How to tell if a guy is a player through text (22 signs)

There are so many players in today’s dating scene that we might as well be talking about the Milwaukee Bucks team roster.

Players want sex and they’ll do almost anything to get it, spitting lines at you that are a dime a dozen and buying you costume jewelry they swear is from Tiffany’s.

They’ll charm you with smooth moves they’ve used on hundreds of girls all in pursuit of their final objective: getting you in bed with no commitment.

When you haven’t met a guy in person yet, however, it can be harder to tell if he’s a player or just a dashing romantic with some sexy lines.

That’s why it helps to know the texting tricks that players use.

Were those emojis just innocent fun from a decent and good guy looking for something serious or is he just looking to slam you like Denny’s grand slam breakfast combo?

Here’s how to tell if a guy is a player through text. I’ve listed 22 of the top warning signs. Proceed at your own caution.

22 signs that tell when a guy is a player through text

1) He gets sexual from the get-go

Players use their texts like little mini science experiments.

He’ll get sexual right from the get-go and see how you react. Then he’ll see how 10 other girls he’s talking to react.

If he thinks you’re hot enough he’ll pretend to walk it back with an adorable monkey emoji or a fake apology and then try again in another sneakier way.

Either way, if you pay attention you’ll be able to tell this guy is only testing the waters for sex talk.

As Wendy writes for Dear Wendy:

“You do have a better shot at finding a satisfying relationship if you start setting some boundaries and quit wasting your time on guys who aren’t looking for the same thing you are. You want a boyfriend not a booty call, so stop acting like a booty call and start acting like a woman who’s ‘good enough to date.’ How do you do that? Quit with the sexty texts, for one thing.”

2) He texts when he’s horny

Players tend to be busy or preoccupied when you text them about what they’re up to randomly during the day.

But suddenly when night comes or he’s in a slow period at work, you get bombarded with all sorts of cute GIFs and seductive texts.

It’s a classic player move:

Indifference to you except when he’s horny.

3) He’s all about himself

Players tend to be very into themselves. He will text about his interests, his issues, and his desires.  But he won’t give a hot damn about yours.

He’s all about himself and your text conversations will tend to be very one-sided when you look back over them objectively.

Sorry, hun, this guy is all about himself and what’s in his underwear.

4) He’s vague about his relationship status

When you’re texting with a player, one of the biggest signs is that he’s very vague about his relationship status. He also doesn’t like to say what he’s looking for.

He may say he’s “open” to a relationship because he can tell you’re headed more in that direction, but you can tell if you read between the lines that he really means it’s not going to happen.

As Julie Beck writes for the Atlantic in “the Psychology of ‘Backburner’ Relationships”, there are various ways players will “keep their options open” for people they are stringing along:

“The most frequent ways that people kept up with their backburners were through texts and Facebook. Forty-five percent of participants reported texting backburners, 37 percent reported talking to them on Facebook. Thirteen percent of people still picked up the phone and called the person they were stringing along, and piddling percentages of people kept up with backburners through email, Skype, or Twitter.”

5) He comments on other women being hot

Most women are pretty smart so it might seem confusing to some of us how they can be taken in by a player.

The fact is that players can be really funny and charming. They tend to keep things light and entertaining.

But if you notice them commenting on other women being hot, then be advised that they’re not actually into you and they’re just playing you.

6) He plays mind games with you

Players love to, well, play…

If you’re texting with a player then you’ll notice he’s all about getting compliments from you and teasing you.

It can be fun sometimes but in the end, you’ll see that he’s messing with your mind a little in various ways, stirring up jealousy, gossip, and sexual frustration in ways that he finds amusing and sexy.

7) He doesn’t give a hoot about your problems

When you’re texting a new person, there’s obviously going to be some hesitation about getting into heavy subjects.

Nobody wants to chat with someone new and then find out that person has a terminal illness or serious mental disorder.

At the same time, problems do happen. But if you’re texting a player, he absolutely won’t care about your true problems or life situation.

(But he’ll expect you to attend to his by giving him attention and sex).

8) He’s not curious about your life

This is directly related to the last piece of advice.

A player doesn’t only not care about your problems. He also isn’t curious about your life in general.

Did you just have an amazing day at the lake with your best friend?

He really doesn’t give a damn (although he may be curious if your friend is hot and, if so, to see a photo of her).

9) He shies away from any talk of relationships

The player doesn’t like to talk about his past relationships or relationship status.

He also avoids talk of love, deep connections or long-term relationships like a vampire stays away from daylight.

He’s so not there for anything about a commitment that’s more than a month or two of booty bumping.

10) He rarely sends the first text

Players like to tease and make girls “thirsty” for their texts. If you’re dealing with a player, you’re going to have a constant feeling that he’s just a little too smooth.

He’ll rarely text first and he’ll always seem to have that perfect line or comment to get you smiling or turned on.

It seems too good to be true because it isn’t true.

Sonya Schwartz explains that:

“Sometimes, guys just want to keep things casual; they don’t want to mislead you into thinking you can expect messages from him at certain times. By not initiating communication, these guys are trying to hint that they don’t want anything serious.”

11) He goes hot and cold on you constantly

Players wax and wane with their own sex drive.

