I Think All Men Are Players. Why Can’t I Find a Boyfriend?

Woman wearing green sleeveless top thinking about his husband cheating

I am tall, blonde, 36, and curvy.   I also have a unique problem. I was raised by a “player type” father, and I am unfortunately too comfortable with their games.   As a result, I blow men off very quickly when I see the signs of being a ‘player’.  If they dont call me when they say they will, I just move on and delete their number.  When they do call and I don’t recognize the number, they get upset. If they ask me out for Sunday and dont call to confirm, I assume we are not going. When I do talk to them, they ask why I didn’t call and get upset. I know if I sleep with them on the first date, they will not call me ever, so I don’t chase them, even if we have a great two days of conversation and sex.   I do sometimes wonder if I should though.   If I know I am going to sleep with the guy, I will tell them up front that I want  sex because I know we wont see each other again. They try to woo me over and say I am wrong and I just say ‘who cares’.  I sometimes think I am already assuming it is over before it begins because I know “he isnt that into me”.

How do I know if they are into me since I now think like men?   I feel like they have to basically kiss my ass until I become fully aware, because now I feel as though I am somehow rejecting them before they have a chance.   Is that okay or am I just being smart?   Hard to ask my friends because they’re needy and I’m not.   I do not call unless they call, chase or bug unless I want sex. In person ‘I live in the moment,’ knowing full well men do too.   I even listen to the ‘I want a family speech’ and smile and playfully change the subject since I know it is meaningless. They even give me the speech that they are not ready for a commitment and I know they are trying to protect me, but I find it odd because I didn’t do anything to warrant the conversation. I know if he is into you, he will act it and all these speeches mean nothing.   (You can tell all your female clients that these guys call me for years as friends because I don’t chase them, BTW).   

I am just bothered because I am not dating them, and I want to date and have a good time and eventually find a good partner. I think I am pretty hot and fun so I am not too worried. Most younger men chase me, men my age are threatened and older men just don’t have the energy, but yes, chase hard. They all tell me ‘I am too cool’ and I don’t say that with pride BTW.   

So, Evan, am I being too cool or really playing smart?   How do I get to the dating part or is this normal by weeding out so quickly?   And why do they all, I mean all, come back to me after I blow them off?   

Thanks for your time!


Dear Tray,

The bright spot is that your understanding of men will make you great in a relationship. But in order to get into a relationship, you have to work backwards to find out what’s not working for you.

Here’s what’s not working for you:

You think that because you understand male behavior, you should be the woman men want to date.

It’s the world’s greatest defense mechanism – let nobody in, nobody can hurt you. Congratulations, you win!!

Not quite.

You’re trying to be ‘smart’ by cutting off men at the first hint of games. But they’re not even PLAYING games. They’re calling you, wondering what they did wrong, trying hard to win your favor, but to no avail. By looking for any sign that a guy’s going to hurt you, and turning it into a reason to freeze him out, you ultimately leave yourself alone and use your ‘coolness’ as the excuse. It’s the world’s greatest defense mechanism – let nobody in, nobody can hurt you. Congratulations, you win!!…

You live in a world where men are the enemies. But your heightened defenses are actually what’s killing you. By never showing any hints of vulnerability, you may prove to all the men who ‘come back for more’ that you’re the coolest chick around, but you’re not getting anyone to fall in love with you. You just become their guy friend. Which is where being ‘too cool’ flips over on you, Tray.

My wife is cool; she lets me be myself, hang out with guys, write about sex, talk about ex’s. But she’s not ‘too’ cool. She’s got a lot invested in me. She lets me know when she’s upset. If she acted like: ‘The dating coach is probably gonna cheat on me because most men cheat on women,’ I wouldn’t feel particularly good about her. Her trust is what inspires me to honor her.

In trying to beat men at their own game, it seems you’re only defeating yourself. You can call up a guy for sex so you can use him ‘like a guy’, but how does that make you feel? How does that further your goal of having a relationship? It doesn’t. Nor does assuming that every misstep is a ‘game’. Just cause a guy doesn’t call or confirm on time doesn’t mean he’s never to be trusted.

Just because five straight guys cheated on you doesn’t mean the sixth will as well. Each new guy has NO relationship to the last guy whatsoever.

