What it’s like being a female player
It’s all fun and games for a while, until it gets boring
When one hears the word “player,” it’s usually associated with a male – one who is skilled in the art of manipulation, often talking to numerous girls at once when he secretly has ulterior motives.
Although this definition may speak the truth in certain situations with certain males, a guy isn’t the only one who can be defined as a player. In fact, I reversed the gender roles and was a female player.
Now, with that statement, it’s important to note that there are key differences between my role as a female player, and the roles of men who are players. I was just exploring my options, with no sexual motives in mind. What I loved was the rush of the initial contact with a guy – the honeymoon phase where everything is exciting after that first meeting point.
I was at a place in my life where a serious relationship was of no interest to me, and all that was on my mind was a little fun and games.
I met certain guys who caught my eye in those normal college meeting places: parties, the gym, class. A flirtatious interaction sparked the exchange of our phone numbers, which turned into a flirty text conversation, which then set the stage for a first date (usually to sushi).
Sometimes the dates went very well, and sometimes I got stuck listening to a guy talk about how he thought he was the white version of Kanye for over an hour… really?
But sometimes I was the one to make a fool of myself – for instance when I choked on wasabi at dinner and had to bolt to the bathroom to throw it all up. Very cute.
After the first date, the interactions turned into a game of who could pay less attention to the other, while still keeping things interesting. I loved this game. It was challenging, surreptitious, innocently devious.
But the rush only lasted so long, and after a week or two, this game became boring and it was time to start all over again with someone new.
This cycle of meeting someone new, carrying on with them for a bit, and then letting them go continued for months. I started to realize that all the guys I was meeting were the same – same family background, same types of friends, same aspirations (if they even had any) – and it was getting old.
I took to Tinder and Bumble to see if I could meet anyone a little bit more interesting outside of my college town. I’ve heard these dating apps work well for some people, but for me, they were a complete bust.
All the conversations turned out to be the same – a sexual reference made by the guy, with no response from me.
After a couple months, I started to be perceived differently by my friends and peers. My so-called friends starting making snide remarks anytime a guy was brought up.
“How many guys ARE you talking to NOW?”
So much for female empowerment.
I would go out and meet new guys, and would hear, “I heard you talk to a lot of guys.” “I heard you play guys.” Apparently word spreads fast.
Of course, all this information was coming from people they “heard” it from, not from the source itself: me.
What really bothered me about this whole situation was that when guys talk to numerous girls at once, or hook up with multiple girls, they’re praised by their friends and by society. Congratulations, your number is higher.
But when I, a woman, go out and explore my options, I’m looked down upon. It’s not “lady-like” behavior. I’m a “tease,” “overly-flirtatious,” “superficial.” I experienced this double-standard first-hand, and I can say that it is very real. A guy hooks up with a lot of girls, and he’s The Man, such a stud. A woman just talks to a bunch of guys, and she’s totally ostracized. So not fair.
I found that I had to stand up for myself and my actions more often than not. It was my choice how I conducted myself, how I behaved. I didn’t owe anyone an explanation. But after months and months of this behavior, I got tired of it. It wasn’t pleasing to me anymore. Shiny objects are fun to look at for a while, but soon the novelty wears off and they all get dull.
I realized that I had to take a step back, and see why I was craving these surface interactions so badly. It all came down to one thing.
I wanted to feel wanted. I lusted after the attention, to be told that I was beautiful. It all made me feel as though I was worth it.
Upon realizing this, I did a personal 180. My self-worth should not depend on how others view me, or how much others want me. My self-worth needed to come from within, and I was better than this behavior.
In the end, the superficial interactions were devoid of meaning. I wanted more than just a game of back-and-forth. I craved a deeper connection with someone.
I don’t regret my experiences as a female player. As a matter of fact, I look back at them fondly. They helped me realize what kind of qualities I do and don’t like in a guy. They allowed me to take a step back and really re-evaluate the person I wanted to be.
Exploring your options truly sets apart the diamonds from the cheap imitations. A very special guy is one to cherish and hold onto, because from my experiences, they are very rare.
Although many positives came out of exploring my options, it also showed me just how prevalent gender stereotypes are. A strong-willed woman is intimidating, and people often feel the need to attempt to bring her down in order to bring themselves up, and that goes for both males and females.
Women should be free to explore their options and conduct themselves according to their own internal compass, not by outdated patriarchal standards. It’s not a man’s world anymore.
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