Ask A Guy: Am I Being Played? post image

Ask A Guy: Am I Being Played?


I’ve been working with this guy for close to a year. I was always attracted to him but tried to play it cool and treat him like any other friend. It took him about 6 months to ask me for my number and I was really shocked because I didn’t think he thought of me in that way and I instantly started crushing on him. We hung out later that night after his shift ended. It was pretty casual, just small talk, and then he went home.

After that, he started texting me raunchy things about “getting naked” and “getting freaky” and such but I’d always object flirtatiously, like, “oh well only if you’re lucky” or ” maybe once you get to know me better.” So after about a week of us texting back and forth, he texted that he wanted to hang out again. I agreed but then he never texted back! We still saw each other at work and would make small talk, but I didn’t hear from him other than that.

I decided to focus my attention elsewhere and only worry about school, work, etc. I randomly texted him maybe a month later just to see how he was doing and he seemed happy to hear from me and asked when we were gonna hang out. I told him pretty much whenever I was available next. That night, he texted me around 2 am asking to hang out but I obviously said no since it was so late. He seemed cool with that, but then the conversations died down and I didn’t hear from him for weeks. Then I noticed that he changed his Myspace status to “In a relationship” so I figured that was why I hadn’t heard from him but I realized he must have been in a relationship that last time he asked to hang out.

After that, I completely cut myself off from him outside of work because I didn’t want to deal with the heartache. Now here it is, weeks later, and he’s asking me why I haven’t texted him in so long. I’m so confused! Anyway, I texted him the other night to see how he was doing. He asked what I was up to but then just stopped texting!

I feel kinda played for giving in to him but I still like him and I’m not sure what this all means. Any thoughts?

See our guy’s response after the jump!

I’ll give you my answer bluntly, which would be: Yes, he is trying to set you up as a ‘booty call’.

If a guy is trying to court you for a potential relationship, he’s not going to lead his interaction by talking about hooking up, getting naked, etc. A guy would say that for the following reasons:

– He doesn’t care if you reject his approach since he’s made up his mind that a hook-up is all he wants from you at the moment.
– He has a low self-esteem, so he figures that if he acts like an ass and you reject him, it’s not because he actually is an ass, it’s just because he was acting like one. On the flip-side, if you go for him even though he’s acting like this, then it must mean he’s irresistible. It’s kind of a silly ego thing, making the assumption that if you accept him in spite of his obnoxiousness, it means he’s awesome.
– He’s got a few girls to choose from, so he’s willing to hook up with you as long as you don’t require much investment on his part.  If you’re willing to hook-up with him when making virtually no effort (other than to send you sexual overtures via text message when the mood strikes him), then he knows you’re willing to be a “low-maintenance hook-up”.

My original response wasn’t so blunt, but I felt like I would be doing everyone a disservice if I sugarcoated that first point.

With that said, it sounds to me like both of you are doing everything you can to play it cool. And I think that’s getting in the way of either of you knowing where the other one is coming from.

Beneath all the nonsense, my guess is that you both like each other, but you’re afraid of asking personal questions because that would mean you were getting “personal”. It’s really easy to banter back and forth and make small talk. But when one of you starts talking about things on a personal level – things you think about, how you’re experiencing something, how you feel about something – then the connection starts to deepen. And once the “relationship” with someone starts to deepen, well, that’s the point where you can get hurt.

At the same time, the more “personal” you get, the more of a chance you have for a meaningful relationship. Not all relationships are meaningful – people hook up all the time and never connect on any sort of deep level beyond immediate excitement in the situation and desire. People even date for a long time with little to no depth to their relationship – I can’t do it, but maybe some people actually prefer it to opening themselves up. It’s not my place to pass judgment.

As far as your immediate situation goes, I would say that you need to find out more info about where he is in his life and what he’s up to. Just because a Myspace status says that he’s “In a Relationship” doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s in the relationship he wants to be in. I realize that you have a regular mode of talking with him and you don’t want to step outside the lines, but maybe a bit of probing would help. If he wants to let you know about his life, he’ll tell you… if he doesn’t, he will avoid the subject, but then at least you tried to break through.

Now here’s a controversial point: Guys do make a judgment about a girl based on what it takes for the girl to hook up with him. Fair enough, but the weird thing is that the predominant belief in our culture is that time makes the difference. It’s not about the time – it’s about the effort and the depth that the woman expects from the guy. Speaking personally here, I have gone out with girls that have a time rule… they made some kind of promise to themselves that they wouldn’t do certain things until a certain time (after 3 dates, 3 weeks, etc.). To me, it really didn’t make much of a difference in terms of how I felt about her long term.

