Women in the dating world tend to use the term “Player’ when referring to a man that lacks the ability or desire to make a commitment. Some of these men are assumed to be purely out for sex; some are considered commitment phobic; and others are in temporarily suspended animation having re-entered the dating world a bit too early. Nevertheless, the online dating site profiles are fraught with some version of the following warning from women: “No players need apply—only those looking for a long-term relationship.”
Many female accusers have a legitimate beef—and nobody wants to be played. But I’ve found that the term player is also used far too often by controlling women who want to “control” the dating process. For example, a male client complained that he’s been called a player on a number of occasions—an accusation that angers and frustrates him. “I’m just dating,” he said. “Sure, on occasion I’ve slept with a couple of women with whom I chose not to commit to. What’s wrong with that? I’m looking for the right person and it’s going to take time. Not all of us are sexually compatible and this is a good thing to know before remarrying. A couple of these women have reamed me out for not warning them that I may not commit to them. How can I do that? I can’t predict the future. Besides, women have broken up with me without warning.” Yes, it’s all part of the process. And I would add that it also takes a bit of time for other relationship dynamics to surface and this may not happen before a couple engages in sex. Timing is everything.