The Ups And Downs Of Dating A Female Player

She’s irresistible…but she isn’t interested in seeing just one guy. Listen in as one man shares what it’s like to go out with one of these dangerous creatures.

By Jonathan Small

onight would be the night, my friend Johnny told himself.

He'd dated the lovely Sarah off and on—flirting with her over $15 cocktails at swanky clubs, trying to get closer and being pushed away. He finally decided to go for it—to show her how he really felt and pull her into his orbit once and for all. Off they went to New York for the weekend, and all was going well. They laughed and kissed over dinner at a hip Japanese restaurant... that is, until a guy named Brad happened to appear.

Sarah had mentioned to her "friend," as she called Brad, that she might be in town for the weekend, and let slip the name of the place where she and
“It's like dating a character on Sex and the City. They're full of funny stories, and they're beautifully dressed.”
Johnny would be dining. Since Brad knew the hottest parties in town, Sarah thought the three of them could team up to hit a few. Before Johnny could raise any objections, his romantic date was co-opted into a group outing—one where he was forced to watch Brad and Sarah bump and grind all night. The kicker? She ended up spending the rest of the weekend with Brad. And Johnny? He was devastated. He had no idea women acted that way. He'd been used... and it wasn't a pretty sensation.

Players. Long a label associated exclusively with men (James Bond, Mr. Big, and Alfie, to name a few), this term has increasingly become all too fitting for a growing number of women as well. Like their male counterparts, female players are always stringing along numerous suitors and thriving on all the attention—not to mention the flower deliveries. What makes her tick? And can we guys stop ourselves from falling for her? As someone who's dated one or two of these ladies (and recoils at the memory), let me share what I can on the subject.

First, the good news:
Female player fact #1: There's a definite ego boost that comes from dating her.
These women don't get all this attention from guys because they're wallflowers or plain Janes. They are dazzling conversationalists, well-dressed, and very capable flirts. Says Paul, 37, "I've dated
“When you make a guy work for it, he really ramps up the romance—he's doing everything he can to impress you.”
a couple of women like this, and, I have to say, they present themselves in such a great way. It's like dating a character on Sex and the City. They're full of funny stories, and they always have beautiful hair, beautiful nails, great clothes. When you're out with one of them, you feel like a clever, Hugh Grant type, out on the town." That's part of what keeps a guy coming back to these women—he feels as if he's part of a rarefied, fabulous world when he's with her. Oh, and there's one more specific way in which they dazzle a guy, as you'll see in my next point.

Female player fact #2: She has incredible lingerie.
All of the guys I interviewed who had dated a female player said the same thing (looking rather dreamy-eyed): Great lingerie. "This is not the kind of girl who's going to be caught dead in plain cotton undies," says Tony, 41. "The woman I dated? She toyed with my emotions, that's for sure. But I can't help but be nostalgic for her lingerie drawer. I'd never seen anything like it. Talk about a kid in a candy store. I guess she'd accumulated that wardrobe to keep her different suitors enticed."

Now, the less-than-good news:
Female player fact #3: These women are on a power-trip.
These women believe the pleasure of their company is a treasure men should work for. One player named Christie, 28, explains it this way: "I don't throw myself at guys; I see dates as a trade-off: The guy gets to be seen with a hot girl at a restaurant, and I get to eat sushi for free," she says. "I had a male friend take me to get a couple's massage. He got to see me in a towel and I got pampered at a nice hotel. Sounds fair, don't you think?"

Obviously, a guy's ego can take a real butt-whupping from this kind of treatment. I don't know about you, but feeling like a doggie chasing a premium biscuit isn't exactly a sensation I cherish in my personal life. Knowing that these women see themselves as "above you" is a real cold shower, in my book.

Female player fact #4: They work a man's competitive nature like crazy.
It goes without saying that guys love the thrill of the chase—and that's exactly what a female player gives them by keeping the relationship casual. "Guys don't like it when you're too eager and available, so I keep my schedule booked," explains Mary, a chic blonde who usually juggles a handful of suitors. "When you make a guy work for it, he really ramps up the romance—he's doing everything he can to impress you and be the last man standing. I'm really amazed by how hard a man will try to win me over: Orchids, dinner at the most in-demand restaurants, incredible love notes—sometimes even jewelry. It's almost embarrassing what a guy will do to get the girl."

Embarrassing, yeah. A female player's way of remaining cool, coveted and non-committal can drive a guy crazy. The prophet Jay-Z once said, "Don't hate the player, hate the game," but that's a tall order. My best advice? If you find yourself drawn into the web of one of these women, set your pride aside—and bring your checkbook.

Jonathan Small has been played like an Xbox by several women. A freelance writer based in Los Angeles, he's also co-author of the new book, The Best Places to Kiss in Southern California.

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