This doesn’t mean that some guys AREN’T a load of shit. He’s Just Not That Into You tapped into the zeitgeist for a reason. If he doesn’t call, sleep with you, commit to you, propose to you, etc, he’s just not that into you. But that doesn’t mean that if a guy doesn’t follow up on a date the way YOU want him to, that he’s a liar who’s just out for one thing. It may mean he forgot, ran late, or had to take his ailing mother to the hospital. That’s life. Until you’re more forgiving, you’re going to be missing out on a relationship.

Just because five straight guys cheated on you doesn’t mean the sixth will as well. Each new guy has NO relationship to the last guy whatsoever. Yes, men can be men, but that doesn’t mean that EVERY man is that way. By assuming each man is a player, you never let anyone in and you never experience love.

The reason I wrote Why He Disappeared is because while you may know that He’s Just Not That Into You, it’s far more important to know WHY He’s Just Not That Into You.

From what I can tell, Tray, the reason you’re single is quite simple: you don’t believe a guy can sincerely love you. And unless you believe it’s possible, no man is gonna believe it either.

Click here to learn how a simple shift in attitude can foster true understanding of men, and manifest the relationship of your dreams.

Much love,


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  1. 1

    Well said.
    At the risk of sounding flippant or rude, and I apologize if I do, I’d like to add that Tray needs to get over her daddy issues. Counseling (therapy) could help.

    1. 1.1

      shots fired lol

    2. 1.2

      Ladies make gentlemen.

  2. 2

    Hmmmm….my dad wasn’t exactly a player, but he had all kinds of – ahem – literature as he called it, and thought nothing of lusting after other women in front of my mother, though I’m sure dad was always faithful to her. I see alot of myself in Tray’s letter. Boy, the minute I see something that appears to be a “game”, I bail. Well, I have done that. I have met a really great guy and that’s causing me to have to get out of my comfort zone, deal with that inability to trust and be vulnerable. Very interesting.

    1. 2.1
      Not Jerry

      I have met a really great guy and that’s causing me to have to get out of my comfort zone, deal with that inability to trust and be vulnerable. Very interesting.
      Without risk there is no reward.
      You have to let yourself be vulnerable to win the game.

  3. 3

    (Excellent response, Evan.)
    Tray: On my most cynical days, I will remember women like you and think, “You go. I’m glad you’re out there reflecting back to men their own gaming behavior.” But in my lucid moments, I know this level of distrust and hardballing isn’t the way to get to real intimacy. A couple of your comments bother me, though. Like: “Hard to ask my friends because they’re needy and I’m not.” Whoa. Your poor friends. We’re all needy sometimes, meaning, we have needs. We’re human. Maybe your need is to hold men at a distance in an attempt to guarantee they never, ever, get one over on you. It doesn’t seem like that’s getting you where you want to be. I totally agree with many of your comments about men and the gyrations they sometimes go through to “assure” you that they are unique, ethical, and exemplary. I know it’s hard to curb your smirk, because you want to tell them, “Honey, save your precious energy..there’s no need. Because after today what you DO is what you will be.” I spend a lot of time biting my tongue, though, because hopefully one of these days, I’ll be wrong & some guy will actually deliver. I don’t agree, though, that men do the I’m-not-ready-for-commitment speech to protect me. They do it to protect themselves, so that later (if there is any later, and there often isn’t), they can say they warned you. No, if they really wanted to protect you, they wouldn’t be chasing your ass all night long knowing full well that’s gonna be all she wrote. And can a man actually protect you anyway? I think protecting myself is up to me. I don’t need a daddy to play safe for me — I need a mature straight-shooting man who cares. Lastly, your comment about telling us females that these guys call you for years, as friends, because “I don’t chase them.” Oh man. In my experience, men-friends are in no short supply. I could stack them to the rafters and so could many of my women friends. These are the guys who want to be “buddies” because you’re so fun & smart & cute & hot, blah blah blah, and then they get to flirt with you constantly and not have to do much else. I suppose some of these friendships could be long-lasting and valuable, & maybe I’m just a hardened old broad, but I find I can’t endure these buddies because I can’t respect the guy…because in my opinion, he said no thanks to intimacy but still wants my energy & smarts & my ear. I’d rather give that to my women friends. Good luck and I hope Evan’s words will bring some answers for you.

  4. 4
    Karl R

    “How do I know if they are into me since I now think like men?”


    I’m going to dispute this. You think like a player, and you have limited understanding about how other men think. Even worse, you assume that your insight into players allows you to understand how other men think.