What do I mean by depth and effort? By depth I mean exposing thoughts that actually connect with who I am as a person: my beliefs, my thoughts about what matters to me, my aspirations, what I value in relationships, etc. Basically the stuff that you wouldn’t just casually tell a stranger on the street. Small talk and bantering is not depth – it is shallow connection that you can have with anyone.

In the context of effort I would describe it as actually “showing up for the game”. That is, being mentally present and engaged in the interaction. The opposite of this is the guy who’s basically running game – he’s done it one hundred times before, he knows what you are going to eat up and he dishes it out. In my life, the girls who just “ate up” the game did not last long. On the other hand, the girls that called me out or saw through where I was just running game versus actually being engaged and present in the interaction… they usually became a long term girlfriend.

There’s definitely an art to being challenging while still coming across as charming and fun. The value of being challenging is to make sure the guy brings his best self to the table – not the passive guy who’s going to just run his game and have you eat it up. And if you’re being challenging comes across as bitchy… you’re doing it wrong.

But back to the time limit thing. You might be thinking, “Eric, you can’t be serious.” I am. The time limit before hooking up did not make a difference to me in terms of potential for a long-term relationship.

I’ll sum it up with this: If you would be totally satisfied with the depth of your interaction being him texting you at random times talking about you hooking up, then go for it. If it’s not, then either figure out a way to get him to bring more of himself to the table or forget about it. It’s a mistake to think that you can rope him in with a hook-up now and then he’ll somehow change later. Not going to happen.

Maybe tougher love than I usually give, but I think it’s important that I don’t sugarcoat how I see it. Hope it helps.

-eric charles

{ 24 comments… add one }

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leesha

Hi I’m leesha….. I have been seeing this guy for about two months he’s in my university and a year ahead of me we see each other regularly he also comes to my room but mostly at night to see me… He has taken me out on a date before and has introduced me to his friends he sees me like every two days…. I don’t have low self esteem but I know I’m not that pretty and I’m not really not endowed and that’s what guys dig into these days… I want to know if it’s right for me to be the last person he sees everyday and it’s not like he’s busy he just chills with his friends and comes in the evening like yesterday he called around 12:30 am and asked if he could come but it didn’t feel right so I made up an excuse and I want to know If that means he likes me or he just wants sex. Thanks I would appreciate all the advice’s I can get

Reply December 6, 2014, 5:16 pm

Jc

Hi, I would like to know your opinion on dating apps such as tinder and plenty of fish. Apps like these are perceived highly like hookup apps and for the most part many people may be using them as such. I’m currently using tinder and have met up with a great guy recently. We went out twice and both dates were a lot of fun and we seemed to get along very well. What irked me was what he had said on the second date which seemed to imply somewhat that he may have thought of me as a more ‘loose’ girl. It was a brief comment and I didn’t think much of it until recently. Yet, he did not try anything on the second date to actually hook-up. I haven’t heard from him since and it’s been a while. What I would like to know is, using these types of apps, what would be the best way to show a guy that you’re not just looking for a hook-up without coming off as stuffy (as in no touching, no kissing, etc)?

