I Got Played & I’ll Never Let It Happen Again

I fell down the relationship rabbit hole, but I definitely didn’t end up in Wonderland. Instead, I wound up with nothing but heartbreak because I fell for some player’s crap. I’m just one of so many women who’ve been played, and while I’m not proud of it, I’m not going to let that stop me from finding love. Now that I’ve experienced a player first hand, I finally know how to spot the red flags. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Beware of guys who need second chances. Everyone deserves a second chance — at least, that’s what I used to believe, but not anymore. Men who are actually interested in real relationships don’t take their first chance for granted. Now I know that saying sorry isn’t enough. If a guy really wants a second chance, he needs to earn it (and let’s be real — most of them aren’t interested in putting in that much effort or they would have done it the first time.
  2. You have to listen to your gut. My intuition was screaming at me that the man I was seeing was full of crap, but did I listen? No. I wanted to prove myself wrong rather than admitting that my gut was right. I was all for following my heart, but from now on, I’ll be listening to my gut instead.
  3. Some guys don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. In fact, most players are asking for more than that. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck then it’s probably a duck — and the same can be said for players. Every guy might deserve a chance, but that means no games and no mixed signals or they can kiss my ass goodbye. I won’t ignore my better judgment because a guy wants to play innocent — I’m not here for shadiness.
  4. Fear of commitment is total BS. When a man says he’s afraid of commitment but only wants to take things slow emotionally and not physically, it’s a pretty clear indication that he’s totally full of crap. If he doesn’t make it clear that we’re headed toward a relationship, then that’s officially my cue to get out. If you aren’t ready for a relationship then you aren’t ready to sleep with me either. It’s as simple as that.
  5. Men should be willing to wait for sex. I got played and I learned a valuable lesson — a man who isn’t willing to wait until you’re ready for sex isn’t worthy of you. A man should be more interested in my mind than my body. I shouldn’t be pushed into taking things out of my comfort zone. It’s my body and it’s my decision — and it’s only the players who won’t think I’m worth the wait.
  6. Trust needs to be earned. Before I got played, I thought that I could trust a guy until he gave me a reason not to, but that’s not the case. Now I know that if a guy wants my trust, he has to be willing to do whatever it takes to earn it. I’m not giving away anything for free because that’s exactly how I got taken advantage of.
  7. Players know how to turn the tables. Calling me crazy or telling me I’m overreacting is just another way a player gets away with BS behavior. If I’m in an argument with a guy I’m seeing over something that he did and suddenly it’s entirely my fault then it’s pretty clear he doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t want resolution, he just wants a ‘get out of jail free’ card, and that’s a pretty good indication I should kick him to the curb.
  8. Phones shouldn’t be under lock and key. A guy who guards his phone like his life depends on it is a guy with something to hide. God forbid his phone vibrates with a text or a phone call when he’s not in the room. If he has his hand glued to his phone, then that little lifeline is holding some seriously dirty laundry. From now on, I don’t need to fulfill my urge to pick. I just need to leave him to play the field without me.
  9. A relationship should never be a secret. Taking things slow shouldn’t mean that I have to hide our relationship. I refuse to be another man’s dirty little secret. Getting played taught me that if a man is trying to keep our relationship on the down low, then he’s probably hiding something. If I have to be a man’s secret, there’s a reason for that, and his skeleton in the closet may just be that he has at least one other girlfriend.
  10. Falling in love shouldn’t be painful. I thought that everything good in life came with some bad. I believed that you couldn’t have love without a little pain, but love is supposed to be pure. Falling in love should make me feel like the luckiest woman in the world, not like a man is settling for me. A man not treating me the way I deserve is the most obvious sign he’s playing me.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.