    If a man tells you that he’s not interested in commitment, you believe him. If a man tells you he wants a family, you assume it’s meaningless. What precisely do you think men who want relationships and families say?

    If you sleep with a man on a first date, you “know” you won’t see each other again. You assume that it’s over before it even begins. You “know” that he’s not that into you (regardless of evidence to the contrary). These are all self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Since my most recent break-up, I’ve gone out with two amazing women. Both are petite, attractive, fit, intelligent, well-educated, successful, fun, funny, and incredible dancers. Both of them are worth pursuing … but one difference made the choice between them easy.

    One lady is obviously interested in me. The other one is affectionate and friendly, but I’m not sure she’s interested in a relationship. Is she disinterested, or is she just playing it cool? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’ll expend my time and energy on the woman who shows that she is into me as much as I am into her.

    “I feel as though I am somehow rejecting them before they have a chance.”

    That’s not thinking like a man or like a player. That’s thinking like someone with low self-esteem. Most men (and all players) take the risk of being rejected every time they pursue a woman. The men who don’t take that risk don’t get dates.

    If you want to get to the dating part, you’ll need to risk rejection … possibly repeatedly. You don’t need to chase men, but you do need to let them know that you’re interested in being chased by them.

    1. 4.1

      Great response Karl.  She definitely needs to learn how other men think. Taking some risk will increase the possibilities of getting what you want in any aspect of life.

  5. 5

    Wow. Truly mind boggling. Tray, get thee to a psychotherapist. It seems to me that the only type of man that would tolerate this kind of behavior from a woman is exactly the kind that would, “cheat,” or, in other words, not take you seriously! You actually think men talk about wanting a family to get in your pants? Girl, it is not 1956; men actually don’t need to summon the ghost of Ward Cleaver to get some play. It sounds to me like you have really serious issues, and could use some professional monitoring and guidance.



    I’ve NEVER had a man, woman or anyone but my Dentist’s Receptionist call and confirm an appointment. If they say they are going to be there, and you are not, YOU stood THEM up. Way to go! Maybe men your age don’t chase you because they see through your exhausting game.

    1. 5.1

      Amen to that! If I’ve made a date on Tuesday that I will be somewhere on Saturday, that’s where I will be. I’ve had guys text to ‘make sure it’s still on’ and it always comes across as insecure to me. If I wasn’t coming, I would have said so. No contact means the previous agreement still holds.

  6. 6

    Evan! Touche! Great response!

  7. 7

    Re: Kris #8
    You’ve really NEVER had anyone but your dental receptionist call you to confirm an appointment? How odd. I’ve never done on-line dating, but I’ve done plenty of off-line dating over the decades and it was standard practice to call and confirm a date was still on, if it was made a couple/few days in advance. If I made a date on Tuesday with someone for Saturday, I’d wonder if I didn’t hear from them later in the week to confirm it was still a go. Always just seemed like good manners to me.

  8. 8

    I have to wonder if the problem is that you’ve yet to find anyone who really interests YOU. You say despite your very casual, player-esq attitude you take with the guys you go out with, ALL of them continue to call you. So it would appear they are interested enough to date you. So why aren’t you dating?

    Maybe you have some kind of psychological issue going on here, but could it be you just haven’t met anyone you’ve really *sparked* with yet? I wonder if you really fell for someone if all your little ‘protective’ games would go out the window. The way it looks from here, you just haven’t been interested in any of these guys yourself to actually want to date them.

  9. 9

    Sister, you’re 36, single, and not that hot. Let’s keep it real here for two seconds.

    Tray is what I call a female player, ie a chick who plays the game like a dude who has some game. The problem is, she’s playing on the dark side. And the deeper problem is she’s using her game to mask deeper problems, and those deeper problems are that she’s insecure, unsure of her identity, and frankly doesn’t quite love herself. Here’s the tip off in her email: “I feel like they have to basically kiss my ass until I become fully aware, because now I feel as though I am somehow rejecting them before they have a chance.”

    No one is going to kiss your ass that’s worth keeping, so you better get used to not having your ass kissed by quality guys. Those are the guys you want to connect with. If a quality guy shows interest, be prepared to return the interest and fully commit yourself to the interaction. That’s truly living in the moment.