Reply October 20, 2014, 1:00 pm

Danielle

Hi I’m Danielle and I need relationship advice or to see if I should give this guy another chance. Well I met him on pof and we been chatting off and on for 3 days also texting , well i invite him to go to the roundup with me , and he said he didn’t like country clubs so i was fine with that, but he asked me if I wanted to meet him at this McDonald’s like 25 mins away he said he was close by my area . First let me tell u he lives 45 mins away and was over there already giving something to a friend. I told him I would but that is far come closer to me and he said I don’t want to drive out to far , note it was also 10 30 at night. So anyways I didn’t wine up seeing him because it was too late anyway and I live with my parents. The next day we texted eachother I asked if he wanted to meet up and go to mixers. He said that he working tomorrow and does not want to drink. Well long story short we meet up at a bowling alley him saying first meet me at McDonald’s . What’s with the McDonald’s I even told him when I met him lol well everything was nice good convo him saying I’m beautiful , likes me a lot , payed for me , he also kissed me the first 20 mins we started talking … I shyed away and said it was too soon. Well it’s 2 30 am and we’re making out in the back of my car . He starts lifting my shirt up , and I tell him .im not ready for that and he stops. Well we go back kissing and all a sudden my phone rings , I look and it’s my ex .. I told my date i I got out of a rel before and I’m not looking for anything serious but then when we had that great connection me and him I said but we will see . So my phone rings wile we are touching and all . Then I tell him I want to keep my guard up cuz I don’t know you and I don’t want to be use and I really like you . Ok back to my phone ringing and my ex calling he see his name and he like oh that’s why I understand now .. He tells me he’s not into games , I said I’m not to I can’t control my ex calling me . He like u still have a connection with that guy . I said no I dont he like u hurt me im leaving. I literally follow him to his car he wouldn’t even let me in his car to talk. He said That why u won’t have sex with me I like u but your oviously into your ex still. I said I’m not I wouldn’t be here . I said can u just please talk to me well he like I’ll drive by your car. He wouldn’t even let me in the car it was like 2 mins away what a jerk . But he drove over and he went in my car and I explain , my ex is crazy obsessed with me I care about you I’m sorry . He wined up kissing me then he like you need to prove it your over him. So having sex proves it ? Well I did and now he had to work I texted him like 4 messages and then he responded sorry I’m super busy at work I’m going to stay in tonight I get off at 9 pm plus I had no sleep. Ok that is understandable because we stayed up till 3 30 and he drove 45 mins later. Well I told him I feel ignore and used , he says I’m not using u and he was just mentioning how r sex was amazing .. He likes me a lot … Ok my question to u all is , was he wrong saying I’m playing gamed with him because my ex wined up calling then he figure that was a reason which it wasn’t . Then sex would prove to him im over my ex ?????? Also if I pursue a relationship with this guy will it be a lot about sex he also told me he did things with me he never did without a girl . Like dancing in a parking lot lol.. Idk I’m just scared he going to hurt me which he said he not, but I really didn’t want to have sex with him cuz I didn’t want to loose him. Then my ex called and it seemed I had to have sex with him to not loose him :(((( well thanks for reading my long story any advice helps !!!!!

Reply June 28, 2014, 3:27 pm

Linda

I have a question/ comment about the “calling out”. In the beginning of a relationship (term lightly used), this man and I discussed in detail our wants and needs from each other. We work together- different shifts and he’s management in different department. Having your honey where you make your money is never a good thing, this I believe and lived by. He being management approaching me first of all, several times until finally I caved; he had to be sincere due to his position he had a lot to lose just wanting a f-buddy. Quite a bit of water has passed under the bridge, I find out he had a girlfriend of many years, but never let on to me until I called him out. Long story short……I made it clear to him in the beginning I despise liars, not into games, and too old to be played. We have all been hurt and I would rather be alone than be used. The one prior to him did a number on me and I wasn’t interested in anyone for 3 years, you can say he broke the ice. He’s fun, light hearted and seems to care the attraction is there. My question….why when a woman says that she will not tolerate the BS, will call them out and be relentless on the pursuit of truth, does he stay involved and still play her? Especially on her job going against her values and better judgement? What is gained from intentionally hurting someone who begged for it not to happen?

Reply May 3, 2014, 12:19 am

sukh

Eric….this article…helped a lot! Thanks
You have saved me from investing in heartache!

Reply November 1, 2013, 11:39 pm

Kate

Well I totally agree with this one. It’s horrible being treated like this. You’ll start to notice he will act as if he likes you until he get what he wants then will leave instantly. He won’t contact you again until he wants a booty call again. It’s horrible, don’t get trapped in it cos you will develop feelings

Reply August 28, 2013, 9:08 am

Antoinette

Eric, I just want to say I am so thankful to have come across your blog. you are helping me a lot when it comes to my dignity and self respect as a woman. I appreciate how real you are in your answers to questions that women have about understanding men and also explain what we need to do from your perspective in any given situation. your work is helping a lot of women on having the kind of relationships they want from a man. I hope you will continue to write and educate both sexes on how we can better relate with each other. Thank You

Reply July 27, 2013, 5:13 pm

Cara

I have been seeing a guy on and off for about 4 months, but have known him for about 10 months. We used to work together, and nothing happened until I left. We started chatting on Facebook and one thing led to another and we started to meet. He was with someone but recently got married (2 weeks ago). I just wondered if he is wasting my time as one day he will text me all day, then go days when I hear nothing, then he goes back to texting loads. I can’t understand the hot and cold thing. Is he just wanting his cake and eating it? What do you think? Or texts are usually of a sexual nature but he says he likes me etc???? Really confused!!!