If he’s got another little lady on the side or is busy at work and not focused on his physical desires, then you could go days or weeks without much texting at all.

But then he gets free time or starts focusing on his libido and your phone is pinging like a radiation detector at Chernobyl.

12) He frequently asks you sexual and intimate questions

As I wrote in point one, players tend to focus on sex right from the get-go.

He’s also likely to ask you specifically sexual and intimate questions. The reason why is very simple:

He wants to get your mind in the gutter and then swim around in the mud naked with you (metaphorically…maybe).

As for dick pics? Smooth players don’t necessarily send them, at least not too early, because they know that it pisses some women off.

As BARE Sexology advises in their sexting guide for men:

“Unless you’ve followed the above steps so well that the sexting has ramped up and you’re 100 per cent sure she’s in a private place while talking dirty to you, do not send her a dick pic. Seeing a penis can be wonderful… when you’re in the mood. Receiving one on your phone in the middle of your office conference call when sex is the last thing on your mind, not so much.”

14) He constantly text-ghosts you

Going hot and cold with his own sex drive and life situation means that you’re not high on his list of priorities.

You’ll constantly be “text-ghosted” and feel like shit because this guy will turn you on and be super into you…

…then five minutes later he’ll leave you on read for two weeks.

It’s immature and it’s annoying as hell.

15) He subtly reinforces his dominance over you

Players like to present themselves as easy-going and fun guys, and sometimes they are. But they can also be real jerks.

If you notice that his texts have a lot of “negs” (compliments with the edge of an insult or mockery in them), then you have a major sign that you’re dealing with a player.

16) His compliments are totally generic

Players rarely focus all their attention on one woman.

Usually, they’re multi-texting random chicks they’ve added from Tinder or dating sites like a Chinese click farm working overtime.

They give you compliments that seem like they could be for anyone. Because they could be.

They’ll also tease and semi-provoke you instead of just complimenting you.

Danae Mercer puts it well:

“Sometimes things can fall a bit flat, even with well-intentioned compliments feeling more cringe than cool. Perhaps that’s why some men avoid them altogether, opting instead for a humorous mock-insult…”

17) He loses interest unless you send sexy pics

Players use texting mostly to sext or try to set up intimate encounters.

If you flat-out refuse to send him sexy photos, he will generally get pissed off and throw a hissy fit. If you don’t back down he will generally then lose interest.

Watch out for the “long game” player, however, who will just get even more excited by your refusal and turned on by the chase, pretending to give up on sexy talk and then coming back to it in subtle ways in the coming weeks and months.

Alex Manley says that the best way to ask a woman for nudes is to make her feel comfortable and true players are experts at simulating respect and having unique chemistry.

“As exciting as it can be to receive a nude, you don’t have a right to see anyone’s nudes, and you can’t simply deserve to see them by doing a certain thing or set of things. Nudes are always something that are shared when the sender feels like it, and you can’t force anyone to feel anything,” Manley writes.

18) He avoids adding you to his social networks

Players are usually liars. As such, they aren’t the type to just have one social media account. They usually have many different ones that they keep separate.

His first preference will usually be not to add you to any social network or just to one.

If you notice that his accounts seem to be very generic or rarely used, then you’ve likely just been handed one of his bait accounts that he uses to make women think he gives a shit about them and is available.

20) He gets annoyed if you’re reserved about sex

As I mentioned, rare “long game” players will only get more excited if you turn down sexual talk or images.

But for the most part, these guys are transparent dummies who will immediately throw tantrums if you don’t want to get naughty.

He will then generally ghost you and try again a time or two before projecting some bullshit accusation on you about being a “prude” and ditching you.

Bye, addict.

21) He forgets almost anything you tell him about yourself

Players don’t care what you tell them or about your life, but they will sometimes act very interested when you tell them stories or things from your life.

He’ll do that to get sex.

Once he gets it or gets you talking about it, then you’ll notice that his supposed interest in everything you’ve said was approximately 0.0.

22) He doesn’t reciprocate when you express affection

When you’re out with a guy who’s just in it for the sex, he’ll generally avoid PDAs and talking about any emotions he has for you (because he doesn’t).

Texting is similar. If you send heart emojis or tell him things that a girlfriend with say, he’ll either ignore it, joke it away, or tell you to stop being so mushy.

That’s because it makes him squirmy to think that this could be going anywhere other than sextville.

Final thoughts

It’s hard to read emotions through texts.

This guy could be confused about his own motivations or have issues. And he might be genuinely really turned on by you and lose some of his texting self-control.

That’s no excuse, but it can sometimes be as simple as that.

A guy coming on strong doesn’t always mean he’s a big-time player.

As Tchicki Davis writes for UC Berkeley’s Greater Good magazine, one of the best ways to read emotion through texts has a lot to do with how well you know someone or not.

“Detecting emotion in text messages is just as much an art as a science. You may be sure that your friend Jane is feeling sad even though she says she is feeling great. You know Jane, and you know how she is. If you read her text messages with care and curiosity, you’ll get to the truth about how she’s feeling.”

That’s why if you’re talking to a player it can be easy to get sucked into his seductive world before you fully realize it because you don’t know him well to begin with.

I sincerely hope that the 22 tips above help you to know how to tell if a guy is a player through text before you waste too much valuable time and energy on him.

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