gate to my heart that no one could get in.  Feeling the way I do now, I've either gone in with eyes wide open and taken the necessary precautions to protect my heart, or I've shut myself off from being able to fall.  Either way, if this Player ever actually wants to choose me, he's going to have to prepare for battle because I don't know if my heart is willing to lose this war.

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1 comment:

  1. Michelle,

    I just found this post via Google alerts. Thanks so much for referencing HUS! I give you enormous credit for writing about your life so bravely and honestly. I hope it works out with this guy, but I'm glad you know exactly what's up in any case.


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