Reply January 16, 2013, 1:19 pm

Chiarah

“On the other hand, the girls that called me out or saw through where I was just running game versus actually being engaged and present in the interaction… they usually became a long term girlfriend.”

Eric, i get it. i really do. it makes perfect sense. but how does one go about calling out a guy?

Reply September 6, 2012, 10:36 pm

Eric Charles

Hey Chiarah,
.
I could flesh this out a bit…
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There are times where I would say something to try and charm a girl, but she could see right through me. She liked me enough as a person to want me, but she also recognized that I wasn’t being true to myself and she made me aware that she saw I wasn’t being authentic.
.
It’s not as much a “magic button” or a trick, it’s more about reading deeply into the man and who he is and just bringing his attention to how he’s showing up with you. If he values you as a person himself, it will register as you connecting on him and not settling for a superficial connection to him.
.
Thing is, personally, I’m a guy who is very caring and empathetic towards others. So when someone makes me aware that I’m not being authentic, that means something to me. Some guys (not the majority, but some…) could care less how they’re showing up to you…
.
It comes down to this: If you choose a guy who doesn’t actually care about you, nothing will work. You’ll be forever trying to shove a square peg through a round hole.
.
On the other hand, if the guy sincerely likes you and cares for you as a person (even if he doesn’t know you well yet but that’s his nature), then you can expect that reading who he is and feeding it back to him with have a profound impact on him.
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Long story short, if you pick a jerk and expect him to be anything other than a jerk, you’ll be extremely disappointed. Watch how they treat others. Pay attention to their reputation. Figure out what kind of relationship they have with their friends and family.

Reply September 8, 2012, 9:40 pm

Alex

I have an issue with a guy friend….

he says he likes me and all, and feels so extremly attracted sexually to me, but I see him flirt with other girls or liking on FB pic of semi naked girls…what I think is that he doesnt only likes me, he likes all the girls and if he was for him, he will get laid with every girls he step to in… Am very confused, please help!

Reply August 1, 2012, 9:36 pm

Nicole Sta. Ana

Hi. I don’t know if this guy and I are dating, but we go out a lot. But there are times that I think that after all these, I think he’s just wants sex. I’m trying to avoid him for sometime now just to let him know that I want to be valued more. What should I do to make him see my value? Or treat or let him know that I need to be valued. Thanks

Reply August 1, 2012, 8:47 am

lovelaceboutique

hi~ i have recently met this guy, we started out as a daughter and father relationship(u no, on facebook hahaha) and he had a girlfriend at that time too. He would ask questions about his girlfriend, and i would help out as much as possible! (i had absoluety no feelings for him at that point lool) and at that point, he already started flirting-ish with me? haha like calling me daughter~ at first, and then honey~ and then eventually yuhbo~ (this is a korean term meaning wifey~ and lots of hearts, etc. But i thought it was fine cuz u no, he’s just a daddy haha. Then after a month or so, he and his gf broked up. I felt very sry for him of course :((( then he started asking me to dates, and i was like o.o..ok..lol telling me he liked me and stuff. So i was like..hmm? is he playing with me or wat lol. Cuz he is a major flirt, and everyone knows that. So i kept just letting him talk to me n stuff, until and finally thought that maybe he did like me?haha cuz he even hanged with me on his bday instead of his friends…although other ppl that know him told me to beware of him cuz hes a player lolol he shortly started kissing me and even french-kissing me…made an attempt at me chest too lol. i pulled away every time he did that.. :/ but he seriously acts like he likes me n stuff, talking to my sis to know more about me, asking me on dates during school, pro-days days, holidays…introducing me to his friends, telling me to go to his church(he was serious about it lol )so now im not sure if he’s playing with me or not haha…but he never asked me out. Its rlly weird lol he actually never asked me out. So any help here? :) is he playing with me or does he actually like me? help or advice would be very very apreciated! ^^

Reply May 28, 2012, 6:26 pm

CeeCee

There was this guy I liked and he liked me too. We were always flirting mad hard and at school the teachers would try to keep us away from each other because of that. We would always hug each other. One day he decided he wanted to attempt to kiss me. I gave him a puzzled look and a smile shook my head and walked away. Him, a group of friends and I went out of town for the weekend. On the way back out of nowhere he just kisses me. That happened about 10 times. When we got back my best friend told me he had asked out my supposed to be “friend”. When we get back to school everyone’s asking me is it true we kissed and telling me a bunch of different things he said about why he kissed me. A few are: he was bored and he was goinh to kiss my supposed ”friend’. I stopped talking to him as much and then he started making REALLY dirty jokes about me. From that point on I tried to not talk to him as much as possible but its impossible for me to get over him because I didn’t like him I had grown to love him. Everyday he’ll bump into me on purpose or take my pens or pencils trying to get me to talk to him or get my attention. I want to know if what I did was right? was he playing me? and what should I do now because my love for him is uncontroable?

