Ask Wendy

How Can I Spot a Player?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Hey Wendy,

What would be warning signs of a guy who is not ready to commit or a player? How can I spot a commitment-phobe? 

Wanda K. — Los Angeles, CA

Hey Wanda,

The real question here is what is he committing to? If he’s agreed to a date, he’s already committed to you. He’s committed to a date. You can’t expect more from a total stranger.

We want to know as soon as humanly possible if this person has staying power and the ability to commit to us, possibly for a lifetime. But trying to sort for that in the first few dates is like trying to predict who will get the final rose on “The Bachelor” on opening night of the season. I mean sure, there are some early and obvious candidates who are blowing it. You can wait for drunk girl, cuz you know she’ll show up in episode one. And keep an eye out for the slightly strange and inappropriate loudmouth. You can most def count on crazy-possessive stalker girl to lose that rose. The same can be said about a first date. If he’s a seduction scene creeper, it’s fine to belt out, “What up, player?” and be out. (And if you do this, please IPhone-record it and send it to me for my personal amusement.) For normal daters, it’s going to take some time.

If you show up open, easy-breezy and without applying any pressure or expectations, your date will most likely share where he’s at in life and what he’s up to. Listen to see if he’s hunting a wife or looking to have a casual dating experience. Is he available and around or does his work take him out of town too much for anything real? Did he just end something major and he’s not ready for anything deep? Your job is to listen and to hear what he’s saying, which can be hard if you want the answer to be something else.

How do you learn about who he is? You date him. Listen, instead of searching for clues, and watch to see if his actions match his words. Wait until you have a track record of him showing up again and again doing what he said he would, and not doing what he said he wouldn’t. I wish I had a hack for this, but there’s no shortcut for building trust.

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