11 Seemingly Positive Guy Behaviors That Actually Indicate You’re Being Played

Learning how to trust a new relationship is tricky, especially when the guy you’re with is acting shady. If you think he might be playing you, here are a few things to look out for to confirm your suspicions. It’s best you find out sooner rather than later.

  1. He uses sweet names to distract you from his bad behavior. Whenever he shows up late to a date or cancels on you last minute, he calls you things like “baby” and “sweetheart” to melt your heart into submission. This may be endearing at first, but don’t be fooled: this is textbook manipulation. Don’t let him sweet talk you into forgetting what made you upset in the first place. You have every right to be angry.
  2. He makes you laugh when you show any hint of being upset. Whenever he feels like you might be getting ready to confront him about something, he’ll diffuse the tension by making a joke. No matter how hilarious or lovable he is, his evasion shows he clearly has something to hide.
  3. He compliments you all the time, but his actions don’t back up his words. He tells you you’re the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and that he wants to go places and do things with you. But the minute you make a suggestion or ask anything of him beyond what his words can offer, he gives you nothing. Words alone don’t prove he’s invested. Only actions can tell you that.
  4. He charms your friends. Your friends love him because he’s funny and sweet and charms everyone he meets, but just because they like him doesn’t mean you should trust him. He’s good at charming people out of whatever their gut instinct might be, and if you’re feeling suspicious of his actions and intentions, you should listen to yourself.
  5. He makes big promises that he never keeps. You like to fantasize about trips you want to go on together and how you’d like to spend your next weekend, but he doesn’t seem to see these ideas as actual possibilities. Instead, he acts surprised when you try to make a plan. A guy who’s all talk and no action is definitely playing you.
  6. The sex is amazing. Obviously, good sex doesn’t automatically mean you’re being played, but it may be an indication that he’s only in it for the physical part of the relationship. If all he’s giving you is good sex, chances are he’s taking advantage of you. No matter what he tells you in the bedroom or how satisfied you are by that part of the relationship, if he isn’t there for you emotionally, he may as well not be there at all.
  7. He’s “spontaneous.” Last-minute dates can be romantic, but if this happens regularly and he seems incapable of planning anything in advance, it may be time for you to question why this is the only scenario in which you get to see him. It may seem fun and exciting, but unfortunately, he may simply be using you as his backup girlfriend.
  8. He buys you things to make up for his mistakes. At least he’s acknowledging that he upset you, right? Gifts show that he regrets making you feel bad, but if he isn’t changing his behavior, they mean nothing. In fact, they might be a sign that he’s feeling guiltier than the issue calls for, which could be betraying a deeper secret.
  9. He’s the one who initiates all your dates. It may feel good to be asked out, but have you ever wondered why he evades any plans you try to set up? If he’s only available when it’s convenient for him, he clearly isn’t giving you very much of himself. Even if he always seems excited to be with you when you’re together, the fact that he’s never available when you suggest a date shows that he’s not giving you enough of himself.
  10. He simultaneously makes you feel like a queen and like the loneliest person in the world. When he’s there, he makes you the center of his world; when he’s gone, it’s as if he doesn’t even know you exist. He takes hours to respond to texts and never calls. No matter how close you felt to him the last time you saw each other, he makes you feel like none of it ever happened the minute you’re apart.
  11. If you have to question it, something’s probably off. The very fact that you’re doubting his intentions means that some part of you already knows something’s wrong. Trust your intuition and don’t settle for feeling inadequate and unsatisfied, no matter how hard he tries to make up for it. You deserve better. Even if he isn’t playing you, your doubt proves that you’re not getting what you need out of the relationship.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.