Reply May 21, 2012, 11:53 pm

Katie

I was friends with this guy for about 2 years before we started dating. There are several complications to this relationship that include long distance relationship and the fact that my side of the family is crazy. Not too long ago my mom made some pretty outrageous accusations and ever since then, up until a last week everything has been really flaky. I am 18 I still live in my parents house and he is 20 and still lives in his parents house. He broke it off with me a couple of days ago, but I am his first girlfriend. When he broke up with me he was still calling me “baby” and “sweetheart” and telling me “I love you”. That he thought he was doing the best for us by breaking up with me. We had been dating for about a year. He said that what it came down to was that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I feel like there is more. I called him twice after that and the last time I talked to him he was almost crying. I thought I was over it but now I am not so sure. All of my friends are calling him a jerk but I really don’t think so. I guess what I am trying to ask is am I missing something? I am really in love with this guy and I thought I had been in love with other guys but this guy is different. I can’t seem to let him go no matter how hard I try. I wasn’t even really sure I loved him until he broke it off with me.

Reply May 7, 2012, 5:35 pm

Maria

I’m curious about where exactly you’re supposed to draw the line between investing in the budding relationship and letting it go when a guy starts to disappear. This is in the context of a new relationship where you’ve been with the guy, but things are peetering out. Is it okay to send a text or call the guy and ask him what his intentions are (were)? Or are we just supposed to let time and distance grow? I’ve heard from my 20-something friends that sending a text is kosher, but I’ve heard that it’s futile from an older generation…

Reply March 7, 2012, 4:37 pm

ali

ok so there is this guy i had a class with and all year se barley had a conversation and then out of the blue he started texting me and saying he missed me and telling me i was cute and i haven’t herd anything from him since. was he just playing me of did he really mean it?

Reply July 27, 2011, 12:52 am

SaCoh

I met this boy the last week of school. I have to admit, hes very cute and all but what freaked me out the most was that he was in drugs. I acted casual as if It really wasn’t a big deal and we started talking a lot after. Later on I found out that he liked me which I didn’t really like him the same way. I felt bad when I rejected his kiss but at the same time I still wanted to be friends with him. Like usually when this happens, the girl tries to avoid him. Anyway, Idk if i was being played. I went to his house like 2 weeks ago to hang out and all he ever wants to do is cuddle. When I told him that I didn’t want to hold his hand because I felt as if it was more than friends he was alright about it but he did tell me that cuddling didn’t mean anything. Is it really true? Does he mean it? Or I’m I just being used? Or I’m I just over exaggerating? BTW, I haven’t talked to him ever since that day. Soo confused right now :/ HELP!

Reply August 13, 2011, 10:29 pm

june

i’m wondering the same thing as eLoa and S!

Reply December 17, 2010, 2:07 am

S

I have the same questions as eLoa, it would be really helpful if you could answer them Eric :)

Reply December 13, 2010, 9:02 pm

Chiarah

Come on Eric, we really want to know how to call out a guy! I’m exactly at the point where I need to call him out but i’m afraid of being too blunt and scare him off for good. Please let us know Eric :)

Reply September 8, 2012, 9:11 pm

eLoa

Will you further illustrate on how to be challenging without being bitchy and how to call a guy out.
when you said girls who “ate it up” do you mean when they got played? If so, in what extend is the girl being played?

Reply August 23, 2010, 1:35 pm

keirsten

ok so ive been talking to this guy for 2 months an at first i didnt think we would be going anywhere. but now he told me he wants to go out but dosent know because i keepflagging out on him but the only reason why i keep flaggin is because i dont want to get hurt and my friends all keep telling me that hes just using me or hes playing me and i dont know how to tell

Reply April 21, 2010, 9:09 am

www.mybeautyblog.de

I agree with Eric. This is just a game for the guy and you acn either have an affair or just exchnage some dirty messages. That will be all, so move on. As soon as he will see you are not interested he might send you a few messages, but then it will stop pretty fast. Been there, done that.Or rather: Been there, been played that.

Reply September 28, 2009, 4:44 pm

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