    Also, you might want to actually date a player. Those are the guys who can counter your chick game effectively. They’ll also call you out on your BS, which you need. Send me an email (and pics) if you want to talk to a real man.

    1. 9.1

      Boom, there it is! Not delicately put, but sometimes truth hurts.  

      1. 9.1.1

        OMG!!!!!!!! Your so brutally honest

    2. 9.2

      Well said….I have the same mentality and it took me falling for a player to get my act together. It got to the point when I started considering myself a “dog” and I’m a Beautiful, intelligent, independent, Miloto Woman. Is as women need to know our worth before we start to try to “Think like a man”! Not all men are the same. Just some advice.


  10. 10

    Lance, the internet is getting stiflingly stale from all the hot air you’re blowing. Stop negging the OP. She’s checkmated way too many like you not to be able to see through you like Lucite.

    To the OP — Tray, one of the things that jumped out at me was the same thing that jumped out at Zann: “They’re needy and I’m not.” And this — even allowing for the fact that we women can sometimes be quite stupid about men — about your actual friends, as opposed to your frenemies?

    Sounds like it’s not just men you don’t trust — sounds as if you don’t much trust anyone, including yourself.

    I don’t know if I’d call it reverse projection, ’cause I’m not licensed, (also, interestingly, you don’t mention mom at all or her relationship with dad — or any other working relationship you observed in those modeling years) but I’d certainly call it something interesting enough to perhaps warrant an attitude adjustment assisted by a professional. Just for some insight. Everyone’s life needs an editor sometimes. And going all the way back to daddy, this looks like it could use some untangling.

    I’m sure you’re quite successful financially; spend the bucks for the top of the line (because as to quality in counselors, like quality in men, YMMV).

    Best of luck.

  11. 11

    Hee. Or, what Andrea said.

  12. 12
    Hot Alpha Female

    @ Lance – lmao love the first sentence it cracked me up =) Your humor is wicked.

    @ Tray I hear what you are saying too. I mean I’m all about having a kick ass attitude, n now after reading that i think i just need to kick myself.

    My dad was a player aswell and he taught me the rules of the games and how he played it. I remember the whole “now there are certain types of guys you are going to be attracted to” speech.

    But i think what evan and lance say are right. You are playing the game but the only person that is losing is you.

    Sometimes we have to take our head out of our butt and give people a chance.

    We have to be patient and empathetic to those that are pursuing us and maybe just maybe you can let a guy in, to see who you really are.

    Hot Alpha Female

  13. 13

    m! Oh goody, my favorite ball buster! Where have you been, it’s been months?

    I doubt Tray would be able to game me, because SHE’S NOT THAT HOT. Seriously, I’m trying to throw out a reality check here. Even I’m not as douchebaggy as she sounds in her email. Also, what’s lucite??

    1. 13.1

      Have you seen a picture of her to determine she’s not that hot? Or do you see her as too cocky, calling herself hot and you’d just like to take her down a few notches?

  14. 14

    Kris, post #8.

    I’m not a dentist. If I set a date with a woman or a friend more than 2-3 days in advance I call (or email ) to confirm.

    Tray doesn’t need a psychologist. Tray, like every other single person just needs to risk being hurt.

  15. 15

    Lance, post #13.

    You got a smart observation there that the kind of guys who will keep coming after being repeatedly pushed away are not the kind of guys a person wants to be in a relationship with.

    I don’t think you have enough information for the psychological diagnosis you made or the judgment that Tray isn’t hot.

  16. 16

    As much as I’m a fan of Evan’s advice, I think Tray’s issues go WAY beyond the scope of dating, and emailing a therapist might better serve her. Either that, or she should start spending lots of time in the self-help section at Barnes and Noble. Right now, I’d put her in the “too many issues to date” category, as would many other guys. The ones that are chasing her, regardless of her game playing, are just as screwed up as her. The good guys she doesn’t yet believe she deserves to be with simply won’t put up with her current behavior.

    Once her daddy and major insecurities issues are dealt with, she can get back out there, date like a mature adult, and find a mature adult who’ll appreciate her for the cool, relaxed chick that exists somewhere underneath all the walls she’s put up for various reasons.

  17. 18

    I’ve got ten years on Tray, but have more than a little bit of the acerbic in me, too. What I have discovered fairly recently is that it never hurts to be wise to the ways of the players, but you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. By that I mean I subtly let the players know I’m on to them, and I will keep them on their toes in a fun, flirty way. I have a quick wit, and I make an effort to use it to let men know they can’t take advantage of me, but I may still enjoy their company, or even a booty call–it’s just more of a level playing field.

