The other day, I found myself in a conversation with a young man that went a little something like this:
Young Man (YM) — Will you be with your other boyfriend?
Me — My OTHER boyfriend? I have no boyfriends. I am very single.
YM — You are player of the year. I saw your trophy in a museum recently lol
Me — Nope. Just a single girl, trying to live a happy life. That’s all.
Now what caused this young man to characterize me as a player? Just the fact that I’d been honest with him when he asked me if I was dating other people weeks before. I guess it didn’t help that I also told him I hadn’t planned on changing that anytime soon. I mean, I also said that I was open to seeing where life took me with any guy I was dating, too. But maybe that was still too honest? I don’t know.
I found it funny that the player title came up eventually (albeit kind of jokingly), because it has come up in the past when I’ve actively chosen to date multiple guys at a time. But also because it reinforced my theory that men are typically okay with the concept of dating multiple people at a time until they are the one who ends up on someone’s “team.”
Either way, my response to him was more important than his statement, I believe. When I looked at it later, I was shocked at how accurately it described me right now, especially considering it was really just a knee-jerk response to him.
To break it down a bit, here’s what I was in essence saying about myself:
I am a single girl — and therefore have all the rights and privileges that come with this designation (so don’t question me on who I am spending time with, ahem).
(implied) And happy with that (for now) — A lot of people either fall into the miserably single or “I can be single all my life! Damn it!” categories. I’m not either. I’m good with where I am now, but I am open to allowing for changes in the future (maybe near… maybe not lol).
Trying to live a happy life — which right now, for me, includes working on my career, volunteering, working on my book, spending time with family and friends, and dating (maybe one, two, or three guys at a time). One thing I love is that I am clear on what makes me happy these days, and I am constantly
working on leaning into those things.
That’s all — nothing more; nothing less. It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it.
What none of those things says about me, however, is that I’m a player. Because as I later informed the young man, player, to me, implies that there’s dishonesty occurring. That I’m making any one person feel as if he is my man.
Clearly, I am not.
But I think when women make the choice to give themselves options in the dating field, they get stuck with titles like player or worse.
When really, it’s just that we’ve decided to take advantage of the buffet of guys to date before us. Of course with that, there’s going to be times we don’t like what’s offered or we think something will be good, and it turns out to be too sour or too sweet. But that’s the beauty of dating (and eating at a buffet)!
Bottom line though, what I was saying to him was that I’m not complicated, and he should stop trying to figure me out — I’m simply a girl who is dating (and taking advantage of her options) and making sure to have as much fun as humanly possible at all times. Nothing more; nothing less.
I’m glad I was able to say it so succinctly. That tells me I really do know myself now — something that 25 year old Darby probably couldn’t have honestly said.
But what about you? Do you agree with his implied definition of player? Also, if you had to describe yourself in 20 words or less, could you do it and what would you say?