‘Cause the players gonna play

The lesson from the universe this month seems to be “trust your gut instinct”. Too many occasions since A, I have ignored my gut and paid for it in negative consequences. This morning I have woken up knowing that, yet again, I should have made better choices when my instincts were urging me to.

From his opening messages on Tinder, I knew he was a player. I even said so to him. He feigned offence. I knew his type. I knew his intentions. I allowed his words to persuade me differently. I agreed to go on a date with him on Friday night.

In person, I assumed my initial perceptions had been wrong. He was unlike his texts, flirty words in person are less presumptuous than in a text. With the benefit of tone, and body language and a smile, I let my guard down.

We drank and shared dinner. We spoke without pause and tick tacked off one another, quickly establishing ongoing jokes, a casual touch, more drinks. When we kissed at the bar, it seemed organic.

At the pub across the road, a couple more drinks. I was still not drunk, not for me. I was happy though. I was enjoying myself and him. He suggested we go for a walk. We did not get far.

He suggested we get into his car and there I perceived the shift. His affections were less restrained, he began to whisper in my ear all the things he was going to do to me. As the windows started to fog, parked there on the street, I knew this wasn’t about me.

I moved away from him and suggested I catch the train home. I told him what he wanted was now evident and I felt cheap. I should have got out of the car but he talked me down again. He stopped clawing at me and suggested we go back to his apartment and watch a movie instead.

We got an Uber back to his and I allowed myself to be mulled over. I decided to just go with it. There was chemistry, I didn’t deny it. I did enjoy being the centre of his attentions. But then, upstairs in his bedroom, maybe 20 minutes later, I realised I could have been anyone. I had become nothing more than series of holes that he wanted to play with. And I did something I hadn’t been brave enough to do since the rape.

I told him to stop.

He immediately responded and withdrew from my body. He asked if I was OK, what was wrong, what had happened. I started to speak while I pulled on my clothes. He was no longer the guy I had been having fun with at the bar. This was the player I had called out on text.

He confessed he had been testing me. He wanted to see if we had chemistry, wanted to see how passionate I was. Told me he’d had a date the previous week with zero physical chemistry. He’d ended it and she’d sent him a hundred messages until he blocked her. He didn’t want to make that mistake with me.

My gut told me not to trust him. I recalled recent sessions with my psych when she kindly scolded me for not listening to my gut a few weeks earlier when a guy got aggressive. For some reason, I stayed. We had more sex, slept a while, then more sex in the morning.

He talked about coming to see me the next day, getting to know me better, hanging out, having fun. We went out for breakfast and it was there he told me he still planned to meet another woman he’d been messaging. She was “dirty” by his account and he wanted to see how dirty. He asked how I felt about it. I said he and I weren’t dating but if that’s what he wanted to do, I didn’t want to see him again.

“But we’re not exclusive,” he said.

“I know that.”

“You went on a date on Thursday night.”

“Yes, I did, and I probably won’t see him again.”

“When’s your next date?”

“I don’t have another date scheduled. You’re it.”

“Perhaps we can just hang out and see?”

“You want a friends with benefits arrangement?”

“Yes, I absolutely do. You have two!”

“Yes, I do but they’re not what I want. No one wants ‘arrangements’ long term. I want a relationship. I hang out with them because we’re friends and we get along. But there’s no future there.”

“So, why can’t I have that?”

“You can. Go for it. But it means you’re not interested in having anything serious with me, or even exploring the idea. I’m not saying, let’s be exclusive, but when you like someone enough, you don’t sit across from them and say you still want to meet some chick because she sounds dirty in bed.”

I told him again he was a player.

This time he didn’t act offended. He said “yeah, I am. I’m a player”.

“Why did you pretend to be so upset then?”

“Because I don’t like it. You called me on it and I didn’t like it. But you’re right, I am a player.”

At this point, he started singing Taylor Swift.

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, baby

I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off

I just started, sitting across from him at the café, knowing I wouldn’t see him again.

When he’d told me over dinner I was funny, it was bullshit. When he told me over drinks, I was intelligent, it was bullshit. When he told me over cocktails I was amazing, more bullshit. And when he said he wanted to see me again while in his bed, it was bullshit.

My gut tried to tell me and every time, I ignored it. I went against my own better judgement. I went to bed last night feeling stupid.

I woke up this morning to his text “I’m feeling sick so I won’t come over today”.

I text back “it’s OK to just say you don’t want to see me again”.

“I was being honest though.”

I didn’t write back to that.

Being honest after you’ve got what you wanted is not being honest. Being honest after you’ve fucked a girl and told her all the things you think she wants to hear, is not being honest.

Sorry John, you’re not an honest person. You’re just an arsehole.

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