    I’m not looking for a lifetime relationship right now, so it’s easier for me to play the field and have fun because there’s less at stake. If I discover the love of my life in what starts out as a casual relationship, great. If not, my expectations aren’t crushed. I’m pretty forthright about telling men where they stand with me, without revealing too much about who else I might be currently seeing, and I make myself open to getting the same information from them. If after that, I get the impression a guy is still feeding me lines and is completely disingenuous (vs. a little unsure or private), I cut him loose.

    And I try to remember that some men are perpetual players, but some men are just playing until they find a keeper. I started a relationship with a much younger man recently, who was pretty open about being a total player, one of those always-looking-for-greener-pastures guys. I just let him play that out, with the basic attitude that if he thought he could find someone better than me, go ahead. I continued to date other men, while maintaining a relationship with him. I think you could call it playing it cool, but not playing it cold. Last night he told me he’s not interested in dating other women right now, and he wants to see me exclusively. Not a guarantee, but he told me he was taking down his profile on the dating site through which we met. Only time will tell if his intentions are true, but it’s a good place to start. By dating other men, it gave me chance to realize that I am more attracted to this guy, and seeing him exclusively wouldn’t be such a bad thing–and I’m sure it made me seem less needy and clingy in his eyes = more attractive. But I didn’t have to bust his balls to get him to this place–I just opened the door for him to find his way there. That’s probably the biggest dating lesson I’ve learned in a long time.

    One more thing. Tray, you say you understand men well, but you expect them to call to confirm dates, etc. I think this is completely unrealistic. I would either assume the date is on, once plans are made, or call myself to confirm if I was having any doubts. You could also downplay it by sending a quick text (which is more realistic for guys than the phone, unfortunately)–something like: “Remind me again was it 7:00 or 7:30 when we’re meeting?” or “Looking forward to our dinner–call me if you hit traffic. ” etc.

  18. 19
    Evan Marc Katz


    That’s about the best advice I’ve ever read from a reader on this blog. I wouldn’t change one word. Be careful about being so wise – you might put me out of a job…

    Thanks for sharing.


  19. 20
    Internet Dating Tips

    Whoa! Are you serious? Why in the world would a man not call you after a night of great sex? I have to say, I am very sexually liberated and I sleep with a guy on the first date if I like him. Why wait? It happens so rarely that I meet someone whom I am instantly attracted to; I totally go for it. Do I expect him to call and follow up? Do I have an agenda? Absolutely NOT. But they always call back. Actually, every one of my what was meant to be one night stands have turned into a long-term relationships with the man always asking me for committment. In fact, my relationship with my current boyfriend who asked me to move in with him after only six weeks of dating, started with me asking him to have a one night stand with me the very night we met for a blind Internet date. And he is not some creep who can’t get laid. When we go out, girls ogle at him everywhere. To my knowledge he had a few booty calls at the time we met, but never once slept or went out with anyone else since the first time we met.

    It makes me cringe when I hear “never sleep with a man on the first date”. Why not?? If a man likes you, he is not going to like you less because of that. In fact, he will like you even more.

    1. 20.1
      matt fore

      I don’t know why men do thatI would call you back and buy you flowers and take you out to a beautiful dinnerI think a woman should be treated like a queen and that is the way I treat my women

      1. 20.1.1

        Matt, it is good to treat a woman with respect and affection, but too much too soon is not a good idea for various reasons. Since u brought me the word ‘queen’, let me show a little comparison between 2 guys I know. I recently started chatting to a guy who really wants to date me and he already keeps calling me his princess and wanting to shower me with everything blah blah, and it’s too much and too soon, it freaks me out a little!

        I’ve been dating another guy who is Really great to me, he’s a macho guy yet a sweetheart, but he has a policy of “not dating princesses”, lol, as in, he refuses to date girls who are stuck up and entitled. I feel much more attraction and respect to this guy. Just some advice to guys, treating women well will work, but there are impt boundaries to watch out for. (Same for women–treat men well but have boundaries).

    2. 20.2

      internet dating tips,

      …I agree with you, I won’t call if she shows no enthusiasm in bed…any sex is better than nothing, yet, some women make it excruciating…and, I am not exaggerating…

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